Creatine is a very popular supplement and one that has been around for a very long time. It also happens to be one of the very few that have been the focus of numerous university studies. Many of them have found remarkable ways that creatine can improve the body.
Can Increase Strength
One of the main reasons people take creatine is to increase their strength. A study done at the University of Regina was designed to see just how effective creatine supplementation was in increasing strength and muscle size. These researchers gathered 38 physically active university students between the ages of 21 and 28 years.
These students were put into different groups where some of them took creatine before and after workouts and the rest took a placebo before and after workouts. The workouts involved 2-3 sets for 10 repetitions and were done 2-3 days a week. Before going on their workout program all of the test subjects had the size and strength of their leg and arm muscles measured.
After 6 weeks of training researchers found that all of the test subjects were able to get stronger but the test subjects who took creatine were able to increase in strength by as much as 20% on average while the people who took a placebo only increased in strength by as much as 6.3% on average. These results strongly suggest that taking creatine can increase your strength very rapidly.
Can Increase Athleticism
Creatine may not only increase strength but it may also improve athletic performance in other ways. A group of scientists at Maastricht University did a study to see whether or not creatine could improve how fast someone could pedal on a cycle and also whether it could increase the amount of time someone could pedal on a cycle. They began by recruiting 20 test subjects and had some of them take a placebo and had the rest of them take 20 grams of creatine a day for 5 days then take only 2 grams of creatine a day for 6 weeks.
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They found that short and long-term creatine use increased how fast the test subjects were able to pedal on a cycle but it was not able to improve endurance on a cycle. They also found that creatine was able to increase lean body mass and this increase was maintained throughout the 6 weeks of taking creatine. The results of this study show that creatine can not only increase muscle mass but it can also increase speed.
Can Help Prevent Overtraining
Many people who lift weights or follow some form of intense exercise routine on a regular basis are aware that it is possible to train too much. This is called overtraining or overreaching. Researchers at the University of Connecticut wanted to see what effects taking creatine would have on test subjects who would intentionally be overtrained. They designed a study where they had 17 men take either creatine or a placebo as they followed a 6 week workout program. For the first 4 weeks they were instructed to train with weights 5 days per week which would cause them to overtrain.
Researchers found that overtraining caused the men who took the placebo to get weaker but the men who took creatine did not get weaker. After 4 weeks of training too much, the test subjects who took creatine were able to increase the amount of weight they were able to squat more than the men who took a placebo. The men who took creatine were also able to increase their explosive power on the bench press. This study shows that creatine can prevent the harm that overtraining can cause and that it can help people recover from over training.