The Effects of Creatine

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

If you have gone to a sports nutrition store, you’re probably familiar with creatine pills, powder and liquid. Over the last years, creatine has emerged as the best supplement for people who are looking to build lean muscles and strength. While this is a popular protein, no one really knows what this supplement has to offer. That is why in this article, we will talk about what creatine is and its effects.

Knowing Creatine

Creatine is made of natural compounds produced by the pancreas, kidneys and liver. It plays an important role in releasing energy when the body needs to work or move quickly and in full power. It is mostly stored in the muscle cells and during short-term bursts of speed; it helps in releasing the ATP (which is also the body’s route for immediate energy). Creatine improves muscle strength and size by puling water into the muscles which gives them a fuller look. Since it is usually filtered by the kidneys, it has been speculated that this can lead to renal dysfunction. However if it is taken as directed, creatine can be a great supplement with beneficial effects.

Uses of creatine

Creatine is said to improve strength and increase lean muscles. It also helps the muscles to recover more when one is doing exercises. This is especially helpful to athletes when they are in need of bursts of speeds and energy. However, there is no evidence that creatine actually helps in terms of endurance. According to studies, not everyone’s muscle response to creatine; some may or may not benefit from this compound. However it has been proven to be helpful in treating certain health conditions where muscles are weak. Among them includes heart failure and heart attack, neuromuscular disorders, Huntington’s disease and at the same time helps lower cholesterol.

Effects of Creatine

As a supplement, creatine is safe to use by healthy people. However there are a few health risks involved. Although there are no long term effects of creatine, there is evidence that creatine supplements can damage kidneys that are unhealthy.

Since creatine pulls water to the muscles, dehydration may be a concern you should watch out for. Make sure to drink plenty of water to ensure that you are well hydrated while taking creatine supplements. Gastrointestinal distress is also one of the most common side effects of creatine. In order to avoid this, it is best to take creatine supplements with food. Although creatine is proven safe, early stages of kidney and liver diseases have no symptoms. So it is best to consult your physician first before taking these supplements. In rare cases, adverse effects may also occur especially if creatine is used in excess. Among these side effects include anxiety, weight gain, fatigue, difficulty in breathing, headache, rashes, nausea and vomiting. If you are taking other medications like diuretics or acetaminophen, mixing it with creatine can be also be dangerous. Stimulants like caffeine and medications for blood sugar should not be mixed with creatine too. So if you are planning to take creatine supplement make sure to consult your physician first. This way adverse effects and complications can be avoided in the future.

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