Creatine

There are a lot of myths
and misconceptions surrounding creatine. Some sources question its safety,
suggesting that creatine may cause liver damage and dehydration.

Bio-Synergy believes
(and University research has shown) that creatine is not only safe; it is the ‘one that works’. In other words, creatine
definitely has attributes that support cell volumisation, recovery, strength
and burst energy. we typically stay in creatine balance.

Creatine is probably the
most widely used nutritional supplement and seems to have universal success in promoting
gains in size and strength and Bio-Synergy was the first company back in 1997
to pioneer the two phase pack and capsule
formulation.

Creatine is naturally
formed in the liver through a chemical process that combines several amino
acids together. On average our bodies produce and use approximately two grams
of creatine each day and under normal conditions, creatine is also found
naturally occurring in animal proteins such as chicken, beef and fish. For
example a pound of raw beef contains around 1.8g – 2.2g of creatine.

How
Creatine Works

Approximately 95% of all
the creatine stored in the human body is found in skeletal muscle. Creatine is
naturally produced in the body from amino acids methionine, arginine and
glycine and is available through the diet from foods like fish and beef.

However, the capsules or powdered form is not only more convenient, it’s also much
more practical. For instance, you would have to ingest roughly 2.5 pounds of
raw meat to equal one 5-gram serving of supplemental creatine.

Your body utilises a few
different methods of producing energy, but the ultimate source of that energy
is always a chemical known as adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. For you to run,
walk, lift weights and even breathe your body must either derive energy from
its immediate ATP stores or it must create it using stored glucose or fats.

The problem is, your body
only has enough immediate ATP to last for about three to five seconds of
intense activity, which is typical of a weight-training set or an all-out
sprint. This is one of the reasons why you can only sprint at full speed for a
short time or why you fatigue quickly during your 5-rep max on the bench
press-your ATP is depleted rapidly, and it takes a few minutes to regenerate.

That leaves us with
glucose and fats. Either one can be used to create ATP, but it takes time. You
can’t go all-out on a lift or a sprint and expect a meaningful contribution
from carbs or fats-they simply can’t produce ATP quickly enough.

These systems are very
valuable, however, for providing sustained energy during longer term exercise
bouts. These just aren’t the kind of activities that are going to pack on mass.
No one got big running marathons.

The key, is to enhance
short-term exercise performance by increasing your immediate ATP stores.
Knowing this, researchers, for years, focused on how to do just that, but it
was futile since you couldn’t really increase ATP beyond existing levels. In
fact, taking ATP itself made no difference.

Why? Simple. The limiting
factor in this case was not ATP, but rather a chemical known as phosphocreatine
(PCr). Chemically speaking, once you utilise an ATP molecule for energy, it’s
reduced to ADP, or adenosine diphosphate.

ADP, lacking one
phosphate, is basically useless unless a companion chemical can donate the
additional phosphate, allowing ADP to once again become an energy providing ATP
molecule. That companion chemical is, of course, phosphocreatine.

Therefore, by increasing
the levels of PCr within muscle, you could regenerate ATP like never before. You
would be stronger
. You would perform; say
8 reps with a weight that was previously a 5-rep.max. Your 3-rep max would be
your 6-rep max. You could work out with greater weights for longer periods of
time. Run faster, jump higher, recover quicker, and grow bigger.

This is exactly what the
ingestion of a creatine supplements allows. With the absorption of creatine
into muscle, you’ve provided a greater pool of phosphocreatine, allowing faster
and more prolific regeneration of ATP, the ultimate source of energy. This is
why creatine has attracted the attention of the weight-training community, the
athletic community, the scientific community and even the medical community.

  • The research emphatically
    supports its use, and its mechanisms for enhancing strength and lean body mass
    are practical and purposeful, as outlined by the following:
  • Increased
    ability to train at higher intensities and workloads, thus providing greater
    stimulus for training adaptations.
  • Increased
    protein synthesis secondary to increased muscle cell hydrations.
  • An
    increase in myosin heavy-chain mRNA and protein expression, which basically
    stimulates the building of new muscle.
  • Increase
    in satellite cell activity. Satellite cells are cells that are attached to the
    muscle cell membrane. When activated, they are involved in repairing damaged
    muscle and aid in increasing muscle size and/or increasing muscle fibre number.

Creatine
plus Carbohydrates:

When it comes to
nutrients that enhance the effect of creatine, some of the most solid research
has been performed using the powerful combination of carbohydrates plus creatine.

The main benefit of
adding carbohydrates to your creatine is that it increases creatine uptake
within the body. Creatine
Boost
launched in 1999 not
includes creatine monohydrate but also l-gluatmine and carbohydrates.

Obviously, the more
creatine you can absorb, the greater the corresponding effect. Carbohydrates,
especially if they’re the ‘fast-acting’ kind – such as glucose – can indirectly
aid creatine absorption by stimulating the release of insulin from the
pancreas. Insulin is a powerful hormone that effectively ‘shuttles’ protein,
carbohydrates and in this case, creatine, into muscle cells.

Therefore, if you can
enhance the release of insulin when taking creatine, you can send more of it to
muscle cells, which may augment its already positive effects. Again, it’s the
presence of carbohydrates in the blood stream that allow this to happen.

In order for your body to
recreate ATP, it must have an abundance of phosphates readily available to
reattach to the adenosine molecule. Phosphocreatine provides the required
phosphates needed to rebuild ATP from ADP (or even AMP). This may allow this
energy process to repeat itself more rapidly. For simplification, maybe
consider creatine as supplying the fuel that powers the energy machine in the
muscle.

Why
Creatine Works

Creatine is used for
producing muscular energy. As creatine molecules are shuttled into the muscle
cells, they may bind to water molecules, which may result in cell volumisation.
This is one of the positive effects of creatine that contributes towards gains
in lean body mass.

Once inside the muscle
cell, creatine binds to a mineral called a phosphate and is then permanently
stored as phosphocreatine until needed. Phosphocreatine is stored in the muscle
cells until it is needed to help create a special molecule called ATP. ATP is
what actually provides the muscular energy.

ATP stands for Adenosine
Tri-Phosphate because it is comprised of an adenosine molecule with three
phosphates attached. A phosphate is a mineral which is commonly found in many
foods and multi-vitamin products. When one of these phosphates breaks loose,
energy is released and the ATP molecule now becomes an ADP (adenosine
di-phosphate) molecule. When this process occurs again, we now have AMP
(although the prime source of energy is from ATP to ADP).

In order for your body to
recreate ATP, it must have an abundance of phosphates readily available to
reattach to the adenosine molecule. Phosphocreatine provides the required
phosphates needed to rebuild ATP from ADP (or even AMP).

This may allow this
energy process to repeat itself more rapidly. For simplification, maybe
consider creatine as supplying the fuel that powers the energy machine in the
muscle.

Creatine
Loading

It may take up to 30 days
to fully saturate the muscle cells with supplemental creatine. To speed the
process of saturating muscle cells creatine loading is a popular practice with
weight trainers. Creatine
loading
is simply the practice
of taking multiple doses of creatine each day for a period of several days.
After the loading phase, it is normal to continue with a daily maintenance dose
of creatine. Creatine loading is not essential; however it does help to flood
the muscle cells with phosphocreatine storage in a short space of time. Using
this method, muscle cells could be fully saturated with creatine in as few as
five days!

Water consumption is
critical, so drink plenty when using creatine. Athletes who engage in intense,
regular exercise should consume at least 3 litres of water per day. Drink an
additional 500ml of water for every pound lost during exercise.

Creatine
Monohydrate

Our bodies naturally make
the compound which is used to supply energy to our muscles – creatine. It is
produced in the liver, pancreas and kidneys and it transported to the muscles
through the bloodstream.

Once it reaches the
muscles, it is converted into phosphocreatine (creatine phosphate). This
high-powered metabolite is used to regenerate the muscles’ ultimate energy
source, ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

Creatine is 100% natural
and occurs naturally in many foods especially herring, salmon, tuna and beef.
However, the very best source of creatine by far is creatine monohydrate
because it contains more creatine per weight of material than any other source.

Around 50% to 85% of
ingested L-glutamine is ‘robbed’ by the gut and never makes it to muscle tissues to
aidpair and recovery. This makes supplementing with extra glutamine a necessity
for those trying to gain lean body mass and maximise recovery. Therefore it is
a conditionally essential amino acid. Bio-Synergy L-glutamine is incorporated in to Essential
Sports Fuel
and Creatine
Boost
and can also be found in
Whey
Better
.

L-glutamine
is ideal for anybody looking to maximise muscle recovery, immune function and
muscle growth. Summary of benefits:

  • Aids
    tissue repair
  • Helps
    metabolise protein
  • Supports
    tissue repair and cell volumisation
  • Protects
    muscle cells from breaking down
  • Supports
    increased production of growth hormone
  • May
    allow for maximum recovery from intense workout

For
further information on creatine we suggest reviewing research by Professor Ron
Maughan, Professor Paul Greenhaff and Rob Kreider, or drop us a line at makeithappen@bio-synergy.co.uk