For athletes and fitness-minded individuals looking to add muscle mass and strength, one of the most currently used supplements on the market is creatine. The way that this supplement works is by aiding the muscle contractions by increasing our ATP levels while also lowering the amount of muscle exhaustion that occurs after strenuous training.
What is it
Creatine is a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid that is stored in skeletal muscle, brain, heart and testes. It is not, contrary to popular belief, a steroid. In fact many people do not realize that when they eat any kind of meat, fish or dairy product that are consuming this amino acid naturally.
What the supplement essentially does is allow muscles to work harder and recover faster. This is why the supplement has become a mainstay among athletes across the world both professional as well as amateur. Although creatine monohydrate by itself does not raise the amount of muscle mass, it aids in the process of building muscle mass by allowing the user to train more efficiently while having a lower energy output.
– Several studies report that creatine monohydrate may improve heart muscle strength, body weight, and endurance in patients with heart failure.
– There is also evidence that intravenous creatine after a heart attack may help in heart muscle function maintenance and maintenance of heart rhythm.
– When combined with strength training it helps in increasing bone density.
– Early research shows that creatine can have positive effects on patients diagnosed with depression. However, further studies are needed.
This non-essential amino acid has few official side effects, although water retention is a major one. When consumed over a decent amount of time, it will cause water retention which may make muscles appear to be larger than they really are. There is no inherent danger in this except for possible muscle cramps due to excessive amounts of stored water. When a user stops including this supplement in their supplement regime they typically experience a small amount of weight loss due to a lowered retention of water within the muscles. Creatine has only been studied for the past few decades, and long-term side effects of the supplement are still relatively unknown.
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Although it has few side effects such as water retention and bloating, it is still very important to consult with a medical doctor before starting to use any new supplement or fitness routine.