Creatine is one of the most popular sports nutrition supplements in the world, having been shown to support muscle gain, strength, endurance, and anaerobic performance for the last 25 years.
Creatine works by aiding in the regeneration of ATP, the fuel source for muscle contractions. As a result, it can help you get more reps on weight training exercises, and sustain short burst anaerobic activities — such as sprinting, jumping, and martial arts training — with greater power for longer durations.
WHAT IS CREATINE?
(AND CREATINE MONOHYDRATE)
Creatine is a molecule produced naturally in the body. It’s also available in foods such as meat, fish, and eggs. Creatine monohydrate (in micronized form, provided by Creapure®) is one of the most widely used and studied sports nutrition supplements for more than 25 years. Recognized as safe and effective, creatine monohydrate helps supply energy to the muscles to train harder. It has long been trusted by gym goers and bodybuilders who want to gain muscle weight because it allows you to get more reps on sets of strength training, thereby increasing the stimulus to your muscles.
Power athletes such as sprinters, volleyball players, and wrestlers use creatine to increase their explosivity and ability to repeat bouts of high intensity activity. While it undoubtedly enhances performance, creatine is not banned in any college or professional sports.
A meta-analysis of 100 studies found that creatine supplementation improved body composition and resistance exercise performance, regardless of the subjects’ gender or training experience. Another massive review (22 studies) published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research discovered that the average increase in muscle strength for subjects taking creatine while strength training was 8% greater than gains made on placebo. Looking deeper, the average increase in reps performed at a given percentage of the lifters’ maxes was 14% for those taking creatine. Bench press strength in particular went up—by as much as 43% for one-rep maxes.
Most sports have anaerobic energy demands. They require you to go hard for a short duration, recover quickly, and go again. If you participate in these kinds of activities, either recreationally or at a high level of competition, creatine can help keep your gas tank topped off. A study on elite wrestlers found that creatine enhanced their average and peak power on an anaerobic endurance test. Another trial in 2014 on elite soccer players showed that those on creatine sustained jumping power during workouts while the placebo group saw its performance trail off. Finally, a similar study on collegiate volleyball players revealed that creatine improved repeated block jump height without creating any more fatigue in the leg muscles.
SUCCESS IS INEVITABLE WITH SOLID NUTRITION
When you put in the work and pay attention to the details, seeing the results you want becomes not a question of if but when. It’s just a waiting game. Because when your foundation is strong, adversity doesn’t shake it—it merely becomes more brick and mortar to build with. Creatine is a cornerstone in a strength athlete’s supplementation, providing the energy to take your workout farther into places that produce gains.