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The Biology of Creatine: Powering the Cells

The Biology of Creatine: Powering the Cells

Creatine is more than just a supplement for supporting athletic performance. It's a potential player in our body's energy system, performing some biochemical effect in different cell.*

Creatine, ATP, and our cells

All cellular functions, from muscle contractions to nerve impulses, usually rely on energy. The compound that provides this energy is adenosine triphosphate (ATP). However, ATP stores in the body are limited, and during intense physical activity, these stores might be depleted rapidly.

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Creatine phosphate

This is where creatine might step in. The body stores creatine as creatine phosphate, and in times of high energy demand, this creatine phosphate may donate its phosphate group to adenosine diphosphate (ADP), potentially promoting ATP.* This process, known as the ATP-PCr (phosphocreatine) system, is usually a rapid and efficient method of energy production, and could be particularly important during short, high-intensity bouts of exercise.*

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Creatine and energy production

Creatine might also serve an important role beyond immediate energy support.* By potentially buffering the ATP levels in cells, creatine might allow to support sustained energy production.* Moreover, it may draw water into muscle cells, promoting protein synthesis which would then lead to muscle growth and recovery for certain individuals.*

Although the body can produce creatine endogenously, mainly in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas, dietary sources such as meat and fish, as well as creatine supplements, might provide additional creatine. This exogenous creatine might help saturate the muscle creatine stores, further promoting its benefits for muscle energy metabolism and overall performance.*

As always, talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. Get professional advice if you think you might need a creatine supplements or are already taking one to ensure you're not exceeding the amounts you may need.

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