Creatine - Facts, Myths, & Practical Application
The Most Misunderstood Supplement on Earth
I should have known this post was inevitable. Anytime I send a tweet about creatine, I get 100 questions and hear a new myth someone “heard from some bro one time”.
Creatine has been studied for years, it is actually the most studied supplement in the world. The consensus? It’s highly beneficial and SAFE.
Creatine is considered one of my “must haves” for the gym, and with this post I’m going to explain why, and dispel every myth you’ve heard about this wonder supplement. By the end of this you will have a complete understanding.
Buckle in, this is going to be quite the ride. *Autism Intensifies*.
What Is Creatine?
Creatine is simply a molecule that is produced from the amino acids: glycine, arginine and methionine. Yes, it IS produced in the body naturally—it is not a foreign compound.
When creatine enters or is synthesized in the body, it binds to a phosphate molecule to create creatine phosphate.
To understand how we use it, it will involve some biochemistry 101, so don’t say I never taught you anything.
ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is our body’s primary source of energy. Everything we eat is converted to ATP to be used as energy—it is pretty much the fuel for almost all of our body’s functions and processes.
The way ATP is used as energy is by hydrolyzing a phosphate group, which simply means energy is given off to fuel whatever activity or process it is fueling, which uses a single phosphate in the process.
Now consider this: if ATP is adenosine TRIphosphate, when a phosphate is given off, this makes it adenosine DIphosphate (ADP) and ADP is practically useless in the body.
This is where creatine comes into the picture. Note that creatine is converted into creatine phosphate when it enters the body. Creatine then donates it’s phosphate to the ADP to create ATP, which can be used as fuel.
You can see where this is beneficial—creatine allows the body to use and store more ATP. This has a ton of benefits for both performance and power production, but also neuroprotective and cognitive enhancement.