Over the last couple of decades, creatine has become a supplement staple for guys looking to build strength and lean muscle mass. At the very least, you've probably seen guys around the gym taking creatine in the form of powder, capsules, or as part of a pre-made shake.
But while creatine's popularity endures, lots of guys are still skeptical of its benefits, or at least unfamiliar with what creatine has to offer. The short answer: Plenty. Here are six reasons should consider adding creatine to your daily supplement regimen.
Are you trying to build strength and find yourself doing a lot of high intensity interval training? Are you afraid you've peaked? If so, creatine might be able to boost you to the next level. A California study indicates that consuming creatine can help your muscles build phospocreatine, which gives you the ability to perform better at shorter, intense, strength-building exercises. If your gym time consists of many explosive, heavy lifts with fewer rep counts, consider taking a creatine supplement, or eat foods higher in creatine such as pork, salmon, tuna, and beef.
Sometimes all it takes to succeed in life is a good start. While that may not be true in politics, it could certainly help you in the world of sports. Italian researchers discovered that jumpers and sprinters who took creatine supplements significantly improved the first 30 seconds of their performance by roughly 10%. If seconds matter, or if you’re just looking to gain the early advantage against your buddies on the courts, a creatine shake could prove to be a difference-maker.
Unfortunately, once you reach your thirties, it’s common for your testosterone levels to decline. You may experience a decrease in energy, endurance, strength, mental sharpness, and sex drive. One solution is testosterone replacement therapy, such as injections or a daily patch. Something else you could try is creatine. A New Jersey study found that following a 10-week resistance training program, participants who took a daily creatine supplement significantly increased their resting testosterone levels. If you’re concerned about your testosterone levels, ask your doctor to set up a blood test.
Besides its improvements on physical performanc, creatine has also been shown to improve mental acuity. Australian researchers gave 45 study participants five grams of creatine supplements daily for a six-week period, and found that many of the participants could more quickly process information and demonstrated improved memory.
Creatine may help improve your productivity, according to British researchers. Kayakers who received creatine supplementation were able to get significantly more work done in their paddling, suggesting creatine provides a performance boost for physical activity. Whether you're paddling in a kayak, working at home, or hitting the iron in the gym, if you want to make the most of your time, consider following this study’s example and supplement with creatine.
Consuming protein is critical for muscle growth—you probably already knew that. But creatine can help too, according to Washington State University researchers. Their study determined that people who supplemented workouts with creatine were able to gain significant muscle mass and strength in myogenic satellite cells, which are important in the regeneration and overall maintenance of skeletal muscle.