Creatine is an organic compound found naturally in the body’s muscle cells and is used by the muscle to produce energy when lifting heavy objects. As a supplement, it is common among bodybuilders and other athletes to gain muscle mass while enhancing strength and performance.
There has been word going around that using this supplement is dangerous to the body as it can cause adverse negative effects–this is not true. However, using creatine in excess, just like using any other good supplement, could harm the body. This article aims at educating you on the safe usage of creatine, emphasizing what to do and what not to do.
Do: Learn How Creatine Works
Creatine plays a crucial role in staying healthy and maintaining athletic performance in several ways. For highly intensive workouts, creatine increases phosphocreatine stores in your muscles. These additional stores are used to produce more ATP, which provides energy for high-intensity training.
Creatine also helps muscle gain by boosting your workload, aiding muscle repair by increasing cell signaling, causing a rise in anabolic hormones, increasing cell hydration, reducing protein breakdown, and lowering myostatin levels.
Creatine aids both long-term and short-term muscle growth, aiding various people, including sedentary individuals, older adults, and elite athletes. It also improves the strength and exercise performance of individuals who take it.
Do: Maintain The Dosage
The typical creatine dosage is 5 grams per day, depending on what activities you are performing and how your body reacts to the supplement. There are two category breakdowns of creatine usage;
- Loading, which is the process of bulking up muscle mass on your body, with dosage demands of 20-25 grams of creatine per day.
- Maintaining which entails maintaining the body’s current muscle mass, with a dosage of around 5 grams per day.
Don’t: Take The Whole Dose at Once
While bulking, you mustn’t take the whole daily dosage all at once. Experts recommend that you distribute the dose evenly throughout the day. When the maintenance period begins, you should strip down the dosage to 5 grams a day and distribute it evenly.
Don’t: Overthink About When To Take It.
Some supplements do work better when taken with food and drinks; however, you can take creatine at any time of the day regardless of whether you take it with food or not. It may work better for some before workouts, enhancing the duration for working out, or after a workout for others. Taking creatine is dependent on your time preference.
Do: Seek Medical Advice
Whether or not the creatine supplement is prescription-only, you should always consult with a doctor to ensure you’re getting the proper dosage, frequency, and duration of use. Taking creatine in excess or for longer than prescribed could harm the body. According to research, overdosing on amino acids could cause kidney and heart damage and other liver-related complications.
Creatine is available without a prescription, but this doesn’t mean you do not exercise caution while consuming it; instead, avoid taking the supplement for longer than six months. Taking this for long might lead to discomfort, diarrhea, weight gain, hypertension, among other heart, liver, and kidney complications.
Creatine has also been linked with improving conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Ischemic stroke, Epilepsy, brain and spinal injuries. However, this does not mean you go on ahead in taking the supplements, instead consult the doctor for a proper prescription.
Do: Stay Hydrated
Drinking water helps build muscle, and when paired with proper dieting and sleep habits, breed the best results for muscle development. Taking creatine emphasizes the importance of hydrating the body since when you take the supplement, the muscles draw water from other parts of the body. If not enough, you run the risk of getting dehydrated quickly.
Do: Take Some Time and Think About It
Think about the goals you have set for yourself and how taking supplements will affect such goals. Also, think about the type of workouts that creatine is suitable for related to the type of workouts you get involved with. For slow yet aerobic exercises, creatine is not ideal.
Another consideration to keep in mind is your diet; if you are already taking meals that provide creatine to your body, buying the supplement would not be a logical option. Researchers have found that 20%-30% of people are naturally resistant to excess or supplemented creatine, meaning if you fall within this category, buying creatine would waste time and finances.
Do: Ensure It Is Well Stored
If you have young ones in your house, you must store creatine away from their grasp. Also, ensure creatine is appropriately packaged to keep it ideal for usage; if the packaging the creatine powder came with is damaged, modern retort pouch processing technology will come in handy as a replacement to ensure the supplement remains in good condition.
Do: Learn About Other Types of Supplements
There is a wide range of supplements available on the market for muscle growth, do not just walk into using creatine without learning other alternatives. Be wise in shopping for supplements, keeping in mind both the benefits and costs you will incur.
Creatine has its benefits, and when abused, it can lead to adverse effects on the body. Proper consultations, research, and care should be exercised when using this supplement. Be sure to regularly visit your physician for nutritional advice on these other dieting issues to live a healthier life. Keep other supplement alternatives in mind while shopping.