Without a doubt, Creatine is one of the most common and popular sports and bodybuilding supplements that athletes and bodybuilders use nowadays. The circumstantial evidence regarding the efficiency and usefulness of creatine supplementation is supported by a number of studies. In a survey conducted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, over 40% of their member athletes used creatine supplement to aid muscle mass build-up.
Creatine is considered beneficial for both experienced athletes and untrained ones because it is known to increase fat-free mass while improving aerobic and anaerobic performance. But, without understanding the various pros and cons of Creatine supplement, you should not decide about its inclusion in your daily dietary routine. So, let’s check out the most important pros and cons of creatine supplement.
What Is Creatine?
Creatine was discovered by a French scientist in 1835. It is basically a natural constituent foundmainly in red meat. For your information, our body naturally manufactures creatine using arginine, glycine, and methionine amino acids. The process of creatine production takes place in liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It is quite similar to the protein found in a nitrogen-containing compound. But, do remember that creatine isn’t a true protein; in nutritional biochemistry world, it is referred to as a non-protein nitrogen that can also be obtained from meat and fish and other food sources.
About 40% of our body’s creatine production is free creatine (Cr) and the remaining 60% is creatine phosphate (CP). An average, adult male’s body can process about 2gms of creatine on a daily basis, which is used for ATP resynthesis. ATP is the shorter form of adenosine triphosphate. It is basically the power that directs muscular energetics into increasing accumulation of muscle mass.
Why is Creatine Supplement Used?
To increase the Cr and CP proportion within the muscle, many bodybuilders and athletes switch to creatine supplementation. The reason why it is used is that it allows enhanced regeneration of ATP, which means that it improves the muscle’s ability to maintain power output during high-intensity workout sessions. The period of this power maintenance is brief because a cell cannot store CP for long time so our body quickly starts switching to other methods of replenishing ATP.
Creatine Monohydrate supplement is recommended by a majority of researches and studiesin preventing creatinedeficiencies. This type of creatine is bonded to a water molecule.
Is Creatine a Steroid?
No, it is not!
It is not only different from a steroid in terms of properties but also works in a totally different manner. Creatine isn’t a compound that is synthesized in a laboratory but found in high-protein foods. It is a natural compound and not at all a stimulant. It is used to increase the saturation of creatine in the muscle due to which the athletes’ performance gets enhanced and bodybuildersare able to retain energy levels during high-intensity exercises.
What are the Pros of Creatine Supplement?
There are many benefits of using a creatine supplement. Some of the key pros are discussed here:
- Enhances the Body’s Performance Capacity: Creatine has the power to improve our body’s capacity to perform well during high intensity exercising sessions along with enlarging the muscle size. Creatine phosphate is an excellent source of 11b type muscle fibers, which are the ones that get the largest in size. It also increases energy levels by preventing premature muscle fatigue. By strengthening muscular contraction of 11b type muscle fibers, creatine allows athletes to sprint at a much quicker rate, pump out more reps and enjoy enhanced forcefulness while performing any kind of sports or bodybuilding related activity.
- Creatine Improves Recovery Rate: Not only does creatine helps in improving pre-workout energy levels but also aids post-workout body repairing. It has excellent regeneration properties so its usage leads to a reduction in muscle cell damage as well as inflammation that normally occur after exhaustive exercising. Furthermore, creatine supplementation is known for promoting full recovery of your body muscles after intense workout.
- Enhances Anaerobic Capacity: Creatine supplementation can significantly improve muscle volume and benefit cycle sprint performance in trained athletes. With regular usage, bodybuilders and athletes will notice an increment in total body mass, especially in thigh volume while all the six sprints receive improvement. Anaerobic capacity will be improved greatly if you take creatine with carbohydrates in comparison to other combinations.
- Increase in Muscle Volume: It is yet another important benefit of creatine especially for bodybuilders and strength athletes. Muscle volume is very important when you have certain fitness goals to achieve. Creatine has cell inflation properties due to which you will notice heavier muscle appearance and protein synthesis is one of the key qualities of creatine, which also aids muscle growth. So, it is a win-win situation for vegan and vegetarian bodybuilders who are required to enhance their protein intake.
- Improved Methylation: As mentioned above, creatine can aid energy production through its ergogenic impact and helps our body in acquiring a much powerful anabolic boost via the supplement’s systematic methylation status. It regulates protein synthesis, gene expression and RNA metabolism with its enzymatic catalyzation. Methylation is an essential process and any breakdown in the production of S-Adenosyl Methionine or SAM molecule can negatively affect our body’s anabolism. Creatine is excellent in draining the SAM reserves and lays profound impact on methylation status.
- Enhancement in Brain Function: Although creatine is widely believed to benefit muscle building, however,it can also help nerve cells to survive exterior exertion and environmental damages. Creatine enhances the brain’s ability to deal with any metabolic and physical trauma that comes with neurodegenerative disorders, which are caused when cell structures are damaged. It is worth noting that these disorders are mainly the result of creatine deficiencies.
Cons of Creatine Supplement:
To be honest, there aren’t any side-effects of using creatine supplements unless you consume more than the recommended daily dosage of 3-5gms. However, there are several myths and misconceptions associated with creatine. Let’s check them out.
- Creatine can cause Bloating: Since creatine doesn’t cause water retention and only stores water directly into the muscle cell, therefore, it cannot cause bloating.
- Creatinedamages kidneys and liver:Creatine has proven to be safe for both short-term and long-term use without inducing any harmful impact on our overall health. So there is no issue of kidneys and liver getting damaged due to creatine.
- Creatine is a steroid: We already discussed it above. Creatine isn’t a steroid but a naturally occurring compound.
If you want to build lean muscle and also enhance your athletic performance and strength level then it is a good idea to use creatine supplementation. It has plenty of benefits for your health and vitality such as it increases muscle mass, is very inexpensive and completely safe for your body. We recommend that you do not increase the daily dosage beyond the suggested 3-5gms and use high-quality creatine monohydrate.