Creatine and Muscle Health
Periods of high-impact activities or exercise in individuals have been documented as a causative factor in muscle fatigue, stress, and damage. Creatine supplementation has been clinically shown to play a significant role in muscle damage and recovery. Creatine acts as a rapid energy source in muscles, which supports rapid ATP resynthesis, allowing the muscles to continue working at a high intensity for a longer time.
Supplementation with creatine also appears to influence post-exercise muscle recovery by enhancing satellite cell proliferation. This is due to the fact that satellite cells fuse with damaged myocytes to repair them, resulting in an increased recovery in muscle fiber integrity.
How Does Creatine Work?
Creatine supplementation increases the body’s store of phosphocreatine, which is used to produce new ATP when the body is in high energy demand. Creatine works by enabling a highly efficient and rapid energy generation process in the body. It does this by binding itself to phosphate molecules in the body to form a compound called creatine phosphate. From there, this molecule helps form and re-form the body’s natural energy source, adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
More specifically, as this energy is used, it causes ATP to lose a phosphate, expending into adenosine diphosphate (ADP). When creatine is present in a high enough concentration, it quickly re-connects a phosphate, thus turning ADP back into ATP. This entire process sets into motion a cycle of energy creation for your body to use during high intensity muscular activation. So creatine is effectively the “carrier” molecule that takes the needed phosphate and bonds it to ADP to re-make ATP, which is then used by the cells in the body to drive any processes that have high energy demands. In the case of muscular health, this could be high intensity workouts or strength training.