Creatine has been an
established component of meat for since the 1830's. 10 years after,
in 1842, a scientist discovered that wild fox meat had ten times
the muscle - creatine content compared to farm raised animals. The
general conclusion was that creatine levels were influenced by
muscle exercise. Early scientific tests were administered and data
was collected in order to reach conclusions on creatine levels in
the body, and external factors which could influence these levels.
In the late 1920s, researchers determined that creatine exists in
two main forms - free creatine and phosphorylated
Creatine is a naturally
occurring guanidine - derived compound synthesized from the amino
acids arginine, glycine, and methionine. In humans, over 95 percent
of the total creatine content is located in skeletal muscle, with
approximately one - third of the total being free creatine form.
The enzymes necessary for creatine synthesis are located in the
liver, pancreas, and kidneys. Creatine is carried to the muscles by
Creatine is an essential
player in one of the three primary energy systems used for muscle
contraction. When your muscles contract, the initial fuel for this
movement is a compound called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP
provides its energy by releasing one of its phosphate molecules. It
then becomes a different compound called ADP (adenosine
diphosphate). Unfortunately, there is only enough ATP to provide
energy for about ten seconds, so for this energy system to
continue, more ATP must be produced. Creatine phosphate comes to
the rescue by giving up its phosphate molecule to ADP, recreating
ATP. This ATP can then be used again as fuel for more muscle
The greater quantity of
creatine you have in your muscles, the more ATP you can remake.
This allows you to train your muscles to their maximum potential.
This greater ATP resynthesis also keeps your body from relying on
another energy system called glycolysis, which has lactic acid as a
byproduct. This lactic acid creates the burning sensation you feel
during intense exercise. If the amount of acid becomes too great,
muscle movement stops. But if you keep on regenerating ATP because
of all the Creatine you have, you can minimize the amount of lactic
acid produced and actually exercise longer and harder. This helps
you gain strength, power and muscle size; and you will not fatigue
Research has conclusively
found, time and again, that creatine will aid strength training
athletes who require large bursts of power for relatively short
periods of time. However, research is still being carried out to
reach a positive conclusion.
Creatine has also been
shown to enhance your body's ability to make proteins within the
muscle fibers, which are essential to muscle contraction. So when
you build up your supply of these contractile proteins, you
actually increase your muscle's ability to perform physical
Manufacturers of creatine
products recommend a loading phase of 30 grams a day for one week,
followed by five to ten grams a day for the maintenance. These
numbers of averages, and quantities of creatine to consume will
vary with weight.
None of the studies
carried out have shown creatine to be toxic. Some individuals have
complained that creatine will increase the amount of water they
hold due to creatine use. Creatine has never been studied over very
long periods of time, and, although what data is available
indicates that creatine is perfectly harmless, conclusive evidence
is undetermined as of the present date.
If you have any questions
or concerns about the use of creatine supplementation in your diet,
feel free to contact me at the address listed below.
Go to: The Safety of Creatine