Crossfit and Creatine: Benefits and More! | Iconic Fitness Dubai Marina JLT

Crossfit and Creatine: Benefits and More!

CROSSFIT AND CREATINE - Benefits and more

We have all heard about it. Heck, most of us have tried it, some have stacked it, Mukty even uses it to sweeten his coffee (it’s disgusting; don’t do it, kids). But what exactly is this wonder dru… uhh…,  -supplement that athletes are using? How does it work? Will it make me chunky? And how will it affect my daily CrossFit workouts and my life?
Have a seat, children (and veterans). Let Uncle Marnus tell you the beautiful story of the (other) magic white powder and how it saved the kingdom of CrossFit.

WHAT IS THIS CREATINE STUFF?

creatine powder supplement

Creatine is an organic compound that is naturally found in the body. Most of it is stored in skeletal muscles (where it is needed most), while the remainder is distributed in the blood, brain, and other tissues. It has been heavily researched (for almost 200 years) and is one of the most scientifically supported supplements on the market today. The benefits are endless, but let’s start with what you came here for.

PERFORMANCE

To better understand how creatine works, we need to understand something about how your cells produce energy, so here’s a quick and clear little biology lesson simple enough for even me to understand.
The most basic form of energy in cells is a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP – Like the World Tennis Tour, but less ladies grunting). Let’s call it the “energy currency” your cells use to perform many of their functions.
ATP runs out quickly (like dirhams do those 2 hours immediately following brunch) when you are exercising intensely.
Creatine (the 95% that’s stored in muscles) helps replenish ATP, giving your muscle cells the capacity to produce more energy. The more creatine you have, the more energy your muscle cells can produce. Eh Voila!­ Better performance. See, biology is easy.
In very basic terms, it helps supply a steady stream of energy to your muscles, especially during heavy and/or intense exercise, amongst other benefits we’ll chat about below.
Every type of sport and performance metric imaginable has been tested and researched. From sprint speeds to cycling power, jump heights, rep max training in bicep curls (I kid you not), bench, squats, the whole 9, 20 and 60 yard sprints (see what I did there?). While some studies show a marginal increase, others indicate an increase of as much as 15% in performance in strength and high-intensity training.

RECOVERY

While most research points in the direction of increased strength and power output, some research indicates that creatine decreases levels of myostatin, a molecule responsible for stunting muscle growth, which helps you build muscle faster. 

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS

There are loads of these, but I’ll mention the ones that are most applicable to us as athletes, parents, and high-stress, sleep-deprived individuals.


a). Brain Function
Creatine plays an important role in brain health and function.
Your brain requires a significant amount of ATP when performing difficult tasks (just like muscles do when performing strenuous activities).
Supplementing with creatine can increase phosphocreatine stores in your brain to help it produce more ATP, and as you know now, more ATP equals more dineros for ‘activities’.

As meat is the best dietary source of creatine, vegetarians very often have low levels. One study on creatine supplementation in vegetarians found a 20–50% improvement in some memory and intelligence test scores. Even in older individuals, supplementing with creatine for 2 weeks significantly improved memory and recall ability.

b) Feel ‘More Good’, Less Bad
Additionally, creatine may also aid brain function by increasing dopamine levels and mitochondrial function, like Johnson’s ‘No More Tears’ Shampoo, but on a chemical level.

c) Reduced Fatigue
Lastly, and most excitingly, creatine supplementation also helps preserve cognitive and physical performance after sleep loss. More research is needed to indicate if it could alleve or combat the ‘brain-deadness’ during a hangover, but we’re hoping to publish these findings soon. If you would like to part take in such a study, please get in touch with us.

HOW, WHEN, AND HOW MUCH.

3–7 grams every day. If you’re a big guy, take 7 grams. If you’re a lady, 3–4 is enough.
You don’t need to ‘load’ it, which means taking higher doses for the first few days to saturate stores in your muscles. Take a scoop a day, every day. If you forget, don’t double-dose; just carry on the following day. If you go on holiday, that’s fine too. Your stores will last you around 4 weeks.
Some individuals (including me) have reported interrupted sleep when taken too close to bedtime. This might be because of increased energy levels when creatine alters sleep homeostasis by keeping your brain awake. Your best bet is to find a time of day that will allow you to take it consistently. Pre- or post-workout with some food works well for most; afternoon tea does it for me.

Creatine comes in all shapes and sizes – pills, powders, patches (not really), gels, gummies, capsules, canisters, cookies, cupcakes and bars. The most easily consumed, tolerated and swallowed is the powder form, specifically Creatine Monohydrate.

ANYTHING BAD?

Of the several hundred studies that have been done, over 70% show a positive effect, while the other 30% show a small or insignificant effect. Still, no negative effects have been found. You can take it every day for the rest of your life, along with your omegas and vitamin D3 (you really should be having these daily, especially here in the Middle East). You’ll only be a better, happier version of yourself.

Ready to discover the power of CrossFit, with or without the aid of scientifically proven supplements? Join our 30-day trial today and unlock a world of strength, endurance, and a little joy! Our team of coaches will guide you through every step of your journey! We promise that you’ll learn a whole new set of skills and some things about yourself that you didn’t know. You’ll even make a few quirky friends along the way. 💪🔥

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