If you’ve been looking to improve your performance in the gym, or just your fitness generally, there’s every chance you’ve come across the c-word. Creatine that is. There’s a reason it’s one of the most popular supplements on the market – creatine supports strength, power and energy production, helping you work harder for longer. Let’s take a closer look at exactly how.

First, what is creatine?
Creatine is an amino acid derivative found naturally in all the cells of your body but stored primarily in your muscle. About half of your body’s supply of creatine comes from your diet (it’s found in fish, meat and other animal products such as diary), with the other half produced in the liver and kidneys and delivered to the muscles for use.

So, how does creatine work?
Muscle cells require large amounts of energy when they’re in active use. Creatine is what helps make this energy more available. How? It’s a little complicated, but put simply, between 90 and 95 per cent of your body’s creatine is stored in your skeletal muscles in the form of phosphocreatine.

This compound, a form of stored energy in the cells, helps your body produce more of a high-energy molecule called ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). You’ll know about ATP if you’ve been around fitness for a while – it’s the key energy source for heavy-lifting and high intensity exercise and the thing we need for every biological process.

What does creatine do?
When phosphocreatine is depleted, you experience muscle fatigue which of course is going to impact the effectiveness of your workout. Supplementing with creatine can increase your stores of phosphocreatine helping you produce more ATP, which is especially beneficial for activities involving short, fast, explosive movements. Improved performance during periods of intense muscle use can lead to increased muscle growth and greater strength. Just what you need to smash those fitness goals.

Other benefits of creatine
Creatine is one of the world’s most tested supplements and numerous scientific studies have been dedicated to investigating it’s many additional benefits, which include:
Increased muscle mass. Studies have found creatine is effective for both short-term and long-term muscle growth, in both those who are untrained and elite athletes. Prolonged workouts. A US study found using creatine led to an increase in muscle glycogen loading capacity, which could have a performance enhancing effects during endurance exercise.

Elevated muscle volume. As well as improved cell signalling which aids muscle repair and new muscle growth, creatine has also been found to hydrate muscle cells. This increases protein synthesis (and makes muscle looked more pumped).

Better recovery after intense exercise. Creating a larger phosphocreatine pool in your body (leading to faster regeneration of ATP) can help with recovery after training. Studies show users experience less cramping, dehydration and muscle tightness, strains and pulls than those not using creatine supplement.

Who can and should be using creatine?
Creatine monohydrate is the supplemental form of creatine that is highly bioavailable, meaning your body can easily absorb and utilise it. (It’s simply creatine with one molecule of water attached to it, hence the name!)

INC Creatine Monohydrate is micronised for rapid absorption and comes in an easy-to-mix powder form that can be added to cold water, juice or other drinks.
It’s perfect for beginner or advanced athletes who want to maximise strength and power and for those seeking increased muscle mass and optimal performance. Whether it’s weightlifting, strength training, cycling, sprinting and even team sports – INC Creatine Monohydrate is a safe and effective workout supplement for fitness enthusiasts. Best of all, it’s Informed Sports Certified – meaning that you can train knowing you’re using a product which has passed a rigorous certification process.

How to use INC Creatine Monohydrate
In the loading phase, aim for one (5 gram) serve four times a day for five days, before moving to one serve daily during maintenance. Ideally serve it up with juice or cordial, as creatine is best absorbed when glucose (or fructose) is present. As always, seek professional advice before long term use. At INC, an Australian-owned company, we understand the link between training and nutrition in helping to achieve your optimal fitness goals and it’s our mission to make the highest quality sports supplements affordable to all.