Creatine: Not Just for Athletes and Bodybuilders
Creatine has been used for decades by bodybuilders and athletes alike for muscle building, body composition, and athletic performance. Studies and results have shown that creatine does perform well for these individuals when taken consistently or in cycles. Because of creatine’s popularity and use over the years, it has created a reputation for itself that deters women and elderly individuals from utilizing it in their supplement regime. Both women and the elderly can benefit massively from creatine supplementation, and there are minimal side effects.
What is Creatine?
Creatine has been falsely assumed to be an anabolic steroid because of its potential benefits for building lean muscle mass and athletic performance, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Creatine is a small peptide that is naturally produced in the body in the kidneys, liver, and pancreas. It is synthesized by three amino acids (amino acids are the building blocks of protein) arginine, glycine, and methionine, and two enzymes.
Creatine is stored primarily in the skeletal muscle of the body but can also be found in the kidneys, liver, brain, heart, testes, eyes, and every cell in our body. It is used for energy for our bodily functions and can protect the cells when the body is under stress. Apart from the natural production of it in our body, we can obtain creatine from our diets through meat, poultry, and fish, but for those that are vegetarian or vegan, supplementation is even more important.
Supplementing creatine is one of the ways that allows for rapid ATP production. ATP or Adenosine triphosphate is the source of energy for use and storage at the cellular level. ATP is produced through three different metabolic pathways, the ATP-creatine phosphate system, rapid glycolysis (breakdown of glucose), and aerobic oxidation (the utilization of carbohydrates, fats, and small amounts of protein are used through oxidative phosphorylation - Krebs Cycle). During the ATP-creatine phosphate system, the phosphate is rapidly transferred to ADP (adenosine diphosphate) to create ATP. The byproduct of this transfer is creatinine which is excreted in our urine through the kidneys.
I heard there’s more than one type of Creatine?
This is true. Creatine monohydrate has been the dominant type of creatine in the sports supplement world, but now in more recent years, we have seen the emergence of other types that help combat the side effects that some people experience.
Creatine Monohydrate is composed of one creatine molecule and one water molecule. Creatine monohydrate depends heavily on a hydrated body to be well absorbed. This means that people utilizing creatine monohydrate should ensure that they are consuming 2 litres of water a day AT MINIMUM, but should be aiming closer to 3 litres or more - especially individuals that work laborious jobs, athletes, etc.
Kre-Alkalyn Buffered Creatine Monohydrate is a patented pH-correct form of creatine phosphate. It was created to help combat the side effects of creatine monohydrate such as bloating and water retention but can also aid in the reduction of waste product creatinine. The stabilization of adding an alkaline powder allows for the creatine to become more bioavailable as the acidity is lowered from a pH level of 2 to 12. This alkalization has been found to inhibit the production of creatinine making it a more ideal product for those that may have low kidney function. Always speak with your medical practitioner or pharmacist before introducing any new supplements if you have any existing medical conditions or are on any pharmaceuticals.
Creatine Hydrochloride is the new kid on the block but has been rapidly growing in popularity. Creatine Hydrochloride is a creatine monohydrate bonded with a monatomic acid to produce a micronized form of creatine monohydrate. Due to its micronization less water is required for its absorption and there is also a reduction in the side effects that may incur such as bloating, cramping, and water retention.
More than just a sport supplement
Creatine is well known for its benefits for performance, building lean muscle mass, and increased strength, but its other benefits are not talked about enough.
The brain is composed of muscle tissue and is one of our most vital organs. There is quite a high amount of creatine found in the brain, and studies are showing that supplementation of creatine may have neuro-protective properties for individuals. Traumatic brain injury, Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), and ischemia are among the studied conditions that creatine has shown potential benefits.
There are currently studies being conducted on the potential benefit of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. Evidence from prior studies has indicated that there is the potential declination of neuronal creatine activity for those with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, therefore it is plausible that the supplementation may be beneficial. Results from the current studies will be available in 2025.
As we age, it is evident that our bodies will start to slow down and break down as we do. It is common for individuals to notice less muscle mass, sagging of skin, and decreased strength and energy as they age. The supplementation of creatine can aid in combating these symptoms of aging. In general, it is always best to keep your body moving and ensure that you are giving your body the proper nutrition so that you can thrive at any age.
Creatine has been found to have cardioprotective properties on top of its neuroprotective properties. The heart and blood vessels are made up of cardiac muscle tissue and smooth muscle tissue, respectively. The supplementation of creation can aid in increasing aerobic performance and capacity, allowing for the heart and vessels to perform at their best, as well as protect them from degradation as we age.
For individuals suffering from heart failure, studies have shown that the supplementation of creatine can assist with combating fatigue when implementing exercise under medical care. Individuals were also found to experience increased strength and weight gain.
A recent study has shown that creatine supplementation can assist in lowering triglycerides and glucose levels. The study did not show significant change for HDL or LDL or cholesterol, but it did show a difference in vLDL which is the triglyceride component of LDL (“bad” cholesterol).
Oxidative stress on the body causes fatigue and can negatively impact the ability to grow muscle. Because of creatine’s results with muscle building and performance, a study was conducted to explore whether it has antioxidant properties or not. The study results showed that the supplementation of creatine has antioxidant properties and can be protective for both mitochondrial DNA and the viability of cells. Therefore, creatine will not only help with the building and strengthening of tissue but help protect it as well.
Creatine is for every BODY
Creatine is the king of sports supplements because it has proven over the years to perform and provide results, but as you can see... Creatine is far from being an anabolic steroid and definitely isn’t just for those looking to put on muscle mass, increase strength, or improve sports performance. Creatine can be beneficial for everyone, no matter their gender or age. Our bodies are composed of various muscle tissues therefore we can potentially aid in the support of their functions and viability through the supplementation of creatine.
Creatine can be taken daily year-round and does not require a loading phase or cycling. Choosing the right creatine product for you will depend on your digestive system, kidney function, and water intake. Curious about what creatine product may be best for you? Shoot us an email or pop into Bluewater Nutrition and the staff will be happy to help you.
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