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Creatine 101

Let's talk creatine! Creatine is one of the most well researched and effective supplements there is. But what is it and is it actually beneficial? Creatine is an amino acid, a naturally occuring energy compound that is produced in the body. It is in the production and storage of eneergy in muscle cells and one of your body's natural sources of energy for muscle contraction. Animal proteins, particularly red meat and fish, contain creatine naturally. When you muscle cells are saturated with creatine, you are able to increase your endurance, strength, power output and muscle.

Creatine is stored primarily in the skeletal muscles of your body and is used during physical activity by increasing muscle performance in short-duration, high-intensity exercises. In "sciencey" terms, your muscles convert creatine into creatine phosphate (or phosphocreatine) within the body, which is then generated into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which your body uses for exercise. Studies have also shown that it aids in acute cognitive function and has major benefits to plant-based eaters, since they do not consume meat. Additionally, creatine may support recovery helping to reduce muscle damage and inflammation within the body. It is encouraged to take daily and the recommended dose is 2-5g a day. Your body naturally creates about 2g of creatine a day and discretes about 2 g a day, so supplementing with creatine is 100% beneficial.

Supplementing with the best creatine powder ensures that your muscle cells are saturated with creatine phosphate and you are able to increase your endurance, strength and muscle mass. That being said, creatine isn’t just for fitness athletes or bodybuilders. It is the perfect supplement for anyone and all sports that require repeated bursts of maximum power – soccer, track and field, running, basketball, football and many more. In regards to running specifically, it could allow runners to maintain a higher intensity for longer, this may be beneficial during interval training or when pushing through the final stages of a race. It has also been shown to delay the onset of fatigue which is a win win for your training endeavors and for race day. To consistently perform at your highest level, you need a sufficient amount of creatine in your body.

Is it studied and safe? Yes! As mentioned earlier, creatine is the most widely studied supplement, it is natural and has been scientifically proven to enhance your strength, power and endurance. It also improves cognitive function and brain health which is an even be a bigger win. It’s important to ensure that before any supplementation, your nutrition and training strategies are already well established before, and once you have a strong foundation and understanding, then adding it will aid in your daily functions. With creatine, it does not necessarily have any acute acting benefits, it needs to be taken regularly. For example: when you consume an ingredient like caffeine you start to feel the effects within minutes: your heart rate increases, your focus and energy increases and you can start to feel it kick in. Creatine doesn't work like this. Your muscles benefit from being saturated with creatine phosphate. The best way to saturate your muscles with creatine phosphate is by consuming about 5 grams of creatine each and every day. Creatine supplementation is considered complementary to consuming protein and a well balance diet, not a replacement for it.

I started taking Creatine about a year ago now and have noticed a large difference with my lifting sessions, muscle maintenance & growth and my stamina paired with my consistent training and nutrition. Creatine powder from BPN is premium micronized creatine product, featuring micronized creatine monohydrate from creapure, which is 3rd party tested and top of the line. Micronized creatine monohydrate is known for its improved ability to disperse in water as you're mixing it. No need to be overly creative with creatine... keep it simple and pure, so if you are going to supplement with creatine, make sure it is creatine monohydrate with NO added junk or anything else. You can easily mix it into any form of drink such a your pre-workout, smoothie, juice, or whatever you chose. I know for me I take it every morning with my Strong Reds micronutrient powder; I do one scoop of each, add water, mix then drink.

Quick FACTS: creatine is not a steroid. It is produced by the body and found in certain high-protein foods such as fish and meat. It is not a lab synthesized compound, it is natural. It is also not a stimulant. Creatine does not make you gain fat. It's also interesting to note that accumulating evidence suggests that creatine supplementation produces a variety of beneficial effects in older populations as well.

I hope this info helps! If you are looking to try creatine, the best out there is BPN CREATINE MONOHYDRATE / CREAPURE® - code "melissa" to save.

Your Coach, Melissa

(sources: PUBMED, ACSM) Always consult a doctor or healthcare professional if you have any concerns or pre-existing health conditions before taking a supplement.

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