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What is Creatine? Unlocking the Power of Creatine.

creatine supplement

CONTENTS

What is Creatine?

Creatine is a non-protein chemical substance made from amino acids. It is mainly formed and synthesized in the liver and kidneys. Around 95% of Creatine is found in vertebrae and other skeletal muscles to provide sufficient human energy.

Creatine is a dietary supplement for strength and energy during high-intensity workouts.

What are the types of Creatine?

Some common types of Creatine are as follows:


Creatine Monohydrate: This is the most studied and widely used form of Creatine. It has increased athletes’ strength, power, and muscle mass. It is also the most cost-effective form of Creatine.

Creatine Ethyl Ester: This form is claimed to be more easily absorbed by the body than creatine monohydrate. However, more research on its effectiveness is needed.

Creatine Hydrochloride: This is another form of Creatine that claims to have better absorption and fewer side effects than creatine monohydrate. However, more research is needed.

Buffered Creatine: This type of Creatine is mixed with alkaline compounds to increase its pH level. This is claimed to reduce stomach discomfort and improve absorption. However, there is limited research on its effectiveness.

Micronized Creatine: This form of creatine monohydrate has been processed into smaller particles to improve its solubility and absorption. It is claimed to be more effective than regular creatine monohydrate, but research is mixed.

The effectiveness of these different forms of Creatine varies depending on the individual and the specific product being used. It will be a good idea to consult a healthcare professional.

Some common Myths About Creatine:

If you are from the South Asia region, you may know this myth about Creatine as a fact that Creatine doesn’t dissolve in the body and kidneys properly. Hence, this affects the kidneys badly.

But this is a myth, many researches have been done regarding its impact on renal function and excretion.

According to the National Kidney Foundation and the Journal of an International Society of Sports Nutrition, creatine supplementation under recommended doses is generally safe for renal function.

A Meta-Analysis study at the University of Brazil was conducted, in which they studied the effect of creatine supplementation on renal function.

The analysis indicated that the creatine supplementation didn’t alter the body’s serum creatinine levels or cause any renal function damage.

What are the potential benefits of Creatine?

Creatine is considered an essential supplement in the supplement world regarding high-intensity training and increasing muscle mass and strength.

Many athletes use Creatine as the primary supplement to enhance their durability, the timing of heavy workouts, sprints, and athletic performance in other sports fields.

Apart from sports, Creatine has also shown effectiveness in various studies related to mental cognition, mood, physical injuries, and some primary medical conditions.

Improving Physical Strength & Performance:

Creatine supplementation increases physical strength and timing of workouts in high-intensity muscle training.

Its creatine monohydrate form, the most used form of Creatine, has been proven effective in increasing exercise capacity for short-term heavy activity, sprint, or muscle training.

Creatine helps to regenerate more ATPs in the body to supply continuous energy to muscle cells during training.

Recent research at the Department of Health of Baylor University reveals that short-term intake of creatine monohydrate supplementation improves muscle contraction, power strength, and performance during sets by up to 15%.

Increases Lean Body Muscle Mass:

Creatine helps to gain lean muscle mass.

If taken with carbohydrates and Protein, Creatine is significantly helpful in gaining quality muscle mass and strength in conjunction with resistance training.

Creatine presence in skeletal muscles also holds and causes water retention, which makes a muscle look complete and big which is also a reason for increased muscle mass.

Research in the Department of Sport Science, Arak University, Iran, done by some scientists to study the creatine supplement effects on serum myostatin levels in the body with eight weeks of high resistance training.

In simple terms, serum myostatin’s function is to reduce skeletal muscle.

During these eight weeks, Creatine decreased the body level of myostatin and increased lean muscle mass.

In Older Adults:

As human age increases, the natural degradation of muscles starts, and the strength of the body decreases gradually, which are the main symptoms of sarcopenia.

It results in lower overall performance in various aspects of life.

Creatine supplementation reduces these sarcopenic effects and helps to increase and maintain energy.

Lean muscle mass studies have indicated the positive effects of creatine supplements in older people suffering from sarcopenia.

Creatine combined with training increased the energy level during resistance exercise, increased the lean body mass in the older group, and reduced the symptoms of sarcopenia due to the acceleration of ATP production and supply to muscle cells.

Apart from that, another study at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, supports this creatine efficacy in a healthy older group of people of age around 70 years.

One group was on placebo and the other on creatine supplementation, while both groups were on high resistance training.

The group with Cr Supplementation showed significantly improved muscle strength, endurance, and leg strength compared to the other placebo group.

Recovery and Injury Prevention:

According to a study, creatine supplement is proven effective in reducing skeletal muscle fatigue and injury after contractile exercises and promotes faster recovery.

Another research was conducted in which a patient suffering from an injury of the knee extensor muscle was given treatment along with a creatine supplement. Creatine significantly increased the rate of recovery in that patient.

Natural sources to get Creatine:

Generally, the body synthesizes Creatine from amino acids like Arginine, Glycine, and Methionine in the liver and kidneys. However, some natural food sources of Creatine are:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Lamb



Drug interaction with Creatine?

There are some potential drug interactions with Creatine, and it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

Medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and diuretics may interact with Creatine and increase the risk of kidney damage.

Additionally, Creatine may enhance the effects of caffeine and other stimulants, potentially leading to adverse side effects such as anxiety or heart palpitations.

What are some common adverse effects of Creatine?

While Creatine is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, some people may experience side effects. Here are some of the most common adverse effects of Creatine:

Gastrointestinal Distress: Some people may experience digestive issues, such as nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps when taking creatine supplements.

Dehydration: Creatine can increase the water muscles retain, leading to dehydration if adequate fluids are not consumed.

Weight Gain: Creatine can cause an increase in body weight due to water retention in the muscles. This is typically a temporary effect and should not be confused with fat gain.

Kidney Damage: There have been some concerns that creatine supplementation may harm the kidneys, but the evidence is mixed. While some studies have found no adverse effects on kidney function, others have suggested that high doses of Creatine may harm those with pre-existing kidney problems.

Muscle Cramps: Some people might experience muscle cramps or strains when taking Creatine, although this is relatively rare.

These side effects are usually mild. However, speaking with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement is always a good idea.

Is the usage of Creatine supplements safe?

Creatine supplementation is generally considered safe for healthy individuals when used as directed.

A review of 52 studies found that short-term creatine supplementation (up to 30 grams per day for five years) is generally safe in healthy individuals. The review concluded that creatine supplementation does not appear to pose any significant health risks.

The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) has stated that creatine supplementation is safe and effective for improving exercise performance in healthy individuals.

Creatine supplementation may not be safe for everyone. Those with pre-existing kidney or liver problems should avoid creatine supplementation, as should children, pregnant or nursing women, and those with a history of seizures.

As with any supplement, speaking with a healthcare professional before starting creatine supplementation is always a good idea.

Conclusion:

Creatine is a popular gym and dietary supplement to enhance athletic performance and improves muscle strength and endurance. It is a safe and effective supplement with many benefits, especially for athletes engaging in high-intensity training. However, consulting a healthcare professional before starting a creatine supplement regimen is essential.

Note: We do not provide any medical advice.

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