Creatine is the most talked supplement among bodybuilders. Some believe that it is the safest yet best supplement for bulking while some believe that there are certain side effects of creatine which cannot be avoided thus it is better not to use creatine. Before knowing about the creatine side ffects we must know what creatine is and how it is produced in the body.
Creatine is an organic acid produced in the liver to help supply energy into the muscle cells. It has the capability to supply energy when demanded by muscles hence it is used by athletes and bodybuilders.
Hence now we know that Creatine is a natural substance that is produced in the body itself. Then why athletes and bodybuilders take creatine supplement?
The answer to this question is quite simple. The amount of creatine produced in the body is very limited , and there’s no way you can increase it. This is the reason why most athletes use creatine supplements so that they have enough amount of creatine to help them recover better.
How Creatine Works
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic compound obtained from consumption of meat or fish by the body and is also made inside the kidney, liver and pancreas. When Creatine enters the muscle cell, it accepts a high energy phosphate and forms phospho Creatine. Phospho Creatine is the storage form of high-energy phosphate, which is used by the skeletal muscle cells. Phospho Creatine availability in the muscles is vitally important in energy production, since ATP cannot be stored in excessive amounts within the muscle and is rapidly depleted during bouts of exhaustive exercise.
Creatine Side Effects
Now we come to the main part of the post. If I had to answer the question in one word my answer would be no, creatine does not have any side effects. But read on to get a full picture of my answer.
Yes if you use Creatine wisely there would be no side effects. Now what does using creatine wisely mean?
There are certain precautions given before using creatine.
- Taking more than advised serving will not benefit the person but will lead to various side effects. The excess creatine will automatically flush out of the body. Hence take only appropriate creatine dosage at a time.
- The person using creatine should not have any kidney or liver disease. Also diabetic patients and people with gastrointestinal issues should avoid using creatine. Hence before starting creatine supplementation, consult a doctor and get a checkup done.
- If you start using creatine , avoid drinking alcohol as it can cause some side effects in the body.
- Keep your body hydrated. This is the most important step when you are supplementing with creatine. Creatine draws water from body into muscle cells hence you should always keep your body hydrated. Drink atleast 3-4 liters of water every day.
- It is advised not to use creatine if you are below 18 years of age.
Hence before starting creatine supplementation, consult your Doctor. Once approved , follow the above precaution and drink as much water as you can.
According to most of the athletes, is you follow the above precautions you will most not see any side effects. But in some cases you may see some negative effects after using creatine like Diarrhea, Stomach Upset, Muscle Cramps etc. In any such case stop using creatine immediately and consult a doctor.
Hence we see there are no or very minimal Creatine side effects if used wisely. I highly recommend using Creatine during your weight gain schedule as it is cheap and superior to most of the supplements. But keep in mind the precautions and warnings before using it.