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Everything you wanted to know about creatine!

If you are an athlete and your training requires strength or speed then you have definitely heard of creatine. But how much of the information you've heard about creatine is true? In our article we will try to answer your most common questions

What is creatine and from which foods do we get it?

Creatine is an amino acid found in skeletal muscle, heart, brain and other tissues of the human body. In our body, creatine is produced in the liver. Our body under normal conditions needs 2-4 grams per day of which about 1 to 2 grams are produced endogenously mainly by the liver from the amino acids glycine, methionine and arginine, but also by the kidneys and pancreas.  The remaining 1 to 2 grams are taken in from dietary sources, such as fish or meat.

How does it work?

Creatine has the characteristic of joining with phosphorus (P) and forming a substance very important for energy efficiency, phosphocreatine (PCr). By offering the P of its molecule, PCr contributes to the regeneration of ATP. The energy needed by the body is provided by adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and in the case of intense exercise the requirements can be even a thousand times greater. ATP can be stored in the muscles in very small amounts and must be continuously generated during an effort. Creatine acts as a replenisher of the ATP levels necessary for high-intensity exercise. In other words, the substance allows for a harder workout.

Benefits of Creatine Supplementation

Many studies on creatine supplementation have proven the following:

  • Increase in strength and its growth rate.
  • Improved sprint performance in terms of speed and recovery between exercises.
  • Improved agility.
  • Increased strength and power in the legs when cycling.
  • Increasing strength, energy and weight in Olympic movements (arache, zette)
  • Improvement in strength in squat exercises and bench lifts.
  • And increased performance during team sports such as rugby and football.
  • Creatine before and after exercise

Ideally, the best time to administer creatine is about 30 minutes to 1 hour after training and immediately after the end in the post-workout shaker. Taking it 30 minutes before training is enough time for it to be absorbed and used by the body, so that it has an immediate effect during training.
The body's natural store levels of creatine can be depleted very quickly, and replenished in a much longer time, so the body must have adequate levels of creatine for training.

Is creatine dangerous?

The only major side effect that has been consistently reported is weight gain. However, there have been various reported side effects such as stomach problems, muscle cramps, dehydration, and an increased risk of muscle pulls and strains. There has also been concern that short- and/or long-term creatine supplementation may increase renal (kidney) pressure. However, over the past few years various studies have shown that creatine is not associated with any of these reported problems.

Lamberts, Now Sports, Xendurance and Zipvit offer you a wide variety of quality creatine supplements to get the most out of your training.