In this week’s FridayFocus we looked at the benefits and uses of creatine, one of the world’s favourite supplements.
Creatine is an organic compound that is produced naturally within your body, primarily by your liver and kidneys. It boosts energy available to your muscles during exercise. The supplement can provide your body with more energy as you get tired during high intensity exercise.
Creatine is necessary for energy transport in a cell, so when the level of creatine is increased your muscles can work for longer, allowing you to squeeze out as many reps as possible.
Here are 8 reasons why, as you get more serious about your training, you might want to use creatine alongside your other supplements and diet.
- Creatine allows you to perform at a higher intensity
Creatine gives people more energy, allowing them to perform higher reps of their exercises, therefore meaning they can get more out of their workouts.
Creatine gives your muscles immediate energy, ensuring your muscles do not fatigue as quickly.
- Creatine improves gains
Another huge benefit for all athletes is creatine’s ability to increase muscle mass, because it causes cells within the muscles to inflate, giving your body a more muscular look. This is down to water retention in the short term, and in the long term is due to the number of extra reps performed.
- Improves mental ability
Its effect on physical performance is one of creatine’s biggest selling points, however it has more to offer than just a better workout. Creatine has also been shown to improve mental sharpness, because it improves information processing memory.
- Reduces age related muscle loss
As people age there is a decline in the production of muscle building hormones such as testosterone. Due to this, people tend to lose muscle mass as they get older. However, creatine can encourage increased testosterone levels, improving muscle growth through better workouts.
- Helps break through plateaus
If you feel like you’ve hit a rut in your training and your gains are not improving at the rate you would like, creatine might be the solution to your problem. Adding creatine to your diet helps build phospocreatine in your body, which improves performance, and allows you to break through any plateaus you come up against through more reps.
- Improves recovery
Creatine allows your body to properly recover from heavy workout sessions whilst also reducing muscle damage and inflammation after exercising.
- Improves speed and reactions
Creatine has been proven to enhance performance early on in races and events, because it improves the body’s reactions and speed.
- Enhance productivity
Due to creatine’s affect on mental activity (improves information processing memory), it will improve productivity whether you’re in the gym or at work.
Overall, creatine has been proven as an effective supplement to use when looking to improve gains, performance and productivity in and outside the gym because it allows you to squeeze every last shred of strength out of your muscles.
As with most supplements, creatine will have a more positive impact on your life, body and health if you are training regularly, drink water regularly and eat a balanced diet.