Increase in strength
In bodybuilding, during the performance of high — intensity exercises, the need for ATP in working muscles increases significantly-hundreds of times higher compared to the resting state. Depleted reserves of ATP and phosphocreatine must be constantly replenished so that muscle contractions can continue at peak levels of frequency and strength. By increasing phosphocreatine by taking creatine monohydrate, you can increase the amount of ATP, and thus increases muscle strength.
Review of scientific data on creatine
Increase in muscle mass
It is not uncommon to add dry body weight from 2 to 5 kg for 1 month of admission, with systematic training and proper nutrition. Recent experiments prove that creatine monohydrate is able to increase the repeated maximum in the bench press by 10 kg after a week of taking it, improve sprinting abilities. Increasing the strength allows you to achieve maximum growth-stimulating effect on the muscles. However, it should be noted that taking creatine does not always have a similar effect. It can manifest itself much weaker due to the weak sensitivity of the body to creatine and be expressed only in a certain increase in efficiency without an increase in strength qualities.
In addition, creatine also improves the relief of the muscles. Creatine monohydrate binds to water as it is absorbed into muscle cells. As more creatine is stored, more water is attracted to the muscle cell. This explains the hydrating effect of creatine on the muscle cell, which consists of approximately 75 percent water. Bodybuilders notice: a well-hydrated muscle looks fuller, more rounded and more pumped up.
Scientific studies show that when muscle cells increase their volume due to overhydration, protein synthesis increases, and the process of its breakdown is minimized (this can also enhance glycogen synthesis). This concept was first developed by researchers from EAS Anthony Almada and Ed Byrd, and is now widely accepted in the sports nutrition industry.
Increased secretion of anabolic hormones
Studies show that creatine can increase the secretion of endogenous anabolic hormones in response to training loads. These hormones are represented by somatotropin and testosterone. Moreover, the level of somatotropin increases only 2 hours after taking creatine. Such a delay may indicate that the release of somatotropic hormone does not depend on creatine itself, but is mediated and occurs as a result of a cellular response.
Also, studies have determined that the supplement increases the secretion of insulin-like growth factor by 15% compared to the placebo group. The formation of myostatin is significantly suppressed.
According to research by scientists from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, creatine increases the level of dihydrotestosterone – an androgenic metabolite of testosterone.
Lactic Acid Buffer
There is evidence that creatine also works as a lactic acid buffer. During intensive work in the anaerobic mode, the muscles secrete lactic acid, this substance is partially responsible for the burning sensation that occurs when the muscle works to failure. In recent studies conducted by Dr. Michael Prevost from Louisiana State University, the results (confirming the results of previous studies conducted by Dr. Hultman’s group in Sweden) show that creatine can restrain the release and action of lactic acid and improve recovery time after a short intense exercise (for example, strength training).
Other positive effects of creatine
Having analyzed in detail the main effects of creatine that are important in bodybuilding, I would also like to give a list of additional positive effects and benefits:
- supplementation with creatine has a positive effect on reducing the total amount of cholesterol in plasma, triglycerides and very low-density lipoproteins (protection of the cardiovascular system);
- creatine can have an anti-inflammatory effect in acute inflammation, local irritation and chronic inflammatory conditions (for example, arthritis);
- the creatine / phosphocreatine system has a protective effect on the central nervous system in ischemia and in hypoxic conditions (with a lack of oxygen);
- creatine supplementation is used to treat diseases that cause m
- uscle atrophy, creatine depletion and neuromuscular disorders;
- creatine is being investigated in the direction of possible useful properties for suppressing the growth of certain types of tumors in mammals. Some studies suggest that creatine may have some anti-cancer activity;
supplementation with creatine has a positive effect on the athletic performance of vegetarians;
- in chronic heart failure, the cardiac creatine level decreases; supplementation with creatine in patients with such symptoms increases the amount of energy-rich phosphocreatine in skeletal muscles and, consequently, performance in terms of strength and endurance. In fifty patients who underwent heart valve replacement surgery, creatine supplements reduced arrhythmia by 75%.