What foods contain creatine

Creatine (creatine)

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Last edited by Astrid Clasen • Medical editor

Creatine (creatine) is an acid that is involved in metabolic processes in working muscles. On the one hand, it serves as an energy store, on the other hand, it feeds the stored energy to the muscles when they are stressed. Creatine is produced in the kidneys, liver and pancreas from the amino acids glycine, methionine and arginine. As a natural nutrient, creatine is mainly found in fish and meat, plant-based foods contain less creatine.

The human body contains around 120 grams of creatine, depending on body weight - 95 percent of this is in the skeletal muscles. The remaining 5 percent is distributed among the brain, heart muscle and, in men, also on the testicles. 2 grams of creatine is excreted in the urine every day. The body compensates for this loss through creatine-containing foods and through the body's own production of creatine in the liver, kidneys and pancreas.

For example, there is a lot of creatine in:

  • herring
  • pork meat
  • beef
  • salmon
  • tuna
  • cod

In conjunction with phosphate, creatine serves as a quickly available energy reserve for short, rapid strength performances such as a 100-meter sprint.

The most important source of energy, which the body first accesses directly during intense, rapid muscle contractions, is the body's own energy storage substance ATP (Adenosine triphosphate). With intensive effort, this is split into ADP (adenosine diphosphate) and phosphoric acid. This releases energy. However, the ATP supply in the muscle cells is only sufficient for a few muscle contractions under heavy load and is already used up after two to three seconds, so that the body has to provide for replenishment while moving.

In order to form new ATP, the body draws on various sources of nutrients and energy reserves, depending on the duration and intensity of the effort. At high load Creatine Phosphate is the fastest energy source available without the involvement of oxygen. Creatine phosphate is made from creatine, which the body takes in with food and transports it to the skeletal muscles via the liver. There creatine is converted to phosphate by the enzyme creatine kinase Creatine phosphate connected and saved.

If necessary, the energy-rich phosphate group of creatine phosphate is transferred to adenosine diphosphate, which turns it back into ATP. The effect: the muscle cell has new energy available within a very short time. So the job of creatine is to transport energy-rich phosphate.

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