Why Runners Should Try Creatine
If 40% of college athletes were taking a new supplement, you might be curious, right? You may have noticed people in your gym or training group taking creatine, a performance-enhancing supplement.* Or perhaps you’ve seen it in the supplement store, or read mentions of it on sports blogs and TV. Creatine—not to be confused with creatinine, a waste product the body produces when breaking down creatine—is suddenly the hot new supplement because its benefits are undisputable. Here are some great reasons why runners should add it to their supplement stack:
High-intensity training is incredibly beneficial for the cardiovascular system as well as fat loss, and it’s something everyone should work into their training program. For runners, that means sprint intervals or hill workouts, as well as racing. Creatine helps power high-intensity training by maximizing ATP, one of the human body’s main energy building blocks.*
This is especially important for runners because, while running long miles will increase your endurance, intense speed workouts and tough hills are what will ultimately make you faster.
One potential risk of high-intensity exercise is that training at the edge of an athlete’s ability can make them more prone to injury. But creatine increases the body’s ability to handle heavy training loads, which removes some of this risk and makes it safer to train harder.*
Creatine also aids the recovery process.* Tough workouts break the body down and create micro tears in an athlete’s muscles, which stimulates the body to respond by strengthening the muscles. But if not enough recovery time is taken between hard training sessions, there isn’t enough time for the muscles to fully regenerate. As a result, these micro tears can lead to a sprain or strain and ultimately could become a chronic pain condition.
What’s great about creatine is that it supports the body’s natural recovery process by decreasing oxidation associated with intense exercise, as well as by enhancing glycogen restoration.* That means an athlete is more likely to be fully recovered when taking on the next workout, thus may decrease the potential for injury.
Using creatine helps to reduce cell damage and inflammation from endurance exercise, which means a workout will not lead to fatigue as quickly as usual.* This makes it possible to crank out higher-quality training for a longer time.* So not only can runners put in longer, faster workouts, but they can do so while maintaining better form, which also may help prevent injury.
The fatigue-fighting properties of creatine are particularly beneficial to those preparing for a race, who must be able to compete long runs at a fast pace.* Being able to train closer to goal pace is far more effective than just putting in junk miles. Athletes can even “creatine load” in the days before a race, much like carb loading, to ensure their muscles are topped off with plenty of fuel going into the event.*
Train More Consistently
Spending less time injured means you can spend more time training and getting faster. When it comes to exercise, consistency trumps intensity. In other words, being able to run moderately week in and week out will do more to improve fitness than running all-out every once in a while. The downtime that inevitably follows an injury means the loss of precious running days during recovery and having to start over at a much lower level when resuming training after the injury heals. Staying strong and healthy means runners can keep moving forward instead of constantly starting from scratch.
Additionally, individuals who can stay consistent without gaps in their exercise program can keep their overall level of health higher. Working out regularly, especially at high intensities, strengthens the immune system and lowers the risk of lifestyle diseases like metabolic syndrome and heart disease, which can be costly to treat.
Creatine is one more tool runners can use to perform at their best and maintain a healthy body.* From improving recovery to increase the potential training load to helping safeguard head-to-toe health, its many benefits make it worth a try.* Supplements affect everyone differently, so definitely test-drive it during training as opposed to right before an important race. Let us know how it goes in the comments!
One of the best creatine supplements I have ever taken and continue to take is made by NOW®. Their unmatched quality and best prices make them best in class for not only creatine but for all supplementation.
|*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.