Creatine is one of the most widely used dietary supplements among athletes. What which myths and truths exist for creatine supplementation?
Creatine can be produced by human body
Fact. Creatine is an amino acid found in both animal and fish food. However, a large proportion of daily needs, is produced by liver and pancreas, from glycine, methionine and arginine. The daily production rate is approximately 1 gr/day and is stored mainly in skeletal muscles, heart and brain.
Creatine and creatinine refer to the same molecule
Myth. Even if their name are quite similar, cretine should not be confused with creatinine. Creatinine is a molecule derived from the metabolism of creatine while being used as an indicator of kidney function.
Taking creatine supplements is safe even by teenagers
Fact. Supplemental administration of creatine is safe even for continuous use for up to 5 years. According to evidence, creatine can be safely used by teenagers and young athletes.
Creatine phosphate is the most effective form of creatine
Myth. There are several types of creatine supplements (creatine phosphate, creatine monohydrate, combination of creatine with β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate – HMB, etc.). The most studied supplement if that of creatine monohydrate. Its action either prevails or is analogous to that of other forms.
Creatine is an ergonomic aid
Fact. Creatine administration has been found to improve athletic performance and endurance, particularly in short time activities with high intensity and repeated intervals of attempts (Circuit training). Creatine leads to an increase in muscle mass, in muscle strength as well muscle mass synthesis rate. Creatine can also be used in rehabilitation programs of muscular injuries, which are not necessarily linked to sport.
The weight gain observed when taking creatine supplements is due to an increase in body fat
Myth. The increase of body weight is due to increased muscle mass and increased body water concentration. The increase is reasonable and anticipated as water is stored only in the muscles, thus increasing muscle mass cause an increase to total body water. Weight gain does not exceed 1-1.5kg.
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