How Does Creatine Phosphate Work?

Creatine phosphate, or phosphocreatine, works by regenerating the supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the body, according to the University of Delaware. Creatine phosphate transfers high-energy phosphates to adenosine diphosphate (ADP), which creates molecules of ATP and creatine in the muscles. ATP powers muscle contractions, so when the body has more ATP molecules then muscles can exert more force over short periods. ADP is a by-product of muscle contractions.

The advantages of creatine phosphate supplementation include increased muscle mass and strength. The major disadvantage is that no studies have been done on the long-term effects of creatine phosphate supplements. The University of Delaware notes that some scientists believe regular creatine supplement may reduce the body's natural capability of producing creatine phosphate on its own. Another disadvantage is that this type of chemical is good only for short bursts of power rather than long periods of exercise. People lifting weights see benefits of creatine phosphate but long-distance runners do not.

Quinnipiac University states that phosphocreatine depletes within the first few seconds of intense exercise. However, when more of the substance is added to muscles, the equilibrium of the system shifts to ATP creation. ATP can be used again to power muscles for another 10 seconds, which is about how long it takes for world-class sprinters to run 100 meters.