Updated: Oct 12
Creatine is a type of naturally occurring amino acid that helps the body create energy.
It is very popular in the world of sports and fitness, because it can significantly raise your strength and endurance levels, allowing athletes to push out one more rep or run an extra mile.
Over time, you will notice that your muscles are growing bigger, stronger and fuller than they ever have before.
Creatine is one of the most popular supplements for athletes and bodybuilders. It can also help to increase your endurance and improve your recovery time.
There are several ways to take creatine, including; taking a supplement - creatine is available in pill form, or you can take it as a powder in a drink.
Table of Contents:
The Science Behind Creatine
Creatine is a molecule that fuels your muscles when they need a burst of energy but have depleted their stores of ATP, the body's major energy source.
The skeletal muscles, which you control to move your body, store the majority of creatine in your body.
ATP is able to regenerate faster and for longer with the usage of creatine, this occurs due to an increase in creatine phosphate from supplementation. (1)
Creatine & Muscle Building
The role of creatine in muscle building is vast, increased endurance, increased strength, and the ability to lift more volume in the gym will enhance muscle growth. (2)
It all comes down to the amount of weight lifted during a gym session.
There are other mechanisms involved in creatines ability to improve muscle growth, such as it's ability to reduce myostatin (a hormone responsible for reducing muscle growth, essentially the "brakes" for muscle growth), increase satellite cells, and a variety of other effects. (3, 4)
How to Use Creatine for Maximum Results
Using 3-5 grams per day of creatine monohydrate is typically the best way to use it. You can see faster results by "loading" creatine, this is the process of taking 10-20 grams of per day for around 1-2 weeks.
Once this loading period is over, take 3-5 grams per day for as long as you desire. Spreading out your dosage during the day, splitting it into two, or just taking the whole dosage in one go are all ways to do it.
Mixing Your Creatine
When mixing your powder there are multiple ways to mix creatine, you can mix it with water, milk, fruit juice, etc.
Mix 5 grams of creatine with 400 millilitres of water or juice (1 gram per 80 ml), use 440 ml instead of 400 ml if you're mixing it with milk since milk only contains 80% water.
You'll need to stir it vigorously since creatine monohydrate and water don't mix well. Warming the water may make the creatine more soluble and easier to dissolve.
If you mix it with juice, it will taste better and be less gritty. Also, remember to drink enough water throughout the day if you're using creatine since it could promote dehydration.
Creatine is a popular and safe supplement to use for boosting muscle growth, it can enhance endurance and promote strength too.
It improves the energy creation process, increasing the energy available to the muscles. Using 10-20 grams of creatine monohydrate for 1-2 weeks, followed by 3-5 grams for as long as you wish the recommended and usually the best way to take creatine for maximum results.
Below are definitions and short explanations of what some of the terms in this article mean.
Myostatin: Myostatin (MSTN), also known as growth and differentiation factor-8 (GDF-8), is a protein secreted in muscle tissues. Researchers believe that its primary function is in negatively regulating muscle mass.
ATP: Adenosine triphosphate is an organic compound and hydrotrope that provides energy to drive many processes in living cells, such as muscle contraction, nerve impulse propagation, condensate dissolution, and chemical synthesis.
ADP: ATP is adenosine triphosphate and contains three terminal phosphate groups, whereas ADP is adenosine diphosphate and contains only two phosphate groups. ATP is the higher energy form, whereas ADP is the lower energy form.
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This simplified evidence based overview and analysis of creatine and muscle growth features 1 references, listed below.
Kurosawa Y, Hamaoka T, Katsumura T, Kuwamori M, Kimura N, Sako T, Chance B. Creatine supplementation enhances anaerobic ATP synthesis during a single 10 sec maximal handgrip exercise. Mol Cell Biochem. (2003, Feb) (Clinical Trial) ✔
Saremi A, Gharakhanloo R, Sharghi S, Gharaati MR, Larijani B, Omidfar K. Effects of oral creatine and resistance training on serum myostatin and GASP-1. Mol Cell Endocrinol. (2010, Apr 12) (Randomised Controlled Trial) ✔
✔ Citations with a tick indicate the information is from a trusted source.
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