Being the best is all we want. Be it sports or academics. While academics work out for the brain, the body actually works out with sports. Physical agility along with strong stamina is what you would need to succeed as an athlete. It is not uncommon for athletes to take food supplements so that they can elevate their performance to a higher level. This article will discuss the effects of creatine on your body and what you should be careful of while taking it externally. If you are planning to take some, this article might be the thing you need to lay your eyes on. Read on to learn all about this.
What Is Creatine And Why Do People Take It?
Creatine is found in our body naturally and is often known to add that special vigor to your body. When you are exercising, your muscles may work out more than they do while you are idle, in such cases creatine is propelled to your muscles which gives you the extra strength to complete that one more set. However, athletics and sports are another whole ball game as they require strength and stamina like none. To solve this problem, some people are known to take creatine supplements. However, it has a wide range of benefits like-
1. Increase strength- As creatine helps pump nutrients into the muscles, chances are you might feel stronger than you are and this could give you more durability on the ground with the production of ATP.
2. Improved high-intensity performance- Unlike planned workout sessions, sports could be unpredictable and you might need to power through hurdles one after the other. Creatine substances can help you finish the last lap you have been avoiding for a long time.
3. Muscle mass gain- Gaining muscle mass is the ultimate way to increase your body strength. This can also help get a chiseled body with well-defined muscles.
4. Enhanced recovery- Injuries are quite common in the game business but the main idea is to get up again and using the supplements could really cut short your recovery time.
5. Brain health- This is yet to be studied extensively but using creatine supplements is known to enhance hand-eye coordination and other cognitive abilities.
What Is The Recommended Water Intake When Using Creatine?
When taking creatine supplements an individual should take at least 1 more litre of water than the normal scale. While the healthy level is 2.5 when on creatine you should increase it to 3.5 liters.
So why the change you may ask? That is because creatine has a tendency to retain water in the muscles. As it brings down the nutrients, it is also known to fill the muscle cells with water extensively. This means there wouldn’t be enough water for other processes in the body unless you supplement it with water. So to prevent dehydration, you should always go for more water content and drink as much fluids as possible. Now that we have gotten that out of the way, what other precautions should you take while taking creatine?
Some of them include-
1. Monitor the kidney functions- Some studies show that the increase in the level of creatine can put additional pressure on the kidneys. Moreover, those with a history of kidney problems could even develop kidney stones in the later stages of their life.
2. Follow recommended dosages- You should never exceed the dosage prescribed to you. There is no concrete proof that can validate the fact that using more creatine can increase the energy you might have. Also, additional doses can have multiple side effects which could be devastating.
3. Choose high-quality products- You should never compromise with the quality of the supplement. Eating poor supplements could do more harm than none and the consequences could be fatal as well. Contact your doctor and look for the best option.
4. Hydration- This one goes without saying. Hydrating yourself is important to help your body from dehydration and this means you should be taking enough litres of water with you.
5. Combining with medications- Any number of medications could bring a lot of side effects as they react differently with the medications. So the important thing is to inform your doctor all about the medications before taking any creatine.
6. Say no to the loading phase- Some people believe in taking high doses first and then slowing down the doses but to prevent some serious stomach issues, you might want a put a lid on that idea.
What would happen if you don’t take care of these things? It could be a bit problematic including-
1. Gastrointestinal distress- Bloating, gas, diarrhea, and a lot of other gastrointestinal problems that can cause severe abdominal pain and nausea.
2. Muscle cramping- Using creatine beyond normal levels is also known to cramp muscles frequently. Drinking water can avoid this issue.
3. Weight gain- Individuals have also reported weight gain as a possible symptom of consuming creatine.
4. Kidney function- Your kidney function could go bad if you keep taking creatine without control and dosage levels.
5. Allergic reaction- Though rare, some individuals are known to be allergic to creatine supplements and can even burst out hives. In such a case you should begin with a small dosage and see how it works.
Creatine is a great supplement to be added to your routine if you are someone who aims to increase your athletic performance. However, like most other things, it is not without its side effects. Though it is found in the body, taking it in extensive amounts could lead to dehydration in severe levels that can also lead to kidney malfunction. The key is to keep drinking water at more than normal levels and take care of the general guidelines. This includes monitoring the levels of the dosage you are taking along with the quality of medicines you are being prescribed. Any discomfort should be informed immediately to your health care provider.