Creatine is one of the most talked-about supplements in the world of health and fitness. If you are into fitness, sports or any sort of athletics than creatine is a name you would have come across many times due to its popularity and accessibility. From bodybuilders and athletes to marathon runners, almost every fitness freak uses it due to the wide array of benefits it confers. Despite this creatine is often the point of contention among the health critics.
What is Creatine Monohydrate?
Creatine monohydrate commonly known as creatine is a molecule that is produced naturally from amino acids in the body primarily in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Although not a true protein it resembles proteins due to its nitrogen-containing structure thus making it non-protein nitrogen. Creatine is found in various food items that are consumed daily such as meat and fish. It can also be produced endogenously from different amino acids such as glycine, methionine, and arginine.
Creatine monohydrate intake has been made even easier and efficient due to the production of numerous supplements. Instead of consuming large amounts of proteins one can simply take a supplement to fulfill all the creatine requirements. Care should be taken to complement rather than replace protein when consuming such synthetic supplements.
How does Creatine Monohydrate function?
The primary function of creatine monohydrate inside the body is to help enhance the production of energy and build muscle. Creatine serves as a compound that contains creatine phosphate which aids in the release and production of energy. This energy is very essential for muscle mass growth, building strength, and enhancing endurance. In other words, consuming sufficient amounts of creatine helps in boosting the production of ATP which is the molecular currency of our body as it stores chemical energy required to perform cellular functions.
Apart from this creatine performs other valuable functions as well. It ameliorates cognitive functions, enhances cell signaling, hydrates muscle cells, decreases muscle breakdown, brings down myostatin levels, and promotes levels of natural anabolic hormones.
Benefits of Creatine Monohydrate
Creatine monohydrate is accompanied by a wide array of health benefits. It is not just efficient for muscle build-up and strength but is also safe to use. The most important benefits of creatine based on scientific research include the following:
- The most compelling benefit of creatine is its ability to sustain brain health by protecting cells against any neuron damage and increasing their life span. It also decreases the rate of headaches, weariness, and lethargy.
- Creatine provides a constant supply of energy even in times of hard fatigue. This provides extra energy to keep working harder rather than fading away quickly.
- By hydrating the muscle mass, creatine adds size to muscle cells which is necessary for nitrogen balance required to transform protein into lean muscle mass.
- Speed and muscle recovery time are enhanced thus enabling a person to indulge actively in strength training and high-intensity workout.
- It helps to reduce the acuteness of depression by fighting off mental fatigue.
Short-term side effects of Creatine Monohydrate
Like all other compounds, there are various side effects of creatine consumption. These can be termed as short or long-term based on their duration of onset and severity. One of the common short-term side effects is weight gain as creatine makes the muscles bigger and fuller. Apart from this stomach pain, muscle cramps, motion sickness, bloating, and diarrhea are also associated with its use.
Long-term side effects of Creatine Monohydrate
The use of creatine supplementation has been associated with some long-term side effects as well. These include kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease, liver damage, compartment syndrome, and rhabdomyolysis. Additionally, it has also been linked to side effects such as cardiomyopathy, hypertension, seizures, and ischemic stroke.
Helpful facts about creatine monohydrate
Here are some essential facts that you need to keep in mind to fully understand the working of creatine monohydrate and the health effects it offers.
- Creatine monohydrate is the easiest and cheapest form of creatine supplement to find.
- Use of creatine aids in indulging in high-intensity workout especially for athletes.
- There is a prominent increase in body mass, particularly lean muscle mass.
- A moderate dosage of creatine supplements is safe to use.
- Creatine has potential cardioprotective and neuroprotective effects.
Creatine monohydrate is the best and most effective form of creatine supplement that can be taken to improve physical well-being and exercise performance. It is widely available in the market at low prices. Make sure to consume an appropriate dosage that won’t derail normal nutritional intake to achieve maximum overall performance.