Creatine…What’s the Attraction?

By: Joe Martinez, RPh, PDE, CMS, Founder and CCO, HMS

Contributor: Emily Simmons

   PHOTO CREDIT: vitaminsestore.com

Creatine has become one of the most popular and common supplements for muscle growth. People using this popular supplement range from bodybuilders, to wrestlers, to Crossfit gym goers.

Why is Creatine such a star? Because it gives us results faster!

Here’s the scoop – Creatine is compound that helps the skeletal muscle grow at a faster rate. Our body produces a small amount of creatine, but it also secretes it daily. When working out, creatine is secreted even more rapidly and that’s why creatine is a good idea for those who want to amplify their muscle growth.

Not only does creatine help with muscle growth, it also helps with intensity. A study conducted over a 4 week period found that when adding creatine into the daily routine, athletes experienced a 17% improvement in cycling sprints, an 18-lb (8-kg) increase in bench press 1-rep max, and a 20% greater workload at a lower weight. Creatine appears to enable more repetitions in the gym and more laps around the track!

While creatine does work, it’s suggested that you take it with fast-digesting carbs and proteins to maximize the benefit. These foods  help the creatine enter the muscle cells, where they do their work: white potatoes, white rice, eggs, juice,  greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and chicken.

If you’re not trying to gain muscle and you’re trying to lose weight, creatine can help you achieve this as well. Carbs are the number one item that people cut first from their diet when they are trying to lose weight. When carbs are your main source of energy, you  feel fatigued quicker when you cut them out . That’s where creatine comes in. Creatine can help keep you feel rejuvenated again even without the carbs in your diet.

Taking a supplement is not the only way to add more creatine to your diet. Here are some foods that are rich in creatine:

  • Red meat
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Sushi

Recently, there have been rumors that creatine causes muscle cramps. Not to worry because that’s just a myth. Creatine is a good compound for athletes and it also possess’ other health benefits like helping the nervous system rest and aids in cardiovascular health. All in all, creatine is said to be a generally safe and effective compound for those wanting to see results at a much faster rate.

Here are a few recipes to help you add creatine naturally and deliciously.

Lean Beef Spinach Meatball Pasta

Healthy Salmon Quinoa Burgers

Mediterranean Tuna Pasta

And if you don’t feel like cooking, try these delicious options from Healthy Meals Supreme:

* Always check with your doctor or healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.