What is Creatine? Its Benefits, Uses & Side Effects

What is Creatine? Its Benefits, Uses & Side Effects

Creatine is the most popular supplement among athletes. With countless studies to back up its effectiveness, creatine has been shown to increase physical performance in successive bursts and enhance strength and power. In fact, 95% of NCAA athletes take creatine to improve their athletic performance.

Creatine is an amino acid that helps to supply energy to muscles, giving you more energy, strength and stamina.

Creatine can help build muscle mass and improve performance during strength training (weightlifting, powerlifting) while it also helps to maintain muscle during periods of prolonged immobilisation (due to injury).

If you’re looking to get stronger and build muscle while also boosting your energy level then Creatine may be the natural supplement for you!

What is Creatine?

What is Creatine
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Creatine is a substance that is readily produced in the body. It is a blend of three amino acids – arginine, methionine and glycine. Creatine is one of the natural sources of our body to derive energy, particularly muscle cells. 

Approximately 95% of creatine is concentrated in our skeletal muscle and used during high-intensity exercise to produce energy and better muscle contraction. The remaining 5% is found in the brain, kidney, liver and other tissues. 

We can also obtain creatine through diet. Some creatine rich foods are red meat, fish and milk. Due to its potential to amplify energy levels, creatine supplements are prevalent among bodybuilders, powerlifters and athletes. 

Creatine is one of the most prominent and widely researched nutritional ergogenic aids for athletes. It gets converted to phosphocreatine which acts as energy or ATP source. The body’s creatine stores further increase on supplementation resulting in more energy for heavy lifting and high-intensity exercise. 

Unleashing the Pure Benefits of Creatine

the Pure Benefits of Creatine
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This section will discuss some common effects of creatine supplementation and how it promotes our health and athletic performance. 

1. Explosive energy source

This is the most common reason fitness lovers opt for creatine supplements. It gives more energy, strength for workouts and does not make you feel drained or lethargic. Combine creatine with carbohydrate-rich diets to heighten your muscle glycogen stores if you prefer to train for a long duration. 

2. Boost physical performance

Several studies have clearly demonstrated a positive relationship between muscle creatine uptake and exercise performance. It has been noted that when combined with heavy resistance training, oral creatine supplementation leads to enhanced athletic performance, fat loss, and lean muscle gain.

3. Provide endurance

Researches say that creatine supplementation may cause a change in how our body utilises multiple energy sources during aerobic exercise leading to an improvement in endurance performance.

4. Skeletal muscle growth

With creatine supplementation, you can expect to see an improvement in muscle size and volume as well. Findings say that creatine intake with heavy resistance training stimulated the production of muscle insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), leading to increased muscle fibre growth. 

5. Aid in recovery

Creatine intake post-exercise encourages muscle recovery rate, reduces severe muscle breakdown and exercise-induced oxidative stress. In addition, studies also suggest creatine as an effective strategy to recover from injury. 

6. Support brain health

Creatine supplements are also given to older adults for medicinal purposes in clinical settings. Cognitive processing altered due to sleep deprivation and natural impairment due to ageing exhibit positive signs of improvement on creatine supplementation.  

You Must Be Thinking That is creatine safe?

You Must be Thinking That is creatine safe
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Multiple studies have been conducted to study the efficacy and safety of creatine usage. It has been found that it is absolutely safe, and there are no side effects of creatine. 

It is a misconception that creatine can harm your liver or kidney. Some people might experience mild symptoms like stomach ache when taken on an empty stomach, but there are no adverse effects. 

A meta-analysis found that creatine can increase total body water by decreasing the risk of dehydration, reducing sweat rate, lowering core body temperature, and exercising heart rate.

For a detailed understanding of common creatine myths and misconceptions, you can refer to this blog.

Pregnant and lactating women, people on medications, and those with pre-existing liver disease must check with their healthcare provider before using creatine supplements. Always consult your doctor if you have kidney disease, as the use of creatine supplements could affect your kidney function.

What is a Recommended Creatine Dosage?

Recommended Creatine Dosage
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A very common issue faced, especially by beginners, is how much creatine per day. Is it necessary to load creatine? 

Loading creatine is not mandatory, but it can help with faster results. Usually, bodybuilders prefer to take 15-25 grams of creatine per day for the first five days during the loading phase, followed by a maintenance dosage of 3-5 grams per day. 

Now coming to the second important question – when to take creatine?

when to take creatine
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Although one can take creatine at any time, before or after the workout, some studies support that creatine is more fruitful post-workout. 

When taken along with a post-workout meal, insulin increases creatine uptake into muscle cells. In addition, the absorption of nutrients is better after a workout. 

If you prefer flavoured creatine supplements, you can take creatine with water, juice. Else one can choose unflavoured creatine to add to your post-workout protein shake or beverage of your choice.

Top Use Cases of A Creatine Supplement

Top Use Cases of A Creatine Supplement
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Creatine is one of the most widely used dietary supplements among athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts. It is a natural compound found in meat and fish, and it plays an important role in energy metabolism. 

Creatine supplements have been shown to provide numerous benefits, including improved athletic performance, increased muscle mass, and enhanced brain function. So, here are the various uses of creatine supplements in more detail.

1. Improved Athletic Performance

One of the primary uses of creatine supplements is improved athletic performance. Creatine is stored in the muscles and provides the energy needed for high-intensity activities such as weightlifting and sprinting. By supplementing with creatine, athletes can increase their muscle stores of creatine, which can improve their ability to perform high-intensity activities and delay fatigue.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of creatine supplements in improving athletic performance. For example, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that creatine supplementation increased the number of repetitions performed during a high-intensity resistance exercise protocol.

2. Increased Muscle Mass

Another use of creatine supplements is increased muscle mass. Creatine supplements have been shown to increase muscle size and strength, especially when combined with resistance training. This is thought to be due to the increased energy available for muscle contractions and the activation of satellite cells, which are responsible for muscle repair and growth.

Several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of creatine supplements in increasing muscle mass. For example, a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that creatine supplementation increased muscle fibre size and lean body mass in resistance-trained men.

3. Enhanced Brain Function

In addition to its benefits for athletic performance and muscle growth, creatine supplements may also enhance brain function. Creatine is involved in the production of ATP, the primary source of energy for the brain. By supplementing with creatine, individuals may be able to increase their brain stores of ATP and improve cognitive function.

Several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of creatine supplements in enhancing brain function. For example, a study published in the journal Psychopharmacology found that creatine supplementation improved working memory performance in healthy adults.

Which is the best Creatine Supplement in the Market?

best Creatine Supplement in the Market
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Creatine supplements are available in various forms like powder, liquid and capsules. The liquid form of creatine is considered the least effective of all. You may find different types of creatine like monohydrate, hydrochloride, phosphate, ethyl ester, etc., but creatine monohydrate is the most examined and science-backed best creatine type. 

These are some of the best creatine supplements you can buy.

Nutrabay Pure Creatine Monohydrate

1. Nutrabay Pure Creatine Monohydrate

It contains pure creatine monohydrate in micronized form. There are no fillers or damaging additives, and each scoop will serve you with pure and unadulterated creatine. Being unflavoured, you can add it to any shake, juice or smoothie of your liking.

MuscleBlaze Creatine Monohydrate

2. MuscleBlaze Creatine Monohydrate

It provides micronized creatine monohydrate in an unflavoured form. The product helps improve strength, power and support muscle volumization.

MuscleTech Platinum 100% Creatine

3. MuscleTech Platinum 100% Creatine

This supplement includes a 5g dose of creatine to help you increase strength and regenerate energy stores during resistance training. It is recommended to everyone, from active men and women to high-performance endurance athletes, powerlifters, crossfitters and bodybuilders.

Bottom Line

What is Creatine? Its Benefits, Uses & Side Effects
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Creatine is a naturally occurring compound in our bodies that provides many benefits for athletes, bodybuilders, and anyone looking to improve their physical performance. From increased muscle strength and endurance to improved brain function, the uses of creatine are varied and impressive.

However, like with any supplement or medication, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects and to use creatine responsibly. Drinking plenty of water and following recommended dosage instructions can help prevent any adverse effects.

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting out on your fitness journey, creatine may be worth considering as a tool to help you reach your goals. So why not give it a try and see how it can benefit you? After all, as the saying goes, “no pain, no gain” – and with creatine, the gains can be pretty impressive!

What are the good side effects of creatine?

Oral creatine might reduce the frequency of dehydration, muscle cramping, and injuries to the muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons and nerves. Rare creatine-metabolizing syndromes. In children with the certain creatine deficiency syndromes, oral creatine supplements might improve some symptoms.

What is one benefit of taking creatine?

Creatine is thought to improve strength, increase lean muscle mass, and help the muscles recover more quickly during exercise. This muscular boost may help athletes achieve bursts of speed and energy, especially during short bouts of high-intensity activities such as weight lifting or sprinting

Is creatine OK to take everyday?

Is creatine safe to take every day? Research has shown that it is safe to consume creatine supplements daily, even over several years. There is no evidence to support any significantly detrimental side effects in people who consume high doses of creatine (30 grams/day) for up to 5 years 

Is creatine good for kidneys?

Creatine supplements are safe and do not cause renal disease. Reports of kidney damage associated with its use are scanty. However, creatine supplements should not be used in people with chronic renal disease or using potentially nephrotoxic medications.

Does creatine increase blood pressure?

As a naturally-occurring compound, creatine’s job is to provide vital energy in the cells of the human body. Its primary focus is muscle. However, one study among young men found that creatine also seemed to work as a natural blood pressure reducer.

Does creatine affect sleep?

Key takeaways. Creatine supplementation increases creatine stores in the brain. By reducing the accumulation of adenosine and adenosine triphosphate in the brain during wakefulness, creatine supplementation seems to reduce sleep depth, duration, and “rebound sleep” after sleep deprivation.

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