Creatine increases physical performance in successive bursts of short-term, high intensity exercise.⁽¹⁾ That’s why it is suited for fitness, body building, martial arts, sprinting and other explosive sports. Also cyclists, football players need to accelerate and are therefore using the ATP energy system during their sport. To optimize the use of the different energy systems, creatine is often combined with beta-alanine. This combination is more efficient on strength performance than creatine alone.⁽²⁾
Fitness / Body Building⁽³⁾⁽⁴⁾
Rugby / Soccer⁽⁹⁾⁽¹⁰⁾
Swimming / Rowing⁽¹¹⁾
Martial Arts / MMA / Boxing
1 serving = mix 1 scoop (5g) with 250ml of water, or add to your protein shake or workout drink.
Loading Phase: take 4 servings per day at regular intervals for the first 5 days.
Maintenance Phase: starting from day 6, take 1 serving per day.
How does Creatine work?
Creatine is an endogenous substance that is present in every human cell. It functions as an energy storehouse. In the body, creatine is synthesized from the amino acids glycine, arginine, and methionine, primarily in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas, and it is transported from there to all the cells in the body via the bloodstream. Since creatine is involved in all processes that require energy, the muscle, brain and nerve cells receive correspondingly larger amounts.
Creatine is primarily involved in muscle contraction. It is taken up from the blood into the cell membrane by means of a sodium-dependent creatine transporter.
All the cells of the human body use adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as their sole source of energy. When a cell needs energy, one phosphate is split off from ATP. This process releases energy and converts “high-energy” ATP into “low-energy” adenosine diphosphate (ADP). The phosphate that was split off binds to creatine, forming phosphocreatine (CP). Phosphocreatine then releases the phosphate back to the ADP, and this process “recharges” the ADP which becomes high energy ATP again. So with the help of the energy store phosphocreatine, it’s possible to continually regenerate ATP. Phosphocreatine levels and the regeneration of ATP play key roles when the body is involved in intense, repetitive forms of exertion. Increasing the amount of creatine and phosphocreatine speeds up the regeneration of ATP, which leads directly to the release and availability of more energy. Creatine supplementation increases the amount of creatine in muscle tissue.
Figure 1: Energy pathways⁽¹²⁾
Orally administered creatine is absorbed by the intestines and then goes into the bloodstream. Small doses of creatine result in maximum blood plasma concentrations after fewer than two hours.
For concentrations of creatine in muscles there appears to be an upper limit that cannot be extended (~160 mmol per kg muscle dry matter). Ongoing supplementation with large amounts of creatine does not raise the levels of creatine in muscle anymore, so is not recommended.
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MacKenzie, B. Energy Pathways. 1998. Available from www.brianmac.co.uk/energy.htm