Creatine For Strength and Depression
Creatine is a powerful tried and true supplement used by athletes, bodybuilders, and powerlifters that improve many functions other than strength. It is hands down the most popular sports performance supplement on the market. At a relatively low cost, you can take your fitness to a new level and reap all the rewards. Women, this article is for you too, read on to find out why!
What is Creatine
Creatine is a natural substance in the body that is converted to creatine phosphate which is critical in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the body. Consider ATP as gasoline to fire, for example, ATP will provide your muscles with a large amount of energy to perform contractions. Although most attribute creatine to large muscle mass, that is not necessarily the case. Creatine will promote lean muscle development. Creatine is found naturally in meat; however, in very small amounts.Women with depression may benefit from a cognitive standpoint while increasing strength.
Creatine Research …
- Proven to increase muscle growth and strength
- Increase performance relating to power in sports athletes. For example, improve performance in running or jumping
- Fairly new research suggests that creatine will help fight depression in women. Sorry men, the research did not show a change for us. Creatine increases the production of ATP inside the brain which is linked to better mood.
- Little research suggests it will increase cognitive ability in those who are fatigued, vegetarian or elderly.
- Suggests very little improvement in endurance events. Yes, creatine will help strength, muscle, and power in short spurts.
- Stops fat from oxidizing in the blood. A common cause of heat disease.
- Reduces damage to DNA
Types of Creatines
- Creatine Monohydrate. Most common due to its low cost and effectiveness. Purity is important with this type. The more pure, the more effective! Though, very little is actually absorbed into the body due to its chemical composition.
- Micronized Creatine. Same as creatine monohydrate with the exception of it being micronized which increases absorption by the body.
- Creatine Ethyl Ester. Most effective form due to absorption. More expensive than other forms.
- Creatine TRI & DI Malate. Most expensive form since other chemicals are involved. Has a cell-volumizing effect.
- Creatine Hydrochloride. Much more water soluble than monohydrate. Requires a less amount per serving. Not proven any more effective than monohydrate.
There are several others that are rarer and each has their pros and cons. The forms listed above are the most common to find in a supplement store. Others that I have not listed have not had extensive research and is important to note their long-term health effects are unknown. The creatines I have listed have been thoroughly researched and despite what others may say, are risk-free even long-term. I have used monohydrate and HCI for years. In my experience, if taken in a cyclical pattern, (few weeks on, few weeks off) you will notice an increase in strength and muscle size. The muscle size at first may be contributed to water retention which you may also see in your stomach. You may notice less fatigue near the end of your workout which means you can finish stronger. I recently switched from hydrochloride to creatine ethyl ester. I have noticed a significant reduction in fatigue and able to lift much more weight than when taking monohydrate.
Most of the research today focuses on the cognitive aspects of creatine. Since research proves a positive correlation between creatine and reducing depression, it is promising and researchers want to focus their attention on that aspect.
I would love to hear experiences with creatine whether good or bad. Please share!
Also published on Medium.