Out of all of the supplements people can choose to help with their fitness journey, creatine has to top the list. It is the most heavily studied supplement out there, and the benefits are enormous.
And yet, a lot of people are still confused about creatine and the effects it can have in regards to helping you build muscle mass. So, if you are one of those people, then look no further.
Today's article was made to help you decide whether or not you want to give creatine a shot, and so that you can get an understanding about what it brings to the table. But before we dive in head first in helping you learn about the benefits, I wanted to take a moment to educate you on what creatine is.
While this may not be the first question that comes to your mind, understanding what creatine is will help you understand why the supplement is so beneficial.
What is Creatine?
The chemical creatine is something that is found in the body, mostly residing in the muscles. Your body makes in during the process of protein metabolism, and it helps to provide energy for muscular contraction, which is how your muscles produce force.
Creatine is also found in certain foods, including fish and meats. In short, it is simply a chemical that your body already produces, and is also available to you through some foods. So, taking the supplement doesn't mean you will be introducing your body to some foreign chemical. You are simply adding on to the existing levels that your body already produces, or gets from your daily nutrition.
More Muscle, More Power, More Everything
Creatine supplementation can improve power, muscular strength, and work capacity1. This means that creatine can literally help you in all aspects of weight lifting in regards to lifting faster, heavier, and longer. How's that for some benefit?
There is a lot of reasoning that goes into this, and that's the main objective of this part. I just now told you the #1 benefit creatine brings to the table, and it's a big one. But how does it do this?
Well, if you read the part about what creatine is, then you noticed that it is something that already resides in our body, mainly in our muscles. It is responsible for helping your muscles produce force through contraction.
So, what happens when you bring in the supplement? More creatine gets shuttled into the body, and allows you to produce more force during your training. But it doesn't stop there. It also helps to increase your workout intensity, since you are able to not only train harder due to more strength, but you also experience increases in muscular endurance.
In turn, this allows you to place more stress on the muscles than you could otherwise, which results in increased progress (assuming your nutrition is on point). When you put this in the perspective of this occurring during each workout you have, you start to realize the massive effect it can have on building muscle mass over longer periods of time.
Now, let's add the other factor into the equation: increased muscular power. So, not only can you lift heavier and lift longer, but you are now also able to lift more explosively. When this occurs, you receive an increase in performance.
Let's take the deadlift for example. Pulling heavy weights off the ground with no momentum involves both strength and power. When creatine is involved, you are not only able to pull heavier weight off the ground, but this also takes effect because you are able to generate that force quicker than you would without creatine supplementation.
Increase Your Potential
I just wanted to quickly state that while creatine is an amazing supplement, it doesn't work for everybody. Some just experience bloating, and others don't experience anything at all.
But if you haven't tried it, you need to give it a shot. By doing so, you could be adding the strongest tool to your arsenal, and significantly accelerating your progress.
- Earnest, C. P., P. G. Snell, A. L. Almada, R. Rodriguez, and T. L. Mitchell. "The Effect of Creatine Monohydrate Ingestion on Power Indices, Muscular Strength and Body Composition." Acta Physiologica Scandinavica (n.d.): n. pag. Web.