People who wanted to gain mass and energy while doing intense exercises at the gym probably took or are planning to take creatine. You may have come up in this article while doing research about creatine before you take one. Kudos! That is a good and appropriate step to do. Before taking creatine or any supplement, one must learn first what it is, what it does and how it works.
Here’s everything you should know about creatine; from what creatine is, why people take creatine supplements and what is the possible good and adverse effects of creatine on our body.
What is Creatine?
The human body naturally produces creatine. It is produced by the liver, pancreas, and kidney. Creatine is produced from glycine and arginine, amino acids in the body. Creatine is then converted into phosphocreatine and stored in muscles for energy. Most of the creatine is stored in the muscles, about 95% of it.
Creatine can also be obtained through foods and supplements. Foods such as meat and fish contain creatine. Also, there are a lot of creatine supplement products available for those who want to gain mass and energy and for those with low levels of creatine.
Why People Take Creatine?
Most athletes and bodybuilders take creatine supplements. Creatine helps to sustain energy for training and gym sessions. Most athletes who take creatine claim it to be helpful in providing energy for high-intensity workouts.
A lot of bodybuilders also claim that creatine helps in building mass as they work out to get the muscles they want. With full energy usage and intense workouts and exercises, most bodybuilders were able to get the desired size and weight.
With all other supplements, no approved therapeutic claims have been made for creatine. But why do a lot of people take it? This is due to different reviews and testimonies of users who benefited from taking creatine.
Before taking creatine, one must know the effects of creatine (the good and the adverse).
The Effects of Creatine
Since our body naturally produces creatine, doctors do not recommend taking it unless really needed. Creatine has different effects on the body, though focused mainly on muscle building and as an energy booster.
Here are the good and adverse effects of creatine:
Benefits of Creatine (Based on Science)
There are different effects of creatine. Here are seven of the benefits people get from taking creatine.
1. May Work as Energy Booster
Creatine serves as an energy booster. It boosts the energy of the taker through a conversion process. As already mentioned above, it is converted into phosphocreatine and then stored in muscles for energy usage.
2. May Aid in Muscle Function Support
Because creatine boosts energy, during exercise it helps in metabolism thus support muscle function.
3. Improves Performance on High-Intensity Exercise According to Body Builders and Athletes
Since creatine boosts energy and aids in muscle function support, it improves performance when doing high-intensity exercises.
4. May Help Reduce Blood Sugar Level
Due to the metabolic effect and fat burning effect of creatine, blood sugar level may reduce.
5. May Improve Brain Function
Creatine is used in people with a low level of it to improve their brain functions. How does it improve brain function? It provides energy to the brain thus improves intelligence and memory.
6. Helps in Lean Muscle Growth
How does creatine aids in lean muscle growth? As you do high-intensity exercise, creatine improves your performance and helps in metabolic and muscle function. This results in fat burning and lean muscle forming.
7. Aids in Reducing Tiredness and Fatigue
Taking creatine supplements provides energy and boosts muscles function. This results in reduced tiredness and fatigue.
Nutritionists and bodybuilder trainers consider creatine intake as SAFE supplementation to gain lean muscles and boost energy for a workout.
8. Adverse Effect of Creatine
Some people claim to have adverse effects when taking creatine. Some of which they claim are as follows:
9. Kidney Problems
Some people claim creatine to cause kidney problems. However, there is no evidence to this claim.
10. Liver Problems
Though a few stated liver problems can be due to creatine, still there is no evidence.
There is no research that supports this claim. Bloating may be due to the diet and not the creatine itself.
12. Weight Gain
People who take creatine claims to have gained weight. This may happen due to lean muscle building but is unlikely to happen all the time because as much as you gain lean muscle, you also lose fats with creatine intake.
Some people complain dehydration as caused by creatine intake. Dehydration can be due to less water intake and not to creatine; as most do not drink as much water as they should while excreting so much sweat while on their workouts.
14. Digestive Problems
There is not enough evidence to prove this claim.
15. Muscle Cramps
Muscle cramps may not be due to creatine intake but because of the reaction of the muscle to the workout done.
Though these claims came out publicly, there is no research to support these claims.
From amino acids, creatine is produced in the body at the kidney, liver, and pancreas. 95% of it is then stored in the muscles. It acts as lean muscles builder and energy booster.
Some benefits of creatine (according to athletes and bodybuilders who uses creatine) include improved brain function, reduced blood sugar level, reduced tiredness and fatigue, improved high-intensity workout performance, and helps in muscle functions.
As beneficial as it may seem, there are people who claim creatine to have adverse effects. Some adverse effect claims include kidney problems, liver problems, bloating, weight gain, dehydration, digestive problems, and muscle cramps. However, there is no research done to support these claims, leaving creatine a safe supplement.
Therefore, supplements like creatine can be taken in right amount to support muscle building and energy boosting. As the quote say, “Too much of anything is bad.” No matter how beneficial creatine is, doses must be taken into consideration to get the full benefit you most need.