Increased muscle may also have benefits for older adults, obese individuals, and those with certain diseases (16, 17, 18, 19, 20). A three-year study of college athletes found that those taking creatine had fewer cases of dehydration, muscle cramps, or muscle injuries than those not taking it. Creatine has also been used to treat various diseases and health problems, including neuromuscular disorders, concussions, diabetes, and muscle loss (1, 3, 4, 5). During high-intensity exercise, the stored creatine helps your muscles produce more energy. This is the main reason that creatine enhances exercise performance (9). Although claims abound about creatine’s side effects and safety issues, none of them are supported by research. The 7 Most Worrisome Side Effects Associated With Creatine Kidney and Liver Damage – This remains one of the legitimate potential creatine dangers although its … Creatine is one of the most thoroughly researched compounds, and no adverse side effects have been noted through supplementation. Researchers noted that creatine reduced cramping incidents by 60% (13). Creatine has been used for more than a century, and over 500 studies support its safety and effectiveness. Over the long term, studies show that body weight may continue to increase to a greater extent in creatine users than in non-creatine users. However, you should keep in mind that: If you take creatine supplements, you may gain weight because of water retention in your body’s muscles. Creatine is the number-one sports performance supplement available. Further examination via blood tests also confirmed no difference in hydration or electrolyte levels, which play a key role in muscle cramps (12). Creatine safety in kids is a question I often get asked by parents of children who want to take this supplement to improve their sports performance. If creatine was toxic or dangerous in typically consumed amounts, you would have to be very careful about eating red meat. Creatine has also been studied for conditions such as Huntingtons disease and Lou Gehrigs disease, and to help with bone health. on There is some promising evidence that it might help with congestive heart failure, Parkinsons disease, and muscular dystrophy. Creatine has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid for enhancing athletic performance, and for increasing muscle strength in people with heart failure, muscular dystrophy, and McArdle's disease (a genetic disorder). Researchers have also studied creatine as a treatment for many health conditions. However, there is concern that creatine taken in high doses is possibly unsafe and could damage the liver, kidneys or heart.Creatine can cause: 1. For this reason, the recommended serving is set at 3–5 grams. An RCT in type 2 diabetics with various stages of kidney disease showed no significant declin… Contrary to popular belief, creatine does not increase your risk of cramps and dehydration — and, in fact, may reduce your risk of these conditions. December 12, 2018, Medically Depending on who you ask, the suggested side effects of creatine may include: Additionally, some people wrongly claim that creatine is an anabolic steroid, that it’s unsuitable for women or teenagers, or that it should only be used by professional athletes or bodybuilders. Supplements aren't held to the same FDA standards as medications, which means you can't always know exactly what's in your supplement, or in what amounts. Numerous studies back the safety and efficacy of creatine when taken in recommended doses. Reviewed Other studies measuring biological markers in the urine also found no difference after creatine ingestion (27). Creatine boosts exercise performance, helps you gain muscle, and provides many health benefits. This fact may be behind the theory that creatine causes dehydration. Some claim that creatine supplements increase your risk of rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which muscle breaks down and leaks proteins into your bloodstream. Another popular study often cited in the media reported kidney disease in a male weightlifter who supplemented with creatine (28). Creatine is a compound that has been shown to speed up recovery in adults after short (generally 10 seconds or less), high intensity bouts of exercise like a set of weight lifting. However, no research suggests that it is unsuitable in recommended doses for women or older adults (1). Reality: Creatine is backed by more solid research than any other sports supplement in history, and all reliable studies have reached the same conclusion: creatine usage is both safe and effective in the short and long term when used within the recommended 3-5 gram per day dosage. Although one study found an increase in muscle pressure during two hours of heat training, it resulted mainly from heat and exercise-induced dehydration — not from creatine (32). One study examined creatine use during exercise in hot weather, which can accelerate cramping and dehydration. Creatinine is a chemical waste product of creatine, an amino acid made by the liver and stored in the liver. It can help you gain muscle, increase strength, and improve brain function, to name a few. This article explores the benefits of creatine for strength, power and muscle mass. Is Creatine Safe Or Is There A Link Between Creatine And Cancer? A long-term study of college athletes found no side effects related to liver or kidney function. However, this slight increase is quite different from the large amounts of creatine kinase associated with rhabdomyolysis. Supplements aren't held to the same FDA standards as medications, which means you … Creatine has not been shown to cause cancer There is a longstanding theory held by some in the scientific community that taking creatine increases your risk of developing cancer. That said, creatine supplements should be approached with caution if you have a history of liver or kidney issues. Creatine is a very popular sports supplement. Creatine still can actually be quite advantageous to the dieter as it can help to keep the intensity of their workout sessions up there. Creatine is very safe. As with many supplements or medications, excessive doses may cause digestive issues. See Muscle cramping 2. Creatine does not increase digestive issues when the recommended dosages and loading guidelines are followed. If you're a parent and have not heard of creatine, it's a compound that has been shown to improve certain types of … This article explains how creatine can improve your exercise…. Looking at the current body of research, it's safe to say: 1. Creatine can help improve blood sugar management, so if you are using medication known to affect blood sugar, you should discuss creatine use with a doctor (5). However, your diet and natural creatine levels do not normally maximize muscle stores of this compound. Current research suggests that creatine does not cause liver or kidney problems. “Creatine monohydrate is the exact compound that more than 95 percent of the studies used, so why take a chance on another compound from a safety … Some claim it causes weight gain, cramping, and digestive, liver, or kidney problems. All rights reserved. Some people also confuse creatine with anabolic steroids, but this is yet another myth. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. In people whose kidneys don’t function optimally, supplemental creatine seems to be safe, too. THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Researchers also concluded the pressure was short-lived and insignificant. Research has consistently confirmed creatine’s excellent safety profile. "Because oral creatine supplements have been broadly utilized by bodybuilders and athletes for the past three decades, existing data suggest they are likely safe when taken at appropriate doses. Lattavo, A. Pediatric Clinics of North America, August 2007. However, this idea is not supported by any evidence. All rights reserved. Is creatine safe? Yahoo! This tool does not provide medical advice. Creatine is the leading sports performance supplement, and many forms of it exist. A study reveals that creatine is helpful in maintaining … There, it provides increased energy for high-intensity exercise. Creatine alters your body’s stored water content, driving additional water into your muscle cells (10). Creatine is found throughout your body, with 95% stored in your muscles (6). It is obtained from meat and fish and can also be produced naturally in your body from amino acids (7). October 2006. One case study found that a man’s single kidney suffered no harm from 20 g/day for 5 days followed by 5 g/day for 30 days. Teens who take it often do so without their doctor's advice, which can mean they take more than the recommended dose. Studies indicate that long-term creatine supplementation up to 21 months in college-going athletes did not produce any noticeable adverse effects. Some new forms of creatine are only available in multi-ingredient products, … 10 Health and Performance Benefits of Creatine, How Creatine Helps You Gain Muscle and Strength, 10 Graphs That Show the Immense Power of Creatine, 8 Home Remedies to Naturally Lower Your Creatinine Levels. One of the longest studies to date — lasting for four years — similarly concluded that creatine has no negative side effects (24). Reviewed One of the ways in which creatine helps muscle growth is by drawing water into muscle tissue, which the body interprets as a stress and responds by increasing muscle growth. Especially since this isn’t subcutaneous water that gives a bloated look. Creatine 101 — What Is It and What Does It Do? by The 20-gram loading protocol is also split into four servings of 5 grams each over the course of a day (1). Doses up to 25 grams daily for up to 14 days have been safely used. After one week of high-dose loading of creatine (20 grams/day), your weight increases by around 2–6 pounds (1–3 kg) due to increased water in your muscles (1, 14). Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. That is simply because it is nothing out of the natural pattern – We produce our own creatine! Weight gain 8. Reviewed As with any diet or supplement regimen, it is best to discuss your creatine plans with a doctor or other medical professional before you start. However, this single case study is insufficient evidence. Creatine is legal for high schoolers (double check with local school athletic rules), but controversially because long-term studies on the effects are still lacking. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. The most conclusive research has been conducted in individuals undergoing hemodialysis, a medical treatment that may cause muscle cramps. As always, it’s best to consult with your physician before using supplements if you have an … That’s because your kidneys excrete creatinine, … Finally, there is a misconception that creatine is suitable only for male athletes, not for older adults, women, or children. To date, no study of creatine use in healthy individuals has provided evidence of harm to these organs (1, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26). It is therefore recommended that you purchase a trusted, high-quality product. Creatine is one of the demonized supplements in the fitness masses. Some people suggest that creatine can lead to compartment syndrome, a condition that occurs when excessive pressure builds inside an enclosed space — usually within arm or leg muscles. To be safe, he recommends using creatine only if you are healthy and have no kidney problems. With many supplements or medications, excessive doses may cause problems if you have read the... 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