What are the Pros and Cons of taking Creatine?
Do you wonder what Creatine would do to your body? If yes, you have landed in the right place.
If you love meat and fish, you’re probably consuming Creatine, as it is a naturally-occurring substance found in such food sources.
Creatine is one of the popular supplements among bodybuilders and athletes, as it increases muscle strength, aids muscle growth, and improves athletic performance.
However, using Creatine as a supplement has been a subject of much debate. While proponents claim it is effective and safe, detractors warn of potential health risks and side effects.
For instance, many believe Creatine increases muscle energy production and strength, leading to improved athletic performance.
On the other hand, some people are concerned about its safety, especially those with pre-existing medical conditions, such as kidney or liver disease.
We will evaluate the pros and cons of taking Creatine and help you make an informed decision.
Pros of taking Creatine
Here are the pros you can expect when taking Creatine as a supplement.
Increased muscle strength and power
As mentioned earlier, Creatine increases the energy produced in your muscles, which translates into better power and strength during high-intensity exercise, helping you perform better.
How? Creatine participates in your body by replenishing ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) levels, which provides energy for high-intensity workouts.
In short, your muscles will boost energy after Creatine increases the amount of phosphocreatine in your muscles. Since Creatine increases ATP levels, your muscles will have a more significant reserve of energy, which will improve your strength and power during exercise.
Furthermore, Creatine also improves muscle contractions, which allows athletes to perform better in high-intensity exercises. In short, you may experience increased strength, performance, and power in physical activities, such as sprinting, jumping, or weightlifting.
That’s why athletes and bodybuilders opt for Creatine as a supplement.
Increases muscle growth
Creatine is one of the best supplements that can increase your muscle mass quickly. Studies have shown that Creatine can increase muscle size and lean body weight within one week.
How? Creatine increases your body’s water content which in turn enhances your muscles. Furthermore, long-term usage can help in fiber growth and boost your gym performance significantly.
For instance, a study conducted on several participants indicated that Creatine helps your muscle to gain size. The study also evaluated other participants that did not use Creatine supplements.
After the study concluded, participants who used Creatine showed more visible signs of muscle growth than other participants.
Creatine can help fight diseases
Besides increasing your muscle mass, Creatine can help fight various diseases.
For instance, Parkinson’s disease is a common medical condition among mice that attacks neurotransmitters in the brain. This condition reduces dopamine levels leading to severe symptoms, including speech impairments, tremors, and the inability of muscle functions.
According to experts, Creatine keeps dopamine levels in check and prevents them from reducing further. Although human trials are at an early stage, determining whether Creatine can have the same effect on humans is unclear.
However, studies are in progress to determine the role of Creatine in curing Parkinson’s disease in humans.
Creatine may fight diabetes
Although there is limited research on how Creatine affects your blood sugar levels, studies have shown signs that it can have positive results.
For instance, researchers have found that Creatine can control blood sugar levels and positively impact people, especially those with type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore, Creatine can increase insulin sensitivity, which can lead to improved glucose uptake by the muscles, lower blood sugar levels, and improved glucose metabolism.
However, we will require more evidence to understand the effects of Creatine on blood sugar and diabetes. So, it would be best to consult a healthcare professional before using Creatine as the only treatment for diabetes.
Cons of taking Creatine
Like every other supplement, Creatine also has drawbacks, especially when you have pre-existing medical conditions.
Here are the cons of taking Creatine.
Stomach Discomfort and Bloating
One of the common issues of taking Creatine is stomach discomfort and bloating. The issue can arise when you are starting with Creatine or if you have taken a large dose.
Why? Since Creatine increases the water content in your body, it enhances your body’s water retention, which leads to stomach discomfort and bloating.
So, if you are taking Creatine as a supplement, ensure that you split your doses and avoid large amounts at once.
Kidney and Liver Toxicity
Although studies have found that taking Creatine is not harmful to kidneys, it may cause issues.
For instance, taking Creatine as a supplement can be dangerous if you have a pre-existing kidney issue.
Why? Creatine increases creatinine in your body above the ideal range, which is unsuitable for your kidneys. So, consult a medical professional before starting a Creatine supplement if you have kidney issues.
While Creatine is good for muscle growth, it also increases your body’s water content. Although increased fluid retention is good for enduring exercises, it can lead to dehydration.
So, the best way to solve this problem is to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration when taking Creatine.
Besides dehydration, taking too much Creatine can also increase your weight.
Since Creatine increases muscle mass and aids fluid retention, you may witness weight gain. In short, it can be a concern for individuals trying to maintain a certain weight or body composition.
However, you can counter this issue by exercising and maintaining a consistent dose of Creatine.
Interactions with Medications
If you are on a blood pressure medication, Creatine can interact with your medicine and cause adverse effects. So, if you are planning on a Creatine supplement, consult your doctor before taking your supplement.
Final Thoughts – Pros and Cons of taking Creatine
Creatine is a popular supplement among athletes and bodybuilders with various positive impacts on their training and exercises.
However, weighing the pros and cons before taking any supplement will be a wise thing to do. Furthermore, you should consult a healthcare professional and identify loopholes, especially if you have pre-existing medical issues.