Creatine supplements help build and maintain muscle. They can be helpful for people who exercise, but it’s important to know how much you should take before taking them.
The body naturally produces creatine as part of the process of creating amino acids, or building blocks for proteins. It is also found in foods like meat, fish and eggs.
Several studies have shown that creatine supplementation can increase the rate at which your muscles recover from exercises and reduce the amount of time you need to rest after workouts. It may also increase your ability to perform high-intensity activities that require a short recovery period, such as sprinting and weight lifting.
Athletes use creatine supplements to boost their athletic performance, and it can help with a variety of athletic events, including rowing, jumping and soccer. It can also improve endurance in runners and cyclists.
It may also help with injury prevention and decrease the frequency of dehydration, cramping and muscle injuries in some athletes. It is also a good choice for people who have conditions like heart failure that cause fatigue.
If you have kidney or liver problems, it is important to speak with your doctor before starting any type of supplement. This includes creatine supplements, as it can be harmful to the kidneys and liver.
Other health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, should also be considered before beginning a creatine supplement program. Combining it with nephrotoxic drugs, which can damage the kidneys, should also be avoided.
Pregnant women and breast feeding: There isn’t enough information about the safety of creatine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, so stay on the safe side.
Older adults: It is possible that older people who are trying to preserve their muscle mass could benefit from a creatine supplement, but it’s not recommended for young adults because it can cause serious side effects.
The most common side effect of taking creatine is water retention in the first few days. This is usually minimal and only occurs during those first few days, but it can lead to weight gain.
It can also lead to increased levels of triglycerides in the blood, but it isn’t dangerous and doesn’t occur often. It can also lower your blood homocysteine level, which is linked to heart disease and stroke.
In addition, it can be beneficial for people who have creatine supplements disorders that impair the body’s ability to absorb and transport creatine. These conditions include GAMT deficiency and AGAT deficiency in children.
Other conditions: Those who have certain kidney disorders, such as nephrotic syndrome or polycystic kidney disease, may be at greater risk of developing creatine deficiency. Taking creatine can help people with these conditions achieve their muscle-building goals more quickly, but it won’t help them avoid the complications of kidney disease.
The safest way to take creatine is to stick with the recommended dose, which usually ranges from three to five grams a day, according to the National Institutes of Health. The best way to get the most benefit is to stick with a program that includes strength training and other muscle-building exercises.