If used under supervision, creatine is among the safest sports supplements available, according to studies. And get this: it may even aid in blood sugar regulation and the prevention of neurological problems! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though; further study is required to support such assertions.
Given the muddle around creatine, it seems sensible that some people are reluctant to give it a try.
In the bodybuilding world, creatine monohydrate, or simply creatine, is a naturally occurring molecule found in muscle cells that shares many chemical similarities with amino acids. Your body synthesises creatine from 3 amino acids namely: Glycine, arginine and methionine.
The body produces small quantities of creatine, which is often eliminated.
The amount of creatine stored in your body is influenced by many variables. The majority of your body’s creatine—roughly 95% of it—is really stored as phosphocreatine in your muscles. The liver, kidneys, and brain contain the remaining 5%.
Natural sources of creatine include meat and fish (mainly non-vegetable). However many sportsmen and fitness enthusiasts choose to take extra creatine in the form of dietary supplements to get the most out of their workouts. The rising popularity of creatine can be attributed, in part, to its capacity to increase muscle mass, strength, and training efficiency.
Several Frequently Held Myths
Your Stomach Is Upset by Creatine
Although there is some validity to this, a weakened digestive system is an uncommon consequence in a healthy individual. According to studies, only 5-7% of those who already have gastrointestinal issues and use creatine as a supplement may get diarrhoea, upset stomach, or both.
If you are aware of your propensity for gastrointestinal distress, it is best to begin with a low dosage of creatine and monitor how your body reacts.
Creatine Leads to Weight Gain and Fat
This is yet another widespread misconception among shoppers. Indeed, those with increased body fat percentages when taking creatine supplements, but keep in mind that correlation does not necessarily imply causality.
In actuality, most people who add creatine also want to bulk up, and because creatine contains more carbohydrates, it’s quite likely that the extra calorie intake will result in greater body fat.
Healthy Kidneys Are Damaged by Creatine
This is an unsubstantiated notion based on the idea that kidney impairment occurs when the body produces more phosphocreatine and blood creatinine as a consequence.
But there hasn’t been much if any, corroboration for this. A study discovered that when average healthy people were supplemented with 20 grammes of creatine monohydrate daily for a week, there was no discernible difference in their renal function.
It is true that taking creatine supplements will cause your creatinine levels to slightly rise, but this does not imply that your healthy kidneys are being harmed.
Research confirms that your kidneys can effectively remove this excess medication from your blood. In other words, unless you already have a kidney condition, there’s no need to be concerned about creatine harming your kidneys.
The Advantages of Creatine for Performance and Muscle Growth
Creatine’s Impact on Muscle Gain
Researchers discovered that creatine was particularly effective for both short- and long-term muscle building.
A 14-week study on senior citizens revealed that using creatine in a weight training regimen significantly increased muscle mass and power output.
In a 12-week study of weightlifters, creatine increased the growth of muscular fibres 2-3 times more than the exercise alone. Alongside an increase in one-rep maximum, incomplete body mass also rose.
It is now reasonable to state that creatine supplementation can result in significant muscle growth based on evidence-based studies. Both elite and untrained athletes are meant by this.
Impact on Exercise Performance and Strength
Numerous studies shown that creatine can enhance performance during high-intensity exercise, power, and strength:
According to an examination, adding creatine to a workout increases performance overall by 8%. Specifically, weight lifting production increases by 14%, and bench pressing one-rep max increases by 13%.
28 days of 15% supplementation improved bike sprinting and 6% improvement in bench press performance in strength-trained athletes. Creatine also contributes to the maintenance of strength and training efficiency while increasing muscle mass during high-intensity activity.
Increased bulk of muscle
It has been discovered that creatine increases the water content of muscle cells, which causes the cells to enlarge and then stimulates the creation of proteins. Strength and performance may also rise as a result of this increased muscle mass.
Quicker muscle repair
After vigorous exercise, creatine may hasten muscle recovery by lowering signs of muscle injury and inflammation. A 2004 research discovered that following a marathon race, creatine supplementation decreased levels of creatine kinase, a sign of muscle injury.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that creatine is a supplement and not a miracle cure, even if it might be helpful in some circumstances. It should be taken in combination with a balanced diet and frequent exercise, just like any other supplement. Furthermore, it’s crucial to consult your healthcare professional before beginning a new supplement regimen.