Does Creatine Really Help You Recover Quickly?

Does Creatine Really Help You Recover Quickly?

What is Creatine?

Creatine is an organic compound with the nominal formula CNCHCOH.

Creatine is an important component of many foods we eat, but it is also made naturally by our bodies. It is comprised of three amino acids: L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine. The three amino acids are converted into creatine phosphate and phosphocreatine, which are then stored in muscles and used for energy.

Creatine makes up one percent of the total blood volume in our bodies. We get half of our creatine from outside sources of red meat and seafood, and the other half is made in our kidneys and then in our liver. Creatine is a key player in energy metabolism and helps to supply energy to muscles during exercise. It has also been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce inflammation. Creatine is safe for most people to consume, but there are some side effects to be aware of. These include weight gain, gastrointestinal issues, and muscle cramping. If you are considering taking creatine supplements, it is best to speak with a healthcare professional first.

Creatine

What Are the Benefits of Creatine?

Involved in making energy for muscles, 95% of the creatine in our bodies is found in our skeletal muscles providing energy, improving exercise performance, and increasing muscle mass. Although there is not much scientific evidence to support its purported other benefits, it is also used to treat conditions like muscle cramps, fatigue, multiple sclerosis, and depression.

For those involved in athletic performance that includes rowing, jumping, or soccer, it is found that they are somewhat improved. For those suffering from creatine metabolic issues (conditions referred to as GAMT deficiency or AGAT deficiency), creatine levels in the brain are raised by ingesting a creatine supplement. Also, when ingested, creatine appears to improve muscle strength in both younger and older adults. Age-related muscle loss (or sarcopenia) is also addressed by taking creatine orally, particularly if combined with exercise.

It is thought that creatine helps muscles recover more quickly during exercise, helping athletes achieve bursts of speed and energy, particularly during activities like weightlifting or sprinting.

Which Creatine is Best for You?

Take measures to know what creatine supplements are available and which are best for you. Consider their form, flavor, what they are combined with, and anything thing else pertinent to you and your condition or situation.

There are several kinds of creatines: Creatine monohydrate creatine ethyl ester, creatine anhydrous, creatine citrate, creatine phosphate, and more. The most recommended and safest creatine is creatine monohydrate. Over time, it has been considered safe and effective.

The Safe Use of Creatine

  • When taken orally: For most people, creatine is likely safe. Doses of up to 25 grams per day for up to 14 days have proven safe. Lower doses used for longer periods like 4 to 5 grams per day for up to 18 months have also been safely used. Also, doses of up to 10 grams for 5 years have been used safely. Side effects may include muscle cramps, upset stomach, and dehydration.
  • When applied to the skin: There may be some redness or itching, but other than that, there does not seem to be enough reliable information to define safe and effective use. Women who are pregnant are also moving through uncharted territory, so it is safer to avoid use.

Creatine is also highly likely to be safe for child use, taken orally short term. For children 5 to 18 years, creatine has been taken safely at doses in the 3-to-5-gram range for 2 to 6 months. Lesser amounts for children under 5 have also been reported safe.

It is always best to consult with a physician to find out what type of product and dose might be best for a specific condition.

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