What is Creatine?

What is creatine?

Creatine is an amino acid derivative constructed from arginine, glycine and methionine. It is produced naturally by the body in the kidneys, liver, and pancreas at a rate of about 1-2 grams/day. Creatine can also be obtained from food (particularly red meat) and supplementation.

The uptake of creatine into muscle cells is an active process. 90-95% of creatine in the body is found in muscle.

Creatine is degraded into creatinine and excreted in the urine at a rate of around 2 grams/day.

Why is creatine so important?

The energy needs of brief, rapid and powerful movements lasting fewer than 10 seconds, such as a short sprint, are met by the phosphagen system. This system quickly replenishes the stores of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, which provides energy to the working cells. Muscles have an existing amount of ATP hanging around ready for action, but only a little bit — enough for a few seconds. ATP is broken down by removing a phosphate, which turns it into adenosine diphosphate (two phosphates). To make more ATP, the muscles need to get the missing third phosphate from somewhere, quickly.

This is where creatine phosphate comes in. It takes one for the team by donating its phosphate so that ADP can become ATP again, and so you can finish that sprint.

Because creatine plays a major role in this system, more creatine means more potential ATP, which translates into improved performance on short-duration, high-intensity tasks. Because of long duration, low-intensity activities rely more on a different energy system, they are not typically enhanced by creatine — in other words, creatine will help a sprint but not a marathon.

Consuming creatine supplements can increase skeletal muscle free creatine (which makes up about 1/3) and phosphocreatine (which makes up about 2/3) concentrations. These are the naturally occurring energy pools that replenish ATP.

Uptake of creatine into muscle also has a cell volumizing effect by drawing water into the cell. Over the long term, this swelling may increase protein synthesis and glycogen storage.

What you should know

Creatine is taken as a supplement in the form of creatine monohydrate (mainly) because the phosphorylated creatine (creatine phosphate or phosphocreatine) does not pass through cell membranes.

Other forms of creatine supplements have not been heavily studied and may result in more of a by-product known as creatinine. A recent study found that “when compared to creatine monohydrate, creatine ethyl ester was not as effective at increasing serum and muscle creatine levels or in improving body composition, muscle mass, strength, and power.”

Creatine use can improve performance in high-intensity events (e.g., weight training, sprints, etc). Longer duration aerobic workouts may not benefit from regular creatine use.

When following high-dose creatine loading strategies, body mass can be increased by nearly 2 kg (over 4 lbs) in just 7 days. This is mainly due to increases in total body water. However, these rapid water gains are not necessarily associated with lower dose creatine use.

As previously mentioned, long-term use of creatine can stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Plus, when power and strength levels are enhanced, general muscular adaptation can occur indirectly.

The benefits of creatine supplementation may go beyond athletic performance: creatine may have neuroprotective effects on neurological diseases such as Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease). More human trials are needed to confirm this.

For extra credit

Creatine appears to be safe to use while exercising in the heat.

Creatine does not appear to increase the risk of cramping or injury.

Combining caffeine with creatine shouldn’t negate its effects. (See Creatine Combinations)

Creatine supplementation may be even more beneficial in those on a plant-based diet, due to the lack of creatine consumption from food.

About 20 percent of creatine users are deemed “non-responders.” This may occur because they already have a high enough dietary intake of creatine from whole foods. Conversely, creatine supplementation may be even more beneficial for those on a plant-based diet, due to the lack of creatine consumption from food.

A standard omnivorous diet contains about 1 gram of creatine per day. Typically, additional benefits occur with intakes of 3-5 grams per day.

Creatine supplementation may be more effective when combined with carbohydrates during the first few days of supplementation. This suggests that insulin may moderate its effects. However, after the first few days, carbohydrates may not be required.

Based on current data, long-term creatine supplementation does not result in adverse health effects.

Creatine supplementation may increase anterior compartment pressure in the lower leg so athletes may want to be careful with creatine supplementation if they’re prone to shin problems.

Summary and recommendations

If you decide to use a creatine supplement…

• Use the monohydrate form

• Consume 3-5 grams of creatine per day

• Dissolve the creatine in a warm beverage like green tea

• You can also take your creatine before and/or after workout sessions with your workout nutrition

• Take a break from creatine supplementation after using for 12-16 weeks

CLICK HERE for the creatine I use, or click the picture 🙂


Beyond Raw LIT “Gummy Worm” flavor Review


The reason I am writing this review is to help other people like myself to be able to gather enough information in order for them to make a decision of whether they want to buy a product or not. My fitness goal is to make a gradual increase in muscle as I am building lean muscle.

Ingredient Profile

Creatine (1.5g)- Helps muscles to make and circulate ATP which is the energy for quick and intense activity
Ancient Peat Apple Extract (150mg)- Supports ATP
Caffeine (250 mg)- Equivalent to amount of caffeine in about 2.5 cups of coffee
L-Citrulline (3g)- Amino acid that supports nitric oxide production
Nitrosigine (1.5g)- Increases plasma arginine levels (Arginine- Amino acid that supports blood vessel tone)
Beta Alanine Carnosyn (3.2g)- Delays fatigue and creates a slight tingly feeling on your skin


The Blue Raspberry is a very good tasting flavor. It is almost like having a liquid blue ICEE! The dosage is 1 scoop (13.76g). One thing that stood out to me about this pre-workout was the fact that it has 3.2 grams of beta alanine per serving. This is almost twice of what a majority of pre-workouts use in their dosage. I am a big fan of this because it will help delay your fatigue even more! You should take this pre-workout about 20-30 minutes before you start your workout.


It takes about 30 minutes to start feeling your body “tingle” from the beta alanine. This is very minor and the benefit of feeling less fatigued throughout your workout far outweighs a minor tingle. Less fatigue means you can get more sets in! While taking Lit I was nowhere near as tired during my normal workout as when I was not taking any pre-workout. I even added 3 more sets of different lifts to my routine! Along with the beta-alanine, you can really feel the creatine working because your muscles aren’t so gassed as soon as you finish a set. I took this on an off for a month to see if it was actually the pre-workout making my workouts easier or if it was all in my head. I concluded that it was not all in my head because when I went off of Lit my reps decreased and my fatigue came quicker. I noticed a large increase in strength while taking Lit because I was able to do more sets as well as be able to pump out my sets easier so I would gradually increase the weights. Obviously, if you are increasing weights you are increasing strength! As for focus, I didn’t really notice a giant change but I did notice that time seemed to fly by when I was working out.


The price was $39.99 for 30 servings ($1.33/serving). This is definitely on the pricier side of pre-workouts. But, it makes sense that it is more because what’s unique about it is the amount of beta alanine in it along with the fact that it contains nitrosigine. Although it is a little more pricey I would say it is worth the money because the results were there!

Side Effects

Minor tingling from Beta Alanine as well as taking more than what is suggested can lead to nauseousness and really fast heartbeat during a workout. Also, do not take this if you workout at night because it has 250mg of caffeine and will make it hard for you to sleep.


There are very few pre-workouts that surpass Beyond Raw Lit. The taste is excellent along with the overall effectiveness. Some pre-workouts have incorrect dosages so you will not feel anything during your workout but with Lit you feel great throughout your entire workout. Overall this is a very good pre-workout with a lot of quality ingredients that make it a one-of-a-kind. I strongly recommend!
Click here to buy it on amazon!