The Benefits and Side Effects of Creatine

Benefits of Creatine

What is creatine?

Creatine is an amino acid (amino acids are the building blocks of protein) which is made in the body by the liver and kidneys, and is stemmed from the diet through meat and animal products.

Creatine (creatine monohydrate) is a colorless, crystalline substance used in muscle tissue for the production of phosphocreatine, an essential factor in the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the source of energy for contraction and lots of other functions in the body.

What does creatine typically perform in the body?

In the body, creatine is become a molecule called “phosphocreatine” which serves as a storage reservoir for fast energy. Phosphocreatine is particularly important in tissues such as the voluntary muscles and the nerve system which periodically need big quantities of energy.

Why do athletes take creatine?

Research studies have shown that creatine can increase the performance of athletes in activities that require fast bursts of energy, such as sprinting, and can assist professional athletes to recover faster after using up bursts of energy.

Creatine is finest for the serious bodybuilder. It assists increase muscle mass, rather than muscle endurance, so it’s not well matched for professional athletes participating in endurance activities. Nevertheless, the increase in muscle mass might be because of water retention and not a boost in muscle tissue.

Why have I been hearing so much about creatine and neuromuscular disorders?

Two clinical research studies have actually suggested that creatine might be advantageous for neuromuscular disorders.

A study by MDA-funded researcher M. Flint Beal of Cornell University Medical Center showed that creatine was twice as effective as the prescription drug riluzole in extending the lives of mice with the degenerative neural disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s illness).

Second, a study by Canadian researchers Mark Tarnopolsky and Joan Martin of McMaster University Medical Center in Ontario found that creatine can cause modest increases in strength in individuals with a range of neuromuscular disorders. Beal’s work was published in the March 1999 problem of Nature Neuroscience and the second paper was published in the March 1999 concern of Neurology.

I want to begin taking creatine– is it safe?

For the most part, professional athletes haven’t knowledgeable unfavorable side-effects from taking creatine, although just recently there have been a few reports of kidney damage linked to creatine use. No constant toxicity has actually been reported in research studies of creatine supplements. Dehydration has actually also been reported to be an issue while taking creatine.

Athletes generally take a “packing dose” of 20 grams of creatine a day for five or 6 days, then continue with a “maintenance dosage” of 2 to 5 grams of creatine a day afterwards.

What are the negative effects?

Little is learnt about long-term negative effects of creatine, however no constant toxicity has actually been reported in studies of creatine supplementation. In a study of side effects of creatine, diarrhea was the most typically reported negative effect of creatine supplements, followed by muscle cramping.

18 Some reports showed that blood, kidney, and liver functions were not affected by short-term greater quantities or long-term lower amounts of creatine supplementation in healthy young people. In a small research study of people taking 5– 30 grams each day, no change in kidney function appeared after approximately five years of supplementation.

Muscle cramping after creatine supplementation has actually been anecdotally reported in some research studies.


  • increases athletic performance
  • increases muscle mass
  • useful for muscular disorders
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