Should I take creatine?
There are a vast range of supplements available on the market today. One of these supplements that has recently become really common is creatine. There are many different reasons to why creatine is a great supplement to take when exercising and we are going to be sharing the different ways that this can benefit you. You may have heard things like it can boost muscle mass and is a miracle supplement, so we are going to be making the affects this supplement has on your body a bit more clearer.
What is creatine?
Although creatine is very popular many people don’t actually know what the substance is. Well creatine is a substance that is found in your muscle cells, and it can either be produced by your boy or adsorbed through your diet. The main role of creatine is to produce energy for your muscles during exercise. When it comes to where the creatine is stored in your body 95% is in your muscle cells and the other 5% is in your brain, kidneys, and liver. Levels of hormones in your body like testosterone can also affect the levels of creatine in your body.
When it comes to how creatine works its quite simple to get your head around. Basically, this substance increased the amount of phosphocreatine in your muscles. This then is used to produce ATP. ATP is used for energy when doing vigorous exercise or heavy lifting. ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is used to carry energy to cells so the more of this you have in your muscles then the more energy they are able to get. So, you need to make sure your getting enough creatine so these reactions can take place.
Creatine supplements are very big in the fitness industry and especially in bodybuilding. In these sports building muscle is key, and creatine is very effective when it comes to building muscle. One way creatine helps you to gain muscle is by allowing you to train for longer. This is because creatine allows more energy to your muscles which means they won’t get burned out as quick as they usually would. This allows you to get a few more reps which leads you to building more muscle in the long run. Also, your recovery will improve meaning you can train your muscles more often.
As well as allowing you to train harder, creatine also can help you to gain muscle by increasing hormones. IGF-1 is used in the body to control the amount of growth hormones your body produces. Getting enough creatine increases the production of IGF and therefore increases the amount of growth hormones your body. Also, creatine helps to increase the amount of water in your muscle cells. This can give your muscles the look of being bigger.
As we have said many times your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Creatine can actually be beneficial for your metal health. One way it helps is by boosting your brains energy consumption. This meant that your brain wont tire out quicker and can boost your cognitive function, making it easier to think and also will make things like decision making quicker and more affective. Also, this increased energy will make you feel less tired out and like your brain can work for longer as its getting more energy.
When your brain is fatigued and overwhelmed, this is going to affect your mood. So, taking creatine can improve your mood and generally make you a happier person. Also, creatine can help with mental disorders like depression. This is a mental disorder many adults suffer from, and creatine has been studied to help with it and decrease depression symptoms by 37%. This shows that creatine can be used for more other than helping to build muscle.
Recovery is a key part to fitness. Whether its gaining muscle or improving your cardiovascular health recovery still plays a key part and is just as important as training. Creatine is a supplement that can help your recovery during a workout. For example, after doing a set and feel tired the creatine will help your muscles to do more. This is due to the increased energy your muscles have. Also, creatine can decrease them amount of ammonia and blood lactate levels when exercising which are by-products that can decrease your performance.
Also, creatine can help with recovery after a workout. The pain we feel after a workout is called DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and this can be uncomfortable and last a few days after a workout. Creatine can also help with this as it increases the amount of water your muscles hold. This can help to flush out the chemicals in your muscles that are causing you pain. Although it can help with the pain some soreness will still be experienced.
Although creatine is a very useful supplement to use when training there are a few side affects that come with excessive use. One way creatine can be harmful if you have too much can worsen kidney dysfunction and also make you more prone to kidney stones. It can also be linked to liver damage. Although it can cause kidney issues this only comes with excessive use and if your healthy and take a moderate dose then you shouldn’t have any side affects on your kidneys and liver.
Also, in some cases creatine may make you feel dehydrated. This is due to it altering your body’s water stores which can also deplete some stores. Creatine can also make you have muscle cramps which can be uncomfortable. Also, a high dose of creatine may cause digestive problems and diarrhoea. If you are on any other forms of medication, then you should consult a doctor before taking creatine as there is a chance it may react with the medication you are currently taking.
Although many people have mixed feeling about creatine. Taking it as a supplement is relatively safe. Creatine has been used by athletes since the 80’s and with moderate use there has been no long-term side effects that have caused bad health. Although its safe this only applies to those taking it in moderation and not exceeding the recommended dose of around 3-5 grams daily. Also like we have said before if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medication the consult a doctor or medical professional before supplementing creatine.
So, in conclusion, if you where thinking about taking creatine or was just wandering what it is then we hope this article has helped. Creatine is a very useful supplement when it comes to increasing muscle mass and physical performance and has been taken safely by athletes for years. Maybe taking creatine can be great for you as its benefits go beyond athletic performance and looks.