Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine Monohydrate Supplement Profile

Creatine, discovered in meat extracts in 1832 by a French scientist named Chevreul. In 1923, scientists discovered the average human body. Containing over 100 grams of this acid and 95% stored in muscle tissue. It’s chemical name is methyl-guanidino-acetic acid. Sometimes called N-amidinosarcosine. Made in a laboratory from two base molecules called sarcosine and cyanamide.

Half-life of 6-8 weeks in the body. Saturation in muscle is 20 mmol/kg of dry muscle.

Compound naturally produced in our bodies to supply energy to our muscles. Mainly produced in the liver from the amino acids Glycine, Arginine, and Methionine.

ATP

Transported from the liver into the blood and taken up by muscle cells. 95% stored in muscle tissue. Once inside muscle cells convert into creatine phosphate (CP) or “phosphocreatine”. The enzyme creatine kinase  permanently stored until used to produce ATP (energy).

Typically, the average person metabolizes about two grams per day. Also the amount synthesized; thus maintaining a creatine balance.

After used in the muscle cells, released to spontaneously form creatine. Then removed from the blood via the kidneys and excreted in the urine.

Kidney Filtering

Routinely checked for in blood tests and serves as a crude marker of how well the kidneys are filtering the blood. Although supplementation may raise blood creatinine, research suggests it is NOT toxic or harmful to the kidneys. A false positive reading may occur on a blood test with supplementation.

Minimizes Heart Disease

One study, reported in the journal of Clinical Science in 1996, revealed that men and women, ages 32-70, who used 20 grams for 5 days, followed by a 10 gram maintenance dose for 51 days, experienced no adverse effects. However, this study did show that blood lipid profiles significantly improved. While suggesting creatine plays a positive role in minimizing the risk of heart disease. (Earnest, et al.)

Where Creatine is Found

Found in foods such as beef, salmon, and herring. One pound of beef contains about 2 grams. However, very impractical to attain the high doses needed to completely saturate muscle cells from whole foods. Also degraded during cooking. Making very hard to get a large dosage from foods.

Creatine’s ergogenic effects in the body include:

Cell volumization – It helps draw water INSIDE muscle cells which may trigger protein synthesis and minimize protein breakdown, creating an anabolic environment. (cellular hydration)

Helps support the reproduction of ATP in muscle cells increasing strength and explosive power.

Possible increases in anaerobic endurance.

Some evidence suggests it may act as a lactic-acid buffer and improve recovery time from weight training.

It may act as an antioxidant according to one study.

Supplementation

Supplementation of bodybuilding supplements may suppress your bodies natural creatine production but after discontinuing a supplement, the body’s natural creatine production usually kicks in and muscle creatine stores just return to pre-supplementation values.

Some research indicates that combining creatine with protein and carbohydrates is as effective for stimulating creatine uptake and retention in the muscle tissue as taking supplements with carbohydrates alone. Stimulating insulin release shows enhancing the transport and uptake of supplement into the muscle tissue where it is used to support the reproduction of ATP (energy) and enhance cell volume as well as possibly buffer lactic acid.

Protein Study

The study entitled “Protein and carbohydrate-induced augmentation of whole body creatine retention in humans” was published in the September 2000 issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology and showed that consuming 50 grams of protein and 47 grams of carbohydrates was equally as effective in terms absorption and retention as consuming 96 grams of carbohydrates alone with creatine. So the creatine, protein, and carbohydrate combination actually makes for a great post workout drink mix to enhance recovery and help prevent muscle breakdown secondary to weight training.

Dosages

While important to load for five days by consuming 20-30 grams daily. Allowing for muscle cells completely saturated with creatine. After the loading phase, a maintenance dosage of 5-15 grams daily used to maintain muscle creatine saturation. However, a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology last year, showed  individuals taking 3 grams of creatine daily for a month and bypassing the loading phase. Reaching the same muscle saturation levels as if they loaded for 5 days using a higher amount.

Cycles

Newer research on the creatine transport system conducted by Walzel and associates at the Institute of Cell Biology in Switzerland actually leads scientists to theorize that taking a smaller dose more frequently throughout the day can allow for much better absorption and retention in muscle tissue by lowering down regulation of the creatine transporters It maybe best to cycle creatine 8-12 weeks on and then 4-6 weeks off.