Of all the fitness supplements available to the modern athlete, Creatine has received the most publicity over the last few years. It is used by a range of athletes, from the elite performing professional through to amateurs looking for the easy improvement.
As we start working the muscles, the first source for providing additional ATP is creatine phosphate, as it is able to produce ATP in a fraction of a second. This system allows the muscle ATP levels to be maintained at a constant level, whilst the creatine phosphate pools become depleted. For the most part, ATP that has been manufactured from the creatine phosphate pool supports short energy bursts like sprinting and jumping.
The limiting factor on short-term high-energy activities would appear to be the amount of available creatine phosphate in the muscle pools.
It has been shown that an increase in muscular creatine produces an increase in muscular creatine phosphate because the muscle cells maintain a reversible equilibrium between creatine and creatine phosphate.
By boosting the muscular creatine stores, you can delay the onset of fatigue during these short-term, high-energy activities by creating a larger creatine phosphate pool.
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid, whose chemical formula is C4H9N3O2. Creatine phosphate provides the initial energy source when any muscle starts to contract. The majority of creatine in the body is found in the skeletal muscle in either free creatine or phosphorylated form (creatine phosphate). In a 70Kg person, this would represent a creatine pool of approximately 120g-140g. Creatine is synthesised by a 2-step process involving 3 amino acids (arginine, glycine and methionine). Creatine is primarily produced in the liver from where it is released into the blood and subsequently stored in the muscle cells.