Creatine, is it good?
The Pros and Cons of Creatine
What is creatine?
Creatine is a performance enhancing supplement. It is widely used and easy to get a hold of because it comes in powders, energy bars, tablets, and drink mixes. It hasn't been thoroughly researched so the effects of it long term are unknown. Creatine is thought of to be a fuel for ATP. When in the body, creatine turns into creatine phosphate, which helps make ATP. ATP basically provides energy for muscle contractions.
One of the types of creatine supplements.
Another type of creatine supplement.
Creatine Protein Bars
Another widely used type of creatine supplement.
How does it work?
ATP fuels a muscle contraction. Creatine phosphate is stored in in the muscle and used for energy there. When doing a high intensity or short workout, the creatine phosphate is converted into ATP in order to get energy out more quickly. It is thought that the more creatine available, the easier it is for ATP to become available, making muscle contractions happen easier and quicker.
Who should use creatine?
If you are trying to gain lean muscle and want to boost your strength, creatine could be useful to you. Wrestlers may use cretine at some point, but it can cause you to retain water which could make you heavier at a weigh. Creatine should stop being used about six weeks before a weigh in. It should not be used for long distance because it is used for short bursts of energy.
Pros of using Creatine
Creatine allows you to have a high intensity workout. Creatine phosphate supplies muscle fibers with immediate energy, this causes the muscle contraction to strengthen allowing an athlete to sprint faster or do more repetitions in their workout. Creatine can also enhance recovery. Creatine has been studied and had been proven to help lessen the damage and inflammation of muscle cells after an extreme workout. For bodybuilders, creatine can cause muscle cells to inflate giving them a more muscular look. It can also help with brain function. It has been proven that creatine can improve short-term memory. Creatine has all of these pros and many more.
Cons of using creatine
Creatine may give you a nice boost of energy, but it can also cause you to gain water weight. This can be good for some athletes, but this can be a nightmare for others. Another potential risk of using creatine is its effect on your kidneys. It has the potential to cause kidney problems (over long term) and worsen kidney problems someone may already have. Some high school and college students tend to exceed the recommended dosage and could potentially cause themselves kidney and growth issues. The recommended dosage is 4-5 grams a day, the typical amount students take is 6-8 grams, and some students go as far as taking 17-20 grams.
Should Creatine be used?
That question can only be answered by you right now. Do the pros weigh out the cons for you? Will it help you in the sport you're in? Are you willing to take a risk on the health of your kidneys? Everything depends on how you feel, your health, and the reason for using it.