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What Creatine Does For Your Body

Posted on: Sep 16, 2013 11:24 AM

Featured story September 10, 2013

Sources: and

What is Creatine? And what does it do for your body?

Many professional athletes benefit from creatine. It is known to improve athletic performance by allowing the body to produce more energy and build muscles. And its benefits extend physical gains. Creatine also helps treat arthrities, Parkinson's disease, heart failure, and depression. 

Creatine—typically bought in capsules or flavored powders then mixed with liquid—increases the body's ability to produce energy rapidly. With more energy, you can train harder and more often, producing faster results.

It's as simple as this: "If you can lift one or two more reps or 5 more pounds, your muscles will get bigger and stronger," says Chad Kerksick, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise physiology at the University of Oklahoma.

Research shows that creatine is most effective in high-intensity training and explosive activities. This includes weight training and sports that require short bursts of effort, such as sprinting, football, and baseball.

People take creatine because it allows the body to produce more energy, and with more energy " you can lift one or two more reps or 5 more pounds" and "your muscles will get bigger and stronger," said Chad Kerksick, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise physiology at the University of Oklahoma.

Researchers published findings in theJournal of Sports Science and Medicinesuggesting that creatine use can increase maximum power and performance in high-intensity anaerobic repetitive work by up to 15 percent.

Increased muscle creatine content is associated with greater body mass and total body water volume.

Creatine for Parkinson's disease

Creatine could help slow the progression of Parkinson's disease. In mice models of Parkinson's disease, creatine was able to prevent the loss of the cells that are typically affected by the condition.

Research, published in the Journal of Neurochemistry, concluded that "combination therapy using Coenzyme Q(10) and creatine may be useful in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and HD."

Creatine may help people with muscular dystrophy

Creatine could also help improve the strength of people suffering from muscular dystrophy.

One German study found that patients who took creatine experienced an increase in muscle strength of 8.5 percent compared to those who did not take the supplement.

Dr. Rudolf Kley, of Ruhr University Bochum , Germany, lead reviewer of the study, said that the finding "shows that short- and medium-term creatine treatment improves muscle strength in people with muscular dystrophies and is well-tolerated."

Creatine for treating depression

It may come as a surprise that this popular supplement for athletes has properties that can help alleviate the symptoms of depression, but evidence shows that it really can.

Researchers at three different South Korean universities found that women with depression who augmented their daily antidepressant with 5 grams of creatine responded twice as fast and experienced remission of the illness at twice the rate, compared to women who took theantidepressant alone.

Creatine boosts brain power

Researchers from the University of Sydney and Macquarie University, both in Australia, found evidence that creatine can boost memory and intelligence.

Dr Caroline Rae, who led the study said that "the results were clear with both our experimental groups and in both test scenarios. Creatine supplementation gave a significant measurable boost to brain power."



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