Creatine has been the magician in many bodybuilders’ supplement arsenals, conjuring strength and muscle like no other nutrient. You probably know about its ability to give you more power via enhanced muscle energetics, but you may not be familiar with some of its other benefits.
For example, exciting new research has revealed that creatine stimulates insulinlike growth factor 1 independent of exercise stimulus. As you may know, IGF-1 production is stimulated by growth hormone, and GH is responsible for maintaining many of the body’s anabolic activities, from bone and muscle growth to the transport of amino acids into cells to inhibiting fat cells from storing excess fats to increased protein synthesis and the buffering of lactic acid. Studies have also shown that creatine reduces the destructive nature of cortisol, the muscle-wasting hormone.
In a study reported in Medical Science Sports and Exercise, scientists investigating how effective creatine and carbs served as a pre- and postworkout combination found that subjects who supplemented with eight grams of creatine, 50 grams of protein and 55 grams of carbohydrates per day gained more strength and lean mass over a 10-week period than those getting the same dose of protein and carbohydrates but without the creatine.
Researchers at the Department of Pharmacology at Emory University in Atlanta and at the Department of Physiology and Radiology at Michigan State University reported that creatine plays a major role in myoblast fusion. Myoblasts are supernova—that is, explosive—power-packed cells that come from your body’s muscle stem cells. The phenomenon of fusion is essential for muscle buillding and repair after injury, and myoblasts have the ability to regenerate and repair themselves.
Researchers at the Arizona Heart Institute have started clinical trials testing myoblast muscle cell implantation into weak or injured heart tissue, as heart tissue can’t repair itself. It’s been established that skeletal muscle cells extracted from the leg and placed into a culture medium will grow in the millions over eight weeks. As we have learned, you can ignite your growth potential with creatine via its ability to accelerate myoblast fusion activities.
We continue to learn more about creatine’s anabolic capabilities, and an overwhelming body of new research demonstrates that it also plays a key role in preventing and/or reducing negative symptoms of Alzheimer’s, disease, muscular dystrophy, heart disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Creatine has become one of the bodybuilding’s greatest-selling products because it works. Its anabolic capabilities appear to be endless.