Do you have doubts about consuming creatine? Know these 6 benefits why you should consume creatine and feel good about it.
Surely you have noticed that the popularity of creatine as a supplement has been growing in recent years, but the reality is that many people still have their doubts about consuming it. But next we will see 6 reasons why you should consume creatine and feel good about it.
The published record of creatine as the supplement chosen by recreational or professional athletes who want to increase the strength and size of their muscles is really great. However, while the popularity of creatine as a supplement continues to increase among people who want to lift large amounts of weight, many athletes are less interested in consuming it for fear of getting very large. But this is a serious mistake.
Research on creatine suggests that it does much more than simply help you build more muscle and give you more strength. While they can help you in the gym, creatine can also have positive effects on bone density, oxidative stress reduction and can even improve memory. In other words, creatine has something to offer almost everyone.
1. Creatine Improves Aerobic and Recovery Performance
There are hundreds of studies that show that creatine has the ability to improve strength, power, body composition and training volume, but contrary to what most people think, you don't have to be a strength athlete or be able to enjoy and take advantage of this incredible supplement. Creatine is also very good for endurance athletes.
Most endurance athletes are familiar with carbohydrate loading to help increase glycogen stores before a race, but adding creatine to the diet can further improve your glycogen stores. Researchers at Louisiana State University found that when creatine is consumed five days before starting the typical carbohydrate loading protocol, glycogen content increased by 53% over base levels. Due to the high relationship between high glycogen levels and performance during prolonged exercises, creatine can be a great benefit for endurance activities.
For endurance athletes, creatine has also been shown to reduce inflammation and cell damage that comes after intense and prolonged exercise. A study published in "Life Sciences" found that athletes who consumed creatine as a supplement five days before a 30-kilometer race had a significant difference in muscle inflammation after the race. And despite all the myths that revolve around creatine, none of the athletes who were studied showed any side effects.
Another study showed that creatine helps maintain body temperature and hydration while athletes exercised in hot and humid temperatures.
2. Creatine Increases Bone Mineral Density
It is never too early to start thinking about the health of our bones. Worldwide, osteoporosis or loss of mineral density in the bones, causes more than 8.9 million fractures every year. A particular concern is that 1 in 3 women over 50 suffer a fracture caused by osteoporosis, as well as 1 in 5 men. Even so, morality after a hip fracture is 20% higher in men than in women.
For some years, strength trainers have been recommended as a means to strengthen the mineral density of holes and prevent osteoporosis. If you are one of the people who already frequent weightlifting, give yourself a pat on the back. But if you don't add creatine to that, your bones are probably not reaching their full potential. When you combine strength and resistance training with creatine consumption, it has been shown that bone mineral density increases significantly.
How is this possible? The increase in bone mineral density may be related to the increase in muscle mass. More muscles increase tension with your bones, providing the perfect stimulus to make them stronger. Even if you are not very worried about the health of your bones at this time, getting strong, having healthy bones at an early age prevents osteoporosis.
3. Creatine Improves Glucose Metabolism
Type-2 diabetes is a disease that more than 27 million people in the United States suffer. For decades, physical activity (along with a balanced diet and medications) has been considered one of the best cornerstones to fight type-2 diabetes. While exercise alone has shown significant improvement in insulin sensitivity, creatine can improve the effects of exercise and help people with type-2 diabetes better control blood glucose levels.
Researchers published in "Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise" that they discovered a significant improvement in glucose control when participants in type-2 diabetes combined creatine with exercise routines. These findings suggest that the supplement may emerge as a valuable addition to the treatment of diabetes.
On top of all this, creatine supplementation has shown an increase in glucose synthesis and glucose tolerance, particularly when combined with workouts or exercise routines in healthy individuals. Together, these findings provide therapeutic use for creatine in patients with diabetes.
How does the supplement that helps improve strength and muscle mass help improve glucose metabolism? Creatine has been shown to increase the concentration of GLUT-4, a protein that transports glucose into and out of our muscle cells. A high concentration of GLUT-4 means an improvement in the action of insulin and in the elimination of glucose, as well as an improvement in glycogen stores after exercising.
Incidentally, an increase in GLUT-4 expression also helps maintain muscle mass and strength during immobilization. Thus, taking creatine as a supplement when you are hurt can also help you not lose all the gain you made from hard work.
4. Creatine Improves Brain Performance
Creatine works in our brain in a very similar way as it does in our muscles. Both the use of creatine phosphate (PCr) as a source of energy; If not replenished, PCr levels may decrease during periods of activity. Like muscles when they get tired after 9-10 repetitions, your brain can become fatigued during an intense mental task, such as mathematical calculations. In this sense, supplementing with creatine will not only help you recharge your exercises but also recharge your brain.
But don't think that simply because you eat meat you don't need a supplement. Although vegetarians and vegans see greater improvements in working memory and processing speed, six weeks of creatine consumption as a supplement in a meat eater has shown an increase in creatine levels in the brain of a 9%. What does that mean? More brain power.
Researchers have shown that even five days of creatine consumption can significantly reduce stress, fatigue and increase the use of oxygen in the brain. Actually it's pretty clear: Creatine has powerful effects on improving and maintaining cognitive function.
5. Creatine Reduces Oxidative Stress
Endurance athletes are not the only ones experiencing oxidative damage from free radicals caused by training. In fact, any athlete who performs intensive workouts can generate these. Mixed with a bad resting strategy, you are seeing a large block along the way to gain mass.
Free radicals can have a significant impact on muscle fatigue and protein turnover rates, as well as the rate of muscle growth. Basically, free radicals can hinder everything you have tried to avoid if your goal is to increase mass and strength. The easiest way to avoid this? The consumption of creatine.
A large number of studies have revealed the antioxidant effects of creatine. A particular study, which was published in the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning," demonstrated a significant reduction in DNA damage and oxidative stress after a single resistance training. These reductions can promote better recovery and allow you to train harder for longer periods of time.
6. Creatine Can Protect You Against Traumatic Brain Injuries
You may not know this, but if there is a new area where creatine really shines, it is in the protection of the brain against injury.
Recent experiments have found and demonstrated that creatine provides significant protection against severe traumatic brain injuries. While most of the studies within this area have been done on animals, the initial results are really promising.
Early studies conducted in animal models have shown that chronic administration of creatine decreased the extent of brain damage followed by head trauma by about 36% in mice and 50% in rats. Likewise, the levels of reactive oxygen species, which are responsible for the increase in oxidative stress in the brain, decreased significantly.
In a subsequent study, researchers found that animals that had consumed creatine as supplements for two weeks before a head injury had lower levels of lactate and fatty acids, suggesting better protection followed by a brain injury. These results support the idea that diet-enriched creatine can provide substantial protection to the brain by suppressing secondary brain injury, the condition responsible for stroke, inflammation and death.
Creatine can even be used as a treatment to recover after a brain injury operation. Researchers at the University Hospital of Heraklio (Greece) gave creatine to children and adolescents after a traumatic brain injury and found that it improved recovery time and communication, as well as a large decrease in fatigue, dizziness and numerous pain head. And all this without presenting a single negative effect.