How does creatine work and how effective is it?

How does creatine work and how effective is it?

Creatine is a popular supplement for sporting personalities and helps in gaining mass and strength. For instance, most athletes, power lifters, weightlifters and boxers use the supplement because of its effectiveness. The supplement increases strength, power of the muscles and the overall performance of the sports men as well as it helps in enhancing their health. Basically, creatine is a protein-like dietary supplement and is found in fish and meat naturally.

When consumed, it is synthesized in the body, more so in the liver where it produces three amino acids such as methionine, glycine and arginine. However, muscle tissues are not responsible for production of creatine, but they take up the supplement from the bloodstream. In the muscle tissues, creatine provides the cells with a high-energy phosphate, commonly referred to as creatine phosphate.

This molecule of high-energy is beneficial to the body muscles by donating adenosine triphosphat, and this is what is normally used by the body muscles for emission of a rapid energy necessary for muscles to contract during exercise. Studies have shown that when one uses supplements such as creatine, the content of muscles’ increases PCR by roughly 20%. When muscle cells have more PCr, there is more ATP produced rapidly which lead to gaining of strength, speed, power and muscle growth. According to research, creatine is very effective during high-intensity training and other activities that are explosive.

picture of creatine powder shaped into a bicep

Such activities include baseball, football and sprinting. However, there is little evidence which indicates whether creatine can improve the endurance of performance or other aerobic exercises. When an individual takes creatine, it is certain such an individual will gain weight. The process of gaining weight happens quickly. In the first week, one may gain between two to four pounds of weight.

Creatine is an active substance osmotically and therefore can pull water into the muscle, which helps in increasing the process of synthesizing proteins. There is a constant study on the effectiveness and safety of creatine by researchers and thus majority of trainers and health officers are supporting the usage of creatine. However, studies indicate that use of creatine is safe. This is because there is a lot of research going on about the supplement and none have reported that it is unsafe. On the other hand, people may experience complications such as cramps, but they are not that common.

There have been reports about kidney damages, dehydration, heart problems among other side effects when the supplement is taken in excess. Trainers and health experts recommend that if one can get big without supplements, then there is no need to use creatine. However, one feels better by using creatine because it increases the strength and mass of muscles. Therefore, sporty people should first weigh up the advantages and the negative side effects of creatine before they actually try it.

Individuals below the age of 18 years should not use the supplement since no studies have been carried out to ascertain its effectiveness on children.

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