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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Importance Of Creatine In Building Lean Muscle

Creatine is a metabolite produced in the body that is composed of three  amino acids: l-methionine, l-arginine and l-glycine. About 95 percent of the concentration is found in skeletal muscle in two forms: creatine phosphate and free chemically unbound creatine. The other 5 percent of the creatine stored in the body is found in the brain, heart and testes. The body of a sedentary person metabolizes an average of 2 grams of creatine a day.



Bodybuilders, because of their high-intensity training, metabolize higher amounts than that.

Creatine is generally found in red meats and to some extent in certain types of fish. But it would be hard to get the amount of creatine necessary for performance enhancement from food because even though 2.2 pounds of red meat or tuna contain about 4 to 5 grams of creatine, the compound is destroyed with cooking. Therefore, the best way to get creatine is by taking it as a supplement.

Let's first establish what creatine actually is. In brief, creatine is produced naturally in our bodies to help supply energy to the muscles. It is produced in the liver, pancreas and kidneys before being transported in the blood to our muscles. It is then converted into phosphocreatine which is a powerful metabolite used to regenerate the muscles' ATP source of energy.

From a bodybuilder's perspective, creatine can significantly increase lean muscle mass quickly, improve performance in high intensity exercise, raise energy levels and speed up recovery rates. Creatine's ability to raise energy in muscles is due to its muscle protein synthesizing action whilst reducing the breakdown of protein. This happens because creatine has the effect of super-hydrating muscle cells with water. It also improves muscle growth adding size and strength to muscle fibers.

Creatine is normally taken in two ways. The first involves loading the muscles with 20 to 30 grams of creatine per day for four to seven days. At the end of this phase maintenance involves a regular intake of 5 to 15 grams per day. The other method is more gradual in that it skips out the loading phase and simply involves supplementing with 5 to 15 grams per day for an extended period.

Two questions remain to be answered - does it work and is it safe? Creatine has undoubtedly been proven effective in recent years - over twenty scientific studies have concluded that creatine can increase energy levels and result in enhanced strength, endurance levels and recovery rates. As a training aid it therefore has many merits. In terms of safety, no study to date has shown creatine to be anything other than safe, provided manufacturers' instructions are followed.
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