June 2021 - 26

" Creatine is like the Swiss army knife of supplements. The use and
benefits of creatine are endless. "
3. Creatine Can Help Improve Athletic
Performance
Studies have demonstrated that creatine supplementation
increases intramuscular creatine concentrations which lead
to the following but not limited to:
* Increase in muscular strength and
endurance
* Increased power output
* Increased lean muscle and total body mass
* Enhanced recovery and reduced muscle damage
following intense exercise
* Enhanced tolerance to exercise in the heat
Creatine is safe, beneficial, and well-tolerated among
youth athletes as evidenced by the available data. Some
studies in youth athletes have shown:
* Creatine supplementation improved time performance
and strength in highly competitive swimmers
* Youth soccer players experienced improved sprinting,
vertical jump, dribbling, and shooting
* Creatine can support brain health, offering
neuroprotective effects following a concussive injury
in athletes <16 years old
4. Creatine Protects the Brain
The brain is one of the highest-cost muscles in the
body. The brain uses roughly 20% of our kcal intake
which means lack of oxygen or damage to this vital
muscle can equate to loss of balance, control, a decline
in motor skills, dysfunction, fatigue all of which can lead
to injuries. Creatine can protect the brain from ischemic
cell damage (due to a lack of oxygen) by inhibiting ATP
(energy) depletion and mitigating structural damage to
the affected brain cells.
Furthermore, concussions and injuries are high in
contact sports, and creatine has been shown to mitigate
cortical damage by 36-50%. A study published in the
November issue of The Annals of Neurology found
that rats who were fed a creatine diet for four weeks
experienced a 50% reduction in brain damage when
compared to rats on a normal diet. Concussions are not
planned but what this incredible research tells us is that
creatine can offer protective mechanisms by increasing
energy production in the part of the brain responsible for
generating ATP, (cells energy currency), which is
the mitochondria.
5. How To Safely Use Creatine
Creatine monohydrate is the most effective and
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well-studied form. The exact dose of creatine needed
to increase muscle creatine has not been concluded.
However, most studies have identified an acute protocol
involving (20g/d for five days), or a chronic protocol of
(3-5g/d for 30 days) to fully saturate muscle creatine
stores. Since muscle creatine is insulin-mediated,
skeletal muscle uptake can be enhanced by co-ingesting
carbohydrate and protein. For example, creatine in
Greek yogurt with oats, berries. Mixing creatine in lowfat
chocolate milk to further increase creatine uptake
and maximize recovery. Research has found those
with a lower muscle creatine store appear to have the
greatest increase with supplementation. This is largely
due to those consuming low amounts of animal protein,
following a vegetarian or vegan diet. Roughly 3-5 grams
of creatine post-resistance training can help athletes
recover more efficiently following training, reduce onset
fatigue, repair tissue damage, improve lean mass and
also support brain health.
Bottom Line
Creatine is like the Swiss army knife of supplements.
The use and benefits of creatine are endless. It's a
low-cost, convenient way to support health, reduce the
risk of injury, optimize recovery, and optimize athletic
performance. Creatine should be in every athlete's first
aid kit.
26 JUNE 2021
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