What is creatine?
Creatine, also known as creatine monohydrate, is a molecule produced by the body from amino acids. It is mainly produced in the liver. To a lesser extent, creatine is also produced in the kidneys and pancreas. Because creatine contains large amounts of certain phosphate groups that are used in the body to produce energy, it can also be called an extra energy store. During physical or mental activities, such as strength training in the gym or long thinking for the next exam, it delays mental and muscular fatigue. This makes more intensive training or learning possible. Very important: Creatine only works for short-term stress. So you won't become a hulk forever just because you take creatine once before training.
Creatine is usually available as a pure powder, in capsule or tablet form.
Muscle building with creatine
In the fitness field creatine is one of the best researched supplements and is mostly used in sports to improve strength and performance. In this field, the effects of creatine on muscle are very well researched. If you've ever wondered how the muscle guys in the gym manage to do 100 deadlifts in a row, it might be because of creatine, in addition to the protein powder. Creatine can be helpful for building pure muscle mass. In addition, there are studies that suggest positive effects of creatine on the brain. It can reduce mental fatigue and improve memory, although this is most likely only the case for people who have little creatine in their bodies and make up for a deficiency by supplementing. Lower than average creatine levels are more common in old age or in vegetarians and vegans. This is due to the fact that creatine is contained in foods such as fish and meat in a high proportion.
Which creatine is the best?
There are several forms of creatine that differ at the molecular level. Which form of creatine is the best is not proven. However, creatine monohydrate is the best-researched form and therefore has the most scientific evidence for its effectiveness.
Is Creatine Healthy?
Creatine can be overdosed and have side effects. After increased intake, you may experience nausea and diarrhea. You can also get stomach cramps if you do not drink enough water after taking it.
Creatine does not affect hair and kidneys according to current studies. It is conceivable that creatine can lead to hair loss, but there is no scientific evidence for this and scientists consider it unlikely. Creatine has no effect on the kidneys of people without kidney problems. However, there are still no long-term studies that can say anything about the side effects of creatine on people with kidney problems.
Since it can lead to water retention in the muscle, creatine is suitable for weight gain. This is especially interesting for people who do weight-specific sports like boxing or weightlifting.
Even though creatine is a well-researched supplement, you should seek medical advice before taking it and stick to the dosages and intake recommendations provided.