Creatine Supplementation: Should You Consider This Supplement?

 

Creatine supplementation (CMS) has long been used by athletes and body builders wanting to build muscle mass. But could creatine help in other ways?

Creatine helps the human body maintain its supply of ATP (the body’s main source of energy). 95% of total body creatine is found in the skeletal muscle. The other 5% is located in the brain and other tissues with high metabolic demands.

The body needs to replenish 1-3 grams of creatine per day. You can get 1-2 grams by eating red meat and seafood, which naturally contains that amount per POUND. This means to replenish your muscle’s creatine stores you would have to eat more than a pound of red meat or seafood a day.

Those who may not get adequate amounts of dietary creatine (e.g., vegetarians, elderly population and people on restricted diets) have been shown to see increases in cognitive function (memory, focus, attention, etc.) though CMS. Even healthy populations with typical dietary patterns can improve cognitive function through CMS.

Benefits of Creatine Monohydrate Supplementation (CMS)

  • Increase in high intensity exercise performance
  • Help to prevent or reduce the severity of injury
  • Reduces the occurrence of cramping, muscle tightness, muscle strains and pulls
  • Improves the body’s ability to keep water in hot, humid environments
  • Helps muscle cells produce more energy
  • May help with Parkinson’s Disease, reducing symptoms and severity by maintaining dopamine levels and muscle function.
  • May fight other neurological diseases (Alzheimer’s, ischemic stroke, epilepsy, brain and spinal cord injuries.
  • May lower blood sugar levels after meals and fight diabetes.
  • Can improve brain function. For the elderly, following two weeks of taking creatine supplements, showed significantly improved memory and recall ability. Also reduced age-related loss of muscle and strength.
  • May reduce fatigue or tiredness by providing the brain with additional energy and increase dopamine levels.

How much CMS should you take?

When you purchase a canister of Creatine Monohydrate (available at Walmart, GNC, The Nutrition Store, etc.) the label will give you directions on a loading phase then a maintenance phase. This can be confusing to people who are not using CMS for building muscle mass.

Let’s make this simple. Start with 3 grams per day over a minimum of 4 weeks. Then move to

0.03 grams/kg thereafter. If you weigh 170lbs (77kg) you would supplement with 2.3 grams/day.

Questions concerning how much to take can be directed to Mary Bushkuhl at 640-4097.

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