Health Benefits And Uses Of Creatine

Muscle Health

Creatine Monohydrate Background and Benefits

Creatine monohydrate is an organic acid with the chemical formula C4H9N3O2. It is also known by other names such as creatine, methylguanidoacetic acid and N-carbamimidoyl-N-methylglycine. The French chemist Michel Eugene Chevreul first isolated creatine from skeletal muscle in 1832. The name creatine comes from the Greek word “kreas,” meaning meat.

The primary biological role of creatine is to supply chemical energy, especially to the muscles. This process generally involves the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Human blood contains about one percent creatine, and the liver contains about 0.01 percent creatine. The content of creatine in meat is also a common method of measuring its freshness.

Creatine is not an essential nutrient in vertebrates, since it can be biosynthesized from the amino acids arginine and glycine. It involves binding one of each of these molecules together with the enzyme arginine:glycine amidinotransferase to yield guanidinoacetate. This product is then methylated with guanidinoacetate N-methyltransferase to produce creatine.

The biosynthesization of creatine primarily occurs in the liver and kidneys. Creatine is then transported to other parts of the body via the blood, especially the skeletal muscles and brain. The normal concentration of creatine in the skeletal muscles is typically sufficient to contract them for a few seconds. However, additional creatine can be rapidly synthesized to meet increased energy demands.

Uses of Creatine Monohydrate

The most common uses of creatine generally relate to muscle growth and performance. It may also provide neurological and cognitive benefits.

Neurological support

Creatine may help to support neurological functions, especially those dealing with movement. This use typically involves daily supplementation for a prolonged period.

Exercise support

Creatine may support athletic performance, especially in sports characterized by quick, intense movements. This application is typically most beneficial for young adults.

Cognitive function support

The long-term use of creatine may support cognitive functions in children, including attention span and language skills.

Muscle health support

Creatine supplements are often used to increase muscle size for physically active adults, especially athletes. This use may be more effective by using a loading regimen, rather than continuous use.

Signs You May Need Creatine Monohydrate

Older adults and athletes who wish to gain muscle mass are most likely to benefit from creatine supplements. Young adults who wish to improve their performance in short, high-intensity activities may also need creatine. An inability to synthesize creatine is an indication that you may need creatine supplements. This genetic condition is extremely rare and has a range of neurological signs such as muscle weakness and mental retardation.

Synonyms and Similar Forms of Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine, methylguanidoacetic acid, N-carbamimidoyl-N-methylglycine


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