Next to protein powder, creatine is one of the most studied supplements... ever. When it comes to supplements meant to enhance performance and exercise results, creatine monohydrate and creatine HCL are two of the most well-known supplements. Creatine (whether in monohydrate or hcl form), is simply a combination of three amino acids: arginine, glycine and methionine.
Creatine is one of the most natural supplements you can take, and it is produced in small amounts naturally by the body. Creatine can also be found in different sources of high-protein foods, such as red meat or fish. However, to get a full efficacious dose of creatine from food, you would have to eat a lot of steaks, which also come with lots of other unwanted things such as trans-fats. This is why people supplement creatine because they can get all the benefits of creatine without the added stuff from animal based foods. It’s completely natural, which is what makes it one of the safest and best supplements out there.
So how does creatine work? For those of us who aren’t biology majors, here’s the simple rundown. ATP, which stands for Adenisine Tri-Phosphate, is what our body uses for energy. Everything you eat gets turned into ATP, which your body uses for all it’s energy. Once ATP is used to create energy, it becomes ADP (adenine Di-phosphate), from losing a phosphate molecule and releasing energy.
READ In Depth: How Does Creatine Work?
ADP is useless until it becomes ATP again. When creatine enters the body, it binds with a phosphate molecule, which then creates creatine phosphate. The creatine lends the useless ADP its phosphate molecule, and it becomes ATP again. As you can see, creatine helps create readily available energy in the body where there wasn’t any before. Your body already has stores of creatine phosphate in it, which is how your body regenerates its stores of energy. However, by supplementing creatine, you allow your body to work at maximum potential all the time.
Creatine is designed for long-term use. Your muscles should have creatine saturated in them for them to be able to work at maximum explosive potential. You won’t be able to get a burst of energy from just taking creatine for one day before your workout. It can take a loading phase of about a week for your body to start noticing the difference when taking creatine, because it has to build up in your muscles.
Creatine helps create more energy in your body - and not to mention, creatine itself is an energy source. So not only is your body replenishing energy during your workout, but your body also relies on creatine phosphate as fuel. Using creatine as a supplement for your workout routine is a clear and healthy choice. Your body already makes it, and there’s no added ingredients.