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Uncovering the Benefits of Creatine Monohydrate
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Uncovering the Benefits of Creatine Monohydrate

Uncovering the Benefits of Creatine Monohydrate


By: Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN

If you dabble in the supplement world, it’s hard to disprove that creatine monohydrate is the king of the supplement industry. Creatine monohydrate, often hailed as one of the most researched and effective supplements to ever exist, is commonly associated with muscle-building and athletic performance. However, beyond its well-known attributes, there exists a whole new realm of lesser-known benefits that extend far beyond the confines of the gym.

In this article, we will dive deeper into creatine monohydrate, who can benefit from its use, and uncover the often overlooked advantages it has to offer outside of the recovery and muscle-building benefits.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. It is recommended that you speak with your doctor before making any changes to your current supplement regimen.

What is Creatine Monohydrate?

As a little refresher to those who have heard the benefits of creatine but really have no idea exactly what it is, let’s jump into a little background to set the stage.

Creatine monohydrate is a naturally occurring compound that is found in small amounts of certain foods (such as steak, milk, and fish) and is synthesized by the body. It is composed of three amino acids: arginine, glycine, and methionine.

The human body produces about one to two grams of creatine daily, primarily in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. That being said, the majority of creatine is stored in your muscles, making it a key player in energy metabolism.

While creatine is available in various forms (pills, powders, and capsules), creatine monohydrate is the most researched and widely used when compared to other varieties like creatine hydrochloride (HCl), creatine ethyl ester (CEE), creatine magnesium chelate, and others.

Creatine monohydrate is a white, odorless (unless created into a flavored version), crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water, making it a convenient and easy-to-mix supplement without the clumps and lumps you may find in other powdered supplements.

Who is Creatine Monohydrate For?

When most people think about creatine monohydrate, the term “meathead” comes to mind. While they aren’t exactly wrong, as more and more research comes out, the supplement has been found to benefit not only bodybuilders and elite athletes but also the general public.

Creatine monohydrate has been deemed a safe and effective supplement for a broader demographic of the population, including individuals engaged in resistance training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), the elderly, the everyday adult, and even those specifically looking to support cognitive function.

While muscle-bound beefcakes across the globe are taking their daily 5g dose of creatine monohydrate, so are many Americans who are looking to improve their overall health and well-being. Let’s look at things a little more closely.

Why is Creatine Monohydrate Considered a Must-Have Supplement?

I find it hard to believe that I’d have to twist your arm or do a whole PowerPoint presentation on why creatine monohydrate is a great supplement. But to help nudge those who are still on the fence about whether or not they should use it, let’s look at some of the key factors and boxes that are checked, making creatine monohydrate an excellent supplement for everyone to use.

1. Proven Efficacy

Numerous studies have consistently demonstrated the effectiveness of creatine monohydrate in improving lean muscle mass, strength, and power. Its ability to enhance high-intensity, short-duration activities, such as resistance training and sprinting, is found throughout published literature.

2. Safety Profile

Creatine monohydrate is widely recognized as safe, with minimal reported side effects. The only side effects that seem to be floating around out on the internet include bloating, digestive issues, nausea, and an upset stomach (all of these tend to show their symptoms during the loading phase, which is unnecessary). This can be remedied by using another form of creatine, such as creatine HCl, if you find you have these effects.

Long-term use of creatine monohydrate has been extensively studied, and despite the bro-science out on the internet, there are no adverse effects on kidney or liver function when used within the recommended doses.

3. Affordability

Compared to other supplements, creatine monohydrate is relatively inexpensive. Its cost-effectiveness makes it an attractive option for those looking to gain health and performance benefits without breaking the bank.

The Lesser-Known Benefits of Creatine Monohydrate

Now, for the good stuff! Sure, creatine monohydrate is great for recovery and muscle growth, but there are a few key benefits we need to uncover to help you understand that the benefits and use of creatine go beyond what it can do for those who train hard and want to build muscle and strength.

1. Brain Health

While the primary use of creatine monohydrate is often centered around performance, research has shown its potential cognitive benefits. Creatine is not only present in muscles but also in the brain, albeit in smaller quantities. The brain relies on adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for energy, and creatine plays a crucial role in ATP regeneration.

2. Cognitive Function

Creatine has shown promise in supporting cognitive function, particularly in tasks that require short-term memory and processing speed. A study published in the Sports Medicine journal in 2023 concluded that creatine supplementation could have a positive impact on cognitive tasks, with potential benefits for conditions like depression and even neurodegenerative diseases.

3. Neuroprotective Properties

Research suggests that creatine monohydrate may exert neuroprotective effects, potentially reducing the risk of neurological disorders. Studies in animal models have demonstrated that supplementing with something like creatine monohydrate can help mitigate oxidative stress, inflammation, and mitochondrial dysfunction in the brain.

4. Mood Enhancement

Creatine’s influence on brain health extends to mood regulation. Some studies propose that creatine supplementation may have antidepressant effects, possibly through its impact on neurotransmitter levels and cellular energy metabolism in the brain.

5. Cellular Hydration

Beyond its role in energy metabolism, creatine monohydrate plays a crucial role in cellular hydration. Creatine helps cells retain water, promoting a state of cellular volumization. This process involves drawing water into muscle cells, creating an environment conducive to muscle growth and overall cell function. Additionally, improving cellular hydration is essential for optimal cellular function, nutrient transport, and waste removal.

6. Prevention of Dehydration

In situations where individuals engage in intense physical activity or face conditions leading to dehydration, creatine monohydrate may play a protective role. The increased water retention within cells can help combat dehydration, especially in scenarios where fluid loss is substantial.

7. Muscle Preservation During Aging

As individuals age, there is a natural decline in muscle mass and strength, known as sarcopenia. Research suggests that supplementing with creatine monohydrate, coupled with resistance training, may help mitigate age-related muscle loss. The combination of increased protein synthesis and cellular hydration may contribute to preserving lean muscle mass in older adults.

8. Counteracting Catabolic States

Certain medical conditions or treatments, such as cancer or chemotherapy, can induce a catabolic state where muscle breakdown exceeds muscle protein synthesis. Creatine’s role in promoting protein synthesis and cellular hydration may aid in counteracting the catabolic effects, offering a potential adjunctive strategy for managing muscle loss during such challenging circumstances.

9. Recovery from Disuse Atrophy

In situations of immobilization or disuse (such as a surgery or injury), muscles can undergo atrophy due to a lack of physical activity. Creatine supplementation has demonstrated potential in facilitating the recovery process and minimizing muscle loss during periods of inactivity.

EVERYONE Should Be Using Creatine Monohydrate Daily

Creatine monohydrate has a great reputation as being a performance-enhancing supplement, but its lesser-known benefits encompass a wide spectrum of health advantages that you can experience and take advantage of.

From supporting cognitive function to promoting cellular hydration and preventing muscle loss, creatine monohydrate proves to be a versatile and valuable addition to anyone’s supplement arsenal.

As research continues to unveil new benefits that creatine monohydrate can have on the human body, it is crucial to recognize its potential applications beyond the typical realm of athletic performance. Whether you’re an athlete looking to enhance your physical performance, an older adult aiming to preserve muscle mass, or someone seeking cognitive benefits to help them be more productive during the workday, creatine

monohydrate stands out as a supplement with remarkable versatility and a growing body of evidence supporting its diverse benefits.

It’s for these reasons we can’t recommend creatine monohydrate supplementation enough. In fact, we’ve taken creatine monohydrate and created a truly unique formula that further improves the power and benefits you can experience through the use of creatine.

Enter MuscleSport Creatine + Hydration — a next-generation creatine supplement that provides you with all the benefits of creatine that you’ve come to love, now in delicious flavors and a hydration matrix that can drastically improve your muscle recovery.

Not only does MuscleSport supply you with a full 5g dose of creatine monohydrate, but you also gain our ElectroREVä Hydration Matrix, added electrolytes, organic coconut water powder, Himalayan pink salt, and patented Astragin® to help maximize the absorption of these powerful ingredients.

Try one or all of our refreshing MuscleSport Creatine + Hydration flavors and experience maximum potency when combining creatine monohydrate with a hyper-hydration formula!

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