Is Creatine Safe: Everything You Should Know

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Suppose you’ve been in a fitness store before, whether online or in a brick-and-mortar store, a clerk or a pop-up ad about creatine might have gotten your attention. If you’ve never heard of creatine before, it’s one of the hottest products in the fitness industry right now. Creatine has proven to help enhance your strength by providing nutrients and minerals directly to your muscles, boosting their growth. 

All you have to do is to take a pill or mix a powder with water, and you’re good to go. But with all those advertisements and commercials, is creatine worth it? Is it even safe? If you want to know more, then you’re in luck because we will discuss everything you need to know about creatine.

What is Creatine?

Creatine is an endogenous amino acid primarily derived from vertebrae animals, commonly present in the muscles. So essentially, you already have this stuff in your body because your body naturally produces creatine in the muscles. Not only that, but it’s also prevalent in food like fish, chicken, pork, etc. However, the amount your body produces is far lower than the creatine you can get from creatine supplements.

How Do Creatine Supplements Work?

As mentioned earlier, creatine is found in your muscles. It is then converted into creatine phosphate, which is then turned into adenosine triphosphate (ATC), which your body mainly uses when you exercise. So even though it’s naturally produced in your body organically, you need to eat an absurd amount of creatine if you want your muscles to grow rapidly. 

That said, instead of going to a Steak N Shake every day and racking up a tower of steaks, all you have to do is to mix a powder into water and drink it regularly. But of course, creatine is a supplement which should be used that way. So if you’re thinking of just pushing all protein sources away from your diet in the way of creatine, don’t. 

Consuming protein should still be your number one priority, and if you want better and faster results, you can add creatine supplements. This is because creatine and protein work differently. Creatine provides more energy for your muscles, while protein is in charge of recovery.

Potential Benefits of Creatine

Many experts have recommended creatine because of its benefits on the human body, more specifically, to the muscles. These benefits depend on the brand. Each brand has a unique formula, not to mention there are a lot of them if you’ve checked the latest on creatine supplements. Here are some of those benefits:

  • Improve exercise performance
  • Prevent/Reduce the severity of injuries
  • Helps with muscle recovery
  • Increase fat-free muscle mass
  • Help with endurance for varying training loads

It’s also worth noting that it will be more evident if you’re a vegetarian looking to increase your muscle size. This is because vegetarians have lower intramuscular storage, which means their gains are much more apparent. However, it will take them longer to build up their muscles because they start from scratch.

Other benefits of creatine include less cramping, heat illnesses, specifically dehydration, muscle strains, injuries, etc. Also, creatine supplements can aid you in neurodegenerative diseases such as muscular dystrophy, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, etc.

Creatine Side Effects

Although creatine is a relatively safe supplement, it is not without side effects. When taking creatine, you should keep a few things in mind. For example, you may gain a little weight since your muscles keep more water than usual. 

Also, creatine is supposed to be taken in a sustainable manner, which means the energy effects it usually has will be more evident for at least 28 days. Another thing that you should keep in mind is that creatine is not recommended when you’re suffering from dehydration.

So is Creatine Safe?

For the most part, yes, unless you’re taking brands that include substances you’re allergic to or if your doctor doesn’t recommend it. You might think that taking additional supplements for creatine is not healthy, but for a healthy individual, it’s all fine. However, safety and control should still be prioritized when taking creatine supplements.

If you’re looking to introduce creatine supplements to people under 18, you should still consult your doctor. Also, there are not enough studies yet if creatine supplements are safe for pregnant and nursing women. You should also talk to your doctor if you have underlying conditions, especially kidney diseases.

It’s also worth noting that there are not enough studies yet on what effects creatine supplements have on different organs like the brain, heart, kidney, liver, and reproductive organs. Also, there’s little to no information regarding mixing creatine with medications.

Final Words

Creatine is safe for a healthy individual, but even then, you should still talk to your doctor before you proceed with taking creatine supplements. But if you’re allowed, creatine supplements are your answer if you want to boost your muscle mass. Just keep taking it on the prescribed amount, and you’re good to go.

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