Found in The Strong Protein and The Power Booster (as well as red meat), creatine is one of the most popular and widely researched dietary supplements around with lots of evidence to support its usage. We explore why scientists, nutritionists and athletes rate this as one of the most effective supplements around today.
Creatine was first identified in the 1800’s and was popularised as a performance-enhancing aid following the 1992 Olympics. Creatine supplementation is now pretty mainstream and is used by elite athletes and recreational gym goers alike. One of the most widely researched sports supplements, both long and short term studies confirming that creatine is safe, effective and carries no known risks at the recommended dose.
What is creatine?
Creatine is a compound derived from amino acids that’s found in muscle tissue. It's also found in high concentrations in red meat. Most of the creatine in our body is synthesised by the liver and pancreas and is used to fuel high-intensity exercise by helping regenerate ATP - your body’s energy currency. Put simply, creatine can help the body to produce more energy helping muscles recover their energy faster, which lets you train harder, longer and more often.
The health benefits of creatine
Research shows creatine can help increase muscle mass (when used with a weight training programme) and boost performance by reducing fatigue during high-intensity exercise. To get the right levels to boost performance, you need around 3g day, which would mean eating 1kg of beef! Dietary supplementation is an efficient and cost-effective way of increasing creatine levels, minus the extra calories and fat. Taking creatine with a decent portion of a carb-rich food boosts storage and uptake in the muscles, thanks to the effect of insulin. Post-workout is ideal as it’s a time when you’ll be consuming carbs to replenish your energy stores, so add a banana to Innermost’s The Strong Protein, and serve with a slice of toast and honey to supercharge storage.
Supplementing with creatine can help to boost performance, and increase fitness gains. It is one of the ingredients in The Strong Protein, which is recommended for those looking to support muscle, power and strength gains, and speed up recovery times. The Strong Protein contains 3g of creatine monohydrate (the most researched form of the supplement), making it an easy way to get the recommended dose.
- Tarnopolsky M a, MacLennan DP. Creatine monohydrate supplementation enhances high-intensity exercise performance in males and females. Int. J. Sport Nutr. Exerc. Metab. 2000;10(4):452-63. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11099372.
- Buford TW, Kreider RB, Stout JR, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. J. Int. Soc. Sports Nutr. 2007;4(23):6. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-4-6.
- Kreider R, Rasmussen C, Ransom J, Almada AL. (1998). "Effects of creatine supplementation during training on the incidence of muscle cramping, injuries and GI distress". Journal of Strength Conditioning Research 12 (275).
- Bender, A.; Beckers, J.; Schneider, I.; Hölter, S.M.; Haack, T.; Ruthsatz, T.; Vogt-Weisenhorn, D.M.; Becker, L. et al. (2008). "Creatine improves health and survival of mice".Neurobiology of Aging 29 (9): 1404–11.