Creatine is an amine found in meat, fish and other animal products like organs. After combining with phosphate, it forms creatine phosphate (CP), which transports energy in the form of the phosphate and acts as a buffer to lactic acid and component of the phosphagen energy system. It is stored in muscle. Energy formed in breaking the creatine - phosphate bond is used to convert adenosine diphosphate (ADP) to adenosine triphosphate(ATP), the energy molecule of the body.
Companies producing compounds containing it claim that increases muscle mass, improves exercise recovery time, and improves sprint performance.
Research shows that some people react well to it while other people do not react well to it. Most people eat a good amount of protein. Vegetarians may need creatine as a supplement. The only studies to show benefits from creatine phosphate ingestion are those involving repeated bouts of brief, strenuous, high-intensity maximal exercise that lasts from 4 to 30 seconds, with a 1-5-minute recovery time between sprints. The mechanism of the improvements could be increased pre-exercise stores of creatine phosphate and-or increased recovery of creatine phosphate stores.
Some research shows that creatine stores increased more when simple carbohydrates were ingest 30 minutes after creatine consumption. Some research also suggests that creatine phosphate benefits are offset by caffeine consumption.
When exercise performance has improved, the dosage ranges from 15 to 30 g per day over 4-7 days, with a maintenance phase of 2-5 g per day. Doses should be divided 4 times in one day.
Some of this information was taken from Winning Sports Nutrition by Linda Houtkooper, PhD, RD, FACSM, Jaclyn Maurer Abbot, PhD, RD and Veronica Mullins, MS, RD, CSCS.
Disclaimer: None of the above information can be taken as a substitute for advice from a medical professional, such as a physician.
My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on www.louizapatsis.com, http://www.authorhouse.com, www.bn.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories.