Even as the most researched supplement on the market, people always ask what does creatine do to the body? It’s something not many people know when consuming creatine, they only notice the supplement’s results after.
In today’s article, we’ll be discussing the many things creatine does to your body that many people are unaware of. Many of them come in the form of benefits, while some come in the form of drawbacks.
To start, I’d like to give a brief description of what creatine is in terms of its biological makeup. This is, what I think, is the correct way to properly understand what creatine is as whole when in contact with the inside of your body.
The first finding of creatine dates back to 1835 when French chemist Michel Eugene Chevreul discovered it in his lab. Creatine has always fascinated scientists with its pivotal role in the body’s skeletal muscle, where it’s stored. (1✔)
Creatine supplementation didn’t begin to gain traction until the 1992 Olympics, where gold medalists winners explained how they trained with creatine. With that, companies began to formulate their own creatine monohydrate supplements for the public. (2✔)
Creatine is an amino acid composed of the breakdown of three amino acids, arginine, glycine, and methionine. The main function of creatine is for energy, energy for our muscles. They make ATP for our bodies to run off during strenuous activities. (3✔)(4✔)
Our liver and kidney are the main organs that produce creatine. However, they don’t do it in significant amounts. Meaning, creatine doesn’t provide your muscles with all the energy you could potentially get. Which is where creatine supplements come into play. (3✔)
Creatine Inside The Body
When taking creatine from supplements or from foods in your diet, several things occur inside the body. Creatine must first transform into phosphocreatine to be of any use by the muscle. Once it transforms, your muscles may begin to use it. Here are a couple of pros and cons of creatine being inside your body. (3✔)
There’s a reason why so many athletes, bodybuilders, and regular gym goers use creatine. The amino acid has so many impactful things that can really help areas when training or exercising. Some of those include…
Increased Energy: The increase in ATP creatine provides for users to endure longer times in intense exercise. Not only does it help in training, but overall energy throughout the day is increased due to creatine. (5✔)
Muscle Growth: The muscle growth when taking creatine supplementation is indirect. This means that the increase in energy will cause you to exert yourself more during workouts. The more intense you do the workout, the more opportunity for muscle growth there is. (6✔)
Improved Endurance: As a product of the increase of ATP from creatine, athletes and lifters can continue exercising longer. This means training sessions show less fatigue, or even during games or performances, tiredness is less prevalent. (7✔)
Better Brain Function: Studies have shown that improvements in “cognitively demanding tasks” have been shown when creatine is taken. Memory, of all things, can be improved with creatine. The amino acid doesn’t only affect your physique but for your psyche too. (8✔)
I have a full list of creatine benefits and pros here in this article, where I talk more in-depth about what the supplement can really do if you’d like to check that out.
To the surprise of many, there aren’t many side effects of taking creatine. It’s the most researched supplement on the market, and from the 500+ studies carried, these are the cons of taking creatine.
Bloating: Feeling full and bloated comes as a direct effect from creatine. When taking in abundance, creatine causes an influx of water retention in the body. This may cause your muscles to look fuller. However, it does cause bloating due to excess water being kept. (9✔)
I have an article here discussing how you can decrease the bloating with a couple of strategies that have been proven to work. Bloating is the main side effect from creatine, any other con you may have heard about creatine does not have enough concrete evidence to be true. Myths of creatine include kidney damage, liver damage, and dehydration. (10✔)
Who Should Take Creatine?
This here is important to know because, much like every supplement on the market, creatine isn’t for everyone. The use of creatine supplementation is for people who genuinely need to grow more durable for sports, exercising, or simply life.
You could be an athlete, a competing bodybuilder, or even a construction worker who wouldn’t mind benefiting from creatine. Their activities require them to be strong and conditioned, two things that can be improved with creatine.
Someone who wouldn’t benefit from creatine all that much would be your coach potatoes. Taking creatine, or any supplement from that matter should be a privilege. A privilege that is gained once you naturally work your way up through proper training and nutrition.
After all, they are “supplements” products in your diet that should be worked in as the cherry on top, not the foundation. One’s diet should be established around whole foods and should only introduce supplements once the diet is firm and complete.
In conclusion, what does creatine do to the body? After being consumed, creatine is morphed into phosphocreatine, which can then be available for use by the muscles. The primary purpose of creatine is to increase energy by providing more ATP.
With the increase in energy, other benefits can be achieved from creatine, such as muscle growth, greater endurance, and improved brain function. As the safest supplement on the market, you need to earn the right to the creatine by establishing a solid diet before venturing on into supplements.
Got any questions? Leave them down below, along with any comments you may have!