Creatine – what is it? How does it work?

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Louise Barnett
Louise Barnett
I'm Louise Barnett, the editor at, where my days are filled with the exploration of myriad subjects that pique my curiosity and feed my ever-growing appetite for knowledge. From the latest in laser cutting technology to the timeless wisdom of yoga and meditation, my work allows me to dive deep into topics that not only fascinate me but also have the potential to improve our daily lives. I have a particular interest in how ancient practices meet modern life, leading me to explore everything from Ayurveda to minimalism and beyond. My journey has taught me the importance of balance—between innovation and tradition, action and reflection, and between the digital and the natural world. Each article I publish is a step towards understanding this balance better, hoping to inspire others along the way.

In the world of sports and bodybuilding, creatine is often considered one of the most effective supplements that can help you perform better and speed up recovery. But do we really know what creatine provides, how it works and its potential benefits and risks? Let’s dive into the world of science and research to discover the true power of this popular supplement.

Creatine: what is it?

Creatine, which is an organic chemical compound, has gained widespread popularity in the sports world, especially in sports that require short-term but intense physical activity. It is known for its ability to increase strength, endurance and improve muscle recovery after intense exercise. But how exactly does creatine work, and what does creatine do before and after training?

In a biological context, creatine is synthesized in the human body, mainly in the liver and kidneys, and then transported to the muscles, where it is stored as phosphocreatine. During exercise, phosphocreatine is used to rapidly replenish ATP stores, the main energy carrier in muscle cells. It is this ability to provide energy quickly that makes creatine supplementation so valued by athletes and bodybuilders.

It is also worth mentioning creatine monohydrate, one of the most widely researched and used forms of creatine. Creatine monohydrate is often chosen for its high bioavailability and effectiveness in increasing creatine stores in the muscles. But is it the only form of creatine that deserves attention? And what other benefits, besides increased training performance, can creatine supplementation provide?

Although creatine is often associated mainly with bodybuilding, its effects on the body are much broader and can also be beneficial in other aspects of our body’s health and function. For example, creatine is being studied for its potential role as a nootropic, a substance that can support cognitive function. Studies suggest that creatine supplementation may have a positive effect on memory and concentration, especially in situations where the body is exposed to stress or fatigue.

In a sports context, it is also worth noting that creatine is not just for bodybuilders. Athletes in various sports, such as runners, swimmers and cyclists, can also benefit from creatine supplementation. By increasing the availability of energy for muscles, creatine what it gives before a workout can help increase the amount of time an athlete is able to maintain a high level of exercise intensity.

It is also worth mentioning the various forms of creatine available on the market. In addition to the aforementioned creatine monohydrate, other forms are available, such as creatine malate and creatine ethyl ester. Each has its own unique properties and may be more suitable for different people, depending on their individual needs and training goals.

In terms of safety, it’s also important to remember to dose properly and use creatine as directed. Although it is a supplement generally considered safe for most people, excessive doses can lead to health problems such as kidney dysfunction. Therefore, it is always a good idea to consult a specialist before starting supplementation.

The best creatine – what does it give athletes?

In the world of supplementation, creatine is available in various forms that can provide a variety of benefits and be more suitable for different types of athletes. Creatine monohydrate, which is the most researched and widely used, is prized for its ability to rapidly replenish ATP stores in the muscles, which is crucial for short-term, high-intensity activity such as sprinting or weightlifting. But what other forms of creatine are available, and what does creatine in these different forms provide?

One alternative form is creatine malate, which is often chosen by athletes for its ability to improve muscle endurance and potentially better bioavailability compared to monohydrate. Another form, creatine ethyl ester, is advertised as having better absorption and less tendency to convert to useless creatinine, although scientific studies do not always support these claims.

Also worth mentioning is buffered creatine, which is designed to minimize the conversion of creatine to creatinine in the acidic environment of the stomach, which could theoretically increase its effectiveness. Each of these forms may have its own unique benefits and be more or less suitable for different people, depending on their individual needs and training goals.

Choosing the right form of creatine can depend on a number of factors, such as individual tolerance, training goals, and budget. Regardless of the form chosen, the key is to follow dosage recommendations and use the product safely and responsibly to maximize benefits and minimize potential risks.

Creatine what gives
The best creatine – what does it give athletes? / canva

How does creatine work on cognitive function?

While creatine is widely recognized and used mainly for its muscle performance benefits, more and more scientific studies are turning their attention to its potential effects on brain health and cognitive function. But how exactly might creatine affect our brains, and is this something that should be of interest not only to athletes, but also to those looking for ways to improve concentration and memory?

In the context of nootropics, substances that have the potential to improve cognitive function, creatine is of particular interest. Studies suggest that it may have a positive effect on various aspects of brain health, such as working memory or the ability to process information. In one study, people supplementing with creatine showed improvements in tasks requiring higher brain activity, such as solving math or logic problems.

It’s also worth mentioning that creatine may be particularly important for people who naturally have lower levels of the compound, such as vegetarians and the elderly. In one study, vegetarians supplementing with creatine showed significant improvements in memory and intelligence tests compared to a placebo group. This suggests that creatine supplementation may be particularly beneficial for people who may have limited sources of the compound in their diets.

While the research on creatine’s effects on cognitive function is promising, it is worth remembering that much of it is preliminary and that further research is needed to fully understand how and when creatine supplementation may be most effective in terms of brain health.

Creatine – side effects

Although creatine is considered one of the safest supplements on the market, it is important to approach its use with due care and awareness of potential side effects and contraindications. In terms of safety, the main question that often arises is: what does creatine provide in terms of health, and is its use risk-free?

In most cases, creatine is well tolerated by the body and does not cause serious side effects, especially when used as directed. Nevertheless, some people may experience some adverse reactions, such as abdominal pain, nausea, muscle cramps or dehydration. Therefore, it is especially important to monitor the body’s reaction to the supplement and adjust the dosage according to individual needs and body reactions.

It is also worth mentioning the importance of adequate hydration during creatine supplementation. Due to creatine’s ability to retain water in the muscles, proper hydration is crucial to prevent muscle cramps and maintain proper body function. Therefore, creatine users should pay special attention to the amount of fluid they consume, especially during intense workouts.

Although creatine is extensively researched and generally considered safe, it is always a good idea to consult a health professional before starting any new supplementation, especially for those with existing health problems or taking other medications or supplements.

Creatine dosage. Is creatine harmful?

Creatine use is common among athletes and fitness enthusiasts for its ability to increase muscle strength and performance. However, to maximize these benefits, it is crucial to understand how best to dose this supplement. In the context of dosing, questions such as: what does creatine yield with different dosing strategies, and is there a “best” way to supplement?

The traditional method of creatine dosing, known as the loading phase, involves taking a higher dose (usually about 20g) for a short period of time (about 5-7 days) and then switching to a lower maintenance dose (about 5g per day). The theory behind this method suggests that quickly “filling” the muscles with creatine will accelerate benefits such as increased strength and muscle mass.

An alternative strategy is to consistently take a lower dose of creatine (about 5g per day) without a loading phase. Although the benefits may appear a bit slower than with the loading method, research suggests that the results achieved after a few weeks of supplementation are comparable between the two methods.

It is also worth noting that some studies suggest that creatine dosage can be optimized by adjusting for body weight. For example, individuals with greater muscle mass may require higher doses to maximize creatine concentration in their muscles. For this reason, some experts suggest dosing at around 0.1g per kg of body weight.

Whichever strategy you choose, it’s important to follow the dosage recommendations and be aware of your body and how it responds to creatine supplementation, adjusting the dose as needed and always consulting a health professional before making any changes to your supplementation regimen.

What creatine gives
Creatine dosage / canva

Summary: What is creatine?

One of the most popular supplements on the market,creatine is widely recognized as an effective means of improving physical performance, especially in the context of short-term, high-intensity exercise. Its ability to rapidly replenish ATP stores in the muscles makes it particularly valued by athletes and active individuals. However, it’s worth remembering that the benefits of creatine supplementation don’t end in the physical realm – studies also point to potential positive effects on brain health and cognitive function.

Creatine – frequently asked questions

What does creatine work on?

Creatine works primarily on muscles, increasing their ability to rapidly produce energy during short-term, high-intensity exercise, such as sprints or weightlifting. It is also being studied for its potential benefits on brain health and cognitive function.

What are the side effects of creatine?

Although creatine is generally considered safe, some people may experience side effects such as abdominal pain, nausea, muscle cramps or dehydration. It is important to follow the recommended dosage and monitor your body’s reaction.

Is taking creatine healthy?

Yes, taking creatine is considered healthy for most people, provided it is used as recommended and within safe doses. People with existing health problems should consult a doctor before starting supplementation.

What does creatine give and when to take it?

Creatine can increase strength, endurance and improve muscle recovery. It is most often taken before or after training to maximize its benefits in terms of physical performance and muscle recovery.

After how long do you see the effects of creatine?

Creatine can increase strength, endurance and improve muscle recovery. It is most often taken before or after a workout to maximize its benefits in the context of physical performance and muscle recovery.

What does creatine do without training?

Even without training, creatine may have some benefits, such as improving the ability of muscles to store energy in the form of phosphocreatine. Research also suggests that creatine may have benefits for brain health and cognitive function independent of physical activity.

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