Many people think of Creatine as just a sports supplement that high school athletes taken secretly in the locker rooms or bodybuilders take to build muscle. While “getting huge with supplements” is on the minds of many, when it comes to the Pros and Cons of taking Creatine, nothing could be further from the truth.
Creatine is formed in the human body from the amino acids methionine, glycine and arginine. It’s one of the most well researched sports supplements yet one of the most misunderstood even thought there’s over a decade of research beyond just general usage.
“Creatine is a gimmick,” is still something you hear from people who often don’t follow the research, didn’t “feel” the effects or have no idea that Creatine has well over 300 peer reviewed published scientific studies. There’s much more research showing the benefits of Creatine for overall health, fitness and longevity.
Creatine is a safe and cheap dietary supplement with a wide range of potential uses. Let’s quickly cover the pros and cons of taking Creatine.
The “Potential” Pros of Taking Creatine:
- improve sarcopenia (a loss of muscle mass due to aging)
- improve brain function of healthy and damaged brains
- modulate inflammation.
- treat diseases effecting the neuro muscular system, such as muscular dystrophy
- mitigate wasting syndromes/muscle atrophy
- reduce fatigue
- treat gyrate atrophy
- improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
- improve Huntington’s disease and other mitochondrial cytopathies
- increase growth hormone (GH) levels, to those seen with exercise
- reduce homocysteine levels
- possibly improve the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- improve cardiac function in those with congestive heart failure
The “Potential” Cons of Taking Creatine:
- stomach pain
- muscle cramping
- harm to kidney, liver, or heart functions
- stroke risk when combing with caffeine or herb ephedra (also called Ma Huang)
- skin condition called pigmented purpuric dermatosis
- water weight gain
- increase the production of formaldehyde
Please note: It should be noted that the above Cons or side effects are inconclusive with no studies or conclusive proof that Creatine causes any of the above listed side effects. However, in an attempt to be unbiased, they are listed as Cons.
The “Real” Cons of Taking Creatine:
- If you have kidney problems or diabetes, Creatine supplementation is not recommended.
- If you do not want to drink fluids (water) and keep properly hydrated, Creatine supplementation is not recommended.
- If you cannot or will not follow dosage recommendations, Creatine supplementation is not recommended.
Creatine is one of the most powerful and beneficial sports supplements available today. The research behind this supplement houses over a decade of peer reviewed, scientific studies. It’s not just for the bodybuilder looking to “get huge.” It offers an array of potential benefits beyond strength and size increases even to the average person with any interest in fitness.