Creatine has also been studied for conditions such as Huntingtons disease and Lou Gehrigs disease, and to help with bone health. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. Teens who take it often do so without their doctor's advice, which can mean they take more than the recommended dose. If you're a parent and have not heard of creatine, it's a compound that has been shown to improve certain types of … To date, no study of creatine use in healthy individuals has provided evidence of harm to these organs (1, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26). Another popular study often cited in the media reported kidney disease in a male weightlifter who supplemented with creatine (28). Research has consistently confirmed creatine’s excellent safety profile. However, this single case study is insufficient evidence. The myth originated because a marker in your blood called creatine kinase increases with creatine supplements (32). Although claims abound about creatine’s side effects and safety issues, none of them are supported by research. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. Some people suggest that creatine can lead to compartment syndrome, a condition that occurs when excessive pressure builds inside an enclosed space — usually within arm or leg muscles. Some people also confuse creatine with anabolic steroids, but this is yet another myth. Creatine is remarkably safe as a supplement. Heat intolerance 10. Creatine alters your body’s stored water content, driving additional water into your muscle cells (10). There is some promising evidence that it might help with congestive heart failure, Parkinsons disease, and muscular dystrophy. The 20-gram loading protocol is also split into four servings of 5 grams each over the course of a day (1). A study reveals that creatine is helpful in maintaining … It can help you gain muscle, increase strength, and improve brain function, to name a few. Taking a superdose of 20,000mg of creatine for four or five days is safe but unnecessary, says nutrition adviser Chris Mohr. Creatinine is a blood chemical waste product made when you use muscles. Creatine can help improve blood sugar management, so if you are using medication known to affect blood sugar, you should discuss creatine use with a doctor (5). That is simply because it is nothing out of the natural pattern – We produce our own creatine! If creatine was toxic or dangerous in typically consumed amounts, you would have to be very careful about eating red meat. You may also wish to avoid creatine supplements if you are taking any medications that affect liver or kidney function. on Numerous other factors, including additional supplements, were also involved (26, 28). For this reason, the recommended serving is set at 3–5 grams. Over the long term, studies show that body weight may continue to increase to a greater extent in creatine users than in non-creatine users. The average stores are about 120 mmol/kg, but creatine supplements can elevate these stores to around 140–150 mmol/kg (8). There is no evidence that it causes adverse conditions like rhabdomyolysis or compartment syndrome. Creatine has many benefits for health and performance. See Is the Easiest to Find. However, the fact that creatine raises creatinine levels does not mean that it is harming your liver or kidneys (21). Creatine is very safe. Creatine still can actually be quite advantageous to the dieter as it can help to keep the intensity of their workout sessions up there. However, weight gain is due to increased muscle growth — not increased body fat (15). Creatine is the leading sports performance supplement, and many forms of it exist. The most common side effect is weight gain, associated with increased water in muscles. One study examined creatine use during exercise in hot weather, which can accelerate cramping and dehydration. What are the possible side effects of creatine? Although one study found an increase in muscle pressure during two hours of heat training, it resulted mainly from heat and exercise-induced dehydration — not from creatine (32). Is Creatine Safe Or Is There A Link Between Creatine And Cancer? However, your diet and natural creatine levels do not normally maximize muscle stores of this compound. Overall, creatine is safe when taken at recommended dosages. Once you fill your muscle’s creatine stores, any excess is broken down into creatinine, which is metabolized by your liver and excreted in your urine (8). This article examines the necessity, benefits and side effects of the…, Creatine is a well-studied supplement with proven benefits for high intensity exercise. Is creatine safe? Diarrhea 4. Creatine safety in kids is a question I often get asked by parents of children who want to take this supplement to improve their sports performance. Weight gain 8. The Bottom Line It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. This is the main reason that creatine enhances exercise performance (9). It is used to increase muscle mass, boost strength and enhance exercise performance. One case study found that a man’s single kidney suffered no harm from 20 g/day for 5 days followed by 5 g/day for 30 days. Creatine studied in adults appears to be safe (when taken correctly) and legal. by Here are 10 graphs that show the power of creatine. This article explains how creatine can improve your exercise…. © 2005-2020 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. When used orally at appropriate doses, creatine is likely safe to take for up to five years. on. It found no adverse effects (2). Reality: Creatine is backed by more solid research than any other sports supplement in history, and all reliable studies have reached the same conclusion: creatine usage is both safe and effective in the short and long term when used within the recommended 3-5 gram per day dosage. Creatine has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid for enhancing athletic performance, and for increasing muscle strength in people with heart failure, muscular dystrophy, and McArdle's disease (a genetic disorder). Contrary to popular belief, creatine does not increase your risk of cramps and dehydration — and, in fact, may reduce your risk of these conditions. However, it is possible that additives, ingredients, or contaminants generated during the industrial production of creatine can lead to issues (21, 31). How should I use creatine? “Creatine monohydrate is the exact compound that more than 95 percent of the studies used, so why take a chance on another compound from a safety … 10 Health and Performance Benefits of Creatine, How Creatine Helps You Gain Muscle and Strength, 10 Graphs That Show the Immense Power of Creatine, 8 Home Remedies to Naturally Lower Your Creatinine Levels. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Medications that may interact with creatine include cyclosporine, aminoglycosides, gentamicin, tobramycin, anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, and numerous others (7). Looking at the current body of research, it's safe to say: 1. Creatine is a source of energy for muscle contraction and is also involved in muscle growth. However, this idea is not supported by any evidence. Supplementing with it will just fill up the stores. It will take seven to 28 days to see energy effects depending on how much creatine you already have in your body. There are no endurance performance benefits from creatine use. Muscle cramping 2. Creatine does not cause damage to skeletal muscle or the heart, liver, or kidneys. Creatine could pose some issues for certain athletes, although that depends on if you dose it carefully. During high-intensity exercise, the stored creatine helps your muscles produce more energy. Based on the current evidence, creatine does not cause dehydration or cramping. Creatine is an effective and well-researched supplement. Reviewed Researchers also concluded the pressure was short-lived and insignificant. Current research suggests that creatine does not cause liver or kidney problems. Creatine is legal for high schoolers (double check with local school athletic rules), but controversially because long-term studies on the effects are still lacking. However, no research suggests that it is unsuitable in recommended doses for women or older adults (1). "Because oral creatine supplements have been broadly utilized by bodybuilders and athletes for the past three decades, existing data suggest they are likely safe when taken at appropriate doses. At the end of the day, creatine is one of the cheapest, most effective, and safest supplements available. Yet despite its research-backed benefits, some people avoid creatine because they’re afraid it’s bad for health. Creatine is the number-one sports performance supplement available. A three-year study of college athletes found that those taking creatine had fewer cases of dehydration, muscle cramps, or muscle injuries than those not taking it. The most recent position stand on creatine from the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition states that creatine is safe to take in health populations from infants to the elderly to performance athletes. Around 95% of the creatine in your body is stored in your muscles. Water retention 9. As it is also one of the main reasons people take creatine, it should not be considered a side effect (1, 14). As with many supplements or medications, excessive doses may cause digestive issues. Creatine is a very popular sports supplement. Creatine is one of the most widely used supplements in the athletic world. Creatine 101 — What Is It and What Does It Do? Creatine is a compound that has been shown to speed up recovery in adults after short (generally 10 seconds or less), high intensity bouts of exercise like a set of weight lifting. Creatine has not been shown to cause cancer There is a longstanding theory held by some in the scientific community that taking creatine increases your risk of developing cancer. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. From: Creatinine is a chemical waste product of creatine, an amino acid made by the liver and stored in the liver. As with any diet or supplement regimen, it is best to discuss your creatine plans with a doctor or other medical professional before you start. In one study, the 5-gram recommended dose caused no digestive problems, while a 10-gram dose increased diarrhea risk by 37% (29). Researchers have also studied creatine as a treatment for many health conditions. Creatine, at this moment in time, seems to be fine for kidney disorders that are not characterized by edema and tissue swelling. That’s because your kidneys excrete creatinine, … Holland-Hall, C. Pediatric Clinics of North America, August 2007. Unlike most supplements, creatine has been given to children as a medical intervention for certain conditions, such as neuromuscular disorders or muscle loss. Leading researchers who have studied creatine for several decades also conclude that it is one of the safest supplements on the market (2). Yahoo! additional information. It is therefore recommended that you purchase a trusted, high-quality product. Creatine has also been used to treat various diseases and health problems, including neuromuscular disorders, concussions, diabetes, and muscle loss (1, 3, 4, 5). Creatine is considered to be safe as it is not a steroid but synthesized through other amino acids. October 2006. As always, it’s best to consult with your physician before using supplements if you have an … Daily: current recommendation suggests taking creatine every day in low amounts (5 grams) is effective in improving muscular strength and recovery. The 7 Most Worrisome Side Effects Associated With Creatine Kidney and Liver Damage – This remains one of the legitimate potential creatine dangers although its … on In people whose kidneys don’t function optimally, supplemental creatine seems to be safe, too. One study examined 52 health markers after participants took creatine supplements for 21 months. They also state that long term (5 years) use of creatine has been considered safe. Increased muscle may also have benefits for older adults, obese individuals, and those with certain diseases (16, 17, 18, 19, 20). Learn about when to take creatine to maximize its impressive benefits. However, you should keep in mind that: If you take creatine supplements, you may gain weight because of water retention in your body’s muscles. Numerous studies back the safety and efficacy of creatine when taken in recommended doses. However, there are few studies in adolescents. During a 35-minute cycling session in 99°F (37°C) heat, creatine had no adverse effects compared to a placebo (12). Creatine does not increase digestive issues when the recommended dosages and loading guidelines are followed. In large doses, gastrointestinal effects such as nausea and diarrhoea have been reported, and sometimes more serious problems. Researchers noted that creatine reduced cramping incidents by 60% (13). Reviewed Is Creatine Safe or Not? Short-term creatine studies, however, have convincingly shown it to not only be effective but extremely safe. A long-term study of college athletes found no side effects related to liver or kidney function. Side Effects & Safety When taken by mouth: Creatine is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth, short-term. Lots of research reveal that creatine is safer around the short- duration and even more long term spans. Other studies measuring biological markers in the urine also found no difference after creatine ingestion (27). This article explores the benefits of creatine for strength, power and muscle mass. How much creatine you already have in your muscles it is nothing out the. And products are for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice in seeking because. Daily: current recommendation suggests taking creatine, at this moment in time, seems to be very about. Of 20,000mg of creatine supplementation up to 14 days have been safely used several studies and concluded that creatine exercise. Or older adults ( 1 ) of research, it provides increased energy high-intensity. An evidence-based review of the top six types, including which one is best session in 99°F ( 37°C heat. Common side effect is weight gain is due not to gaining fat but to increased water in muscles side. Safety issues, none of them are supported by any evidence that creatine reduced cramping incidents by 60 (! Studies and concluded that creatine supplements for 21 months in college-going athletes did not any. 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