Creatine is the most popular ergogenic aid (a supplement that enhances performance) used in fitness and health. Creatine is a combination of three amino acids; glycine, arginine, and methionine. We can get creatine in our diets in foods like fish and red meat. There are different types of creatine available on the market; creatine monohydrate is the most widely researched.
Research has shown that creatine can aid in muscle gain, exercise performance, recovery, injury prevention, and thermoregulation. Supplementing creatine increases intramuscular creatine concentrations, allowing your body to produce more energy. Therefore potentially improving your performance during your workouts.
There are over 500 peer-refereed articles have been published about creatine, making it the most studied supplement. The International Society of Sports Nutrition reported in 2017 that “there is no compelling scientific evidence that the short or long term use of creatine monohydrate has any detrimental effects” (Kreider et al. 2017).
The recommended dosage is 3-5g/day or 0.1/kg of body mass/day. You can do a “loading phase” of creatine in which you would take a higher dosage, from 15g-25g for five days, to saturate the muscle cells. After five days, you would then return to your maintenance dosage.
Of course, if you find yourself unsure if you should be supplementing creatine, consult a healthcare professional.
Kreider RB, Kalman DS, Antonio J, Ziegenfuss TN, Wildman R, Collins R, Candow DG, Kleiner SM, Almada AL, Lopez HL. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017 Jun 13;14:18. doi: 10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z. PMID: 28615996; PMCID: PMC5469049.