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How Creatine Supplements Affect Muscle Growth

Posted Dec 27 2011 5:00am

I’m sure by now that you are well aware of the popular sports supplement called Creatine. What you may not be aware of is how Creatine supplements effect muscle growth.

Let’s start by looking at the most basic requirement of building muscle. It’s called exercise. What’s needed for exercise is energy. Energy is simply the capacity for doing more work. Because building muscle takes energy, Creatine supplementation and the saturation of Creatine in your body’s stores helps give you more energy when you need it most. Those last few repetitions at maximal power when you are at muscular failure.

What you might not know is that your body transforms the food you eat into chemical energy called Adenosine TriPhosphate (ATP). This energy is stored in cells and is used later for energy.

Creatine is found naturally in foods like:

  • beef
  • pork
  • herring
  • salmon
  • tuna
  • cod
  • plaice,
  • trace amounts in shrimp and
  • even small amounts in milk and cranberries

If you think of ATP as cell’s form of currency, then the power you can deliver during short bouts of intense activity is determined by the size of your muscle’s bank account. Unfortunately, your body can only produce and store so much naturally and it’s storage is not as large as one might want.

Creatine is thus something that the body naturally possesses, stores at relatively high concentrations and uses to increase energy availability, as needed.

Since the store limited, most people can only sustain maximal power for just a few seconds. This is precisely where Creatine supplementation comes into play.

What if your body’s ATP stores could be increased and the muscle cells saturated with ATP? You would have more energy when you need it for longer bouts of intense activity and you could sustain maximal power for a few extra seconds.

Many people mistake Creatine supplementation as directly affecting muscular growth. In fact, Creatine has no direct effect on muscle growth unlike protein. Creatine supplementation’s main function is to increase ATP availability during intense activity when energy usage easily surpasses energy production from stored nutrients.

In summary, Creatine supplementation is like an energy credit card when it comes to your intense workouts and the ability to get at just a little bit more energy for those last few repetitions at maximal power. Having more energy and the ability to do more work during a workout can effect muscle growth.

Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding


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