A lot of studies have been done and are still been done on the beneficial uses of creatine. The most popular use though is in its use as a muscle mass building substance and for athletes who are involved in high energy performance. But creatine has more health benefits than this as we shall see in the course of this post.
Creatine Monohydrate, also known as, creatine, methylguanidoacetic acid and N-carbamimidoyl-N-methylglycine, is a substance produced in the body. It derives its name from the Greek word “kreas,” which means meat and although it can occur naturally in vertebrates including man, it also has other sources like red meat and from dietary supplements. It is found in almost all parts of the body including the liver, heart, kidneys and the brain, creatine has about 9 out of 10 parts of it stored in the muscles – mostly skeletal muscles.
And because of its ability to release the phosphates needed for the production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) – the energy-releasing compound of the body, creatine is seen as a very important component of the production of energy in the body.
12 Awesome Health Benefits Of Creatine.
So, what is the health benefits of Creatine – top 12 health benefits that can have an immense impact on your health? You will have to join me in this expedition in order to find out together these top 12 health benefits of creatine.
1. Awesome For Building Muscles Mass.
Building muscle mass can be tricky sometimes. You want to increase the overall size of your muscle or particular sets of muscles without hampering or hurting yourself or your health in the process.
The process of muscle building or bodybuilding actually requires a lot of work and sometimes with pains.
Working-out and doing exercises involves the movement of body parts or muscles in quite strenuous and stressful motions. But if you truly want to pack those muscles, you will really need to adhere your mind to the popular saying – No Pain, No Gain.
However, it can be sometimes frustrating when you’ve gone through all the pains with no gain to show for it. It is like throwing a bucket down into the well to draw water and pulling it out to find no water in it. But to continue these strenuous exercises, without actually finding how to solve the issue of discontinued muscle growth, will only do one thing – make you an accomplice in your own frustrations.
Creatine can be very useful at this point as it has been shown to help increase the muscle mass as well as in bodybuilding. It has in fact been said that creatine is the most effective muscle building supplement that can be found around today.
Studies have shown that one can actually increase muscle mass of up to about 2kg more, than those not taking creatine supplements along with their work-out regime. This was considered over a time frame of about 6 weeks.
This can be attributed to the fact that creatine stimulates the rise of water levels in the muscles while also creating growth path for the muscles.
2. For Increased Brain Health.
Adenosine Triphosphate ATP has been shown by various studies to be the active ingredient required for the brain in carrying out major intellectual tasks. Since creatine is also very important in the production of this Adenosine Triphosphate ATP, it, therefore, means that creatine can aid the brain in carrying out this herculean tasks.
Creatine can also help the brain in releasing dopamine and increasing its levels while supporting the mitochondria in its functions and workings.
Particular is the case of individuals who are advanced in age. Just by ingesting creatine supplements for a couple of weeks increased their cognitive abilities to remember and identify things better.
3. For Increased Energy.
Since creatine is stored in the muscles, it can, therefore, be concluded that with increased muscle mass – thanks to creatine, comes an increase in creatine storage. The consequence of this is simply that Adenosine Triphosphate which is the energy compound aided by creatine in the body receives more aid from creatine.
This means also that you can have more energy to do more reps during your work-out as ATP is broken down to release energy during workouts.
The only drawback will be the fact that ATP is not produced as fast enough as it’s broken down to convert to energy.
4.Great in Reducing Blood Sugar Levels And Combating Diabetes.
Studies have been conducted that shows the promises of creatine as a potential ingredient for the reduction of blood sugar levels.
A study showed that after a period of 12 weeks, patients who were made to combine creatine supplements with their meals coupled with exercise were able to control their blood sugar levels better.
The possibility of this might be due to the increase in the function of a compound known as GLUT 4 which is responsible for the movements of blood sugar into the muscle.
Albeit the potentials and promises held by creatine in this area are huge, this might still need to be further investigated.
5. For Fighting Parkinson Disease.
One of the cardinal implications of Parkinson’s disease is the inability of dopamine to function at optimal levels for the brain. This causes the annihilation of cells of the brain and as a matter of fact become the reason for other symptoms like speech difficulty, reduced or total loss of muscular coordination and involuntary shaking of the entire body to be visible.
Creatine through studies has shown that it can prevent the drop in dopamine levels of up to 90%. This was confirmed using mice with Parkinson’s in an experiment that saw the mice maintaining about 90% of their dopamine.
A much better effect can be observed when creatine is combined with weight and exercise regime. This can limit the loss of strength and muscle mass for patients with Parkinson’s disease.
6. For Combating Fatigue.
It’s not unusual to be very tired after a regimen of exercise that had high intensity with a lot of energy used during the exercise.
Using creatine after such high-intensity regimen can make sure to reduce the fatigue occurring as a result of these exercises.
During studies conducted to confirm this claim shows that for patients suffering from brain impairment as a result of trauma, 1 out of every 10 patients suffered fatigue while taking creatine for a period of 6 months.
For patients with the same diagnosis who did not take creatine for the same 6 months shows that a whopping 8 out every 10 patients suffered fatigue.
This is especially of interest to sports individuals and athletes involved in high-intensity sports as this will enable them to achieve more without being easily fatigued or tired.
7. For Pregnancy And Fetal Health.
Creatine has the ability to aid the normal growth and development of the fetus during pregnancy and can be of immense benefit against delayed childbirth or even premature birth. It is also very advantageous when there are complications of childbirth as a reason for the deprivation of oxygen for the child during birth.
A process known as creatine loading is used for the protection of the diaphragm against damages Induced by hypoxia during childbirth.
Also, creatine is usually given in maternal nutrition to treat oxygen inadequacies for newborn children that usually will have caused complications during childbirth.
8. For Bone Health And Vitality.
It’s been earlier stated that most of the creatine naturally produced in the body have 90% stored in the bones with most in skeletal muscles.
This affords the bones of the body to be the largest beneficiary of the naturally produced creatine, as most of it is stored in the bone.
What does this mean? It simply means that creatine works alongside the bone in producing nutrients that aid the normal growth and development of the bones.
A compound known as osteoblast responsible for the repairs and growth of the bones in the body is increased with the help of creatine.
It also helps in fighting against bone diseases like osteoarthritis and its accompanying pains.
9. For Strengthening The Heart.
If creatine has been found to enhance the function of the muscles in terms of strength then it is just logical that the heart should be the biggest beneficiary of the efficacy and efficiency offered by creatine to the heart.
This is not surprising as the biggest muscle in the body is the heart, pumping blood to all parts of the body normally between 60 to 100 beats per minutes.
A study conducted on the benefits of creatine using mice shows that creatine was effective in the protection and in the repair of the heart after being damaged as a result of stress.
Creatine was also found to reduce markers that are responsible for risk of heart disease including homocysteine and cholesterol levels in the body.
This help prevents a lot of cardiovascular diseases including heart attacks.
10. For Increased High-Intensity Exercise Performance.
Due to the fact that creatine is usually an important ingredient for producing Adenosine Triphosphate ATP – the source of energy in the body, means that taking creatine can increase your energy levels for performing in high-intensity exercises and workouts.
This high-intensity workouts and routines can include for example; sprinting, weight lifting, weighted squats, and so on.
Studies that have been conducted shows there is a likely increase in performance of up to 15%.
And another benefit that can be garnered from taking creatine is that it is not as expensive as other high-intensity sports enhancing supplements.
11. For Combating Neurological Disorders.
Creatine has been found not only for improving the health of the brain and in the normal functioning of the brain, but also in the treatment of other neurological impairments like Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy as well as other brain injuries.
Taking creatine as supplements can help strengthen your brain muscles against the death of brain cells and make it stronger against diseases of the brains. This also can increase the Adenosine Triphosphate which is bound to deplete as age increases which usually is the reason for the likelihood of the development of neurological diseases.
That’s not all.
Taking creatine on a daily basis has also been found to reduce the probability of depression. A study conducted shows that women who are patients of major depressions after being unresponsive to other treatment were found to respond positively to treatment using creatine as an alternative treatment.
Creatine has also been found to reduce the effects of Huntington’s disease and its markers which includes 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine. This marker shows how much damage has been done to the DNA.
12. For Reducing Effects Of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disorders.
Creatine supplements, when taken, has the ability to reduce the increase of fats in the body. This makes sure that there is a positive effect on the Liver, reducing the liver fats while also averting liver disease that is not alcohol Induced.
Another benefit worthy of note is the prevention of diseases like steatosis. This was confirmed by research conducted with rats that were fed with diets high in fats while also giving creatine supplements. It was found that lipids that have been gathered in the cells of the Liver were decreased thereby preventing lipid peroxidation in the same rats.
This shows that accumulation of fats in the liver and all its associated health woes can be done away with and without stress just by taking creatine.
The dosage of creatine can majorly be based on what your expected achievements are. You need to first agree on what your achievements after taking creatine should be even before you start.
Based on the aforementioned the dosage of creatine can be categorized into ;
1. Short term: Which basically increases the total creatine up to 30%. This is achieved by taking 20g each day for about 7days.
2. Loading protocol: This on the other has more creatine per dose as it tends to increase the total creatine than the short term. This requires about 25g per day for the first 7 days, followed by a dosage of 5g per day to maintain the creatine levels acquired.
With all these benefits listed above, it will be hard to convince anybody against creatine’s notable importance in the normal functions and development of the body.
From fetal stage to old age and from cradle to grave, creatine will always feature as a compound necessary for wellbeing.
It is therefore recommended to take a proper assessment to see if one is lacking in this vital compound and to make amendments as necessary.