Behind every powerful workout, there’s a silent contributor: creatine. Naturally present in our bodies, it’s an essential player in muscle energy. But where else can we find it, and do you need to supplement to get a true creatine boost? Let’s explore the foods rich in creatine and the benefits of adding it to your regimen.
Natural Foods With Creatine
For those aiming to up their creatine intake naturally, a glance at your plate might be the first step. Various foods, especially meats and fish, are teeming with this valuable compound.
One of the top sources of creatine, especially beef. For example, a steak contains around 4.5 grams of creatine per kilogram (1). So, if you’re a meat lover, you’re likely getting a good amount of creatine from your diet.
Another excellent source, with herring, salmon, and tuna ranking among the best. A typical serving of herring can provide you with a whopping 6.5-10 grams of creatine per kilogram and Salmon or Tuna ranging between 4-4.5 grams of creatine per kilogram (1).
While not as rich as red meat or fish, chicken and turkey still offer a decent creatine content at around 4 grams per kilogram (2).
It’s important to recognize that the act of cooking can diminish the amount of creatine in foods. As the cooking duration and intensity increase, a greater proportion of creatine tends to degrade.
Beyond Meat: Creatine Sources
Dairy Products (for Vegetarians)
Milk and some cheeses contain small amounts of creatine, although not as much as meat or fish (1).
While no plant foods are naturally rich in creatine, certain foods can help support the body’s natural production. Foods high in amino acids like arginine, glycine, and methionine – such as nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains – can indirectly support creatine synthesis (3).
Benefits Of Creatine Supplementation
While a balanced diet can provide a good amount of creatine, those who engage in regular, intense workouts might benefit from additional supplementation. Additionally, If you follow a plant-based diet, a good-quality creatine supplement could be exactly what you need to boost your creatine levels. Here’s why:
Enhanced Performance: Creatine has been proven to boost performance in high-intensity, short-duration activities like weight lifting and sprinting (4).
Muscle Growth: Creatine draws water into muscle cells, increasing protein synthesis and promoting muscle growth (5).
Brain Health: Emerging research suggests that creatine might have neuroprotective benefits and could support brain health (6).
Creatine Supplementation: Things To Consider
Dosage: A typical dosing regimen begins with a “loading phase” of 20 grams per day for 5-7 days, followed by a “maintenance phase” of 3-5 grams per day. However, the loading phase isn’t mandatory; some users opt for a straightforward approach of taking 3-5 grams daily.
Purity: Look for creatine monohydrate, a form that’s been extensively researched and considered the gold standard. Ensure that the product you’re buying doesn’t contain unnecessary additives or fillers. Approved Science® Creatine Powder is a perfect example of this, containing only pure Creatine Monohydrate, with added BioPerine® for enhanced absorption and improved results.
Hydration: Creatine pulls water into your muscles, so increased hydration is crucial. Always pair your supplementation with adequate water intake (7).
Potential Side Effects: Though generally considered safe, some users report digestive issues, like excessive gas.
A Final Bite On Foods With Creatine
If you’re looking for ways to boost your creatine intake through food, understanding the dietary sources of creatine and the potential benefits of supplementation can be immensely valuable. Whether you’re obtaining your creatine from a juicy steak or a trusted supplement, this molecule is undoubtedly a powerful ally in your fitness journey.
Stay fit, stay informed, and here’s to powering up your workouts!