What Is Creatine?
Creatine monohydrate is the most effective and popular supplement used by athletes to increase lean muscle mass, strength and energy. The human body naturally makes creatine to supply energy to the muscles. Creatine is made in the liver, pancreas and kidneys and is transported to the body’s muscles through the bloodstream. Once it reaches the muscles, it is converted into phosphocreatine (creatine phosphate). This high-powered metabolite is used to regenerate the muscles’ ultimate energy source, ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
Creatine is 100% natural and is found in small amounts in some foods. The amount of creatine in these foods is minimal, and most (if not all) is lost when the food is cooked.
How Does Creatine Work?
As mentioned above, when creatine monohydrate is taken it travels to the muscle cells via the bloodstream. It is then converted to creatine phosphate. Creatine phosphate’s role is to replenish the body’s reserves of ATP, the muscles’ ultimate energy source for short, explosive bursts of energy.
The moment you pick the weight up of the rack, your body calls on its ATP stores to power the muscles. After 5-10 seconds, the energy from ATP has been used. Your body then turns to creatine phosphate, which is quickly converted to ATP and used as energy. This process only takes a fraction of a second.
If the body does not have an adequate amount of creatine phosphate available, it turns to glycogen. The problem with glycogen is, it takes much longer to be converted into ATP (around 20 seconds).
So if the muscles are completely saturated with creatine through supplementation with creatine monohydrate, more creatine phosphate will be available resulting in more energy, increased weight and raps, and increased lean muscle growth.