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What Are The Pros and Cons of Creatine?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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What are the pros and cons of creatine? Creatine is one of the most popular supplements in the fitness industry when it comes to exercise performance and muscle building. It is a natural compound produced in your body from amino acids. Creatine can be consumed from several different sources such as animal sources like beef, chicken or even fish. Or it can be found in a dietary supplement form if you can’t get enough it from food.

Consuming a creatine supplement can help give your muscles the extra fuel and energy it needs to last longer in workouts. The extra energy from creatine supplementation can help you recover from workouts faster and reduce fatigue dramatically. Creatine can be taken in powder or pill form. And if you take it in powder form you can mix it with water or juice.

What are the Pros and Cons of Creatine? photo credit: iStock-designer491

Creatine is most effective when it comes to high intensity sports activities such as basketball, weightlifting, running, sprinting, soccer, swimming, power lifting and track and field events.

Creatine can also help with the progression loss of muscle and strength that comes with aging. And that condition is called sarcopenia.

Sarcopenia is a condition that affects 6 to 15% of adults that are over the age of 60 and older. This condition has been linked to physical disability, poor quality of life and an increased risk of death. That is why taking creatine supplementation has no age limit especially if you combine it with weightlifting.

There have been some studies that have shown that creatine supplementation can increase brain functionality by 5 to 15%. There was also another study that 5 to 20 grams of creatine daily for a period of 5 days to 6 weeks will improve short term memory and reasoning.

If you take too much creatine it can cause unnecessary bloating. And this bloating typically happens during the creatine loading phase which is not really a requirement.  The creatine loading phase is when you take 20 to 25 grams of creatine per day 5 to 7 days in a row.

In this loading phase it pulls a high amount of water into your muscle cells which causes the bloating and weight gain. Some people think after the first week of the creatine loading phase that the illusion is they gained muscle because the number on the scale went up. The reality is that they didn’t gain muscle they are just retaining a lot of water also known as water retention.

The amount of creatine you should take on average is 3 to 5 grams of creatine daily to maintain muscle stores of that supplement compound. There are several different types of creatine on the market such as creatine monohydrate, creatine hydrochloride and creatine nitrate. And you can pick which one is best for you supplementation wise and for your fitness goals.

“If you take too much creatine it can cause unnecessary bloating. And this bloating typically happens during the creatine loading phase which is not really a requirement.  The creatine loading phase is when you take 20 to 25 grams of creatine per day 5 to 7 days in a row.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike

The Bottom Line is creatine is one of the most popular sports supplements in the market when it comes muscle building, exercise performance and recovery. Studies have also shown that it can improve brain function and affect muscle loss among the elderly that is over 60 years of age.

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References

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