Vegetarians vs. meat eaters – who will benefit the most from creatine supplementation?
Creatine is naturally found in foods such as meat and fish. It is also produced in small amounts in the body from specific amino acids (arginine, glycine, methionine) and stored in our muscle cells. From here it is used to fuel high intensity exercise. There is a limited supply of creatine within our muscles and supplementation has been shown to be safe and effective way to boost performance.
Creatine supplementation is used by a diverse range of athletes to increase strength, power, recovery and performance of repeated bouts of high intensity exercise. However, research shows that not everyone responds in the same way to supplementation. It seems that those with low levels of muscle creatine, such as vegetarians who do not have a dietary intake of creatine, may benefit the most from supplementation.
Creatine supplementation may also increase concentrations in the brain. Recent research has shown that this may improve cognitive function when brain function is impaired such as during a period of sleep deprivation. Therefore vegetarian athletes with low levels of muscle creatine may find physical and cognitive performance improvements with creatine supplementation.
Always seek the advice of a nutritionist, dietician or doctor prior to supplementation.