Our Power Up series continues today with Creatine. Creatine is a super common supplement for athletes, and the research on it is both extensive, and positive! Creatine helps build muscle mass, and it does so by a number of different pathways. First off, it increases the total workability of the muscle in a single training session. Next, it aids in muscle repair, which is when the muscle actually grows. That’s not all! It affects hormones that are involved in muscle growth, increases muscle cell hydration, reduces protein breakdown, and (yep, I’m still going!) lowers myostatin levels. Myostatin is a protein that can slow or even stop muscle growth, so less of it is good if you’re trying increase muscle mass.
As I mentioned before, creatine has been studied, and studied, and studied some more, and it continues to prove itself both safe and effective. To use creatine, you can do one of two things: Start with a loading dose, (20 grams per day for 5-7 days, spread out into 4, 5-gram servings over the course of each day) and then move to a maintenance dose of 3-5 grams per day. Or, you just stick with 3-5 grams per day consistently. This method will take longer to see the benefits but is less overwhelming if you have a hard time remembering where your keys are, much less whether or not you took 2 or 3 servings of creatine so far that day.
The Smoothie Shop will add 5 grams of creatine to your smoothie when you add it as a Power Up, so unless you plan to come by and grab a smoothie every day (we’d love to see you if you do!) be sure to grab a container of creatine while you’re there.
Oh, did you think I was done talking about the benefits of creatine? Not just yet. Another part of the body that utilizes creatine is the brain. This supplement may be helpful for conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Epilepsy, as well as memory and brain function in older adults. These effects have not been studied extensively, but it has some exciting potential that is worth mentioning. So, if your mom or dad also lose their keys all the time, you can get a container of creatine for them, too!