Vitamin supplements guide   Vitamins & health supplements guide

 
Creatine quick review
Description: a natural derivate of an amino acid, synthesized in the liver by methylation of guanidoacetate using SAM as the methyl donor.
Health benefits: assists muscles in producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), fuels and enhances short bursts of high-energy exercise.

Sources & dosage: the best food sources are fish and red meat. Common dosage is 5 grams four times per day.
Deficiency symptoms: fatigue, lessened muscle strength, compromised endurance, increased muscle soreness, and the need for frequent resting.

Side effects: weight gain, muscle cramps, muscle strains and pulls, stomach upset, diarrhea, dizziness, high blood pressure, liver dysfunction, and kidney damage.
 
Creatine by Jarrow Formulas
Creatine is synthesized in the liver from the amino acids arginine and glycine and stored in the major skeletal muscles including the heart. One scoop of Creatine Monohydrate yields the equivalent of creatine found in over 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of uncooked red meat. Creatine Monohydrate is the most economical, stable and best absorbed form of creatine. Jarrow Formulas creatine monohydrate is made in a GMP facility in Germany. Click here for more information.
 

Creatine monohydrate


Creatine is a natural derivate of an amino acid and is synthesized in the liver, kidneys and pancreas out of arginine, methionine and glycine. Creatine is synthesized in the liver by methylation of guanidoacetate using SAM as the methyl donor. Guanidoacetate itself is formed in the kidney from the amino acids arginine and glycine. Creatine may also be obtained in the diet predominately from the ingestion of meat or fish, which contains approximately four to five grams of creatine per kilogram. Creatine monohydrate is the
synthetic form of creatine. Following its biosynthesis, creatine is transported to the skeletal muscle, heart, brain and other tissues. Most of the creatine is metabolized in these tissues to phosphocreatine (creatine phosphate). Phosphocreatine is a major energy storage form in the body.

Creatine functions to increase the availability of cellular ATP, adenosine triphosphate. Creatine works by acting on mechanisms of ATP by donating a phosphate ion to increase the availability of ATP. Creatine is primarily stored in the muscle as free creatine and phosphocreatine. Creatine is used as a storage form of high energy phosphate. The phosphate of ATP is transferred to creatine, generating creatine phosphate, through the action of creatine phosphokinase. The reaction is reversible such that when energy demand is high (e.g. during muscle exertion) creatine phosphate donates its phosphate to ADP to yield ATP. hosphocreatine binds with adenosine diphosphate to convert it back to ATP (adenosine triphosphate), an important cellular energy source.

Creatine supplementation has become tremendously popular in recent years. Creatine has been claimed to increase muscle strength, and to delay fatigue, allowing athletes to train harder and achieve greater muscle gains beyond normal capacities. During high-intensity, short-duration exercise, such as lifting weights or sprinting, phosphocreatine is broken down into creatine and phosphate. The energy released in this process is used to regenerate ATP, a major source of energy within the human body that drives a number of biological processes including muscle contraction and protein production. ATP is used for all metabolic activities and is crucial for anaerobic activity such as weightlifting, sprinting and jumping that are short-term, high intensity activities the utilize fuel rapidly.

 

Creatine functions, uses, and health benefits


Creatine assists muscles in producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the substance that fuels bursts of energy on the cellular level. Creatine is stored in muscle cells as phosphocreatine and is used to help generate cellular energy for muscle contractions. The phosphate of ATP is transferred to creatine, generating creatine phosphate, through the action of creatine phosphokinase. Creatine phosphate is a storage form of quick energy. Creatine prevents the body from relying solely on the process of glycolysis, which produces a net of two ATP molecules, but has the byproduct of lactic acid. Lactic acid build up can cause a burning sensation in the muscle and if it reaches high levels it can cause muscle movement to cease. Creatine supplements may reduce muscle fatigue and soreness by helping to repair tiny tears in muscle tissue following especially strenuous activity. Creatine supplements improve strength and lean muscle mass during high-intensity, short-duration exercises (such as weight lifting).

Creatine supplements fuels and enhances short bursts of high-energy exercise. Creatine supplementation increases both total work output in a single high intensity exercise bout, and increases the peak performance during a series of repetitive bouts. Creatine supplements primarily benefit athletes who perform quick spurts of intense activity followed by short periods (20 to 50 seconds) of rest. During high-intensity, short-duration exercise, such as lifting weights or sprinting, phosphocreatine is broken down into creatine and phosphate. The energy released in this process is used to regenerate ATP, a major source of energy within the human body that drives a number of biological processes including muscle contraction and protein production. Creatine significantly enhances the ability to generate higher muscular force (and power) for these critical energy bursts.

 

Dietary sources of creatine


Creatine is manufactured primarily by the liver. The body also acquires creatine through food. The best food sources are fish and red meat. Wild game is considered to be the richest source of creatine. As a supplement, creatine monohydrate combined with glucose (a simple carbohydrate such as fruit) will provide maximum benefits. Creatine monohydrate is available in tablets, capsules, energy bars, drink mixes, and other forms.

 

Dosage and intake of creatine monohydrate


The recommended dosage of creatine varies according to the different physical activities. Most common supplementation for creatine monohydrate is 5 grams of creatine monohydrate four times per day (20 grams total per day) for one week. Use of creatine supplements is not recommended for children or teens.

 

Deficiency of creatine supplements


Low levels of creatinine are not common and are not usually a cause for concern. People involved in intense physical activity, especially those limiting their intake of red meat, may have low muscle stores of creatine. Creatine deficiency in situations of strenuous muscle function results in fatigue, lessened muscle strength, compromised endurance, increased muscle soreness, and the need for frequent resting.

 

Toxicity, side effects, interactions, and contraindications


No serious side effects have been reported with creatine supplements. Creatine supplementation causes the muscles to retain water. Side effects of creatine include weight gain, muscle cramps, muscle strains and pulls, stomach upset, diarrhea, dizziness, high blood pressure, liver dysfunction, and kidney damage. The weight gain is thought to be due primarily to water retention. These symptoms generally occur with dosages greater than 5 grams a day. Creatine converts into creatinine which, in high dosages, could act as a toxin. Creatine may increase the likelihood of damage to the kidneys if taken with cimetidine (a medication for used for heartburn and to prevent ulcers), diuretics, probenecid (used for gout), or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications (such as ibuprofen). In high doses, creatine may cause kidney damage. Using creatine in combination with medicines that can cause damage to the kidneys may increase the risk of kidney damage. Caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate, some soft drinks, some medications) will decrease or eliminate the positive effects of this supplement. Caffeine may negate the benefits of creatine by inhibiting phosphocreatine resynthesis, which takes place in the recovery phase of exercise. People who currently suffer from renal disease should not take creatine. The consumption of creatine right before or during exercise is not recommended.