You have probably heard of creatine . The myths range from a steroid-like substance only bodybuilders ingest to an antidepressant effect. In truth, creatine is an important carrier of energy in our muscles and brain, and the most scientifically researched nutritional supplement of all. Many benefit from an extra intake or a creatine-rich diet in order to benefit from this extra energy. But what is the whole truth? Find out everything you need to know about creatine here!

What is creatine

Creatine (Greek ” kreas ” = meat) is an amino acid made up of the building blocks methionine, arginine and glycine . Therefore creatine is not essential and can be produced by the body itself. Fish and red meat in particular contain the energy-rich substrate in significant quantities.

In the body, creatine is used as an energy carrier in the form of creatine phosphate. During strenuous, high-intensity activities such as sprinting or strength training, the energy stores in your muscles (ATP) are quickly depleted and your mitochondria need another substrate to produce energy. Creatine phosphate is the cell’s own energy reserve when the available ATP is exhausted:

In this process, the ATP is reduced to ADP, which releases energy. However, these memories are empty 10-20 seconds after the activity has started. Then your energy power plants (mitochondria) use the creatine phosphate to turn the ADP back into ATP, and you can continue to do the activity. For example, if you see Usain Bolt running a 100 m sprint, he was using these energy systems.

If the load lasts longer than 20 seconds, your body first uses the creatine phosphate to replenish the ATP pool. This is roughly the case from the 20th to the 60th second in a highly intensive unit.

During longer, high-intensity exercise such as Tabata training , the muscle cell looks for more sustainable energy substrates, such as fats and carbohydrates, to provide energy. The intensity cannot be kept as high as with creatine or the free ATP storage.

Brief summary: Creatine is the energy store during intense stress and is particularly effective when the free ATP in the cell is exhausted. Creatine phosphate breaks down into creatine and phosphate, releasing energy. 

What does creatine do in the body?

Creatine used to be equated with anabolic steroids. However, this is by no means the case. A high-quality dietary supplement or a diet rich in fish and meat can help you to become more productive and fitter. An overview of the effects of creatine in the body:

Protects the brain and eyes

It could be shown that the supply of creatine enables better protection of neurons in the brain and the retina (retina). The creatine phosphate provides the cells with an energy store, as the energy reserves, as in the muscle cells, are quickly exhausted and the cells could then be damaged. [1]

Protection against Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Co.

Further studies assume that diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or epilepsy can be traced back to an unbalanced energy balance of the neurons.

With the help of creatine, a balance for energy production can be created in the neurons, which has a protective effect against the development of these diseases. [2]

performance increase

In the case of high loads with short breaks, such as sprint or strength training, it was shown that after just one week of creatine supplementation, performance increased significantly.

Most likely, this is due to the fact that more creatine can be made available during the breaks, which improves performance afterwards. [3] [4] [5]

In addition, creatine improves muscle relaxation. This describes how quickly the muscle can relax again after the contraction. The accelerated muscle relaxation enables a higher level of performance to be achieved. [6] [7]

For endurance athletes, creatine offers the advantage that more energy is available for the final sprint at the end of a race or training session. [8] Thus, both endurance and strength athletes benefit.

Muscle building

Studies have shown a significant increase in lean mass when supplementing with creatine. In addition, the force values ​​and the force per unit of time that could be generated by the test subjects improved. [9] [10]

Personally, I noticed a significant difference in muscle recruitment and strength during exercise. If building muscle is one of your goals, I recommend adding creatine to your protein shake before or after training.

Testosterone

Do you want to increase your testosterone ? Then creatine could be interesting for you! Studies have shown that creatine can increase testosterone levels in both men and women. [11] [12]

And you, as an attentive reader of SchnellEinfachGesund, know that testosterone helps you lose weight, build muscles and your energy for the day.

Regeneration

Creatine is often used in rehabilitation in order to rebuild atrophied muscles more quickly and to be able to discharge the patient earlier. [13]

For you, this also means faster regeneration. Therefore, it can be useful to add creatine after hard workouts.

Fast replenishment of glycogen stores

It has been found that athletes can replenish their muscles’ glycogen stores more quickly if they consume carbohydrates with creatine after exercising. This allows you to regenerate faster and train harder and more often. [14]

When combined with increased protein intake and weight training, creatine also appears to increase insulin sensitivity. This is useful for you if you want to lose weight and prevent diabetes. [15]

What can the white powder really do?

What are the side effects?

If you believe the relevant media, creatine destroys the kidneys and liver and weakens the immune system. What is it?

Water retention

By supplementing with creatine, your body can store up to 2 liters of water in the muscles in 21 days. (Athletes appreciate this positive side effect for a better pump.) However, it has not been proven that this causes more cramps or that the temperature regulation of your body is overridden. [16]

Is It Bad For The Immune System?

So far it has not been proven that creatine weakens your immune system. It is a natural peptide made up of three amino acids that your body can synthesize itself. There are no known problems with the correct dosage. 16

Is it Dangerous for the Kidneys?

Out of several hundred studies, only three found a negative effect of creatine on kidney function. The people concerned were already ill (e.g. kidney failure) or were taking 100 times the daily dose. 16

Also, the myth that krea is bad for the kidneys comes from increasing levels of creatine kinase in the blood. It is normal for this value to increase because more crea is now processed than normal. Because creatine kinase is a marker of kidney damage, it is sometimes claimed that creatine damages the kidneys. However, this is a pure myth.

If you are healthy and stick to the instructions for daily intake, you have no side effects to fear.

Does creatine damage the liver?

Like the kidneys, your liver has nothing to fear from creatine. In test studies, the corresponding liver values ​​increased slightly, but remained within the normal range. 16

Conclusion side effects: There are no real side effects. Don’t let yourself get mad and buy a high-quality dietary supplement or watch out for creatine in your diet to reap the benefits of creatine.

Who is creatine for?

athlete

Creatine is one of the most widely used, most established and scientifically best researched dietary supplements among athletes. Almost every sport benefits from it. Especially if you want to add 1-2% muscle or power, creatine can be worthwhile for you.

Intellectual achievement

Whenever energy is needed, your mitochondria have to produce it from ATP. Since creatine is a very effective fuel, it can also help with hard mental work, which also requires a lot of energy. Creatine can create a balance in the energy supply to your neurons. This allows you to increase your concentration .

Muscle building

One of the main functions of creatine is to help build muscle. This is because creatine not only provides more energy and more growth stimuli during training; it is also because “crea” accelerates the absorption of water and carbohydrates in the muscles and more substrates are made available for growth.

Creatine is a very good tip for anyone who wants to build muscle quickly and easily. Thanks to the rapid regeneration, increased performance and the growth of the muscle, you will achieve your dream figure faster.

Decrease

Creatine intake also works for less body fat. Due to the increased testosterone as well as the better performance, you consume more energy, which in the long term reduces body fat.

Which foods contain creatine?

Of course, you don’t necessarily need powder or capsules to supply yourself with creatine. The following foods are particularly high in creatine:

Food Creatine in g / kg
Hering 6,5-10
pig 5
salmon 4,5
Rind 4,5
tuna 4
cod 3
milk 0,1
blueberries 0,02

[17]

A good daily intake for optimal effect is 4-5g. If this is too difficult for you through diet alone, you can also use a dietary supplement:

How should you take creatine?

Creatine for exercise

For improved muscle building and rapid regeneration, it is usually recommended to take creatine with some whey or collagen protein after training . Use warm water for the shake. If you want to improve your intake even more, use carbohydrates. Natural sources such as a banana or oatmeal ensure that the creatine arrives directly in the muscles.

Does Krea have to be taken immediately after training? No it doesn’t have to. First of all, it is important that your muscles get krea evenly over the course of 2-3 weeks – a little every day – and “refuel” with it. The effect is more lasting and long-lasting than that of protein, which should be taken soon after training.

How many grams and when should you take creatine?

On many blogs you will find a subdivision into loading, maintenance and withdrawal phases. It is now known that this procedure offers no advantages and only makes everything more complicated, as it is time-consuming to plan and studies have found that more than 5g of creatine per day is excreted in the urine during the maintenance phase. 2

Therefore, I recommend that you take a teaspoon of creatine (1.5-3g) with warm water 1-2 times a day for optimal results. So you can take creatine for a long time and don’t have to switch back and forth over and over again. Simply stir one dose in water in the morning and one in the evening and put it in – with protein if you like.

Here’s how I do it: I don’t do unnecessary loading phases – I just take creatine by default every night, before sleep (along with other things that improve my sleep recovery). I only take it early when I consciously think about it or put it in my protein shake that I take with me to work. It’s simple and straightforward and is guaranteed to work.

88 ratings

Syglabs Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate Powder, 1 Pack (1 x 1 kg)

  • Creatine Monohydrate Powder from Syglabs
  • My recommendation, very good value for money
  • The pack lasts for one year

Is Creatine a Doping Substance?

No, creatine is not a doping substance and a product on the Cologne List. All substances that are not considered doping substances are summarized here. So you can take your creatine without hesitation.

Which creatine is the best?

There are many different forms of creatine. The best known and cheapest is creatine monohydrate. So far, no better availability of other forms of creatine has been proven. In addition, this form has the best price-performance ratio, which is why I would like to recommend creatine monohydrate to you. [18]

Creapure is the micronized form of creatine and is easier to dissolve in water. For a little more convenience, this dosage form can be worthwhile if you don’t care about the few euros more.

Creatine as capsules or powder?

Supplements are offered both as capsules and as a powder. The advantages of the capsules are the exact dosage and quality. Since the creatine has no contact with the environment, it cannot be contaminated by other substances. You also know exactly how much you are taking.

Personally, I still think powder is better. It’s very easy to mix or drink into a shake and you don’t have to count any capsules. In addition, it is simply cheaper and since the powder is tasteless, no problem. Make sure to close the zipper bags properly and buy a good quality product. And then it can start.

Where to Buy Creatine

Creatine comes in all shapes and colors. Personally, I have been very satisfied with this product as capsules and this product as powder:

42 ratings

Frey Nutrition Creatin Caps, 1er Pack (1 x 235 g)

  • Creatine capsules in bulk pack
  • Very economical, very good value for money, lasts a few months
88 ratings

Syglabs Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate Powder, 1 Pack (1 x 1 kg)

  • Creatine Monohydrate Powder from Syglabs
  • My recommendation, very good value for money
  • The pack lasts for one year

Conclusion

Creatine is one of the most effective supplements for health and performance. It is worthwhile for all sports, to build muscles, for better cognitive performance, as well as for weight loss.

Most prejudices are nonsense and if you are using a good quality product you shouldn’t expect any side effects. I recommend this creatine in powder and this in capsule form.

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