Creatine is a natural supplement often used to improve athletic performance. It’s not only safe but also one of the world’s most popular and effective supplements for building muscle and strength, but which are the creatine benefits?
The primary benefit of creatine is an improvement in strength and power output during resistance exercise. Creatine is well researched for this purpose, and the effects are quite notable for a supplement.
However, the benefits don’t limit to this improvement. Creatine also increases muscle growth, provides greater strength and leads to faster regeneration of ATP, therefore helping recovery after intensive exercise – at both the amateur and competitive level.
In addition to its general benefits, there are some specific benefits for different populations. In this article we will review them.
CREATINE benefits for women
Did you know creatine supplementation can be therapeutical for females?
Creatine concentrations may vary between healthy males and females.
Females may have higher intramuscular creatine concentrations possibly due to lower skeletal muscle mass. That means women may need to ingest more creatine to increase levels above their natural levels.
How can creatine consumption help women improve their sportive performance? By taking it regularly.
In fact, in the final long-term study done to date, researchers examined the effects of creatine in 14 female NCAA Division I soccer players. Seven women were given creatine, and seven were given a placebo. After 13 weeks, women taking creatine had greater gains in maximal bench press and squat strength than the women taking the placebo.
As you can see, there are potential positive implications for sport supplementation in females but, is this all? No.
extra benefits of creatine for women
Creatine supplementation may also help females with:
- Reducing symptoms of depression
- Supporting creatine kinetics, mood, and pregnancy/fetal outcome
- Augmenting body composition and bone mineral density, particularly in post-menopausal females.
CREATINE benefits for sarcopenia
Sarcopenia is defined as a progressive and generalized skeletal muscle condition. It
- Decrease in muscle mass
- Decrease of strength
- Decrease of functionality
Interestingly, it is one of the most promising conditions that could benefit from creatine supplementation.
While resistance training is considered very important in the treatment of sarcopenia,
accumulating evidence indicates that creatine supplementation, with and without resistance training, can mitigate its indices.
Specifically, creatine supplementation can:
- Increase aging muscle mass and strength (upper- and lower-body)
- Enhance bone mineral
- Help to activate cells involved in both bone formation and resorption.
benefits for runners
Contrary to popular belief, your body uses all the energy systems at all times during an endurance training, such as running.
According to research studies, the following are the reported performance benefits of creatine for athletes of different sports while training:
- Boosting high-intensity exercise performance, particularly in HIIT workouts
- Increasing muscular strength and power
- Increasing muscle mass
- Augmenting the effects of resistance training on strength and muscle mass
That’s why supplementation with creatine helps the runner to achieve its goals.
Also, there is evidence that athletes supplementing their diet with creatine experienced, in response to running 30 km:
- Less muscle damage
- Less inflammation
- Less muscle soreness
In conclusion, creatine supplementation not only helps runners perforrmance, it may also help athletes recover from intense exercise and/or tolerate intensified periods of training to a greater degree.
benefits for vegans
Creatine is primarily found in food sources such as red meat, seafood and poultry. It’s not surprising, then, that adopting a vegan or vegetarian diet decreases muscle creatine stores.
Vegans and vegetarians typically have lower levels of creatine in their blood and muscle tissue.
Research shows that supplemental creatine can increase previously low creatine stores in vegetarians, who can show great improvements in fat-free body mass, maximal strength and type II muscle fibre area compared to omnivores.
That’s why, as an athlete, you may find it helpful to take a little extra creatine to maintain optimum performance.
Creatine is the most effective supplement for increasing muscle mass and strength. Intensity is necessary to achieve natural strength gains and muscle growth or increased athletic performance. Also, creatine helps recovery after intensive exercise.
As creatine needs to be converted into phosphocreatine to have its activity, we suggest taking a creatine that already contains phosphocreatine.
Clonapure®, for example, does not require the typical loading phase and starts working from the first dose.
It is also more stable than creatine monohydrate and is manufactured in a GMP site. That means that every batch with the Clonapure® seal of trust has endured continuous tests (HPLC) along the manufacturing process in order to verify its purity and quality. You can find it here.
You can learn more about how to take creatine in this article.