CREATINE... Absolutely Essential of Downright Useless???
This was an article written by Brendyn Smith (aka @ThebarbellBiochemist) who is a Biochemistry Student doing incredible Biosynthesis Research at MSU.
"Creatine is a compound found naturally in foods such as meat and fish, but not in amounts that would yield the effects that higher doses would elicit. That’s where supplemental creatine comes in. Creatine works by helping the body create a very important molecule in the liver called phosphocreatine or PCr. When muscles contract, they utilize the energy stored in the phosphate bonds in ATP molecules (adenosine triphosphate). When this happens, ATP is no longer adenosine TRIphosphate (3 phosphate groups), rather it becomes adenosine DIphosphate (two phosphate groups). Phosphate groups hold high energy bonds that release a ton of energy when the bonds are broken (like in muscle contraction). Getting back to PCr, once this molecule is synthesized by the liver it is shuttled to muscle via the bloodstream. When phosphocreatine arrives at the muscle, it “releases” the phosphate group (removed by creatine kinase) and attaches that same phosphate group back on to ADP to make ATP. Essentially, creatine acts as a phosphate shuttle. If PCr levels are elevated via creatine supplementation, that means that more ADP can become ATP. The muscle now has more available energy, hence the reason creatine is sold as a “strength booster”. I hope this clears up any misconceptions people had about creatine! The phosphocreatine-ATP energy system is an elemental part of exercise and strength performance."