WODdoc Episode 68: What is Creatine 101?

Creatine… that mythical white powder the meatheads shovel down their throats before 1RM bicep curls.

What is it?

Creatine is combination of 3 amino acids, glycine, arginine and methionine. It is manufactured by the liver, kidneys and pancreas. We consume additional creatine when eating other foods high in protein like red meats and fish.

How does it work?

To understand how creatine works, lets first look at how the body gets the energy needed to contract it’s muscles (and everything else for that matter).  We have this high energy molecule called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).  ATP is considered by biologists to be the currency of life. As the name implies ATP is Adenosine + 3 Phosphates.  Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 11.37.55 PM

When a phosphate breaks off of ATP energy is formed.


What is left is call ADP or Adenosine Diphosphate. To make more energy we need to convert ADP back into ATP.  Here is were creatine comes in.!!!!!  Creatine supplies ADP with a phosphate to reform ATP. Now we can make more energy.

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 11.27.10 PM     vs     Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 11.27.29 PM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BR3dDO1Sz0E


Think of creatine as these little train cars that carry in phosphates.  If we only have a couple the rate that we can make ATP is slow. If we have lots the rate is faster!  Its not rocket science really.  If we can make more energy… faster. Then we can sustain output longer… meaning we can push for an additional rep or sprint an extra 5 meters etc.

How To Supplement?

“Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition” suggests a loading dose of 0.3 gram per kilogram of body weight — 0.14 gram per pound — for a period of three days, followed by 3 to 5 grams per day after that.