It seems that every time I visit the gym I hear people discussing the use of pre or post workout supplements. And the one supplement most people seem to be comfortable taking is creatine or creatine monohydrate. Since this sparked my interest I decided to investigate creatine a little further. I began searching the web for some answers and came across an excellent site regarding creatine supplementation. The following are answers to some of the more common questions.
What is creatine monohydrate?
Creatine is basically an amino acid (amino acids are the building blocks of protein) which is manufactured in your body by your liver and kidneys, and comes from your diet via meat and animal products. Creatine (creatine monohydrate) is crystalline compound that is colorless and utilized in muscles for the manufacturing of phosphocreatine, a key factor in the forming of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the foundation of energy for muscle contraction and several other functions in your body.
What does creatine monohydrate commonly do in your body?
In your body, creatine is transformed into a molecule called “phosphocreatine” which acts as a storage depository for quick power. Phosphocreatine is particularly important in tissues. For instance, the voluntary muscles and the nervous system which routinely demand huge amounts of energy.
Why do athletes use creatine monohydrate?
Research has demonstrated that creatine can raise the overall performance of athletes in activities that demand rapid bursts of power, such as sprinting, and may also enable athletes to recuperate quicker after expending bursts of power. Creatine is most beneficial for the serious weight lifter. It can help maximize muscle size, instead of muscle endurance; therefore it’s not ideal for athletes taking part in endurance activities. However, the gain in muscle mass could be due to fluid retention and not a growth in muscle tissue.
Why have I been reading so much on the subject of creatine and neuromuscular problems?
A couple of scientific studies have suggested that creatine may be advantageous for neuromuscular problems. One study demonstrated that creatine had been twice as effective as the prescription medication riluzole in increasing the life of mice with the degenerative neural condition amyotrophic lateral sclerosis also commonly known as (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease). A second study discovered that creatine could cause a modest boost in power in individuals with a number of neuromuscular problems.
I would like to begin taking creatine monohydrate, would it be safe?
Typically, athletes have not encountered adverse side-effects from consuming creatine, however, recently there were a few reports of kidney damage associated with creatine usage. No constant degree of toxicity has been documented in research of creatine supplementation. Dehydration also has been documented to be an issue while using creatine.
Athletes normally take a “loading dosage” of about 20 grams of creatine each day for 5 to 6 days, and then proceed with a “maintenance dose” of 2 to 5 grams of creatine each day thereafter.
Are there side effects of creatine monohydrate usage?
Little is known regarding long-term side effects of creatine monohydrate; however, no consistent degree of toxicity has been reported in the research of creatine supplementation. In a report on the side effects of creatine monohydrate, diarrhea has been the most frequently reported negative result of creatine supplementation, accompanied by muscle cramping. Some studies demonstrated that kidney, liver, and blood functions weren’t impacted by short-term higher quantities or long-term small amounts of creatine supplementation among healthy young adults. In an independent study of individuals consuming 5-30 grams each day, no change in kidney functionality showed up after around 5 years of supplementation. Muscle cramping after supplementation has been documented in a few studies.
According to research, it appears that creatine may be a rather safe supplement to use provided you follow the manufactures directions and only consume the recommend amount. I guess it’s a call each individual must make for themselves.