Creatine is naturally present in the body, mostly in muscles tissue but also in the brain. It is also found in foods such as red meat and seafood.
Creatine is most commonly used for improving exercise performance and increasing muscle mass in athletes and older adults. There is also some science supporting the use of creatine in improving the athletic performance of young, healthy people during brief high-intensity activity such as sprinting. Because of this, creatine is often used as a dietary supplement to improve muscle strength and athletic performance.
Studies supporting its efficacy contine to be generated. In this recent study, 17 male high school canoeists maintained their basic training program and diet while adding 5 grams of creatine monohydrate powder plus 5 grams of dextrose powder, dissolved in water four times per day with meals and before bed. Five grams is about one teaspoonful.
Before taking creatine and after six days of the supplement, the canoeists took a bench rowing test. After creatine, maximum upper body strength increased and fatigue recovery time decreased.
Doctors were particularly interested in a muscle function known as post-activation potentiation, or PAP, which means that the force of a muscle increases after it contracts. PAP recovery times decreased after taking creatine.
Discussing the findings, doctors said creatine effectively increases muscle efficiency and develops muscle strength.
Reference: Nutrients; 2017, Vol. 9, No. 11, 1169