Hultman E, et al. Muscle Creatine Loading in Men. Journal of Applied Physiology
, 1996. To provide benefits, creatine
supplements must raise your body’s phosphocreatine stores (2
). Your body stores phosphocreatine in your muscles, brain, and other organs. When necessary, the body uses creatine to produce extra adenosine triphosphate (ATP) energy (2
). Greater phosphocreatine stores in the brain may also help manage the symptoms of some neurological diseases and conditions that affect the ability to think. As you age, your phosphocreatine stores can decline. This can also happen when you have difficulty sleeping. Those who follow a plant-based diet may also have low levels of phosphocreatine, as meat is a key source of creatine (2
). As the graph above shows, the average person will increase their phosphocreatine stores by around 20% after taking 20 grams of creatine a day for 6 days (10
). However, those who already have higher levels of creatine may not experience a significant increase in their stores. For these people, supplements may provide little or no benefit.
Summary Creatine supplements increase the body’s phosphocreatine stores by around 20%, providing numerous health and performance benefits.