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Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that is produced from the amino acids in the kidney and liver in human bodies. Creatine occurs naturally in the bodies of all vertebrates and helps supply energy to muscles. Creatine is an amino acid derivative that is indispensable for the skeletal muscles. This naturally-occurring compound is synthesized in the liver and plays a vital role in the production of adenosine triphosphate. It is synthesized in the body from arginine, methionine, and glycine. Some of it is derived through dietary sources such as meat and fish. A substantial portion of this organic acid is stored in the skeletal muscles. Since this amino acid derivative helps build muscle strength and muscle mass, those who perform intensive workouts, or are trying to build up a muscular body often use its supplements.

Creatine is recognized across the globe as a performance enhancer, especially for athletes. The production of energy is generated by the conversion of ATP or adenosine triphosphate molecules into ADP or adenosine diphosphate molecules (by the loss of one phosphate molecule), and then again into ATP. Creatine is stored in the human body in the form of creatine phosphate or phosphocreatine. This energy booster donates the lost ADP phosphate molecule to generate a renewed ATP molecule every time body movements use up ATP reserves.

The creatine enzyme pathway is primarily triggered by the mitochondrial GAMT enzyme. This enzyme is responsible for catalyzing creatine biosynthesis in the kidneys and pancreas. Guanidinoacetate N-methyltransferase is the second enzyme that catalyzes creatine biosynthesis in the liver and pancreas. Neurological defects that affect muscle tone and function result from genetic deficiencies in the creatine biosynthesis pathways.

Creatine is biosynthesized from arginine, methionine, and glycine, three essential amino acids. While more than ninety percent it stored in the skeletal muscles comes from the consumption of meat and creatine supplements, the rest is commonly compensated for via alimentary resources.

Those who play sports or high energy-consuming physical activities can get the much-needed adenosine triphosphate through the consumption of foods that are rich sources of this amino acid derivative. Those who follow a vegetarian diet might benefit from the use of supplements. These are available in the form of phosphate, citrate, and monohydrate salts. Though these pills are mainly used for enhancing one's muscle strength and building up stamina for intensive workouts, these can also help treat neuromuscular disorders. People affected by muscle weakness, muscular dystrophy, stroke, congestive heart failure, Parkinson's disease, and Lou Gehrig's disease might also benefit from the use of these supplements. As these help provide energy to the muscles, these can help fight muscle fatigue and facilitate speedy recovery from injuries.

Creatine has been effectively used in the treatment of neuromuscular disorders. It helps increase muscle strength in patients ailing from neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's disease, arthritis, congestive heart failure, and disuse atrophy. It is also effective in addressing the loss of muscle value that results from mitochondrial diseases and muscular dystrophy.

Benefits of Creatine
Increased energy, faster muscle growth as well as many other positive-health effects are a few of the primary benefits of creatine. Though the body naturally produces creatine and certain foods provide creatine, some people turn to a creatine supplement - creatine monohydrate - to increase their creatine levels. Athletes, older adults, vegetarians, and those recovering from injuries may be interested in increasing their creatine levels for any number of the benefits it provides. Taking creatine supplements, however, is generally a decision that should be made with the advice of a health care professional.


One of the main benefits of creatine is increased energy. Creatine provides much needed energy to the muscles for sharp and explosive movements. The energy boost enables increased stamina, so a person can endure longer, more intense workouts. This is achieved when creatine enters the muscle and combines with phosphate to become creatine phosphate. That creatine phosphate is stored for cellular energy prouction. Even for those new to working out or strength training, the creatine-induced energy boost makes higher weight loads manageable and provides increased ease when implementing new workout routines.

For those looking to either increase muscle size or gain weight, creatine may help. Creatine supplements can result in both an increase in muscle mass and density. Some studies suggest that this is because the organic acid can absorb intracellular water. The increase in size might also be a result of muscle swelling caused by an increase in protein synthesis and oxygen uptake by the muscle tissue. Muscle swelling and weight gain are not the outcome of taking creatine supplements alone, however; they are a combination of supplementation with regular workout routine, particularly routines that include weight lifting.

In addition to the more workout or body-building benefits of increased energy and increased mass, creatine also provides a variety of more general health benefits. One such benefit includes lowering cholesterol. In conjunction with regular exercise, creatine has been reported to help reduce the risk of heart disease by increasing the ratio of good cholesterol - high-density lipoproteins (HDL) - to bad cholesterol - low density lipoproteins (LDL).

Aside from athletes looking to improve athletic performance, the benefits of creatine can serve a diverse audience. Older adults may benefit from creatine because of the additional energy and improved brain performance it provides. Vegetarians, vegans and those that don't eat a lot of meat might be interested in taking creatine supplements since creatine is naturally found in animal-based foods.
How Does it Work

Creatine undoubtedly helps in building lean body mass. It basically provides phosphate that is required for the regeneration of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). When one performs high-intensity muscle activities, phosphate molecules are used up for energy. Since this amino acid derivative acts as the supplier of phosphate, one can get the energy needed for workouts or activities such as running, sprinting, weightlifting, and so on. However, excess of anything is bad, and that holds true here as well.

High levels of creatinine, which is a by-product of creatine, can put a person at an increased risk of developing kidney problems. Since this waste product has to be filtered through the kidneys, the kidneys might get overburdened. This could even give rise to kidney stones. Therefore, people affected by liver and kidney diseases must refrain from taking these supplements.

Dehydration is another adverse effect that is contributed to the use of these supplements. This is attributed to the fact that this amino acid derivative draws water from other areas of the body into the muscles. If not taken as per the prescribed doses, it can give rise to muscle cramps, diarrhea, nausea, bloating, and loss of appetite.

Creatine monohydrate is believed to be the best synthetic form of this amino acid derivative, but an overdose can also give rise to side effects. If you are planning to use these supplements to increase muscle mass, you must do so after finding out all about the adverse effects associated with its use. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Though creatine is a potent source of ATP, it must be taken as per the recommended dosage and duration to reap maximum benefit. It draws water from the rest of the body, which is why the user must stay hydrated.

Research reveals that creatine supplements help to correct:
• Muscle weakness and wasting characterized in neuromuscular disorders like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease and McArdle's disease
• Decreased muscle mass and increased fatigue triggered by Parkinson's disease
• High concentrations of blood lipids and homocysteine observed in various heart diseases
• Brain trauma and decreased brain function after a near fatal accident
• Depressive mood in sleep-deprived individuals

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