Creatine monohydrate is one of the commonly used supplements for enhancing performance levels and improving muscle mass in adults, particularly professional athletes. There are also some scientific research that support evidences on the effects of creatine in promoting athletic performance of individuals who engage in active sports such as track and field or sprinting. However, this compound does not work quite similarly among people over 60 years of age, as compared to health benefits experienced by younger individuals who take creatine.
There are some evidences that loading up on creatine (taking about 20 grams regularly for at least 5 days) can be even more effective than with long-term use of this supplement. Keep in mind, though, that extensive studies and research are still necessary to determine the ideal dosage that can yield remarkable results to one’s performance levels.
Creatine is also used among patients with Parkinson’s disease because it slows down the worsening of symptoms at the early stages of this ailment. Moreover, creatine supports muscle strength in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, although this supplement does not work effectively in helping them improve their physical functions.
Creatine is generally safe and well-tolerated by the body when taken at recommended doses. There are some users who experience:
Normally within a few days of taking the supplement. Nevertheless, these effects are mild, and symptoms usually disappear once the body has adjusted to the composition of this supplement.
Medical researchers report that taking creatine orally in high doses can be unsafe. Although the link between ingesting large doses of creatine and its possible negative consequences to heart, liver or kidney function has not been established, health experts recommend using the supplement as prescribed.
Since creatine cause your muscles to draw water from your body, you should make it a point to increase your fluid intake when you take this supplement. In addition, you should avoid exercising outdoors where the heat of the sun is very intense. Otherwise, insufficient water supply and long hours of exposure to warm conditions can lead to dehydration.
There are also several individuals who experience weight gain while on creatine supplementation. This substance works by causing your muscles to hold more water, which makes you gain a few pounds.
Lastly, some people claim to suffer from a skin condition referred to as pigmented purpuric dermatosis due to regular intake of creatine. Extensive studies and clinical trials are still required, though, to determine whether this condition is induced by creatine supplementation or due to other factors.
According to health specialists, taking creatine in high doses may cause damages to the kidneys. Those who take creatine along with other medications such as nephrotoxic drugs can eventually lead to kidney disorder or kidney failure. Several medications must be avoided when taking creatine including aminoglycosides, cyclosporine, NSAIDs, naproxen, indomethacin, gentamicin and tobramycin.
Other common concerns about creatine intake is the increased risk of irregular heartbeat and stroke. However, these symptoms are only possible when creatine is combined with caffeine, as well as ephedra or a type of herb.