Creatine is a highly-studied compound that is naturally occurring and renowned in the health and fitness industry. This powerhouse chemical is produced in the liver, kidneys and pancreas and is most commonly taken in supplement form to promote athletic performance.
Creatine has been a staple in most supplementation plans, with renowned neuroscientist Andrew Huberman speaking extensively about the benefits of creatine on his podcast, The Huberman Lab. His insights and knowledge on the subject may be valuable to those considering incorporating it into their training regimen. Whether you're an athlete looking to improve your performance or simply someone who wants to reap the benefits of creatine, this powerful chemical can offer a plethora of science-backed benefits.
Creatine isn’t just effective for building muscle. Andrew Huberman has discussed the benefits of creatine monohydrate on cognitive function in an episode called Tools to Improve Your Focus & Concentration while also discussing the lauded muscle benefits in an episode called How to Build Strength, Muscle Size & Endurance.
What Is Creatine?
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that occurs naturally in the body and plays a crucial role in providing energy to skeletal muscles. It is popular among fitness enthusiasts and athletes determined to improve their performance. If you're serious about your results and want to take your gym performance to the next level, then it’s time to start taking creatine.
Research has shown that creatine can lead to increased muscle strength, power, and endurance. Not only can it help you build more muscle, but it may also improve your overall athletic ability. Whether you're a bodybuilder, a powerlifter, or an athlete who wants to push themselves to be the best, creatine may be the solution you've been looking for.
Creatine is formed with three amino acids: L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine. Roughly 95% of creatine is stored in the skeletal muscle, with the remainder found in the brain. Creatine is converted into energy each day through your liver, kidneys, and pancreas and is transported through blood into the parts of your body that demand high energy. This includes your skeletal muscle and brain (Nordqvist, J. 2023).
What Are The Benefits Of Creatine?
Among the primary creatine benefits is the fact that it helps muscle cells produce more energy by increasing your phosphocreatine stores. This plays a role in ATP production, which is a vital molecule your cells use to provide energy for all basic life functions. The ATP is broken down to produce energy that fuels your muscles during high-intensity exercises. The International Society of Sport Nutrition made its position on creatine supplementation clear, noting nine relevant points that have been approved by the Research Committee of the Society. These points refer to creatine benefits, including creatine monohydrate being the most effective ergogenic nutritional supplement available for increasing high-intensity exercise capacity and lean body mass during exercise. They also stand by its safety and benefits related to injury, agree that monohydrate is the most extensively studied and clinical form of creatine and that creatine benefits can be improved with the addition of carbohydrates or carbs and protein to increase muscular retention of creatine (Buford, T et al. 2007).
Apart from being well-known for its ability to improve athletic performance, creatine has several other benefits that are worth mentioning. One of the most interesting areas of research is on the potential cognitive benefits of creatine. Andrew Huberman has mentioned that the creatine benefits he focuses on are the cognitive benefits. On an episode of The Huberman Lab Podcast, Nutrients For Brain Health & Performance, Andrew Huberman discusses taking 5g of creatine daily to support cognition and nervous system health. Huberman discussed a review on Creatine Supplementation and Brain Health that discussed compelling literature on the benefits of creatine for brain function. This research points to benefits in cognitive processing, brain function and recovery (Roschel, H et al. 2021).
What Is The Best Type Of Creatine?
The creatine benefits are clear, but what is the best type of creatine? Don’t close this tab because we’ll break that down for you.
Many athletes and fitness enthusiasts swear by the benefits of creatine monohydrate powder. This form of creatine has been extensively researched and has been found to increase muscle mass, strength, and power. Compared to other forms of creatine, creatine monohydrate is the most highly researched and is the most effective in improving exercise performance. If you are looking to enhance your athletic performance or simply increase muscle mass, creatine monohydrate powder presents the best value for money and is readily available (Patel, K. 2023).
If you’re trying to improve your athletic performance, whether in the gym or on the field, creatine monohydrate is ideal for anybody looking to improve endurance, sprint speed, power output, muscle strength, and muscular energy.
For the best creatine monohydrate powder, our Creatine Monohydrate is a 100% pharmaceutical-grade creatine formula that supports ATP production, cell volumisation, and athletic performance.
Creatine hydrochloride is gaining popularity due to reports that it offers superior solubility. This means a lower dose can be used, with creatine HCL offering approximately 38x more solubility than the monohydrate form. While creatine monohydrate is no doubt more research-backed, creatine HCL stands out for its unique solubility (Tinsley, G. 2023).
If you’re looking for increased solubility in creatine, or you’re trying to avoid potential side effects like bloating or stomach upset, creatine HCL may be the best option.
Creatine nitrate is a more water-soluble version of creatine, which is formed through creatine binding to nitrates. This form is growing in popularity, with one study suggesting that it offers 10x the water solubility of creatine monohydrate (Patel, K. 2023).
Creatine nitrate is ideal for bodybuilders and powerlifters looking for a formula that is highly soluble and has the added benefits of boosting nitric oxide to support muscle pumps and blood flow.
Micronised creatine is an effective creatine form that has particles up to 20x smaller than standard monohydrate. This helps to increase the absorption of creatine with water and other liquids and may improve the absorption of creatine into your body (Spraul, T. 2020).
This form of creatine may be suitable for athletes looking for faster absorption.
How To Take Creatine?
Taking creatine can be a beneficial addition to any workout routine. Before incorporating creatine into your regimen, it is important to know the proper dosage and how to take it. One of the most common ways to supplement with creatine is through a 5-7 day loading phase that consists of consuming 20g-25g of creatine in four or five 5g doses across the day. Following this, you can continue to maintain your creatine stores through 3g-5g doses daily (Meixner, M. 2022).
Creatine can be taken before or after training, depending on your goals, and is most effective when taken with carbohydrates or carbs and protein to support muscular retention and absorption (Buford, T et al. 2007). The best way to achieve this is by combining creatine with simple carbohydrates like fruit juice or with a creatine transport system like Creatine RX, which is a creatine transport system that contains creatine monohydrate, along with ingredients like GlycerSize and AstraGin to promote nutrient absorption and utilisation.
The Run Down
Creatine is a formidable supplement that has been highly researched for its benefits in optimising physical and cognitive performance. This supplement has been shown to be highly effective when it comes to enhancing athletic performance, increasing strength, and boosting cognitive function. Whether you're a professional athlete, bodybuilder, or just someone looking to improve their performance, creatine should be the first supplement in your stack.
For more information about how to utilise creatine to optimise your athletic performance, muscle growth, strength, endurance, and recovery, chat with our knowledgeable team at Evolve Nutrition today or reach out online.
Nordqvist, J. 2023, ‘Should I use creatine supplements?’ Medical News Today, accessed November 2023, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263269
Huberman, A. 2021, ‘Nutrients For Brain Health & Performance’, The Huberman Lab, accessed November 2023, https://www.hubermanlab.com/episode/nutrients-for-brain-health-and-performance?timestamp=1942
Roschel, H et al. 2021, ‘Creatine Supplementation and Brain Health’, Creatine Supplementation for Health and Clinical Diseases’, accessed November 2023, https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/2/586
Buford, T et al. 2007, ‘International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise’, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, accessed November 2023, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2048496/
Patel, K. 2023, ‘What Is The Best Form Of Creatine?’ Examine, accessed November 2023, https://examine.com/articles/what-is-the-best-form-of-creatine/
Tinsley, G. 2023, ‘Top 6 Types of Creatine Reviewed’, Healthline, accessed November 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/types-of-creatine
Patel, K. 2023, ‘What Is Creatine Nitrate?’ Examine, accessed November 2023, https://examine.com/articles/what-is-creatine-nitrate/
Spraul, T. 2020, ‘What is micronized creatine (and is it right for you)?’ Exercise.com, accessed November 2023, https://www.exercise.com/learn/what-is-micronized-creatine/#:~:text=Micronized%20creatine%20is%20creatine%20that%20has%20particles%20up%20to%2020,that%20you%20can't%20drink.
Meixner, M. 2022, ‘Is the Creatine Loading Phase Necessary?’ Healthline, accessed November 2023, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/creatine-loading-phase