Creatine is a natural supplement used to boost athletic performance.
It’s not only safe but also one of the world’s most popular and effective supplements for building muscle and strength.
Here are 10 science-based benefits of creatine.
Health and Performance Benefits of Creatine
Creatine supplements increase your muscles’ phosphocreatine stores.
Phosphocreatine aids the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the key molecule your cells use for energy and all basic life functions.
During exercise, ATP is broken down to produce energy.
The rate of ATP resynthesis limits your ability to continually perform at maximum intensity, as you use ATP faster than you reproduce it.
Creatine supplements increase your phosphocreatine stores, allowing you to produce more ATP energy to fuel your muscles during high-intensity exercise.
This is the primary mechanism behind creatine’s performance-enhancing effects.
2. Supports many other functions in muscles
Creatine is a popular and effective supplement for adding muscle mass.
It can alter numerous cellular pathways that lead to new muscle growth. For example, it boosts the formation of proteins that create new muscle fibers.
It can also raise levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a hormone that promotes increases in muscle mass.
What’s more, creatine supplements can increase the water content of your muscles. This is known as cell volumization and can quickly increase muscle size.
Additionally, some research indicates that creatine decreases levels of myostatin, a molecule responsible for stunting muscle growth. Reducing myostatin can help you build muscle faster.
Creatine’s direct role in ATP production means it can drastically improve high-intensity exercise performance.
Creatine improves numerous factors, including:
- ballistic power
- sprint ability
- muscle endurance
- resistance to fatigue
- muscle mass
- brain performance
Unlike supplements that only affect advanced athletes, creatine benefits you regardless of your fitness level.
One review found that it improves high-intensity exercise performance by up to 15%.
Creatine is the world’s most effective supplement for adding muscle mass.
Taking it for as few as 5–7 days has been shown to significantly increase lean body weight and muscle size.
This initial rise is caused by increases in the water content of your muscles.
Over the long term, it also aids in muscle fiber growth by signaling key biological pathways and boosting gym performance.
In one study of a 6-week training regimen, participants who used creatine added 4.4 pounds (2 kg) more muscle mass, on average, than the control group.
Similarly, a comprehensive review demonstrated a clear increase in muscle mass among those taking creatine, compared with those performing the same training regimen without creatine.
This review also compared the world’s most popular sports supplements and concluded that creatine is the best one available. Its advantages include being less expensive and far safer than most other sports supplements.