And if we talk about supplements, the percentage that does not work is much greater than half. Most supplements are only good for the manufacturer’s pocket. Therefore, my approach when selecting supplements is minimalist. Beyond clear deficiencies that justify specific supplementation, I only recommend general supplements that meet the following criteria: There are a number of Benefits of Creatine Monohydrate
Scientific evidence of effectiveness:
Almost all supplements have studies, but often with questionable methodologies, financed by the company that manufactures them, and with high doses. We must prioritize those with independent support and effective in the indicated doses.
Scientific safety evidence:
Creatine is based on natural substances, used for decades and with long-term safety studies. Let others experiment with the latest “surprising supplement.”
One of the supplements I recommend in almost all cases, precisely because it meets these criteria amply is creatine. Probably no supplement has been studied more than creatine, with such good results. It deserves this article.
WHAT IS CREATINE?
Creatine is a natural compound formed by three amino acids: methionine, arginine and glycine. Amino acids are the building blocks that make up the protein. The body is able to synthesize a small amount of creatine a day (+/- 1g), and the rest must be provided through diet or supplementation. Meat and fish are the main sources.
Uses and benefits of Creatine
The body has different energy systems, being phosphocreatine the main fuel of the pure anaerobic system, by far the most explosive, but also the one that fatigues faster. Creatine supplementation facilitates the regeneration of this scarce fuel, allowing you to perform some extra repetition or use more weight.
The gains of muscle and strength come mainly from the extra contribution of energy, which allows training with more intensity, but there are other factors. For example, greater muscle volume is achieved, as creatine promotes increased muscle glycogen and intracellular water retention, optimizing protein synthesis ( study , study ). Extra glycogen also improves performance in activities that make use of the glycolytic system, such as Cross Fit or high-intensity workouts in general.
If you specialize in background activities, the direct benefits are not as clear, and the additional muscle volume may not help you perform better. A marathoner does not need big biceps. But the increase in glycogen reserves is interesting and it has been shown that creatine helps in recovery after long distance competitions , reducing for example muscle damage and inflammation.
Summary: if you play sports, creatine will improve your performance and body composition.