Creatine has never been a controversial substance in more than two centuries since its initial studies and health benefits to performance athletes started. As a runner, you are bound to lock crosshairs with creatine because, at some point, someone or a nutritional expert will recommend it.
If you are here, it means you are asking yourself, is creatine good for marathon runners?
According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, after a meta-study of 500 creatine uses, the conclusion was that there is no evidence that creatine monohydrate has long-term or short-term detrimental effects on healthy athletes.
It makes one wonder, what is creatine and how much should I consume?
Let's start with what creatine is not. If you are wondering, it's not a steroid, and you won't receive a ban from most athletic organizations worldwide for using creatine.
You can use creatine supplements while competing under the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) or International Olympics Committee (IOC).
Creatine is a naturally occurring supplement
Creatine is a naturally occurring supplement (amino acids) that our body creates and stores to be used by the muscles and brain to replenish lost energy.
After caffeine, creatine is the next widely researched ergogenic supplement on the market today.
So how much creatine is safe for consumption?
Even though our bodies need creatine, unlike other nutrients like potassium and calcium, there's no Recommended Daily Intake (RDI). Suffice it to say you can consume as much as your body requires for running or other high-performance sports.
Marathon running is a high-intensive activity that needs a quick-acting energy source to sustain. This is where creatine becomes helpful in athletes looking to maintain their energy as they tackle the 42.2 km/26.2-mile grueling run.
However, creatine shouldn't be consumed at high doses by dormant people. Among its side effects are the following;
● Potential adverse effects on the kidney, heart, and liver
● Muscle cramping
● Stomach pains
Pregnant athletes should also avoid the consumption of creatine supplements.
How Does Creatine Benefit Runners?
According to research, using creatine supplements can improve your performance by up to 7.5% enabling you to experience less fatigue while running faster and harder.
Another research pointed out that creatine is best for high-intensive sports. Meaning it's preferable for sprints rather than distance running because of the short bursts of energy required.
Improve Muscle Gain
Creatine helps age athletes because it helps them gain muscle mass. Muscular dystrophy is an inevitable aging side effect, but fortunately, creating can reduce muscle loss.
To get the best use of creatine, an athlete needs to use their muscles and consider strength training exercises actively.
An essential part of a training schedule is the recovery time to allow runners' muscles to heal, preventing injuries. Creatine reduces the recovery time of athletes allowing them to return to optimal performance at high intensity sooner.
Creatine is a useful supplement for bone healing, reducing the time it takes under natural circumstances. The role of creatine during the bone healing process is to provide the cells with energy by improving the Alkaline Phosphatase levels (ALP). Cell energy is critical in bone formation and healing.
Which Creatine Form is Ideal for Runners
You can find creatine supplements in three kinds of forms. These are pills, powders, and liquids. According to research, the best form is powder. Consuming creatine monohydrate in powder form is more effective and safe in terms of purity.