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Creatine 101

As an athlete, you’re always searching for ways to take your training up a notch. You set goals, reach them, then create new ones. You might switch up your routine, add reps or increase the intensity of your workouts.

But sometimes all you need is a little boost to successfully take your performance to the next level. That’s where Gainful Creatine Performance Boost comes in.

What is creatine?

Creatine is an important amino acid that helps support muscle strength, short energy bursts, the power output of muscle, recovery and increases in lean body mass. It is made in the body primarily in the kidneys (and completed in the liver) by three amino acids: glycine, arginine and methionine.

Although the body produces creatine naturally, it is excreted daily. You can find creatine in many foods, including beef, chicken, milk and cheese; however, the dose in these foods is very small. Due to the consistent excretion and the lack of creatine in most foods, many people choose to supplement creatine. Typically, these people are looking for greater gains in lean body mass, muscle strength and power for their resistance, interval and strength training workouts.

Most creatine supplements are created from sarcosine and cyanamide, which are combined with other catalyst compounds to form creatine crystals. The creatine crystals are vacuum-dried and milled into an extremely fine powder for easy dissolvability. People can mix powdered creatine supplements with their protein powder to create a drink that gives their muscles a boost and supports effective muscle recovery.

Creatine and sports performance

Post-workout lactic acid buildup and soreness happens all too often, but creatine serves as a solution. Creatine enhances energy production in your cells. The most basic form of energy in cells is adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is what your cells use to perform their various functions. ATP deplinishes fast during exercise, but creatine helps replenish ATP. The more creatine you have for your body to use, the more energy your muscle cells have for exercise as well as recovery post-workout.

Creatine helps beginner and advanced athletes alike achieve a variety of fitness goals, from gaining muscle to maintaining your goal weight. A creatine-saturated muscle enhances sports performance, especially for activities involving repeated high-intensity exercise. (Think basketball, soccer, ski racing, football, etc.) Supplementing with creatine increases the water content of your muscles, which allows the muscle to quickly increase in size and speed up the time it takes to increase lean body weight. It also gives the body energy for sprints or surges in endurance events where the athlete wants to break away from the pack.

What are the benefits of creatine?

In addition to its performance-related benefits, other benefits of creatine include a boost in brain health protection and cognitive processing. Researchers have found that creatine supplementation may help with both Huntington’s disease, which involves nerve cell breakdown in the brain, and Parkinson’s disease, which involves reduced levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in your brain. A dramatic reduction in dopamine levels leads to brain cell death and symptoms such as tremors, speech impairment and loss of muscle function. A study of mice with Parkinson’s disease showed that creatine was able to effectively prevent 90% of the typical drop in dopamine levels (however, more research is needed in humans to prove it has the same effect on the human brain). Another study found that humans with Parkinson’s disease who simultaneously weight trained and supplemented with creatine had significantly improved strength and brain function compared to individuals with Parkinson’s disease who just weight trained without creatine supplementation.

Additional research in animals suggests that taking creatine supplements may help treat Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, ischemic stroke, brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Creatine may also help lower blood sugar levels after meals, and it aids those who don’t eat foods that contain creatine such as vegetarians and vegans. People following vegetarian or vegan diets typically don’t consume enough creatine and are at risk for low creatine levels in the muscle.

When to take creatine

To reap the performance benefits of creatine and increase your gains, it’s best to take your supplement close to the time of your workout — either right before or right after. You can take creatine on rest days; however, the timing is not as critical since you will not be engaging in a workout. Consuming creatine with a carbohydrate and protein may increase its effectiveness by increasing uptake into the muscles.

Try adding a scoop of creatine to your protein drink, hydration formula or pre-workout. If you really want to load the muscles with creatine and the tendons with collagen before exercise, consider taking a combination of creatine and collagen before your workout. Gainful offers both a Creatine Performance Boost supplement and a Collagen Performance Boost supplement that pair together perfectly.

Is creatine only for bodybuilders?

Creatine is for all types of athletes and all different levels of athlete — not just bodybuilders. Creatine supplementation is beneficial for many different fitness goals. The versatile boost in energy from creatine supports muscle strength, short energy bursts (you need to get through those two-a-days!) and aids in recovery — perks that any person who works out could benefit from.

We can say with confidence that creatine isn’t just for professional bodybuilders; in fact, the Gainful Creatine Performance Boost is recommended for endurance athletes, too. Ours is a science-backed, mono nutrient which also supports high-intensity training and energy production needed to help your muscles reach your next personal best.

Why does creatine have a bad rap?

Based on the above, it may seem like creatine has endless benefits for athletes; however, creatine does have a bit of a bad reputation due to some of its reported side effects. The most common side effect of creatine is bloating and stomach discomfort. People who use creatine but don’t engage in regular or intense physical activity may find creatine leads to weight gain or a bloated appearance. Some people also (incorrectly) believe that creatine is an anabolic steroid; however, the International Society of Sports Nutrition and the International Olympic Committee not only regard creatine as extremely safe, they also note that creatine is one of the most beneficial sports supplements available on the market.

When it comes to avoiding unwanted side effects, the ingredients used in your creatine formula can make all the difference. Gainful’s Creatine Performance Boost is sifted through a very fine sieve, which means that the particles will dissolve and absorb easier than most creatine supplements. The Creatine Performance Boost’s supreme absorbency along with its vegan, keto, paleo, non-GMO, cGMP, gluten-free, no sugar added, HPLC-tested, micronized formula is what allows Gainful’s creatine to stand out among the rest.

Is creatine right for me?

Think your fitness regimen could benefit from creatine? Take Gainful’s quiz. Gainful’s team of experts will review your answers and can help determine if creatine is right for you.

From there, you can create your complete sports nutrition system, which includes a personalized protein powder as well as personalized pre-workout and hydration formulas. Every product is made with ingredients that are added specifically for your needs. Our experts have the skills and experience to figure out what nutrients will best support your lifestyle and fitness goals. We take every dietary restriction and preference into consideration, whether you’re plant-based, keto, lactose-free, etc. There’s a nutrition system — and more specifically, a creatine formula — for every type of athlete.

You’ll find that Gainful’s creatine formula is impressively versatile. You can add it to a drink made with your personalized protein powder, your hydration formula or your pre-workout. You can also sprinkle the Gainful Creatine Performance Boost over food — it is completely tasteless. All you have to do is take the quiz to add the Creatine Performance Boost onto your next Gainful order.

Get the performance edge you’ve been looking for with lean, clean Gainful creatine.

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