When you think Sports Nutrition, what product comes to mind first? For a lot of athletes, the answer is protein, and why shouldn’t it be? Whey protein accounts for a very large market share. Maybe you’re only interested in general health support. What about multivitamins? Almost every athlete and health conscious individual are taking a daily multivitamin. Or maybe, it’s caffeine? The world’s most popular stimulant is in our morning coffee, your pre-workout supplement, or in just about any beverage looking to boost energy. I want you to do us a favor. Head on over to PubMed.gov really quick. It’s ok, we’ll be right here when you get back. Type in the word “whey” and yield a search. A search like this will yield results around 7,700 studies that either focus on, or in some way include, a whey protein supplement. Try the same thing for “multivitamin” or “caffeine”. Combined your searches should return around 41,000 studies.
Now go back and do the same thing, but this time type in the word “creatine”. This search should yield around 55,000 studies revolving around creatine in one form or another, making it arguably the most studied sports nutrition supplement in the world.
What even is Creatine and what does it do?
Creatine is classified as a nitrogenous organic acid, produced naturally by the human body. The liver and kidneys synthesize creatine from amino acids after which it will be transported through blood to high energy demanding parts of the body, usually the brain and skeletal muscle.
Creatine is the precursor to ATP, adenosine triphosphate, and this is where its role becomes very important. For bouts of intense stress, whether mental or exercise induced, the body’s immediate energy source is ATP. This remarkable form of energy is limited in production by the amount of phosphocreatine available and can usually only fuel exertion for a maximum of 60 seconds. Once ATP stores are depleted other energy systems such as the glycolytic system, or the much slower to respond oxidative system fuel the body’s needs, but come at a cost of severely decreased power output.
The human body is regularly synthesizing, utilizing, and recycling creatine in its various forms to accomplish everyday functionality. Aside from the amount synthesized by the body, creatine can be found in meat, fish, and eggs, though in significantly lower doses. One kilogram (2.2lbs) of raw red meat contains anywhere from 3-7g of creatine, and the bioavailability is reduced by the cooking process. Supplementation has been shown to improve functionality in those with motor control diseases, such as muscular dystrophy. <1> And it appears that when creatine is not present or utilized in the human body, there are serious consequences for cognitive function. <2>
What can supplementing creatine do for me?
With such a breadth of science regarding creatine, the proven and implied benefits are wide. For strength athletes, creatine supplementation can improve maximal strength, power output, and sustained high intensity effort. <3> It can help endurance athletes with short bouts of power for position and strong finishes, and improve anaerobic performance in short to medium duration athletes such as fighters, wrestlers, sprinters, and swimmers.
Increased mental performance, cognition, and alertness has been noted, both under anecdotal and scientific conditions from creatine supplementation when subjected to rigorous mental tasks. <4> For this reason alone it is highly recommended that older individuals and those who practice a vegetarian or vegan diet with no natural source of creatine supplement with an exogenous source.
What kind and how much creatine should I take?
Creatine monohydrate is the simplest and most bioavailable form produced. Creapure™ has established the gold standard in production of creatine monohydrate. This form creatine manufactured in Germany utilizes a synthesizing method that eliminates the presence of any other byproducts. The result is 100% pure creatine and nothing else. The manufacturer, AlzChem AG, has registered Creapure™ on the German Cologne List, a program that independently tests the product for any potential harmful contaminants. The process is rigorous but the result is an unparalleled product, completely safe and risk free.
The recommended daily dosage varies based on physical exertion and demands. More sedentary populations can supplement with as little as 2-5g per day. The practice of creatine loading in highly active athletes in common, with dosages of 0.25g-0.3g/kg of bodyweight. As an example, a 60kg (132lb) woman could use between 15-18g per day, whereas an 85kg (187lb) male would ingest 21-25g per day. For long term use, a dose of 4-10g daily is customary. It is also recommended to increase your daily water intake when using creatine to avoid any symptoms of dehydration.
Xendurance has partnered with CrossFit Games Athlete and Former U.S. Navy Seal Josh Bridges to produce Creatine-JB. Exclusively utilizing Creapure™, each dose contains 4g of creatine monohydrate, along with 1g of lactate to help refuel glycogen stores when bouts of exertion surpass creatine’s ability to replenish. This compound blends easily in water and has a light citrus flavor so it can be easily consumed. Recommended usage of one dose in the morning and one close to your workout. Start reaping all the benefits creatine has to offer in your training and daily life with our high quality Creatine-JB.
<1> Effect of creatine monohydrate in improving cellular energetics and muscle strength in ambulatory Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients: a randomized, placebo-controlled 31P MRS study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20395096 <2> Creatine Deficiency Syndromes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK3794/ <3> Effects of creatine supplementation and resistance training on muscle strength and weightlifting performance. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14636102 <4> Effects of creatine on mental fatigue and cerebral hemoglobin oxygenation.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11985880