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10 Health Benefits of Creatine and Its Performance

Creatine is the world’s most researched supplement, with a range of powerful health and performance benefits.

It may improve brain function, fight certain neurological diseases, improve exercise performance, and speed up muscle growth.

The body produces creatine from the amino acids methionine, glycine, and arginine and stores it as creatine phosphate (CP) or phosphocreatine.

Creatine phosphate aids in the formation of a substance known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP powers muscle contractions.

Here are 10 health benefits of creatine and its performance:

1. Creatine Supports the Muscle

Creatine can alter several cell pathways that lead to muscle growth. For example, creatine can boost protein synthesis, which can lead to the creation of new muscle fibers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

It can increase the levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a growth factor that promotes an increase in muscle mass and water retention (1, 2, 6).

A study suggests creatine decreases myostatin, a molecule responsible for stunting muscle growth (7).

Reducing myostatin can help you build muscles quickly. Creatine can stimulate several key biological processes, which are believed to boost muscle growth.

2. Creatine Speeds Muscle Growth

Creatine is the world’s most famous supplement for increasing muscle mass (8, 9).

Taking it for as few as 5–7 days has proven to increase lean body muscle size. The reason behind this is that it increases water retention in your muscle tissue (4, 6).

Over the long term, it can increase muscle fiber by signaling key biological pathways, boosting gymnasium, and overall performance (1, 2, 3, 4).

In one study of a six-week training regimen, people who used creatine gained 2 kg more muscle mass on average than the separate control group (10).

A complete analysis confirmed a clear increase in muscle mass for those taking creatine compared to those performing the same training routine.

This overview compared the world’s most famous sports supplements and concluded that creatine is the best one available (9).

Besides these health benefits, creatine is often less costly and far safer than most other sports dietary supplements.

3. Creatine Prevents Neurological Disorders

A key element in a few neurological disorders is a drop in phosphocreatine in the brain (11).

Since creatine can improve these levels, it can help decrease or slow disease progression. In a study in mice with Huntington’s syndrome, it restored the brain’s phosphocreatine stores by 72%, compared to only 26% in the control group (12).

This restoration of phosphocreatine helped preserve cells day by day and decreased the dying of cells by around 25% (12).

According to some animal studies, it may also help with other diseases such as Alzheimer’s, ischemic stroke, epilepsy, or brain or spinal cord injuries (13, 14, 15, 16).

Creatine has proven benefits for ALS patients, a condition that affects the motor neurons essential for movement.

It elevated motor function, decreased muscle loss, and prolonged survival rates by 17% (17).

4. Creatine Improves Brain Performance

Creatine can improve brain function (18).

A study shows that your brain requires a massive quantity of ATP when performing hard tasks (18).

Creatine supplements can amplify phosphocreatine stores in your brain to produce more ATP.

It might also aid brain function through increasing dopamine levels and mitochondrial function (18, 19, 20).

As meat is a substantial dietary source of creatine, vegans and vegetarians have low levels.

A study on creatine dietary supplements in vegetarians discovered a 20–50% improvement in memory and intelligence scores (18).

In older individuals, supplementing with creatine increased memory and recall capability (21).

In older adults, it can also improve brain function, act as a shield against neurological diseases, and minimize age-related loss of muscle and strength (22).

Despite these studies, we need more research on young, healthy people who consume meat or fish daily.

5. Creatine Produces More Energy

Creatine supplements increase your muscles’ phosphocreatine stores (23, 24).

Phosphocreatine helps the adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the key molecule your cells use for energy and all primary functions of the body (24).

During exercise, ATP breaks down to produce energy. The charge of ATP resynthesis limits your capacity to perform at maximum intensity (25, 26).

Creatine amplifies your phosphocreatine stores by allowing you to produce extra ATP power to fuel your muscle tissue during high-intensity workouts (26, 27).

This is the major mechanism behind creatine’s performance-enhancing benefits.

6. Creatine Improves High-Intensity Exercise

Creatine’s direct effect on ATP production can boost a high-intensity workout and overall performance (8, 28, 29).

Creatine provides several exercise-enhancing benefits, such as resistance to fatigue, muscle mass, strength, ballistic power, sprint ability, recovery, and brain performance (30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 10).

Creatine benefits people of all fitness levels, unlike supplements that solely benefit elite athletes (35, 36).

A study discovered it promotes high-intensity workouts’ overall performance by up to 15% (28).

7. Creatine Prevents Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disorder occurs because of a decrease in the key neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain (37, 24).

The substantial decrease in dopamine level can cause several serious symptoms, such as tremors, loss of muscle function, brain cell death, and speech problems (37).

An animal study shows creatine can prevent the drop-down of dopamine in the brain by 90%, which looks promising (11).

In addition, people with Parkinson’s disease consumed creatine, which, combined with weight training, increased energy and dopamine levels (38, 39, 40).

The latest analysis of five managed studies in humans with Parkinson’s mentioned that taking 4–10 grams of creatine per day doesn’t provide brain enhancing benefits (41).

8. Creatine May Lower Blood Sugar

Studies suggest that creatine may decrease blood sugar levels by increasing the GLUT4 function, a transporter molecule that brings blood sugar into your muscle cells (42, 43, 44, 45).

A 12-week study shows that creatine influences blood sugar levels after a high-carb meal (44).

People who combined creatine and exercise together noticed better effects than those who exercised alone.

The short-term reaction of the blood sugar to a meal is a significant risk marker for diabetes (46).

While these benefits are helpful, we need more human research to manipulate the long-term results of creatine and blood sugar levels.

9. Creatine Reduces Fatigue and Tiredness

Creatine may also additionally decrease fatigue and tiredness (47).

In a six-month study of people with brain injuries who took creatine, there was a 50% decrease in dizziness compared to those who didn’t take it (47).

Solely 10% of patients in the supplement group experienced fatigue, in contrast to 80% in the control group (47).

Another study shows that creatine led to decreased fatigue and improved energy levels throughout sleep deprivation (48).

Creatine can provide fatigue preventing benefit in athletes performing a biking test and has been used to limit fatigue when exercising in extreme heat (49, 50).

10. Creatine is Safe and Easy to Use

Along with its various benefits, creatine is also one of the most inexpensive and easy supplements to use. It is available over the counter; no prescription is needed.

The scientists have researched it for decades, and much research supports its safety for long-term use (8).

Clinical trials lasting up to five years report no negative results in healthy individuals. Also, supplementing with creatine is very convenient.

You can take 5 grams of creatine monohydrate powder per day (8, 51).

Creatine is thought to stimulate several essential biological processes that promote muscular building. It can raise insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a growth factor that stimulates muscle hypertrophy and water retention. It has been shown to boost lean body mass in as little as 5–7 days. Creatine supplements can boost phosphocreatine reserves in your brain, allowing you to make more ATP. Creatine supplementation can improve a high-intensity workout and overall performance. It can also boost brain function, protect against neurological illnesses, and reduce age-related muscle and strength loss. Creatine may lower blood sugar levels by enhancing GLUT4 activity, which is a transporter molecule that transports sugar into muscle cells. People who coupled creatine with exercise saw better results than those who only exercised. The near-term blood sugar response to a meal is a risk factor for diabetes.

Naeem Durrani

Conclusion

Now you have learned a lot about the health benefits of creatine. If you want to take creatine, make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

This is because your bloodstream brings your body’s waste product, creatinine, to your kidneys, where your body extracts it into your urine.

But if your kidneys don’t function properly, the amount of creatinine in your blood can build up. Avoid creatine supplements if you have high levels of creatinine.

No matter how healthy you are, consult with your doctor before taking creatine or any other supplement.

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