Formed from the amino acids Betaine, Arginine, and Methionine - Creatine falls into a category of compounds known as phosphagens, donors of phosphorus that increase the recycling of ATP (cellular energy) inside muscle cells. Creatine is also very hydrophilic (“water-loving”) and thus attracts water to follow it inside muscle cells. This naturally increases muscle size and subsequently causes increases in muscular strength and the ability to execute higher physiological work loads.
WHY WOULD I TAKE IT?
To increase muscle volume, size, strength, or simply to improve overall hydration.
HOW DOES THIS WORK?
Creatine works on several mechanisms. As stated above, Creatine works as a phosphagen, supplying more phosphate groups to contribute toward the production of intracellular ATP. Additionally, Creatine also increases intracellular water concentrations due to its hydrophilic nature and thus contributes to hypertrophy. Finally, it has also been discussed that Creatine may also have an effect on MRF4 expression and how that increases in MRF4 seen in Creatine supplementation might also be correlated with increases in muscle fiber size.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I TAKE?
Creatine can be taken anywhere from small supplemental levels (500-1000mgs/d) for a mild cognitive boost or from 5-10 grams per day for increasing muscle volume and strength.