You should always be careful in putting anything into your body. As plenty of professional athletes who have been busted for doping can attest to, there are consequences to putting things you haven’t fully researched into your system. So before you start taking it, we should discuss what are the effects of Creatine on the body?
What Creatine Is
It is not a miracle powder or some sort of illegal drug. Creatine occurs naturally within our bodies from the liver. The primary purpose of it is to produce energy with it mostly being involved with skeletal muscle needs and a slight amount is stored in the heart, brain, and testes. In is considered non-essential because it is produced internally.
Our body combines L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine to make Creatine. So ideally your body will have higher natural stores if you eat a diet rich in foods with those amino acids within them.
Effects of Creatine
Most people use it as a supplement to increase their ability to workout and recover. Because it increases the production of adenosine triphosphate, which is used by muscles for short powerful bursts, it helps increase any performance in explosive activities. This would include weightlifting and athletic endeavors such as track (excluding longer distance runs).
It also helps remove energy waste in the muscles which then reduces muscle fatigue. The idea of this extra energy and reduced fatigue have made it seem if it has properties similar to anabolic steroids, but they are not the same because there is no additional production of growth hormone.
Sometimes there are negative effects associated with Creatine. Because of how it uses water in the body a primary concern is dehydration. This can lead to muscle cramps. There are also other possible effects of nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
While there have not been nearly enough long term cases to study there are concerns that supplementing Creatine can lead to kidney issues because of the extra work processing it within the body. Along with the kidneys the liver and heart could be placed at risk. But there are still no studies that have been published to say it is unsafe. Because of its popularity it has been and is being studied rigorously.
An interesting thing about Creatine is it affects people differently. For some people there is no noticeable difference which can be linked to a genetic disposition to the compound. People who don’t eat as much protein will generally see a greater effect from it because they would have had a lower level in their body.
When it first became popular numerous people reported that the effects of Creatine diminished over time so it was a product that people would cycle. Typically they would use it for two months and then take a month off, during which they would lose some size and strength. But there have been no proven studies to confirm that you need to cycle Creatine and just can’t continue taking it to obtain the same benefits to energy and fatigue reduction.