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#31 Increase Muscle Strength With Creatine

What is creatine?

Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid which facilitates the recycling of energy in brain tissues and muscles in the body. Additionally, it increases the volume of muscles via water retention, provides energy to them and increases strength. Creatine synthesis occurs almost exclusively in the liver and kidneys.

Creatine is a popular dietary supplement that is commonly used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts to help build muscle and used for a variety of other purposes. Image Source: Canva.com

How to obtain creatine?

Creatine is found in red meats and seafood and therefore can be obtained via diet; however, supplement use is encouraged for those who lack creatine as dietary creatine levels are generally low. Creatine can also be obtained in some pre-made beverages like pre-workout and other sport drink options. As with any supplement, it is a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider or dietitian before adding a creatine supplement to your diet.

Creatine for muscle disorders associated with neuropathy

Creatine has been used to treat peripheral neuropathy for the following two instances: 

  1. Increasing muscle strength in muscular dystrophies. 
    Analysis has demonstrated that creatine can increase muscle strength in dystrophies and potentially improve functional performance. This happens because creatine is indirectly involved in building muscle. To elaborate, creatine phosphate is a molecule in the muscle tissues. This molecule replenishes ATP which is the energy currency used by muscle tissue. The more that ATP is replenished, the more energy the muscle has which in turn allows the muscle to be used more which results in building and strengthening of that muscle. So, creatine supplements increase the amount of creatine phosphate which in turn gives the muscles more energy to work with.  
Creatine muscles
Check on the side effects before taking Creatine or any other supplement. Image Source: Canva.com

2. Reducing amount of methyl drainage
Neuropathic symptoms such as lack of motor coordination and paralysis are often the cause of a loss of myelin. Myelin in the fatty sheath that insulates neurons (nerve cells) and allows them to communicate with one another. The myelination of neurons makes communication between the brain and appendages a quicker and easier process.

Problems arise when holes begin to form in this myelin sheath, such as the case in Multiple Sclerosis. This is when we begin to see problems in motor coordination. This demyelination can occur when methyl reserves in the body are depleted. When the body synthesizes creatine, it drains the bodies methyl stores, therefore, creatine supplementation can help to reduce drainage of these methyl stores and keep neurons myelinated and movement coordinated.  

Creatine supplements and usage information

When it comes to creatine supplements, the options seem endless, with shelves lined with various formulations promising different benefits. However, amidst this sea of choices, creatine monohydrate stands out as the most extensively researched and widely recommended option, especially for addressing conditions like peripheral neuropathy.

For individuals seeking relief from peripheral neuropathy symptoms, a daily dosage of approximately 2-3 grams of creatine is suggested. This dosage has been found to be effective in gradually increasing creatine levels in the body over time, thereby potentially alleviating movement disorders and associated issues.

One notable aspect of creatine supplementation is its long-term usage potential. Research indicates that creatine supplements can be safely consumed on a daily basis for up to three years. This extended duration allows for the gradual accumulation of creatine in the body, leading to improved mobility and function in individuals grappling with movement disorders and related challenges.

Creatine may have side effects that are amplified by your condition. As always, it is recommended to speak with your physician prior to adding any supplements to your diet and always be aware of any possible side effects.

Other CNA Resources

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