How does creatine work?

  1. What is creatine?
  2. How does creatine work?
  3. What are natural sources of creatine?
  4. How does creatine get into muscle?
  5. Do all muscles respond to creatine?
  6. Does everyone respond to creatine?



Simply speaking, creatine (phosphocreatine) increases muscle energy availability. The cells of our body store their energy in the form of a molecule known as Adenosine TriPhosphate, or ATP. The amount of work our muscles can perform is a direct consequence of the amount of ATP they have stored as well as the ease with which ATP is regenerated with the help of PCr during strenuous exercise.

Think of ATP as the cell’s energy currency and phosphocreatine as a debit card with an adjustable balance – the balance being set by creatine deposit via the diet.

First and foremost creatine enhances physical performance by increasing the number of times that ATP can be recycled during physical exertion without increasing the absolute amount of ATP stored within our muscles. In the short-term this means that creatine supplementation should improve our ability to sustain near maximal force generation during repetitive bouts of intense exercise without actually increasing the amount of peak force we can produce. Later on, however, given that the appropriate metabolic circumstances had been correctly established, this improvement in exercise output should then translate into an increase in maximal force generation through the production of new muscle tissue (also see Question #8).

Complement Creatine Supplementation with Essential B-vitamins

Creatine also supports a variety of other anabolic pathways simply by enhancing the body’s methylation status. Creatine supplementation, since it alleviates the need to synthesize creatine from amino acids (particularly methionine), spares much of the body’s methyl reserves. These available methyl groups can then be used to activate several key growth factors and metabolic pathways. Moreover, the recycling of our methyl reserves is assured by certain B-vitamins, namely folic acid, vitamin B12 andvitamin B6. Therefore, combining this methyl-sparring capacity of creatine with the methyl-recycling capacity of certain B vitamins will multiply the benefits rendered by creatine supplementation.

An athlete simply can not afford to compromise his methlyation status!

Click here to have a vitamin B dose automatically calculated to match your body weight, age and sex.

Click here to be directed to a page discussing the best method for combining creatine and B-vitamins for optimal anabolism and improved overall health.

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