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The following information on the nutritional supplement Creatine Monohydrate is not intended as

medical advice and should not be used to replace proper medical care or any therapeutic
program recommended by a physician. This information is intended for educational purposes

Creatine Monohydrate
What is Creatine?
Creatine is a compound that can be made in our bodies or taken as a dietary supplement. The
chemical name for Creatine is N-(aminoiminomethyl)-N-methyl glycine or methylglycocyamine.
The most commonly used form is creatine monohydrate. Creatine is synthesized in the liver,
pancreas, and kidney from the three amino acids - L-Arginine, Glycine and L-Methionine.
Following its biosynthesis, creatine is transported to the skeletal muscles, heart, brain, and other
tissues. Most of the creatine is metabolized in these tissues to creatine phosphate. Creatine
phosphate is an essential part of energy utilization in the body.
Most supplements of creatine are in the form of creatine monohydrate. The body converts most
of the creatine monohydrate into the usable creatine phosphate molecule.
Creatine Monohydrate

How much Creatine do we have in our body?

This varies based on the amount of muscle mass you have and your weight. On average a 160
pound person would have about 120 grams of creatine stored in their body.
Where Creatine is stored in our body:
It is believed that about 95% of the creatine in our body is stored in our muscles. The remaining
5% is stored in various other parts of the body including the brain, heart and other tissues.
Mechanism of Action for creatine:
Although creatines mechanism of action is not completely understood, research seems to
demonstrate the following:
1) Creatine provides additional energy for muscles
In your body you have a compound called ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate). ATP is an energy
containing compound. What is important to know about ATP is that the body can very quickly get
energy from an ATP reaction. You have other sources of energy such as carbohydrates and fat
but they take longer to convert into a usable energy source. When you are doing an intense quick
burst activity, such as lifting a weight or sprinting, your muscles must contract and need a quick
source of energy. This immediate energy comes from ATP.
When your muscles use ATP for energy a chemical process happens where the ATP is broken
down into two simpler chemicals ADP (adenosine di-phosphate) and inorganic phosphate. This
process of ATP turning into ADP releases the energy which gives your muscles the ability to
contract. Unfortunately, we do not have an endless supply of ATP. In fact, your muscles only

contain enough ATP to last about 10-15 seconds at maximum exertion. ADP cannot be used to
create more energy for your muscles.
This is where creatine comes in, or more specifically the creatine phosphate (CP). The majority
of creatine that is stored in the muscles bonds with abundant phosphorus stores in the muscles
and is converted into Creatine Phosphate (CP). CP is able to react with the ADP in your body and
convert ADP back into ATP. You can think of creatine phosphate like a recycler. That is, it
recycles ADP back into energy producing ATP. More ATP in your body means more potential
energy for your muscles.
2) Increases the size of muscle.
This is the process of pulling fluid into the muscle cells and thus increasing the volume of the
muscles. Creatine has been shown to pull water into your muscle cells, which increases the size
of muscles.
3) Buffer Lactic Acid build-up
New research has shown that creatine can help buffer lactic acid that builds-up in the muscles
during exercise. Lactic acid is what causes that burning feel you get in your muscles during
exercise and the soreness you feel the next day. Scientifically it is a complicated process.
Basically the creatine bonds with a Hydrogen ion and that helps delay the build up of lactic acid.
More research needs to be done to see if this point is true.
4) Enhances Protein Synthesis
There is some data to indicate that creatine helps put the body in a more anabolic state where
protein synthesis can occur. The more protein synthesis, the greater the muscle gain.
Is the 120 grams of creatine in my body enough?
Maybe. The whole idea behind taking creatine as supplement is that if you workout, you burn-up
a lot of creatine. If you take a creatine supplement, you will have more energy because the ATP
energy cycle will last for a longer time. Unfortunately your muscle's creatine supply is not
limitless. The average human has between 3.5 and 4 grams of creatine per kilogram of muscle.
Once you use up the creatine in your muscle you have to rest your muscles and wait a while
before you can exercise the muscle again. Studies have shown that the human muscle can store
up to 5 grams of creatine per kilogram. So, by taking a creatine supplement you can raise your
levels from 3.5 to 5 grams of creatine - and thus enjoy more of the benefits of creatine.
Loading phase: 5 grams mixed with water or juice 4 times per day for 5 days on an empty
Workout: 5 grams mixed with water or juice 1/2 hour before a workout and again immediately
Those who use creatine supplements should take them with adequate water, 6-8 glasses per
NOTE: Be sure to consult your physician before trying any nutritional supplement. Do not
stop or reduce any currently prescribed medications without consulting your physician.
Warnings and Precautions:
Creatine should not be used in those individuals with kidney failure or any other renal disorders.
Creatine supplements should be avoided by children, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and
anyone at risk for renal disorders such as diabetics.

Caffeine appears to interfere with the beneficial effects of creatine supplementation.

1) Toler, Creatine is an ergogenic for anaerobic exercise. Nutr Rev. 1997; 55:854-857
2) Vandenberghe, et al., Caffeine counteracts the ergogenic action of muscle creatine loading. J
Appl Physiol. 1996: 80:452-457
3) Feldman, Creatine: a dietary supplement and ergogenic aid. Nutr Rev. 1999; 57:45-50
4) PDR For Nutritional Supplements; Medical Economics-Thomson Healthcare; 186-9, 2001
5) The Merck Index; Chapman and Hall EPD. 1996