Satellite cells are precursor cells for muscle cells (skeletal muscles) and high intensity training (such as weights) can boost satellite cell numbers and thus boost muscle cell numbers. Skeletal muscle is a form of striated muscle tissue, accounting for ∼40% of adult human body weight. Skeletal muscle is composed of multinucleated contractile muscle cells (also called myofibers). During development, myofibers are formed by fusion of mesoderm progenitors called myoblasts. In neonatal/juvenile stages, the number of myofibers remains constant, but each myofiber grows in size by fusion of satellite cells, a population of postnatal muscle stem cells.
Adult mammalian skeletal muscle is stable under normal conditions, with only sporadic fusion of satellite cells to compensate for muscle turnover caused by daily wear and tear. However, skeletal muscle has a remarkable ability to regenerate after injury. Responding to injury, skeletal muscle undergoes a highly orchestrated degeneration and regenerative process that takes place at the tissue, cellular, and molecular levels. This results in the reformation of innervated, vascularized contractile muscle apparatuses. This regeneration process greatly relies on the dynamic interplay between satellite cells and their environment (stem cell niche).1
Creatine Monohydrate and muscle growth
Studies have concluded that there is an increase in muscle following resistance exercise training with creatine monohydrate administration in older adults.2 We have also previously reported that older adults show a significant increase in total muscle creatine following four months of creatine monohydrate supplementation at 5g per day. An increase in satellite cell number occurs in older adults in response to resistance exercise training, and creatine monohydrate has been shown to enhance satellite cell activation during resistance exercise training in younger men.3 Together, the aforementioned data found that creatine monohydrate may enhance the resistance exercise induced activation of satellite cells and contribute to the increase in muscle mass seen a well-designed study.4 The increase in muscle mass was due to creatine monohydrate given that the potentiation of the muscle gains seen in the research were similar to those previously reported studies using creatine monohydrate as a muscle stimulating agent.
How Creatine works in the muscles
Creatine is a substance found in muscle that combines with phosphate to form creatine phosphate. Creatine phosphate reacts with adenosine di-phosphate to regenerate adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP – stored energy) in working muscle. Dietary supplementation of creatine may increase the total creatine and creatine phosphate content of the muscle. Researchers have found that muscle creatine phosphate levels drop significantly after the performance of a 300 meter run, which lasts 30 to 40 s suggesting that the lack of creatine phosphate may somehow limit performance during intense, short term exercise.5
Thus, buffering of ATP by phosphocreatine extends the duration of activity possible and increasing creatine enhances endurance.
Creatine monohydrate for brain power
Interestingly, creatine monohydrate doesn’t just boost your muscle power, it also boosts your brain power! Creatine supplementation is in widespread use to enhance sports-fitness performance, and has been trialled successfully in the treatment of neurological, neuromuscular and atherosclerotic disease.
Creatine plays a pivotal role in brain energy homeostasis, being a temporal and spatial buffer for cytosolic and mitochondrial pools of the cellular energy currency, adenosine triphosphate and its regulator, adenosine diphosphate. In one study, individuals were given oral creatine supplementation (5 g per day for six weeks) to see if creatine monohydrate would enhance intelligence test scores and working memory performance in 45 young adult, vegetarian subjects in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over design. Creatine supplementation had a significant positive effect on both working memory (backward digit span) and intelligence (Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices), both tasks that require speed of processing. The findings underline a dynamic and significant role of brain energy capacity in influencing brain performance.
When and how to take creatine monohydrate?
From most of the studies reviewed, 5g per day seems like the optimal dose to take. It is best taken before your training session and again after the training session if it was a tough one. Taken 30min before a stressful exam or work situation will also help with your brain’s performance.
Why should I take the ATP Science Creatine monohydrate?
The process of Creapure® is patented in Europe EP 0754679, USA US 5719319 China CN 1140707, to guarantee to the lowest impurities possible. Impurities Creatinine, Dicyandiamide and Dihydrotriazine in CreaPure are lower than standard Creatine Monohydrate on the market.
Benefits of Creapure® include:
- CreaPure is on the Cologne list (tested for banned substances)
- Kosher certified
- Halal certified
- No irradiated substances
- Allergen, pesticide, heavy metal and microbial tested for compliance
- Approved material manufacturer that will allow audits of their factory
- HPLC verified guaranteeing fully efficacious material and no contaminants or adulteration
- High Bioavailability
- Gluten Free
- GMO free
- Sugar free
- Physiol Rev. 2013 Jan; 93(1): 23–67. Satellite Cells and the Muscle Stem Cell Niche. Hang Yin, Feodor Price, and Michael A. Rudnickicorresponding author
- Chrusch MJ, Chilibeck PD, Chad KE, Davison KS, Burke DG. Creatine supplementation combined with resistance training in older men. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001;33:2111–2117
- Olsen S, Aagaard P, Kadi F, Tufekovic G, Verney J, et al. Creatine supplementation augments the increase in satellite cell and myonuclei number in human skeletal muscle induced by strength training. J Physiol. 2006;573:525–534
- Creatine monohydrate and conjugated linoleic acid improve strength and body composition following resistance exercise in older adults. Tarnopolsky M, Zimmer A, Paikin J, Safdar A, Aboud A, Pearce E, Roy B, Doherty T. PLoS One. 2007 Oct 3;2(10):e991.
- Effects of oral creatine supplementation on performance and muscle metabolism during maximal exercise. 1995 Timothy Mark Ruden. Iowa State University