RESEARCH & CREATINE
Fortunately, creatine monohydrate has been thoroughly studied across different types of athletes for many different purposes. This means that many of the claims made about its effectiveness are likely correct. This is rare in the supplement industry and paints an image of how useful creatine can be for several different benefits.
CREATINE IMPROVES EXERCISE PERFORMANCE
Research on creatine suggests that its use can lead to improved power and force production and overall exercise performance while also helping the body maintain power production despite fatigue. While this is useful on the field, it's also quite useful as a training aid.
As an athlete, you know the importance of spending quality time in the gym, honing your abilities, and making your body faster and stronger. By using creatine, research suggests that you'll be able to produce higher amounts of power and force during your sets, ultimately leading to greater effectiveness in your workouts (1).
Research suggests that creatine can also improve performance during single sets and the workout as a whole, leading to greater training volume. Higher training volume means you're able to use more substantial resistance for more repetitions, leading to faster progress (1, 3, 18).
In one fascinating study, 49 individuals were recruited with 19 being vegetarians. During the investigation, subjects were provided with creatine or placebo and exposed to an 8-week resistance-training program, while undergoing measurements of muscle creatine content, body composition, and exercise performance.
For the first seven days, subjects followed a loading pattern of 0.25 grams of creatine per kilogram of lean body tissue, daily. The seven-day loading period was followed by a maintenance dose of 0.0625 grams per kilogram of lean mass, daily.
On average, this equaled around 17 grams during the loading period and 4 grams during maintenance each day.
Importantly, this study is interesting because vegetarians can have lower creatine levels than their non-vegetarian counterparts because the meat is one of the best sources of natural creatine. By providing creatine to vegetarians, we can observe the direct power of creatine supplementation when levels are lower than would be expected (10).
After the 8-week resistance training program, both vegetarians and non-vegetarians showed significant muscle gains. Amazingly, vegetarians using creatine showed an improvement of 2.4 kg, while non-vegetarian creatine users only increased by 1.9kg. Participants in the placebo group showed small improvements with none reaching significance (11).
Additionally, creatine use in this study leads to significant improvements when measuring 1-RM (rep max) bench and leg press performance. The data also showed a significant positive correlation between total creatine content and the change in exercise performance (11).
Finally, the same data also indicates that when subjects used creatine, they performed higher volumes of work, meaning creatine users were able to complete exercises using more resistance, for more sets, and more repetitions per set. Higher training volume could result in faster progress and perhaps more exceptional performance during sporting events (11).
CREATINE CHANGES CONDUCTION VELOCITY IN MUSCLE FIBERS