There are a lot of myths surrounding the compound known as Creatine. It naturally occurs in the human body to aid in supplying energy to the muscle, which is accomplished by increasing the synthesis of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This article will only cover the essentials of creatine, so we will not be discussing specific details such as molecular formula, synthesis, etc.
When muscles are used to exert force they require ATP, which is converted from ADP (adenosine diphosphate) by the donation of a phosphate from a compound such as Creatine Phosphate. Normally the human body can only perform exercises for a certain period of time, which explains why we can only execute, let’s say 8-12 repetitions at a given weight before we experience ‘failure’. This is because the muscle in use has exhausted all of it’s disposable ATP, and can no longer exert strength. Wait a short period, and the workout continues. This is why popular marketing claims amongst creatine providers include the ability to “add that extra rep”, or be able to go farther or run longer.
Creatine can be consumed within a normal diet including raw meats and fish, ranging anywhere from 2-5g per pound of meat. The human body naturally stores 80-120g of creatine (onviously depending on height, weight, etc.). Now if we do the math, let’s just say in the worst case scenario you deplete your entire storage of creatine in the body (most likely not going to happen), you would need to consume around 30 lbs of meat to replace what is used. Of course this isn’t accounting for other sources that creatine come from, or the body’s natural synthesis, but the point is there. Food is not always the most efficient way to replenish what our body uses on a daily basis.
There is a wide range of recommended dosage, and some will often say that a loading phase is required. While a loading phase may saturate the body with creatine at a faster rate, it is not completely necessary to achieve the desired effect. I’ll often supplement with a minimum of 5g each day, and an upper range of 8-12g per day. I have found it most useful to consume in the morning or prior to a workout.
When it comes to availability, creatine can be purchased in various forms. The first time I purchased creatine, a friend recommended a flavorless powder he found online. While this powder was great and was supposedly at a “higher grade”, I much prefer the flavored kinds so I can add it to water, or even still be able to add it to another drink. Be sure to check out the Creatine Section on EternityAthletics.com for more options on purchasing your next bottle of creatine.