What Does Creatine Do?
Creatine is natural fuel storage for muscles.
Creatine is produced naturally by the body. It's especially concentrated in muscles where it stores the fuel your muscles need to work hard, turning it into energy when called upon during strength/resistance training exercise. By providing the fuel working muscles need, creatine has a direct impact on building muscle mass and strength.
Why supplement with creatine?
The body produces some creatine on its own and also gets some through the diet, primarily via meat such as beef and salmon. But stores of creatine in muscles are rapidly depleted when called upon for short bursts of contraction during exercise such as strength/resistance training or sprinting, leading to fatigue. Supplementing with creatine increases the body's natural capacity for storing energy, meaning more energy is available to muscles during these high energy activities. This can help you increase your workload during exercise—for instance by helping you work with heavier weights or against higher resistance—and therefore help you to increase muscle strength.*
It's effective, well-studied for safety, and not just for athletes!
Athletes and body builders have used creatine supplements for decades to help increase and maintain muscle mass. But research shows older adults can enjoy its muscle-strengthening benefits as well. Creatine has been widely studied for safety and effectiveness, and has shown it can also help muscle recovery after exercise. Dr. Ni's OC2 provides 5 grams in a daily serving, a moderate amount that has been shown to be effective while also being well-tolerated.*
Why creatine monohydrate?
The creatine in Dr. Ni's OC2 is creatine monohydrate, chosen because it's an easily absorbed form of creatine. When consumed, it's absorbed through the gut and stored in muscles, where it's available when needed.
A few things to know.
When taking a supplement with creatine:
- You don't want to heat it or mix it with hot liquids, because this will make it lose its effectiveness.
- Creatine crystals don't always completely dissolve in water. If you find that some remains in your glass, add a little more water and give it a swirl to get anything that remains. Or try mixing Dr. Ni's OC2 in yogurt, a smoothie, or ice cream—it's yummy! In fact, taking creatine with a small amount of carbohydrate or glucose can help your body absorb it better.
- Regular strength training/resistance training is necessary to get the full benefits of creatine.
- Note that creatine has not been shown to increase performance during aerobic endurance exercise, though stronger muscles from strength/resistance training can help endurance athletes increase their overall performance.
- Remember to take it daily. This helps to ensure the creatine content in your muscles is maintained at optimal levels.
- It may take several weeks of regular exercise and supplementation before improvements in muscle strength are noticeable.
- A small percentage of people won't respond to creatine, so if you take Dr. Ni's OC2 daily, exercise regularly, and don't notice results within a month, creatine might not be for you.
- In amounts generally much higher than what's found in Dr. Ni's OC2, creatine can cause an upset stomach in some people. If you're sensitive and notice any stomach upset, try taking Dr. Ni's OC2 with food, or splitting your daily serving in half and taking it morning and night.
Additional creatine reading:
- U.S. National Library of Medicine
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health
- Links to research.
Always consult your doctor prior to beginning any supplement or exercise regimen.