Creatine is one of the safest bodybuilding supplements when used in correct dosages (5g max recommended daily). Note that overconsumption can lead to unwanted side effects, but are usually not serious. It is also important to stay hydrated when using the supplement.
Aside from being a great source of energy, creatine helps to increase water retention in muscles, making them bigger and increasing their performance. This is the main motive behind its use as a fitness supplement. Creatine is naturally found in meat and is also produced in our livers and pancreases.
Creatine is one of the most widely studied supplements. Because it encourages water retention in the muscles, it can cause water to be drained from other organs, resulting in dehydration. It is claimed in some quarters that creatine use can lead to liver damage but numerous studies on humans have failed to find a correlation. A study conducted at the University of Maryland suggested potential kidney damage from a high dosage of creatine, especially in people with prior kidney conditions. Other similar studies, however, are largely in disagreement or inconclusive. The depletion of the body’s own creatine stores has also been suggested but not proven. Side effects that are proven include nausea, cramping, diarrhea, and dizziness.
Generally, you will be safe if you use the recommended dose of creatine and drink water regularly. If you have kidney / liver problems or are on medication, it is prudent to consult a physician to make sure creatine use is safe for you.
Possible short-term side effects
- increased kidney workload
Possible long-term side effects
- liver damage (suggested, not proven)
- increases water retention
- increases athletic performance
- increases muscle size
- increases energy
- boosts brain power
- slows progression of parkinson's disease
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Written by Brendan Quigley | 12-28-2015
Written by Brendan Quigley
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