Creatine is one of the well-known sports supplements available in the market.
It’s essentially used for its ability to increase muscle size, strength, and power. Also, it has additional health benefits associated with aging and brain function.
This article describes Creatine’s health benefits, side effects, and dosage information.
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Table of Contents
What is Creatine?
On average, you get 1–2 grams of Creatine per day, stored primarily in your skeletal muscle.
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Vegetarians have lower levels of Creatine stored in their skeletal muscles than people who include meat in their diets.
Apart from being naturally found in many foods, Creatine is also available in supplement form.
Benefits of Creatine
Creatine is widely known for its capability to enhance athletic performance.
Potential benefits of creatine supplements may include:
- Athletic performance: Creatine stores adenosine triphosphate in your body, which stores energy, fuels your cells and provides energy to your muscles.
- Healthy aging: Taking creatine supplements may help to keep your muscles and bones healthy as you age.
- Brain health: Creatine supplements increase creatine levels in the brain by nearly 10%, promoting brain health.
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How many grams of creatine a day?
Creatine powder mixed with water or juice should be taken before or after workouts.
The conventional way to take the supplement is known as creatine loading.
Creatine leading involves taking 20 to 25 grams of Creatine, divided into 4-5 equal doses for 5 to 7 days.
Following loading, 3–5 grams per day is necessary to maintain your muscle stores of Creatine.
The purpose of loading is to overfill your muscle cells with Creatine so that you can experience its benefits as soon as possible.
If you skip the loading phase, taking the maintenance dose of 3 to 5 grams daily is another way to take a supplement.
This method is as effective as creatine loading, but it takes much longer, typically around 28 days, to experience the same benefits.
Taking the maintenance dose for a long time may be more convenient than the loading method since it involves just one dose per day rather than 4 to 5 daily doses.
How much water should you drink with creatine?
Creatine pulls water from your body and draws it into your muscles, so it is necessary to drink enough water each day while supplementing with Creatine.
The best indicator for needing to hydrate is your thirst; if you feel thirsty, drink water. Mixing Creatine with at least 8 ml of water is important. Thus, a good target amount of water is essential to keep your body hydrated while taking Creatine.
I recommend you to read following posts that will help you: How Do You Know If You Are Dehydrated?
Is creatine safe?
Creatine is a safe, well-researched supplement.
Researchers have shown less harmful health effects of taking creatine supplements in doses up to 20 grams per day for ten months.
However, in a study on diabetes and kidney disease, 5 grams of Creatine per day for 12 weeks did not harm kidney health.
Therefore, people with impaired kidney disease or those taking medications should check with their healthcare provider before taking Creatine.
While Creatine is considered a safe supplement, remember that you may experience its side effects too.
Side effects of taking too much creatine
Taking larger than recommended doses may result in some minor side effects, including:
- Bloating: Creatine can result in a significant weight gain due to increased muscle mass and water intake into your muscles. An increase in body weight may cause bloating.
- Stomach discomfort:Using too much Creatine at one time can lead to stomach discomfort. If you choose to follow the loading method, you can avoid this side effect by taking 20 to 25 grams of Creatine into 4 to 5 equal doses throughout the day.
Taking more than the recommended dose of Creatine will cause you to pass the excess Creatine through your urine.
Although Creatine is the safest supplement available in the market, taking too much is wasteful and may cause bloating and stomach discomfort.
Creatine is a popular supplement that’s taken essentially for its ability to improve athletic performance. However, Creatine is also used for other health benefits related to aging and brain function.
Taking creatine supplements poses a little risk; too much Creatine, especially during the loading phase, is inconvenient and may cause side effects like bloating and stomach discomfort.
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