Creatine is an organic amino acid that’s naturally made by the kidneys, liver and pancreas. The body converts creatine into creatinine phosphate and stores it in the muscles. The muscles use the creatine phosphate for energy. During high-intensity workouts like sprinting or weight-lifting, the body uses creatine phosphate to create adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which boosts energy levels.1 2 Creatine also naturally occurs in meat and fish. By eating meat and fish you can increase your intake of creatine. Creatine supplements are also available and are popular among athletes, bodybuilders and anyone needing to increase their energy levels and strength. However, creatine is not a supplement used for endurance athletes.1 Creatine supplements are available in a powder form to add to beverages such as juice or smoothies.
Creatine benefits have been researched as a way to enhance energy for short-term and high-intensity exercises. These studies have shown that creatine may help improve lean muscle mass and strength to enhance athletic performance. While researchers don’t understand exactly how creatine supplements improve muscle strength, preliminary studies may point to the answer being that the body uses fuel more efficiently during exercise when taking creatine supplements. This leads to better muscle production.1 Other creatine benefits include1
Creatine uses include being a natural remedy for improving the following conditions:
Creatine does not affect all people the same way. People with naturally high amounts of creatine, may not experience any additional benefits from taking creatine supplements. Creatine side effects may occur in the form of negative interactions with coffee and ephedra.2