Many products on the market contain a variety of amino acids along with various forms of creatine in the same mixture. Both products have been tested and validated for effectiveness. If you are consuming creatine before or after a workout, it would be beneficial to consume amino acids with it to help increase muscle growth.
What Is Creatine?
Creatine is an amino acid produced within the human body from arginine, glycine and methionine. Almost all of the creatine in your body is stored within skeletal muscle. The purpose of it is to help replenish the compound ATP — a high energy molecule found within the human body that provides energy for movement — during high-intensity, short duration exercise.
What Are Amino Acids?
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Registered dietitian Gordon Wardlaw states that the human body uses 20 amino acids when it is creating new proteins such as skeletal muscle and cartilage. There are other amino acids that have biological significance in the human body but are not used for the creation of proteins, such as taurine.
It is safe, and perhaps more beneficial, if you consume creatine and your amino acids at the same time. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign showed that amino acids have an effect on insulin levels, particularly, providing an increase in insulin secretion. The benefit of this is that with the increased insulin secretion, creatine will be better absorbed by your body than if taken alone.
Amino acids do not increase insulin to the same extent that carbohydrates can. Dextrose, or glucose, has been proven to spike blood sugar rapidly along with a fast release in insulin. Researcher Jay Hoffman states that the ingestion of amino acids and dextrose cause the body to become much more anabolic, or growth-promoting. These nutrients will then get into the skeletal muscle relatively quickly due to the insulin. If you add creatine with this amino acid and a dextrose mixture, then the creatine will be absorbed to an even greater extent than if taken alone.
- "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition"; International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Creatine Supplementation and Exercise; Thomas Buford; August 2007
- "The Journal of Nutrition"; Leucine Regulates Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise; Layne Norton; February 2006
- "Strength and Conditioning Journal"; Protein Intake: Effect of Timing; Jay Hoffman; December 2007