What Is Creatine: Learn Its Benefits and Side-Effects

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In today's blog, we're featuring Guest Writer, Kenny Kline! Let us know your thoughts on today's topic in the comments below.

The creatine fever is taking an increased spike in popularity, most especially with every gym-goer and individual with an active lifestyle. It's now in the same boat how popular whey protein supplements are doing. But creatine is still something new for the majority, and even considering how widely it is advertised, only athletes and fitness experts know the name very well. 

To give everyone an idea about creatine, we will cover everything you need to know about it, including the benefits, the drawbacks, and other helpful insights that we think you might need to know about creatine. 

What Is Creatine? 

Creatine is a form of amino acid that our body can naturally produce. It is synthesized in our livers and kidneys as our body can create and have about 1 gram per day. Creatine is found primarily on our skeletal muscle, which amounts to 95%, and the other 5% is found in our brain. Creatine can also be found in food. 

It is made up of three amino acids which are L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine. Each day, our body gets to use 2% of creatine. With this, our body requires a daily intake of creatine, around 1 to 3 grams per day; since our body produces it naturally, the creatine present in our body is sufficient to energize us. However, athletes and other individuals who live an active lifestyle need more creatine supply. And this is where creatine supplements play their role. 

Since every creatine supplement is designed for a different purpose, you need to look for the right creatine supplement for you. Check this the top creatine supplement guide for a better overview and understand the varying creatine supplements available in the market. 

How Is Synthetic Creatine Made? 

As the industry coined them, creatine supplements, "synthetic creatine," are made in many facilities by reacting Sarcosine and Cyanamide. These two components are primarily not fit for human consumption. Still, after going through a series of processes and when combined, they create a finished product that is safe for human consumption. 

Sarcosine and Cyanamide are processed in a steel reactor to produce creatine in crystal form. This goes through a centrifugal process to refine the crystals and remove all other residual particles harmful to the human body. 

Many facilities practice GMPs (good manufacturing practices), so they make sure the dissolvability and absorption rate is high. These facilities produced creatine supplements that are pure micronized powder and receive many certification labels. 

The Primary Benefits 

In a simple explanation, people take creatine supplements because it gives them a "quick burst of energy." It increases strength, improves performance, more extended endurance period, and can even aid in building and growing muscles. But there are more than creatine supplements can offer. 

For athletes, it can offer the following:

  • increased endurance on resistance training on strength and body mass
  • improved performance on high-intensity intermittent speed training
  • faster recovery and muscle repair after injury

It can be beneficial to the following cases... 

  • aids in faster mental rehabilitation and injury
  • helps individual suffering from muscular dystrophy
  • traces of effects that creatine can aid in prevent the loss of cells in individuals who have Parkinson's Disease
  • improvements on person's challenges with depression
  • enhanced and even increased cognitive abilities 

The Drawbacks 

Like any other supplements and medicines, creatine has its fair share of side effects if not taken properly. Though it is claimed by many studies that daily intake of creatine supplements, whether in powder or pill form, are safe to use, there are still traces of studies that show its side effects.

These are the purported side effects of taking creatine supplements for a long time. 

  • Kidney and liver damage 
  • Kidney stones
  • Weight gain
  • Bloating and stomach cramping
  • Digestive problems
  • Dehydration
  • Rhabdomyolysis

There are no backed-up studies that concretely can tell that creatine supplements can lead to kidney and liver damages. However, for some other side effects such as weight gain, bloating, and stomach cramps, studies show that it can appear true in some cases. 

Stomach cramps can happen when there's less water intake when using or drinking the creatine supplement. Also, it can happen for loading too much creatine for singular use. This can be solved using pure micronized creatine and when the body is done with the loading phase. 

It doesn't gain you extra fat mass for weight gain, but you gain water weight as creatine infused water into your body through osmosis. 

Creatine Supplement Is Safe To Use 

Creatine has been used for many years, more than a century to be exact, and there have been about 500 case studies and reports that claim creatine is safe to use and proves to be effective and with a high efficacy rate. It can aid in developing many benefits that humans can take advantage of. Moreover, it can help and be used in medical settings to help relieve pain and treat various diseases. 

To sum it all up, creatine works in great benefit for humans at the end of the day. It doesn't only target to improve body muscles but also help improve mental responsiveness and ability. All the more that many show interest in taking creatine supplements daily. It may have some side effects, but creatine is safe for human consumption in totality.

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