Creatine is one of the most popular supplements for professional and collegiate athletes. The product advertises increased energy, endurance, and muscle production. Should the average person be taking creatine? The answer is going to depend on what your fitness goals are. Let’s dive into what creatine is, how it affects your body, and if you should give it a try.
Creatine is a substance that the body will produce naturally. When muscles begin to move, they need to draw energy from different sources. Creatine is the first source of energy used by muscles because of how quickly it can be utilized. As creatine is depleted, the muscle will switch to using sugars and fats for energy; these sources take longer to use and the muscle's performance will reflect that. Supplementation of creatine attempts to increase the amount of creatine that is stored in the muscles. The thought process is that the higher the supply, the longer muscles can perform at optimum speeds.
Amino acids are used to create creatine naturally. If you are eating an adequate amount of protein in your diet, your muscles should be storing around 60-80% of the maximum amount of creatine it can hold. Supplementation attempts to push the body to store that last 20-40%. Studies show this helps improve endurance and performance in athletes, but what does it do for the average person? Creatine can help people who are having difficulty with maintaining energy levels during weight training. This is great for people who are looking to build muscle but not so great for people looking to lose weight.
With an increase in muscle creatine, the body will retain more water. With the body maintaining more water, people may actually see a slight weight gain when first starting creatine supplementation.
If you would like more information on creatine and if supplementation is a good idea for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Amann. Here at Rush-Henrietta Family Chiropractic, your Rochester, NY chiropractors, we can help you decide if supplements are the right choice for your nutrition and health goals. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation today!