Creatine: The Little Molecule that Packs a Big Punch

You've heard a lot about the benefits of creatine. But what is it? Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid-based compound that stores energy from already existing amino acids in your body, as well as from foods. Foods rich in creatinine include red meat and fish. When creatine is stored in the human body, it is known as phosphocreatine. Basically, phosphocreatine works as an energy storage system in your muscles, providing the energy you need for them to contract. Phosphocreatine also contributes to the regeneration of ATP molecules (adenosine triphosphate), which is we learned in high school biology is the process by which we get energy from food.

What is the ATP regeneration process? You may remember this from your biology classes in high school. When a muscle contracts, ATP loses a phosphate molecule and converts it to energy, turning it into ADP (adenosine diphosphate). In order to replenish the body sources of ATP, that ADP molecule needs to be turned back into an energy rich ATP molecule. This is where creatine can help. What does, in a nutshell, is convert ADP to ATP. So the more creatine in your body, the faster your body can turn ADP into ATP. The benefit of this is that your muscles contract much more rapidly and effectively when your body is able to quickly convert ADP back into ATP. As a result, when exercise enthusiasts know they need extra energy, for example they are doing something like bodybuilding or sprinting and they need to have short bursts of energy for exercise, they take creatine.

As an additional benefit, adding creatine also reduces fatigue, and it helps with protein synthesis. Both of these things promote muscle growth and development.

And creatine gives you access to this extra energy almost instantly. As a result, if you are a weightlifter or runner, creatine is an essential supplement to help create sudden and frequent energy bursts. In addition to providing increased energy, creatine also helps with your muscles recovery from exercise.

If you bodybuild, sprint, swim, or bike, you probably already know about creatine. But if you are unfamiliar with this super animo-acid, now is the time to get educated! It's not only a wonderful ongoing supplement, but it's great for anyone who wants greater muscle efficiency because it helps with the muscles retaining water so as to remain hydrated. You'll find creatine naturally occurring in the kidneys, pancreas, and liver, from arginine, methione and glycine. If a person does not take creatine, their muscles will not maintain water as effectively. Because of its effect on muscle hydration, creatine helps increase endurance and strength in the muscles.

If you are taking Creatine to help you build muscle and you understand what Creatine does and how it helps you build muscle then you will not be disappointed. Research has shown it to be both safe and affective for those wishing to increase muscle mass and performance in fitness activities requiring short and explosive burst of energy. On the other hand, if you take Creatine and hope it will grow you bodybuilder's muscles without putting in any work then you are sadly mistaken. It helps to develop body when you do exercise with Creatine.

When you take this supplement and put in some hard work and effort, your muscles will grow stronger. There may be some confusion that Creatine builds big muscles; it helps your muscles to build themselves better and stronger when you put in some effort and work.

If you use weights on a regular basis to work out, or use a personal trainer, you should start taking creatine. As you work out, with time, you'll see muscle growth, and you will also see maintenance of definition because your muscles will not become dehydrated. The way creatine works is that it goes to the muscle tissue via the bloodstream. If you take a supplement of creatine, your muscle cells will also become better hydrated. This will create an appearance of fuller and bigger muscles. Most of the body's creatine -- over 90% -- is stored in the tissues of the muscle. You'll also find a little bit in the brain, testicles (of men), and heart as well. About 120 g of creatine are found in an average adult. Your daily recommended amount of creatine is about 2 g. Make sure to bear that in mind. If you suddenly stop your creatine regimen, you will lose the expansion as well as the water gain in your muscles. But you'll still keep the muscles that you worked so hard for. It's not that creatine builds large muscles, its that it helps the muscles you build remain strong, so long as you do the hard work and put in the proper amount of effort.