Pros and Cons of Creatine
If you have recently started gymming or intense workouts, you must have come to know about Creatine. That's what a bodybuilder or gym instructor would recommend you if you want to gain muscle mass within a few weeks. But do you know that Creatine is also naturally produced in the human body? And you can also have Creatine-rich food such as fish and beef. But what if you take it regularly or excessively? That's where you should assess all the Pros and Cons of Creatine and its supplements.
What are the Pros of Creatine Supplement?
Creatine is a perfect substance for athletes and bodybuilders to gain muscular strength and boost brain functioning. If you have just started working out or are just curious about the pros of creatine supplements, here are some facts for you.
1. Increased Muscle Mass
Creatine has been shown to help build lean body mass in men and women when combined with resistance training. This is good news for those who want to gain weight, especially if they struggle to eat enough food to make the weight gain happen.
In addition, Creatine has increased muscle strength in men and women who lift weights. Multiple studies have shown an average of a 13% greater increase for bench press power with creatine supplementation than those taking a placebo over an eight-week training period.
2. Improved Performance is one of the notable Pros of Creatine
In addition to helping with muscle mass, Creatine has been shown to help with athletic performance, especially short bursts of high-intensity activity. This is likely due to the increase in strength and power already mentioned.
For athletes who partake in endurance sports such as running or cycling, research suggests that taking a lower dose of Creatine can help maintain power output during long-duration exercise bouts without any significant changes in body mass.
3. Creatine Boosts Brain Function
Creatine effectively reduces mental fatigue and increases attentional focus by 5 to 15%. Research suggests that creatine supplementation can improve mood in healthy adults after just a few weeks of use, especially those deficient at the start of taking it.
If you or your loved ones have ever struggled with depression or bipolar disorder, Creatine can be the right treatment. This can equate to an increase in quality of life as improved mood often leads to increased confidence and positive outlooks on life overall.
4. Creatine is made from Amino Acids
Creatine itself is composed of three different types of amino acids named Arginine, Glycine, and Methionine. This means that it does not rely on the body's creatine supply for production but rather comes directly from food sources already in your daily diet.
Producing Creatine within our bodies makes this supplement safe for use with most people who do not have any pre-existing medical conditions. However, you must consult your healthcare provider first if you have issues with kidneys or liver function.
There may be slight side effects when starting if you take more than recommended. Thus, it's essential to follow dosage suggestions carefully until you know how well your body absorbs each dose before increasing doses further.
5. Creatine does not need to be cycled
Since Creatine is a natural substance produced by your body, there is no requirement for cycling or tapering off it. You can easily take this supplement year-round without worrying about the dose you had the last time.
This means that those interested in trying creatine supplements should feel free to experiment when their training is more consistent. Such pros of creatine supplements are usually mentionable to people in intense workouts.
What are the Cons of Creatine?
Creatine is the safest, the natural element you can take to gain strength. However, there are a few issues to consider when taking it. In high doses, it may cause bloating. Second, some people claim that Creatine is harmful to the kidneys, but there's no evidence to support this claim.
1. Disruption of Water Levels
Creatine also tends to pull more fluid into cells and increase osmotic pressure inside them. This means you'll have to drink extra fluids throughout the day or experience fatigue due to low blood volume and feelings of dizziness. You may also experience light-headedness due to electrolyte imbalances, leading to improper nerve transmission and cellular function over time.
If you struggle with high blood pressure, taking creatine supplements regularly is not recommended. In this case, it can induce greater reductions in both arterial distensibility and heart rate variability. For people with pre-existing conditions, these cons of Creatine supplements are considerable.
2. Dehydration is among Potential Cons of Creatine
As mentioned before, Creatine pulls extra fluid into cells, and because of this, many people assume that it also helps with hydration levels. Taking this supplement will indeed cause you to urinate more often. The net gain in fluids is not as significant as when considering the amount of water lost through sweat.
If you do not drink enough fluids throughout the day or work out intensively, supplementing with Creatine may actually have a dehydrating effect instead. Also, keep in mind the disadvantages of Creatine supplement for kidney functioning.
3. Disrupts Normal Sleep Patterns
Taking Creatine may make you urinate more due to the osmotic pressure that this supplement creates inside cells, pulling extra fluid. This can lead to disrupted sleep because staying awake to go to the washroom. Optimum sleep is what you need to perform athletically.
If you have trouble sleeping or feeling groggy during the waking hours, consider not taking your dose right before going to bed. This way, there are fewer chances for disruptions throughout your sleeping schedule.
4. Mood Changes are rare Downsides of Creatine Dose
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid produced in the liver and kidneys from three amino acids: Arginine, Glycine, and Methionine. As with any other supplement or medication, some people can experience side effects of Creatine, such as mood swings or changes in an emotional state.
If you are more sensitive emotionally, it might be a good idea to start with lower doses instead of going all-in right away. This way, you can see how your body reacts without risking any potential negative effects.
Some people who take Creatine have reported bloating during the loading phase or early in their supplementation schedule. Many people ingest 20–25 grams of Creatine each day for about one week during the loading period. The regular maintenance dosage is 3–5 grams every day to keep your muscle stores at their best.
During the loading phase, your body builds muscle and water absorption, resulting in bloating. This stage may also result in significant changes to one's body water composition. People acquire one to two percent of their body weight during this first part, including any water weight.
Conclusion on the Pros and Cons of Creatine
When considering using Creatine, look to your doctor for professional advice. You may also want to talk to a specialist trained in using health supplements. If you decide to take Creatine, make sure to use it as directed by your doctor or other health care professional.
Make sure not to take more than what is recommended, as doing so may lead to harmful effects on your heart, kidneys, and liver. Know and understand the pros and cons of Creatine supplements beforehand to avoid potential risks.