Does Creatine Build Muscle? Lets Take a Look
Creatine is a very popular supplement for athletes and especially for those wishing to pursue muscle mass increase. This supplement is an artificially produced version of a compound produced naturally by the body, a compound which increases the production of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), a very important source of energy for the body. Whilst Creatine is an extremely popular supplement, many are questioning, does Creatine build muscle? This article will explore the objective evidence in pursuit of answering this question. Is Creatine Natural?
Creatine is not a randomly invented manmade compound. It is found naturally occurring within the body. Naturally produced creatine certainly works too, which is why your kidney and liver manufacture it on a daily basis. This Creatine is almost exclusively loaded into the skeletal muscles where the quick fire action of ATP, which is a short term “explosive energy” provider, is at its most effective. The compound is created by combining Arginine, Methionine and Glycine, which are three of the amino acids found in the human body. This short burst energy is designed to fuel a high intensity 5-6 second release.
There are numerous studies, which show that Creatine has a statistically proven impact on the muscle structure. This has been proven to be especially true in vegetarians and those who are naturally low in Creatine. The majority of compounds needed to form Creatine are to be found in meat, and it is thought that vegetarians could benefit from Creatine supplementation. Studies show that all participants using Creatine alongside resistance training showed a marked increase in strength compared with the control group. The study by Burke et al from 2003 is fairly conclusive in demonstrating that Creatine supplementation leads to increased muscle development, as measured by muscle biopsy.
Another study suggests that Creatine is effective in increasing the body strength of those suffering from Parkinsons Disease with obvious ramifications for the healthy athletic person also. In addition, it seems likely that creatine may have a role in medicine not fully utilised as of yet. A study conducted at Columbia University found that a group undergoing resistance training with the addition of Creatine, in contrast to a placebo, made significantly greater strength gains. Especially in the upper body. Strength increases in this study were measured using performance of the bench press and chair lift. A one rep maximum measurement was used, which illustrates that Creatine specifically benefits explosive performance.
The study, with its inclusion of weight lifting, illustrates the obvious fact that Creatine works best in conjunction with strength training, an important aspect of analyzing the question; does Creatine build muscle? Another study which analysed the impact of Creatine in conjunction with whey protein supplementation and conjugated Linoleic Acid found greater strength gains in the supplemented group. The results of the University of Saskatchewan study are sure indication of increased muscle building. For example, lean tissue mass increased by 4.8% as opposed to only 2.1% in the control group. This suggests combining Creatine with additional protein, and Linoleic Acid is an effective combination.
Does The Use Of Creatine Involve Risks?
The risks of Creatine largely involve it being a salt and the associated mechanisms of water retention and potential complication in kidney interactions. However, the vast majority of studies find no impact of creatine on healthy individuals, indeed the opposite has been discovered. The massive benefits of aerobic exercise increased renal function in healthy young males with no curtailment in these benefits being found in the case of Creatine for muscle gain supplementation.
The cost of Creatine in relatively low with a kilo being available from Internet retailers for under $20. This makes the financial barriers to Creatine use almost non existent and combined with its proven record of assisting muscle growth, explains why alongside whey powder, it is the most popular strength supplement.
In summary, then, the scientific evidence points towards a proven yet only moderate increase in lean muscle mass and explosive strength when exposed to Creatine. In terms of the dangers of Creatine use, they remain statistically low with those who have too large a dosage or have pre-existing kidney problems most at risk. Does Creatine build muscle consistently? On its own, of course not. However, when combined with strength training it is certain that Creatine certainly does aid in increasing muscle mass and explosive strength.