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A Review Of Creatine Benefits & Its Associated Side Effects

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Creatine is a naturally occurring substance found in the muscles of the human body. Its role is to produce energy so you can perform activities like weightlifting or high-intensity workouts. While creatine is produced in the body in the pancreas, liver, and kidneys, it can also be obtained from foods like red meat and fish. Another way of maintaining creatine levels in the body is through supplementation.

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Athletes and bodybuilders frequently use creatine as a supplement to improve their muscle mass and stamina. However, creatine benefits are not limited to improving athletic performance; there are many other health benefits that we’re going to discuss in the following sections of this article.

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Creatine Benefits for Performance and Health

Creatine Benefits for Performance and Health

Here are some of the lesser known Creatine Benefits that you need to be aware of:

Improves Athletic Performance

Research indicates that creatine can be beneficial for improving performance during high-intensity workouts. This benefit is attributed to creatine’s ability to nudge the body to produce more energy by increasing the phosphocreatine stores in your muscles. More energy translates to better performance. However, this benefit seems restricted to short bursts of high-intensity exercises and does not help as much during longer workout sessions.

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Builds Muscle Mass

Creatine is known to promote muscle growth in both young and older adults. It has been noted that people who take creatine for even a short duration observe an increase in muscle mass and body weight. Though the spike is initially a result of water retention in muscles, it eventually results in a growth in muscle fibres in the body. What’s more? Besides benefiting individuals involved in athletic activities, creatine benefits build muscle mass in those living a sedentary lifestyle.

Helps in Faster Recovery Post Workout

Exercise puts your muscles through strenuous work and can leave you exhausted. Therefore, your body needs a recovery period before you can indulge in another workout session. Consuming creatine as a supplement can facilitate muscle repair, reduce muscle soreness and inflammation, and support quicker recovery. A faster recovery eventually allows you to exercise more frequently.

May Fight Neurological Diseases

Researchers indicate that creatine supplementation may help treat neurological conditions along with conventional medicines. Animal studies have revealed that creatine increases the levels of phosphocreatine in the brain, which helps in slowing down the advancement of various neurological conditions like Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), etc. More studies are, however, needed to ascertain this benefit in humans.

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May Help Lower Blood Glucose Levels

People with diabetes find it hard to manage their blood sugar levels. Initial research shows that creatine may benefit individuals with type 2 diabetes in managing their blood sugar levels by improving their insulin sensitivity. One study revealed that individuals who included exercise and creatine supplementation during a 12-week study period had better control over blood glucose compared to those who merely did workouts without taking creatine as a supplement.

Improves Cognitive Function

Creatine is also believed to help improve the cognitive function of older adults. By increasing the levels of phosphocreatine in brain cells, creatine supplements may bring about considerable improvements in brain health, cognition, memory, and concentration.

Fights Ageing Skin

Fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging are common in ageing skin. Though numerous skin-enhancing ingredients are available to fight ageing skin, it seems that creatine also has some role to play in promoting youthful skin. Early reports suggest that creams containing creatine alone or with other ingredients like folic acid may reduce sagging and wrinkles and promote healthier-looking skin.

May Support Heart Health

High triglyceride levels in the body are not good for the heart and can give rise to serious cardiovascular issues. Creatine benefits when taken as a supplement, can reduce triglyceride levels in the body and lower the risk of heart disease in susceptible individuals. It can also improve the exercising capacity of people with known cardiovascular issues, so they can better manage their condition.

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May Fight Cancer

Budding research on creatine benefits for cancer has revealed that creatine supplementation might actually help immune cells fight better against cancer by slowing down the growth of tumour cells. The study was conducted on mice and could be a step forward in finding better cancer treatments. However, human studies are still required to come to any conclusion.

Helps Treat Muscular Dystrophy

People with muscular dystrophy experience a gradual increase in muscle weakness and a loss in strength. Although limited, some studies show that taking creatine supplements can increase muscle strength and make it easier for people with the condition to carry out their daily activities. Though the idea of creatine supplementation looks promising, long-term studies are still needed to confirm its effectiveness.

Side Effects of Creatine

Creatine is widely used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts to improve their strength and energy levels for high-intensity physical activities. When used as a supplement and in recommended doses of 3-5 grams per day, creatine is considered safe for use.

However, some people may experience side effects, which include:

  • Weight gain
  • Loose stools
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle cramps
  • High blood pressure

It is also important to note that taking too much creatine can lead to water retention and tummy troubles. It may also damage the kidneys or cause liver dysfunction. Therefore, always talk to your doctor before you start taking creatine.

Conclusion

Creatine is a safe and widely used health supplement. It is primarily used to boost muscle strength and energy levels during high-intensity physical activities. Other creatine benefits include better cognition, management of blood sugar levels, improved skin texture, and more.

While most people can take creatine without any issues, you must still watch out for its side effects. The best way to ensure you don’t experience any undesired effects is to consult your provider before creatine use and stick to the dosage recommended for you.

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FAQs

1. Is creatine a steroid?

No, creatine is not an anabolic steroid. It has a totally different chemical structure and is generally safe when taken in the correct doses.

2. Which form of creatine should you use?

Creatine monohydrate is the most frequently used form of creatine. It is affordable and is backed by multiple clinical studies for safety.

3. How soon can you feel the effects of creatine on your body?

It can take anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks to notice the effects of creatine on your body.

4. How should you take your creatine supplement?

Creatine supplements are available as powders or capsules. Take your supplement with a glass full of water, preferably after a workout, to reap maximum benefits.

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Disclaimer: The content of this article is compiled information from generic and public sources. It is in no way a substitute, suggestion, or advice for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. BeatoApp does not claim responsibility for this information.

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Akhil Taneja

Akhil Taneja

Health & Wellness Connoisseur and Growth Marketing Expert, I am a passionate health enthusiast and an advocate for holistic health. With my expertise in tech and love for helping others achieve optimal well-being, I am delivering insightful content to help readers achieve their health and fitness goals.

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