Many athletes want to know what does creatine do before they succumb to peer pressure to take a creatine supplement.
These supplements are very popular amongst body builders and athletes because of the way they builds muscle mass and allows a sportsman, or woman, to train longer and harder.
Creatine is a natural substance found in the human body around the skeletal muscle. It provides the muscle with energy. Our own organs such as the liver, kidneys and pancreas produce creatine and we also take it in through our diet. Meat contains creatine.
But specifically, what does creatine do?
When an athlete does repetitive, high intensity, short duration work, the creatine acts as a catalyst to provide instant energy. Top sportsmen often take a creatine supplement because their work load is such that the body can not produce enough creatine.
This is how it works. When an athlete does high intensity quick-burst activity their muscles must contract and so need an immediate source of energy. The force of the muscle contraction depends on the amount of stored ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). But once the ATP is used, it turns into ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate).
Creatine reacts with the ADP in the body and turns it back into ATP and thereby increasing the availability of ATP. The more ATP there is in the body, the more fuel there is for the muscles.
A creatine supplement allows an athlete or bodybuilder to store larger amounts of creatine in their body and this larger store allows them to exercise more but with less fatigue and faster recovery times. The more soluble forms of creatine are ideal for top sports stars who wish to work out longer to achieve increased muscle mass and better athletic performance.