Creatine Monohydrate

If you have been active in the fitness world, just about everyone has heard of creatine. The “miracle” supplement that can give you more strength and bigger muscles. Is this true? If it is, is creatine safe to take? I am going to break it all down right here for you. 

Creatine really can be a wonderful nutrient for sports performance. It is something that I have taken on and off for several years now. Many believe that creatine is new on the scene of sports medicine but the truth is that it has actually been extensively studied since 1927 and those results have shown consistent results in increasing strength and lean body mass.

How does creatine actually work?

In humans about 95% of the total creatine content is located in skeletal muscles. Creatine is most commonly found in the highest quantities in wild game. The highest concentrations in the typical American diet can be found in beef (sorry vegans and vegetarians!) Research has shown that muscle actually has a higher capacity to store creatine than what we typically consume in our diets or our bodies make on its own. Creatine produces energy in the muscles in the form of something called ATP. ATP is the currency of energy in the body. Creatine also increases the amount of water that is absorbed by muscle as well causing an increase in weight and mass. Creatine increases the amount of work that a muscle can perform thus increasing strength. Once creatine supplementation is discontinued, the muscles of the body will return to their original size. However, the strength that was gained with creatinine stays. It is interesting to observe that creatine has been shown to increase muscle performance but it is clear it does not increase athletic endurance. 

Is creatine dangerous?

Creatine overall has been proven to be quite safe and is not currently banned from standard doping regulations. However, there can be some side effects from creatine and it is important to talk to your primary care physician or schedule a consultation with me to ensure it is safe for you to consume. The most common side effect of creatine is gastrointestinal distress… or the runs. If this happens to you, decrease the dosage you are taking and slowly work your way back up. Other symptoms of creatine can include headaches, heat exhaustion, muscle cramping, and clenching of the teeth. If you experience any of these symptoms it is important to contact a medical professional. Creatine can also lead to an increase to creatinine levels. Inform your medical professional of any creatine usage prior to any bloodwork. It is very important to drink lots of water when consuming creatine. 

How much creatine should you take?

Research shows that the most effective way to take creatine is to do what is called a “loading dosage” or a large amount initially and then decrease the dosage to a maintenance level. In clinical practice, I have observed that large amounts of creatinine can cause a large amount of gastrointestinal distress. Due to this, I recommend starting at 5g daily for two weeks. Then, increasing the dosage to 10grams for 7 days and then back down to 5g. Many people believe that the more creatine you consume, the better performance you will have. This isn’t true because the muscles are only able to store a limited amount of creatine. Start slowly and listen to your body.

**Always Consult a Physician prior to beginning and new supplements or removing any medications.

More From Dr. Mitch…

Stress Management

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

DETOX

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

DETOX

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.