Creatine monohydrate is an amino acid that enhances athletic performance by increasing your muscles' ability to create energy. It is produced naturally by the liver and the kidneys and is also found in foods, especially red meat. Creatine is a non-protein amino acid found in animals and, in much lesser amounts, plants. Creatine is synthesized in the kidney, liver and pancreas from the amino acids L-arginine, glycine and L-methionine. Following its biosynthesis, creatine is transported to the skeletal muscle, heart, brain and other tissues. Most of the creatine is metabolized in these tissues to phosphocreatine (creatine phosphate). Phosphocreatine is a major energy storage form in the body.
In muscle and nerve, most of the creatine is phosphorylated to phosphocreatine (PCr) in a reaction that is catalyzed by the enzyme creatine kinase (CK). There are three isoforms (isoenzymes) of CK. CK-MM is the skeletal muscle isoform; CK-BB, the brain isoform, and CK-MB, the isoform found in cardiac muscle. Most of the PCr in the body is in skeletal muscle.
Creatine, creatine kinase and phosphocreatine make up an intricate cellular energy buffering and transport system connecting sites of energy production in the mitochondria with sites of energy consumption. CK is a key enzyme involved in cellular energy homeostasis. It reversibly catalyzes the transfer of the high-energy phosphate bond in PCr to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) to form adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and it catalyzes the transfer of the high-energy phosphate bond in ATP to creatine to form PCr. During periods of intense exercise and skeletal muscle contraction, bioenergetic metabolism switches from one in which oxidative phosphorylation is the major pathway of ATP production to one in which so-called anaerobic glycolysis becomes dominant. Much less ATP would be generated during this period if it were not for phosphocreatine (PCr) being the only fuel available to regenerate ATP during this period. Thus the availability of PCr is the limiting factor of skeletal-muscle performance during high intensity and brief bursts (about 10 seconds) of activity. Supplemental creatine may increase PCr levels in skeletal muscle and hypothetically enhance ATP turnover during maximal exercise.
Creatine supplementation of transgenic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) mice carrying the superoxide dismutase (SOD)1 mutation has reportedly produced improvement in motor performance and extension of survival, as well as protection against loss of both motor neurons and substantia nigra neurons. Mitochondrial dysfunction is among the earliest features found in these mice models of familial ALS. Creatine administration to these mice appears to stabilize mitochondrial CK and inhibits opening of the mitochondrial transition pores.
Creatine, as well as a creatine analogue called cyclocreatine, inhibit growth of a broad range of solid tumors in rat models of cancer; these tumors express high levels of CK. Although the mechanism of tumor inhibition is unknown, there is speculation about what it may be. Creatine feedback inhibits the transamidination step in its biosynthesis. This results in sparing L-arginine, the limiting precursor in creatine synthesis. More available L-arginine can lead to increased levels of nitric oxide (NO), which is a factor in macrophage activation. Another possibility is that glycolysis is inhibited in these tumors. Phosphocreatine inhibits enzymes in the glycolitic pathway, including glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, phosphofructokinase and pyruvate kinase.
Creatine monohydrate is a dynamic energy enhancing supplement that strengthens muscle function and vitality. Perfect for anyone seeking improved muscle health, creatine acts as an energy reserve in muscles cells to support increased strength and endurance. By helping the body recover spent ATP, creatine helps increase energy reactions in a cell’s mitochondria. This lets you perform physical activity, including housework, gardening and exercise with greater energy. Creatine monohydrate supports muscles by working as a reserve energy supply in muscle cells and helps maintain ATP (adenosine triphosphate) levels. Muscular contractions are powered by the breakdown of ATP to ADP (adenosine diphosphate). When all the ATP is broken down, creatine phosphate in a muscle donates a phosphate group to ADP, and rebuilds ATP to promote further energy reactions. By maintaining healthy levels of creatine there are greater energy reserves for muscles to use and more work can occur.