What Is Creatine?
Creatine plays an important role in making the energy needed for our muscles to work. During periods of intense exercise, energy stores in our muscles become depleted. Some experts believe that supplementing the diet with creatine may help the body replenish energy stores faster and also may help to build muscle mass.
How Can I Get Creatine Naturally?
Our bodies naturally make creatine but it also is derived from the diet. The majority of dietary creatine comes from eating red meat, chicken and fish. The human body generally makes enough creatine that is required for good health. However, supplementing the diet with creatine may be beneficial for certain individuals including those looking to improve athletic performance particularly during high-intensity, short-duration activities.
How Does Creatine Work?
There is often some confusion about how creatine works. Creatine alone does not make muscles larger. It doesn't even have a large, direct impact on endurance. It does, however, provide an energy source for the body that may make it possible for you to work out a little longer and a little harder. If you can exercise a little longer each session, you may see faster gains. In short, creatine may allow you to train harder and more often so that you can achieve results more rapidly.
Who Takes Creatine?
Some research indicates that creatine may be effective in high-intensity training, including activities like weight-training, sprinting, football, and baseball. Activities that require high energy outputs over relatively short periods of time are most likely to benefit from creatine supplementation although further research is still needed in this area. Activities that are less likely to benefit from creatine supplementation include endurance events and aerobic exercise. Long-distance running, soccer, and yoga, for instance, are activities in which participants are less likely to derive benefits from creatine supplementation.
Is Creatine Safe?
Creatine appears to be generally safe for adults when used as directed. Speak with your doctor or healthcare provider to help you find the right dose for you since this may vary depending upon your weight, body composition, and gender.
Is Creatine Dangerous?
Creatine supplements may have the potential to cause side effects. Elevated cholesterol, decreased blood sugar, increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots), kidney damage, and liver damage are all possible. Creatine may not be appropriate for everyone to take especially those with kidney disease, diabetes, or liver disease. Talk to your doctor first before using creatine supplements especially if you have a health condition or take any medication.
Creatine can be purchased in the form of powders, capsules, tablets, liquids, and flavored liquids. It may also be purchased as a stand-alone supplement or found as an ingredient in other supplements, such as protein powders.
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