Creatine is a chemical product that naturally occurs in the kidneys and liver and created by L-arginine, glycine, amino acids and L-methionine. About 95% of our body supply is contained in the skeletal muscles. This supplement is necessary for athletes even though it is possible to find it in fish or meat. This is because the phosphocreatine that is formed, gets stored as energy, in muscles. Therefore, this supplement is also used by bodybuilders when they perform intense training, such as weight lifting. Phosphocreatine is responsible for converting ATP which is the body fuel.
Though the effects were identified in the year 1832, it was not until the 1990s that it became popular in the supplement form. Once they realized the potency of this supplement as a natural boost for increasing the lean muscle mass which worked incredibly as a legal enhancer for performances of athletes, it gained mass appeal with bodybuilders, as well. The sales doubled from $100 in one year to $200.
Nearly 50% of professional football players and about 25% of baseball players are also using these supplements to grow lean muscle mass. Builders are satisfied with the product, as it helps to stimulate their muscle growth, as well as increase the muscle mass. John Elway, Troy Aikman and Sammy Sosa have made public endorsements of this supplement as a great enhancer for athletes.
Nowadays adolescents, who practice to become athletes, have started using creatine to help increase the lean muscle mass and perform spectacularly. The problem here is that they may not adhere to the amounts specified according to scientific research. They begin to overdose themselves in the hope of achieving results almost overnight. Though this supplement is generally considered safe, consuming high amounts may lead to complications, such as kidney damage and is therefore a cause for concern.
The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) and International Olympic Committee both permit the use of the supplement for professional sports. In 2000 however, the NCCA stopped colleges and universities buying these types of supplements with their school money, or from trying to distribute them, but they could not ban the product without any scientific backing.
There are a few doubts still raised, as to the benefits of taking this vital supplement, as the clinical tests do not have enough evidence. This is because there are variations in the amount of carbohydrate intake, physical activity and type of muscle fiber and fitness levels. It is found in one study that the muscle’s ability for absorbing phosphocreatine was enhanced, when carbohydrate intake was increased.
Creatine has become renowned, as sports enthusiasts have come to hear of this amazing supplement, which has been in existence for more then twenty years. Professionals, as well as athletes, are of the opinion that this supplement is definitely a winner and a must for professionals. It is necessary to check out if there are any adverse reactions noticed before taking any supplements. Here are a few side effects that have been reported from some of the athletes and tips to prevent getting them.
Cramps are a side effect that is commonly experienced by users of this supplement. This is the reason why many schools and colleges, as well as pro level coaches, ban athletes from indulging in these supplements. However, research indicates that the instances are rare and that the use of this type of supplement does not change the frequency of cramps felt by individuals. Some even report a reduction in the cramps and since the reports are baseless people continue to take the supplement.
Another common reaction is dehydration though there is no conclusive information on this. Kidney Damage is another reaction that has been touted by many, as when you increase creatine, the kidney has to overwork to filter out the excesses that are not used by the muscles. However this theory has not been proved to be true as the instances reported are very rare. When famous people, such as Derek Bell, who plays with Houston Astros, maintained that his kidney problem was directly related to consuming this supplement, the public were concerned, though there has been no conclusive proof that his problem was because of using this supplement.
When you work out, the intensity of the exercises are raised by the use of this supplement and this has brought about consternation as to the muscles and tendons getting damaged, because of this trauma. Here again there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. Some people have complained of gastrointestinal disturbances that have also proved baseless.
The best way to avoid adverse reactions is to take the right amounts in small doses. Be practical and do not overdose yourself. Ideally, you should take about 2.5 g to 5 g in one day. Studies reveal that taking lower doses for long periods, works as well as taking large amounts for shorter periods. You can also practice taking this supplement for a whole month to ensure that the tissues of your muscles are saturated. Take a break for the next month by not taking these supplements and you will find that your detox system is not strained as a result, apart from the advantage of saving yourself some money.
If you drink at least 12 oz. of pure water, when you take creatine, you will not have problems with your kidneys or stomach, such as dehydration or cramps. Water should be had in good amounts all through the day. You should pay attention to the reactions of your body and stop doing a particular exercise if you feel pain. If you persist with the exercise, you will worsen the injury. With constant exercises, these aches and pains will disappear, but if they do not then you have cause to worry. It is better to see the doctor when this happens and take a short break.
The quality of the supplement you use, should be good, as this will prevent unwanted side effects. Opt for Creatine monohydrate, which is pure, as your body may be subjected to certain impurities and additives that will create further problems. Make sure you choose a good quality German or US product when you buy this product. Make sure you know the difference between quality products and selecting supplements only for their brand name. You need to use the right supplements, regardless of whether you are a beginner, or a professional weightlifter, if you wish to correctly build up lean muscle mass. Go through the following list of products and check which one suits your budget, need and bank on your experience.
The top five brands that make up this supplement are BSN No – Xplode which is one of the best selling supplements. The reason is because it is perfectly combined with amino acids, nitric oxide and creatine to help the body workout to the maximum. The reason why it is more effective is because of the combination of nitric oxide in the supplement. As a nitric oxide product, it proves more efficient, than just using only one ingredient. The main supply that is listed on the label, mentions creatine ethyl ester, which we all know is not as effective as pure creatine monohydrate.
The reason why this supplement works well, therefore, is the effective combination of creatine ethyl ester and nitric oxide, though many may argue that the effect is lost due to lack of creatine monohydrate. This is a myth.
Another excellent product in the market is the micronized variety available in powder form that offers Optimum Nutrition. This product contains no frills but only creatine monohydrate in its pure form. Therefore it is safe to invest in this product.
Gaspari Nutrition SuperPump 250 is a product that works well as it contains good combinations of amino acids, caffeine and nitric oxide with this supplement to boost the systems. This is equally effective as NO-Xplode, with the difference between the two is that Gaspari contains monohydrate of creatine in the formula while No-Xplode uses ethyl ester creatine. People may opt for either of the two, considering the combinations and the ingredients used, but if SuperPump 250 produces adverse reactions, such as stomach discomfort and a runny stomach, they may opt for X-plode. Gaspari on its own has proved effective for most.
Whey Protein is mixed with pure creatine monohydrate, to produce Muscle Tech Nitro-Tech Pro Series, which makes it a good choice for athletes. Instead of purchasing various bottles, you can just use this one product to get the right supplement. There is a difference between this product and No-Xplode and Gaspari, as it contains more protein than the other two that have more nitric oxide.
One of the better known creatine supplements are the Higher Power Nutrition Build XS, which is different from the four mentioned above. This powerful combination contains glutamines, amino acids, ribose and creatine, which proves effective for people who wish to build their muscle mass due to the glutamine content. This product is also popular because it does not include stimulants.