Creatine – Energy and Muscle Power
Creatine may help to:
- Assist in creation of muscular energy
- Enhance potential for muscle growth and strength
- Provide for explosive power and endurance
- Buffer accumulation of lactic acid, reducing fatigue, cramping and muscle soreness
- Maintain stable creatine levels (with supplementation)
Creatine is a nitrogenous amino acid which occurs naturally in the skeletal muscles—hence its name from the Greek for flesh, “kreas.” Stored as creatine phosphate, it is the muscle’s main source of energy as it donates its phosphate molecules to ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) in the Krebs Cycle to produce ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate), the enzyme that extracts elemental nutrients from food.
Creatine is a catalyst for protein synthesis. Once the proteins are metabolized into its elemental amino acids it helps create the fuel your body uses for energy but as a result also increases fluid in the cellular tissues. Since the body seeks to balance the fluid level outside the cell, the fluid retention has been called “creatine bloat.” However, super-hydration of the muscle cells creates more protein synthesis and muscle growth which can produce more muscle strength and the ability to expend more power and continue the growth cycle. Creatine also helps buffer the build-up of lactic acid in the muscle fibers which can cause fatigue and cramping.
Since creatine is available from the diet in small amounts in meat and fish and milk, supplementation may be more beneficial for vegetarians as well as for those seeking to build muscle mass.