As 2022 approaches and you put together your plan to get into the best shape of your life or conquer your next big challenge, we think you should consider adding creatine to your daily routine. As a supplement, it’s usually our second recommendation at the LAB (after protein). Why? Because 20+ years of scientific studies show that it helps strength and endurance athletes alike increase their physical performance, heighten cognition, and speed recovery.
Creatine has one of the worst reputations, yet it’s one of the most well-researched supplements providing positive effects on athletes young and old. Rather than thinking creatine is only for those who look like The Rock or letting Tik Tok influencers scare you into thinking it will make your hair fall out, let’s dive into what creatine really is.
What is creatine?
Creatine is a combination of 3 amino acids that form a peptide located mostly in your body's muscles as well as in the brain. Stop thinking about creatine as a “muscle builder”...its role is actually more of a carb or fat...aiding our energy systems.
Creatine creates a phosphate reservoir. The more phosphates we have circulating in our system, the more readily we can create energy. As we exercise, we burn through glucose and ATP and start to diminish our phosphate stores. Taking creatine is a way to top the level back up so we can replenish, repair, and increase the quality and quantity of your training.
Why we recommend it.
Your body stores the creatine it creates as phosphocreatine primarily in your muscles, where it's used for energy. However, you do not create enough. As a result, athletes take creatine to improve athletic performance, especially during high-intensity, short duration activities or repeated bouts of exercise with short rests like resistance training and stop-go sports. Studies show that supplementing with creatine can increase your reserves by up to 30%.
If you are a plant-based athlete, studies show vegans and vegetarians routinely have lower levels of intramuscular creatine, and supplementing with creatine affects more than just exercise ability—it also affects cognitive functions like memory. Since modern creatine supplements are produced in vegan-friendly ways, it’s now possible for anyone to have equally high levels of creatine.
How to use it.
Creatine should be taken once a day, at any time of the day. Just add it to water or your recovery shake. It can take 2-4 weeks for creatine to take full effect.
At the end of the day, creatine is safe to use, easy to consume, and increases strength, lean muscle mass and athletic performance. You can pick yours up from the pro shop at enduraLAB today!
By Isis Hargrave