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Creatine Supplements: The three surprising benefits

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When it comes to sports supplementation, nothing beats taking creatine

Tried and tested for over two decades now, it has been demonstrated time and again to help athletes build lean skeletal muscle. As such, it has become a legal staple for athletes of all levels, ranging from weekend warriors to Olympic level competitors.

However, helping you build lean skeletal muscle is only one of the amazing things that creatine can do for you: over the past few years, a number of new experiments and studies have demonstrated that creatine has a variety of impressive side benefits, namely improving memory, improving bone density, and helping strengthen your heart.[1]

First, a quick primer…

What is it?

Creatine is a natural amino acid found in the muscle cells of all vertebrates, and helps power the processes the deliver energy to our bodies.

No matter where we get out energy, whether its glucose or ketones, our bodies harness those substances and turns them into ATP. When we use that ATP, it becomes ADP, and it is through the action of creatine that we are able to turn that ADP back into ATP for more energy usage.

In short, creatine helps us recycle used ATP and bring it back for more energy than we would otherwise have.

#1 Improved memory function

That’s why creatine has been demonstrated to help with memory.

Our brains use a lot of energy to operate over the course of the day, and intense thinking can actually deplete our energy reserves.

Research performed by the University of Sydney and Macquarie University, both in Australia, found that vegetarians who took creatine supplements improved their short term memory by a significant amount. Research leader Dr. Caroline Rae said, “Creatine supplementation gave a significant measurable boost to brain power.”[2]

#2 Increased bone density

A second side benefit that creatine has been shown to deliver is the increase in bone density, which helps battle the onset of osteoporosis.

Prof. Phil Chilibeck of the College of Kinesiology ran a 12 week study during which men over the age of 60 were placed on a weight training program and half of them took creatine supplementation. They found by the end of the experiment that certain markers in their urine samples indicated that the trainees on creatine had suffered less bone deterioration than the placebo group. [3]

#3 Helps prevent congestive heart failure

Finally, creatine has been shown to have a strong positive effect in helping prevent congestive heart failure by strengthening the muscles in the heart.

A study undertaken by Dr. Kuethe found that short term creatine supplementation when added to standard medication of patients with congestive heart failure led to an increase in body weight and an improvement in heart strength. [4]

Citations/References

1. Mayo Clinic ‘Creatine’ 01.09.2012
2. ‘Creatine boosts brain power’ 12.08.2003
3. PubMed ‘Creatine monohydrate increases bone mineral density in young Sprague-Dawley rats.’ 05.2007
4. PubMed ‘Creatine supplementation improves muscle strength in patients with congestive heart failure.’ 03.2006

AUTHOR - Phil Tucker

Phil Tucker is a novelist and freelance writer who is currently based in Western Massachusetts. Of Brazilian British descent, he grew up in various countries throughout South America and Western Europe, and counts himself fortunate to have experienced different cultures and global points of view, all of which have informed his own. He's an advocate for the Body Beast workout. Click here to learn more, or visit his blog.

  • http://www.yourtraining.gr george

    That was a Great post. Greetings from Greece!