What Is Creatine?
What is Creatine ?
Creatine is a natural constituent of a normal diet. Muscle foods such as steak and sushi are often quoted as being high in Creatine. However, vegetarian sources do exist, juniper berries being a particularly good example. Creatine is found in high concentrations in human muscle where it plays an important part in the energy production process. Normally this Creatine is provided from the diet but the body does have the ability to manufacture Creatine from the amino acids Arginine, Glycine and Methionine.
It appears that because of the changes in people’s dietary habits they are receiving less Creatine in their diet and have a sub optimal store of Creatine in the muscle. This is especially so for vegetarian athletes. By supplementing Creatine in the diet it is possible to increase the Creatine in muscle and improve performance. Extensive research has shown that by supplementing the natural intake of Creatine, the amount of Creatine in the body can be increased to about 5g per kilogram of muscle. This increase results in an increase in athletic performance, particularly in repeated sprint type activities, interval training and weight training.
What does Creatine do?
Athletes require a continual supply of energy for high performance activity. This energy is supplied to the muscle in the form of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). There is barely enough ATP to fuel more than a second of strenuous activity.
The body manufactures ATP from carbohydrate, fat and protein in the diet. Fat can be used to make a lot of ATP but this is a slow process. The body can manufacture ATP from carbohydrate far more quickly but even the break down of carbohydrate by anaerobic glycolysis cannot provide ATP fast enough for very explosive events.
When the body has a sudden increase in demand for energy it has to rely upon a bank of immediately available energy – the Creatine Phosphate Energy System.
Creatine Phosphate can "donate" phosphate groups in order to re-charge ATP. The use of Creatine Phosphate to recharge ATP during sudden increases in energy demand gives time for Carbohydrate metabolism to be "fired up". Then during less intense periods the energy from carbohydrate metabolism can be used to pay back into the Creatine bank to recharge the Creatine Phosphate.
There is enough Creatine Phosphate to fuel about 5 seconds of a 100m sprint. As Creatine Phosphate can recycle ATP faster than Carbohydrate metabolism, the athlete can put out more power and accelerate faster when using Creatine Phosphate.
Extensive research has shown that by supplementing the natural intake of Creatine, the amount of Creatine in the body can be increased to about 5g per kilogram of muscle.This increase results in an increase in athletic performance, particularly in repeated sprint type activities, interval training and weight training.
How much to use when?
Most research has been undertaken using 5g doses taken 4 times a day, 20g a day in total. Doses of 5g produce a large rise of Creatine in the blood that "pushes" the Creatine into the muscle. Taking a loading dose of 20g a day for 5 days produces a rapid rise in Creatine stores, and most athletes notice a difference immediately although some take a few days to "settle down". It is possible to produce the same end result by taking a single 5g dose once a day for 4 or 5 weeks and slowly ramp up stores.
Once Creatine stores are loaded athletes can choose to maintain levels by taking 2-5g a day, or doing a loading day once a week or fortnight. Alternatively you can let your levels taper back down and re-load after 2 or 3 months.
Is there anything else I should consider?
It is important to keep hydrated and there is some evidence to suggest taking Creatine with Carbohydrate may improve the absorption. Many athletes obtain good results taking Creatine with GO Electrolyte sports fuel. Some individuals do not seem to respond to Creatine supplementation, it may be that they already have maximum stores so do not benefit from loading. Taking on board extra Creatine has been shown to significantly increase lean muscle mass, although this may be due to extra water retention during the loading phase and may settle down later on. In sports where weight is a factor athletes need to consider the advantages over the disadvantage of extra weight.
the above article is provided by scienceinsport.com and relates to 'KR10 Creatine'