Creatine is one of the most popular supplements on the market. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about its side effects and uses. Today we discuss just what the supplement is and why you can set your fears aside.
WHAT IS CREATINE?
Creatine is the number-one researched supplement for improving performance in the gym. Studies show that it can increase muscle mass, strength and exercise performance. Creatine is found naturally in muscle cells and it is naturally occurring in foods such as meat and fish.
Your body processes creatine for use in the kidneys and liver. In the liver, three Amino acids; Arginine, Glycine, and Methionine combine to form Creatine. Once created, Creatine is transported through the blood and is used by muscles that have high energy demands, such as the brain and the skeletal muscle when used in training.
HOW CREATINE SUPPLEMENTATION IMPROVES PERFORMANCE
The primary benefit of Creatine is that it increases power output and lean muscle mass. Supplementation with Creatine serves to increase Creatine stores and PCR availability in the body, resulting in faster ATP formation. This faster ATP formation leads to you being able to last longer in your training sessions results in greater muscle mass.
Creatine helps you gain muscle in the following ways:
- Boosted workload: Enables more total work or volume in a single training session, which is a key factor in growth.
- Improved cell signaling: which aids muscle repair and new muscle growth.
- Raised Anabolic hormones: Studies show a rise in hormones, such as IGF-1, after injecting Creatine.
- Increased cell hydration: Lifts water content within your muscle cells, which causes a Cell Volumization effect that may play a role in muscle growth.
- Lower Myostatin levels: Elevated levels of the protein Myostatin can slow or totally inhibit new muscle growth. Supplementing with Creatine can reduce these levels, increasing growth potential.
MYTH #1: Damage To Liver And Kidney
Fact: Unless you have a pre-existing medical condition, you should not worry about Creatine use, as it will not damage your kidneys or liver. Several studies have found no adverse effects of Creatine supplementation on how well the kidneys filter blood.
MYTH #2: Water Retention
Fact: The water retention usually comes when the Creatine being used is sub-standard quality and loading is done in higher doses. Cheaply manufactured Creatine contains excess sodium which can cause water retention.
MYTH #3: Digestive Upset
Fact: Stomach upset due to Creatine use is a rare occurrence. It can occur if you do not drink sufficient water with Creatine or you take a lot of Creatine in one dose on an empty stomach. If stomach upset comes from taking too much Creatine at once, spread the dosage out over the day or take it with meals.
Myth #4: I Get It In My Diet
Fact: The average person only consumes 1g of Creatine per day from their diet. When you cook your meals, you also destroy a good amount of the Creatine that you ingested through foods such as beef, cod, and salmon.
MYTH # 5: Creatine Causes Cramping And Dehydration
Fact: Creatine supplementation increases total body water and helps the athlete maintain the hydration status. Several studies have found that Creatine supplementation can enhance performance and it has no effect on muscle cramping.
MYTH #6: Men Only
Fact: Creatine is suitable for women. Creatine’s ability to stimulate muscular adaptation and increase ATP production is the same in females as it is for males. Ultimately, Creatine will enable females to increase their training workload which may indirectly increase the number of calories burnt during each session. In addition, Creatine will promote an increase in lean muscle mass for females, resulting in an increased basal metabolic rate helping women to burn more total calories throughout the day, enhancing weight loss results.
To conclude, Creatine is an extremely safe supplement that is long researched and reliable in the industry. For consumers, who are concerned about any potential side-effects, it would be best to stick to the recommended 3-5 grams per day using a high-quality creatine product.