Creatine improves performance in short, high-intensity events, for example sprints, series of squats, jumps and metcons. It also improves recovery and is popular with all strength, power and CrossFit® athletes. It is often used by bodybuilders to increase muscle volume.
CrossFit® athletes can benefit from the effects of creatine especially during strength cycles – when they want to improve maximal strength and power – and to improve intensity and speed for metcons. Creatine enhances recovery and energy levels, allowing you to recover quicker and get back to your next training session or event as soon as possible.
WHAT IS CREATINE AND WHY IS IT ESSENTIAL?
Creatine is a nitrogenous compound and adults have around 80–130 g in their bodies. Every day about 1–2 % of this creatine is broken down and excreted and has to be replenished.
Creatine is created from amino acids arginine, glycine and methionine. Synthesis takes place in the liver, pancreas and kidneys, and creatine is transported by blood to the muscles to perform its function. Enzyme creatine kinase transforms creatine into creatine phosphate (CP). Each day about 1–2 % of this is broken down and excreted, so it has to be replenished.
CP donates a molecule of phosphate to renew the ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the ultimate source of energy in the muscle. Energy released from the ATP breakdown initiates muscle contraction – the individual active and myosin fibres start to move. However, ATP lasts only for a few seconds and it must be renewed.
Supplementing with creatine improves the ATP renewal, which helps us to maintain intensity and recovery.
Intake of significant amounts of creatine from food is only possible by eating meat. However, cooking and food preparation can result in creatine loss in food. Given your daily requirement of creatine, consumption of meat and synthesis of creatine by your body may not provide enough to saturate the creatine storage.
If you want your body to perform at its maximum potential, especially during high-intensity efforts, you should assure that your creatine storage is maximized and that is why taking a creatine supplement is paramount. This is additionally important for vegans and vegetarians, who will receive no creatine from meat.
Creapure® creatine helps athletes to maintain high energy levels, pump out more reps, reduce longer rest periods in between sets and even finish the metcon faster! Check out what 6x CrossFit Games® athlete Travis Mayer has to say about this at the end of the article.
WHERE DOES CREATINE COME FROM?
The first fact is that creatine is only produced in Germany or China.
There are hundreds of creatine products on the market and choosing the right one can become confusing – but it doesn’t have to be. Creatine is only produced in two countries in the world, Germany and China.
Tests have shown that the differences in quality across creatine products can be significant. The German creatine is made by AlzChem Trostberg GmbH and is branded as Creapure®. The manufacturing process of Creapure® is regarded as state of the art, which makes Creapure® the Gold Standard and the purest form of creatine on the market.
HOW IS CREATINE MADE AND HOW DO YOU FIND THE HIGHEST QUALITY?
Not all creatine is created equal
There are several ways to manufacture creatine. Creapure® uses the most efficient and safest method of production to minimize the risk of undesirable byproducts. It is made in a GMP certified and FDA-approved facility in Germany under the strictest regulations. All steps of the production process are monitored and well documented, resulting in consistent, reliable and unsurpassed quality.
How do I know if my creatine product contains Creapure® creatine?
To make sure your supplement contains premium grade creatine from Germany, look for the Creapure® Quality Seal on the packaging of your product, as seen below.
WAYS TO ADD CREATINE INTO YOUR NUTRITION
Creatine is available in many forms. The traditional method is taking creatine monohydrate dissolved in water or some kind of sugary liquid (fruit juice, dextrose) for faster absorption.
TRAVIS MAYER ON RECOVERY, PERFORMANCE, COMPETING AND CREATINE
Travis Mayer is a 6x CrossFit Games® athlete, husband and a father of three boys. This veteran competitor is the owner of CrossFit Passion in Alpharetta, GA, USA.
How Travis Mayer started CrossFit®
“I tried Fran which is a 21-15-9 of thrusters and pull ups and fell in love with the workout. I stopped everything, my bad eating habits and I dedicated my entire life from that point on to making it to the CrossFit Games® and competing.”
Mayer’s recovery, performance and the role of Creapure
“The biggest reason that I take Creapure® is that it’s creatine in its purest form and it’s the highest quality I can get. It is made over in Germany and I know that at the end of the day its not going to cause me to fail a drug test and I can keep competing for a long period of time.
I definitely believe that taking Creatine allows me to recover and get back to competing even faster.
For example, if I have a competition that’s four days long and I can recover faster that someone else then it’s going to allow me to have the upper hand and potentially take over that spot.
Creapure® is easy to take, you can mix it in with your shakes, smoothies etc. Post workout, whatever you need, also it doesn’t affect the taste within the product.”
Mayer’s thoughts on competition and toughness
“I love competing, competing is something that from an early age was distilled in us that you should always be striving to win and that even when you don’t win you might lose and that’s ok. Every day I’m able to reach for and try to accomplish my goal of winning The CrossFit Games®.
For me it’s always been something to teach my kids that you never give up and you always fight for it. Coming in here (the Box) every single day, even when I’m tired and fatigued being kept up all night that I can still get after it and prove to them that no matter what you want to accomplish in your life you can usually get it and you can do everything in your power to make it happen.
Creapure® is the creatine of choice for those that strive for excellence and care about what they put into their body. Backed up by scientific evidence and proven in the Box and on the competition floor by Travis Mayer, it will help to enhance your power output, performance and recovery when it matters most.”
Giessing, J. (2018). Kreatin. Eine natürliche Substanz und ihre Bedeutung für Muskelaufbau, Fitness & Anti-Aging. Norderstedt, BoD.
Wallimann, T., Tokarska-Schlattner, M. & Schlattner, U. The creatine kinase system and pleiotropic effects of creatine. Amino Acids 40, 1271–1296 (2011).