Creatine is often described as the ‘miracle supplement’. It is usually sold in sports nutrition supplements and bodybuilding products as a way to enhance workout performance.
Creatine is naturally present in muscles and is important for both muscle relaxation and energy production. Creatine has also been shown to increase the body’s ability to adapt to exercise by boosting the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s energy supply.
Creatine has been shown to have many health benefits and has even been suggested as a potential treatment for certain medical conditions. Unfortunately, this alleged ‘miracle supplement’ is not quite as good as it seems. While there is certainly no harm in taking creatine, it’s not necessarily a weight loss supplement.
The main reason behind the popularity of creatine is due to its ergogenic effect, that is, the ability to enhance physical performance. Creatine is a natural metabolite that is synthesized from l-arginine and glycine in the process of protein synthesis. It is this ability that has made creatine quite popular among athletes seeking an edge over their competitors.
Dose And Type Of Creatine
The most popular form of creatine is creatine monohydrate (C4H6O6), which is most often referred to as just ‘creatine’. It is important to keep in mind that this is not the only form of creatine, as there are also creatine ethyl ester (C2H6O3) and creatine phosphate (HC6O6P), among others.
Although any of these forms of creatine may be equally effective for improving physical performance, it is best to take the recommended dose of creatine monohydrate. This is because creatine monohydrate is more readily available in the market and is the most soluble among the available forms of creatine. This makes it easier for the body to absorb – and thus effectively use – the substance. In addition, creatine monohydrate can be easily manufactured by any vitamin and supplement store and is relatively cheap – costing around $20 for a 30-day supply. If you are looking for a low-cost and readily available weight loss supplement that offers outstanding results, then consider taking creatine monohydrate.
Does Creatine Help With Weight Loss?
While creatine may not be a magic bullet for weight loss, it does offer some benefits for this purpose. When used in combination with a diet and exercise program, the results of a study performed at the Mayo Clinic suggest that creatine may be useful for overweight and obese (at least 90% of the participants) individuals looking to shed some pounds.
This study, titled “Creatine supplementation for weight loss in overweight adults,” compared the effects of creatine monohydrate supplementation (7g per day) with a placebo in 220 overweight adults who were looking to lose weight. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either creatine monohydrate or a placebo for 12 weeks. At the end of this period, the researchers determined that the creatine group had lost more weight than the placebo group – an average of 4.5 pounds more. The findings of this study suggest that creatine may be an effective weight loss supplement for at least some individuals. More research is needed, however, to confirm these results.
How Does Creatine Work?
Creatine is a natural metabolite that is synthesized from l-arginine and glycine in the process of protein synthesis. It is this ability that has made creatine quite popular among athletes seeking an edge over their competitors. Creatine is a key player in the energy production process, and it is well-established that high amounts of energy provide a competitive edge in all aspects of life, including workouts. For this reason, creatine has been proven to increase exercise tolerance and enhance athletic performance. The ability of creatine to improve exercise performance has been demonstrated in multiple studies, some of which are summarized below.
Stimulation Of Protein Synthesis
Research has shown that creatine increases the body’s ability to adapt to exercise by boosting the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s energy supply. ATP is an important factor in muscle contraction and relaxation, as well as in the body’s natural defense against infection. One study showed that when ATP levels are high enough in the muscle, they are able to trigger the release of chemicals that stimulate protein synthesis. High levels of protein synthesis lead to increased muscle mass, which, in turn, enhances athletic performance and the ability to get off the couch and exercise. This is why consuming protein shakes after working out has become so popular. It is generally accepted that consuming protein shakes will help promote muscle growth and repair, which in turn, produces a more efficient and harder-working physique.
Reduces Fatigue And Improves Wellness
Several studies have shown that taking creatine can reduce the extent of post-workout muscle soreness and enhance wellness overall. Multiple studies have shown that creatine can reduce fatigue and improve physical and mental performance in adults and older individuals, particularly those who are already actively involved in recreational sports. The ability of creatine to reduce fatigue was assessed in a study that was performed at the University of Texas at Austin and published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. In this study, 60 healthy male participants – divided equally between those who were taking creatine and those who were not – completed a 40-minute cycling test on a stationary bike. The results of this test showed that the cyclists who were taking creatine were able to complete the test and maintain a relatively high level of exertion for a longer period of time than those who were not taking creatine. Based on these results, it can be concluded that creatine may help reduce fatigue and improve physical and mental performance in healthy individuals, particularly those already involved in physical activity.
More Research Is Needed
While scientific studies have proven the ability of creatine to improve exercise performance in individuals, there is still insufficient data to determine whether or not it can help with weight loss. Based on currently available studies, creatine may not be an ideal weight loss supplement due to its ergogenic effect. This suggests that it may enhance physical performance, which is desirable for achieving a leaner look, at the expense of losing a little bit of weight. For this reason, more research is needed to better understand how and if taking creatine impacts weight loss. It is also important to keep in mind that the results of studies involving animals do not necessarily apply to humans. Studies have shown that rats that are fed a high-fat diet become resistant to the effects of creatine, probably because large amounts of fatty acids in the diet can block the ability of creatine to be absorbed by the body. It is also important to note that rats that are fed a high-carbohydrate diet do not become resistant to the effects of creatine, indicating that the metabolite may not be entirely blocked by fats or carbohydrates, but rather, its effectiveness may be reduced due to a decreased bioavailability caused by other nutrients in the diet. More research is needed to better understand how food intake influences the effectiveness of creatine as a weight loss supplement – particularly in view of the fact that different studies have produced varying results.
In summary, creatine is a popular supplement among athletes looking for a performance boost. While it may not be an ideal weight loss supplement due to its ergogenic effect, it can still be a useful tool for gaining muscle mass and adapting to exercise. More research is needed to better understand how and if taking creatine impacts weight loss. It is also important to keep in mind that the results of studies involving animals do not necessarily apply to humans, – particularly if you plan on losing weight – meaning that even though it may be effective in small studies, it may not be so useful for everybody else.