Provide additional energy to your muscles? Increase the Volume of your muscles? Safeguard against lactic acid build up? Enhance protein synthesis? If so, Creatine is your solution!

Provide additional energy to your muscles? Increase the Volume of your muscles? Safeguard against lactic acid build up? Enhance protein synthesis? If so, Creatine is your solution!

Creatine is a compound that can be made in our bodies or taken as a dietary supplement. The chemical name for Creatine is methyl guanidine-acetic acid.

Creatine is made up of three amino acids - Arginine, Glycine and Methionine. Our liver has the ability to combine these three amino acids and make creatine. The other way we get creatine is from our diet.

The amount of Creatine in the body varies based on your muscle mass and weight. On average a 160 pound person would have about 120 grams of creatine stored in their body. 95-98% of creatine in your body is in your muscles. The remaining 2-5% is stored in various parts of your body, including the brain, heart and testes.

How does Creatine provide the solution to my problems?

Creatine is a key factor in the maintenance, strength, endurance and resilience of muscle tissue. Creatine is an essential muscle cell constituent.

Before explaining how Creatine can help you, it''s time to briefly discuss the chemical reaction in your body that provides energy. It''s necessary to understand this process in order to understand how Creatine can provide more energy to your muscles.

A Biology Lesson

Your body contains a compound called ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) that is used to provide energy to your muscles. When you''re doing intense, quick-burst exercises (such as sprinting or lifting weights) your muscles contract. In order to contract, the muscle requires immediate energy.

The source of this energy? ATP

Now once your body has used ATP it quickly breaks down into two other compounds: ADP (adenosine di-phosphate) and inorganic phosphate. This breakdown is the cause of the increased energy.

When ATP breaks down into ADP and inorganic phosphate, energy is released. This energy is used to supply the muscle with the ability to achieve its goal. Once broken down, the ADP cannot be used in the same way as ATP to provide energy. It is now useless.

You now understand how energy is created for use in the body. It''s time to explain how Creatine can help increase your muscle power!

MUSCLE POWER

The majority of creatine stored in your muscles bonds with abundant phosphorus stores and is converted into Creatine Phosphate. Creatine Phosphate is able to react with the ADP in your body and turn "useless" ADP back into the "super useful" energy source - ATP. More ATP in your body means more fuel for your muscles!

Creatine has also been shown to pull water into your muscle cells, which increases the size of your muscles. It has also been successful in protecting against lactic acid build up. Creatine bonds with Hydrogen ions to delay build up of lactic acid in the muscles. When there is an overproduction of lactic acid the muscles burn and are more prone to spasms and strains.

There is also some evidence that indicates Creatine improves the anabolic state where protein synthesis occurs. Increased protein synthesis means a greater muscle gain!

Creatine Deficiency

Lowered levels of muscular creatine manifest as symptoms of weakness, muscle fatigue and decreased muscle tone. Creatine production decreases as a consequence of aging, malnutrition and/or malabsorption of nutrients, which are required for its synthesis. Creatine levels also deplete as a consequence of excessive muscle tissue degeneration.

Creatine occurs as creatine phosphate, otherwise known as phosphocreatine, within the muscle cells.
Supplemental creatine is only taken up by muscle cells and excess is not stored, rather, it is excreted via the kidneys.

Can I get Creatine naturally?

Yes. Creatine is normally obtained from our diets. Creatine can be directly obtained by eating meat and fish; sources of skeletal muscle. This creatine is directly absorbed into the blood stream where it is transported into skeletal muscle.

Approximately 2-3 pounds of raw meat or fish contains about the same amount of creatine as a typical creatine supplementing dose.

Heat degrades creatine and as a consequence cooking reduces the creatine content of meat and fish. This means you have to consume more to get the same amount of creatine in cooked meats. When dietary creatine intake is insufficient to meet the body''s needs, new creatine can also be synthesized from the three amino acids, arginine, glycine and methionine. These amino acids are made available during the digestion of foods. In particular, methionine availability sets an upper limit on creatine synthesis since the body can not produce it on its own. Methionine must, therefore, be provided in our diets. Fish is one of the richest natural sources of methionine. Therefore, eating fish (and meat) provides both a direct source of creatine as well as the amino acids necessary for new creatine synthesis.

Vegetarians typically express lower than "normal" creatine levels. Creatine is advisable for athletes who purposefully restrict their animal protein intake.

MUSCLE RESPONSE

Not all muscles rely to the same extent on creatine energy production. Muscles can be broadly categorized as either being fast muscle or slow muscle. Fast muscle fibers predominantly use creatine energy production. These muscles rule the explosive movements, such as sprinting and weight lifting. This is why explosive movements respond best to creatine supplementation. Slow muscle fibers play an important role during endurance exercise. Endurance tasks are less influenced by creatine.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT CREATINE

Some of the gains in strength may disappear when you discontinue use of Creatine. This takes about a month. However, since you''ll be working out harder and exercising those muscles more whilst taking the creatine some of those muscle gains will remain after you stop taking Creatine.

Even if you''re using a creatine supplement to enhance your muscle ability, it''s still necessary to follow a proper diet and exercise to fully benefit from the increased creatine in your muscles.

Creatine has also been used in clinical trials for the treatment of several classes of Muscular Dystrophy. Muscles can become weakened as a result of injury or disease. This is the case for several forms of Muscular Dystrophy. Creatine supplementation may improve the quality of life for people experiencing muscle weakness as a result of these diseases. In fact, preliminary studies have indicated that creatine supplementation improves strength in those inflicted with certain forms of Muscular Dystrophy as well as other Neuromuscular disorders. For more information visit the Muscular Dystrophy Association

Creatine increases the time a muscle cell can exert itself before exhaustion occurs and lactic acid begins to form.

Creatine has been shown to decrease serum ammonia levels, thereby decreasing the toxic burden on the body.

Creatine has been shown to decrease excessive inflammatory conditions associated with muscle tissue. New creatine research has shown the administration of creatine to decrease serum triglycerides and cholesterol levels.

WATER

It is very important to remain well-hydrated while taking creatine. Much of our body water follows creatine into skeletal muscle. Because of this urine output often decreases during creatine supplementation. This precaution is especially important in combative sports (in particular, wrestling) where athletes need to make weight before competition. Weight loss under these circumstances is often achieved through fluid restriction which, in combination with creatine use, could lead to excessive dehydration.

It is recommended to drink 8 glasses of water each day.

SIDE EFFECTS

Weight gain is the the only scientifically documented and published side effect of creatine supplementation. As much as 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) of increased weight within the first few weeks has been reported in response to creatine use. This is mostly due to the movement of water from the blood into skeletal muscle. This form of muscle growth has been termed Volumizing because of the increase in muscle volume that ensues. This side effect may be beneficial in certain sports such as, body building, but be less desirable in sports like distance running or other endurance sports.

CREATINE HELPS:

  • Increase skeletal muscle volume and mass to increase strength, power and endurance and decrease susceptibility to muscle injury.
  • Diseased conditions associated with muscle wasting such as muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other conditions associated with disuse in the aged or infirm.
  • Decrease the appearance of sagging muscle tissue.
  • Increase muscle tone in vegetarians, as only meat eaters consume some preformed creatine as it is only present in muscle tissue or supplement.
  • Repair injured and/or inflamed muscle.
  • Diseased conditions associated with decreased muscular energy such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and related conditions.
  • Post surgical muscle recovery.

In Short: Creatine is used to increase muscle tone, strength and endurance, which has the potential to
dramatically increase performance and decrease susceptibility to injury.

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