Creatine is one of the most recognized natural dietary supplements currently available to athletes and sportsmen, hence its popular purchase.
Some people believe that creatine is not safe and that it has many side effects, but this statement is actually not back up by evidence.
In fact, it is one of the most studied supplements in the world and it has an exceptional safety profile.
What is Creatine?
It is a substance that is naturally found in the muscle cells. It helps the muscles to produce energy when we lift weight or during a high intensity exercise.
In terms of chemistry, creatine is quite similar to amino acids. In fact, your body can produce it from the amino acids glycine and arginine.
These are some of the factors that affect our body reserves:
- Amount of muscle mass
- Hormone levels
- Meat intake
Approximately a 95% of the creatine from the body is stored in the muscles as phosphocreatine; while the remaining 5% is distributed between the brain, kidneys and liver.
Taking this food supplement will increase your phosphocreatine reserves, helping your body to produce more than one high energy molecule called ATP.
It is a source of energy, the more ATP you have in your body, the better you will be able to perform the exercise.
Creatine also alters several cell processes that increase the muscle mass, strength and recovery.
Vegetarians and vegans have lower blood creatine levels since they do not eat meat.
How does it work?
Creatine can improve our health and athletic performance in several ways.
Its main function is for high intensity exercises, since it increases the phosphocreatine reserves in your muscles.
It also helps in the following ways:
- Increasing the workload: It allows you to lift more weight, which is a key factor for long-term muscle growth.
- Improving the cell signalling: It can increase the cell satellite signalling by helping to repair the muscle and to grow new muscles.
- Increasing the anabolic hormones: Such as the IGF-1 after taking creatine.
- Improving the cell hydration: It increases the consumption of water inside the muscle cells, which causes a cell volumization effect that plays a role in the muscle growth.
- Buffering the protein breakdown: It can increase the total muscle mass by buffering the muscle breakdown.
- Reducing the myostatin levels: High myostatin levels can delay or inhibit the growth of new muscles completely. Taking creatine supplements can lower its levels, enhancing the muscle growth processes.
Its intake will also increase the phosphocreatine reserves in the brain, which can improve our brain health and prevent neurological diseases.
What are its effects on muscle growth?
Creatine supplementation can result in a considerably increase of the muscle mass. This applies both to inexperienced individuals as well as to elite athletes.
What are its effects on the strength performance and exercise?
It is one of the best supplements to improve the strength and performance during high intensity exercises. It increases your ability to produce ATP energy.
What are its effects on the brain?
Creatine can buffer the symptoms and delay the progression of some neurological diseases (although this still needs further research):
- Ischemic strokes
- Brain or bone marrow injuries
- Motoneuron diseases
- Memory and brain function in adults
Other properties for our health
Taking creatine can help us deal with hyperglycemia and fatty liver disease, apart from improve the muscle function of elderly people.
Types of creatine
There are three types or forms:
- Ethyl ester
Many people who take creatine supplements start doing a loading phase (5g four times a day for 5-7 days). Then, they start taking 3-5g a day to keep the reserves full.
Creatine retains water in the muscle cells, which is why is is advisable to take it with a glass of water and to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Does creatine have side effects?
It does not have side effects, although people believe that it causes dehydration and muscle cramps, although this has yet to be proven by the studies.
Those who suffer hepatic or renal problems should consult their doctor before taking creatine supplements. Even though there is no evidence that it can damage the liver or kidneys of healthy people as long as they follow the recommended dose.
Where can I buy creatine online?
Usually, you can buy in sport nutrition stores. HSN is a website where you can buy creatine online, since we have a wide range of quality products with different prices.
It is the best store where you can buy creatine monohydrate, alkalyn, ethyl ester, malate, gluconate, etc.