Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in the body, mainly in the muscles and in the brain. It is created naturally in the human body in the kidneys, pancreas, and liver. It is mainly stored in the muscles, but about 1.5 – 2% of the body’s creatine is converted to creatinine. Naturally present in red meat and seafood, it can also be created in the laboratory.
When to take creatine?
During short-term, high-intensity exercise, such as weight lifting or sprinting, phosphocreatine is converted to ATP, the main source of energy within the human body.
The attraction of creatine is that it can increase lean muscle mass and improve athletic performance, especially during short-duration, high-intensity sports (such as high jump and weight lifting).
Creatine is most commonly used to improve exercise performance and increase muscle mass in athletes and older adults. It is allowed by the International Olympic Committee, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and professional sports.
It is also taken orally for creatine deficiency syndromes affecting the brain, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, Huntington’s disease, idiopathic inflammatory myopathies, Parkinson’s disease, diseases of the muscles and nerves, multiple sclerosis, muscle atrophy, muscle cramps, breathing problems in babies while sleeping, head trauma, Rett syndrome, gyrated atrophy, inherited disorders affecting the senses and movement, schizophrenia, and muscle breakdown in the spine.
Creatine can be used applied to the skin to slow down the ageing of the skin.
How much creatine per day?
It is recommended to take 3 g of creatine a day to optimize bodybuilding and increase your sports performance. Ideally, take it either just before training or when you wake up. However, it is not necessary to take it every day at the same time. All people have different needs, remember to consult your doctor before taking your dose of creatine.
Creatine is a natural supplement used to increase athletic performance. Since it is safe to use, it is one of the most popular and effective supplements in the world for building muscle and strength.
Here are 10 science-based benefits of creatine.
- Helps muscle cells produce more energy
- Improvements in other muscle functions
- Improves performance in high-intensity exercises
- Accelerates muscle growth
- Assists with Parkinson’s disease
- May lower blood sugar levels and fight diabetes
- May improve brain function
- Can reduce fatigue and tiredness
- It is safe and easy to use
Along with the various benefits of creatine, it is one of the cheapest and safest supplements available. It has been researched for over 200 years, and numerous studies confirm its safety for long-term use. Clinical trials lasting up to 5 years report that there are no adverse effects in
Creatine also improves several factors, such as:
- Sprint (improves acceleration effort)
- Muscular endurance
- Fatigue resistance
- Muscle recovery
- Brain performance
Creatine side effects
The side effects of creatine include:
- Weight gain
- Muscle cramps
- Muscle strains and pulls
- Arterial hypertension
- Liver dysfunction
- Kidney damage
Most studies have found no significant side effects of doses used for up to 6 months. Creatine is considered safe when used on a short-term basis.
Creatine can lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in people with diabetes or hypoglycemia and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar.
Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified physician, and medications may need to be adjusted.
Creatine can cause high blood pressure. Caution is advised for people taking medications or herbs and supplements raising blood pressure.
It should be used with caution by people with:
- Deep venous thrombosis
- Electrolyte disturbances
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Irregular heartbeat
- Liver disease
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Neurological diseases
- Neuromuscular disorders
- Orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure when standing up)
- People who participate in activities such as running, swimming, and gymnastics
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised consumers to consult their physician before using creatine. There is a concern that athletes may exceed recommended doses; in such situations, the secondary effects are not clear.
Creatine is an effective supplement with powerful benefits for both athletic performance and health.
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