Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the energy source that drives the movement of muscle contraction, and therefore the ability to replace it is critical to performance. ATP production can occur through many processes including cellular respiration, beta oxidation, ketosis, lipid and protein catabolism. Many ingredients on the market today, as well as emerging players, show promise in helping with energy production with the potential to improve athletic performance.
Creatine is one of the most popular nutritional supplements for athletes to improve physical performance, endurance and recovery. It is a naturally occurring substance found in muscle cells and has many similarities to amino acids. The body can produce creatine from the amino acids glycine and arginine. Up to 95% of the body’s own creatine is stored in the skeletal muscles, and small amounts in the brain and testes.1 About two thirds of the intramuscular creatine is stored in the form of phosphocreatine (PCr), the remaining third in the form of free creatine. 2
One way to regenerate the body’s supply of ATP is to use PCr. When ATP is broken down, the remaining ADP needs a phosphate molecule. PCr provides the transfer of a high energy phosphate to ADP to create ATP. Therefore, more PCr means that more energy-rich phosphates are available in the body for the formation of ATP and energy. Creatine supplementation can increase the total available PCr to produce energy in the form of ATP.3 More ATP production means more energy available to improve athletic performance. Studies have consistently shown that creatine supplementation helps increase intramuscular creatine stores.1 This increase may explain the observed improvements in high-intensity exercise performance that can lead to greater exercise adjustments.
Increases in intramuscular creatine have also shown promise for improving exercise performance by enhancing recovery. One study showed that pre-exercise creatine replenishment can promote greater glycogen recovery than carbohydrate replenishment alone.4 Since glycogen replenishment is important in promoting recovery, creatine supplementation can aid athletes who are during Consume large amounts of glycogen during exercise.
Creatine supplementation can also reduce muscle damage and improve recovery after vigorous exercise.5 One group of researchers studied the effects of creatine supplementation on strength recovery and muscle damage after vigorous exercise, with participants who supplemented creatine having greater isokinetic strength and isometric strength Exhibited stretch strength during recovery. In addition, participants had 84% lower plasma creatine kinase (CK) levels after days two, three, four, and seven of recovery.
Another study looked at the effects of creatine on charging in experienced marathon runners and found reduced inflammation markers and muscle soreness.6 Creatine’s help in improving recovery can enable athletes and active consumers to train at higher intensities and faster turnarounds. Such improved recovery while exercising can help promote improved athletic performance.
Creatine monohydrate became popular as a dietary supplement in the early 1990s. Since then, more than 1,000 efficacy and safety studies have been conducted. One of the most comprehensive studies looked at 52 different blood markers over 21 months and found no side effects.7 One of the most commonly reported side effects of creatine supplementation is weight gain due to increased water retention.8 This side effect does not seem to cause direct harm to the consumer.
Creatine can be consumed through animal products such as salmon, pork, beef, herring, chicken, lamb, and tuna. A normal diet with about 1-2 g creatine per day keeps the creatine stores of the muscles at a saturation level of about 60-80% / kg body weight) four times a day for five to seven days.9 Taking creatine with a carbohydrate or carbohydrate and protein has been shown to promote greater creatine retention. 10
The digital magazine “Energy Ingredients with Market Buzz” contains the full version of this article “Enhanced athletic performance through energy-focused ingredients”. It contains more information on the dynamics of energy in the human body, as well as a full list of ingredients for energy-oriented dietary supplement formulations.
Madison Dorn specializes in content creation and management, with a particular passion for the health / nutrition and fitness industries. In her free time, she likes to train and is a CrossFit Level One certified coach.
1 KreiderR et al. “Position Stand of the International Society of Sports Nutrition: Safety and Effectiveness of Creatine Supplementation in Exercise, Exercise, and Medicine.” J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017; 14 (18).
2 Greenhaff P. “The Nutritional Biochemistry of Creatine.” J Nutr Biochem. 1994; 8 (11): 610-618.
3 FrancauxM et al. “Effect of Exogenous Creatine Supplementation on Muscle PCr Metabolism.” Int J Sports Med. 2000; 21 (2): 139-145.
4 Nelson A. et al. “Muscle glycogen supercompensation is improved with previous creatine supplementation.” Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001; 33 (7): 1096-1100.
5 CookeM et al. “Creatine supplementation improves muscle strength recovery after eccentrically induced muscle damage in healthy individuals.” J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2009; 6:13.
6 Santos R et al. “The Effect of Creatine Supplementation on Inflammation and Sore Muscle Markers After a 30K Race.” Life Sci. 2004; 75 (16): 1917-1924.
7 KreiderR et al. “Long-term creatine supplementation has no significant impact on clinical health markers in athletes.” Mol Cell Biochem. 2003; 244 (1-2): 95-104.
8 Powers M et al. “Creatine supplementation increases total body water without changing the fluid distribution.” J Athl-Zug. 2003; 38 (1): 44-50.
9 HarrisR et al. “Increase in creatine in resting and stressed muscles of normal subjects through creatine supplementation.” Clin Sci. 1994; 83 (3): 367-374.
10 GreenwoodM et al. “Differences in creatine retention between three nutritional formulas of oral creatine supplements.” J Exercise Physiol. 2003; 6 (2).