We are turning to natural sources as much as possible to avoid health and legal issues. While steroids can help you become strong and muscular, they are not a good choice for athletes. Staying lean is better than fighting over a lawsuit to save the career.
But given the side effects and slower creatine results, is it worth removing drugs and steroids? What if you might worry if is creatine bad for you?
Creatine doesn’t have FDA or similar health certifications, but various sports health and nutrition organizations have approved it as safe. It might cause some side effects, but they are temporary and do not impact your health. Unless you have any pre-condition, creatine is a great option to build some muscles.
Find out more about the concerns over creatine and whether it is suitable for you to take.
Is Creatine Bad for You?
Creatine supplement is generally suggested to athletes and bodybuilders to increase muscle mass and overall strength. People also prefer it for getting abs or being taller. However, there is no concrete data to support these beliefs.
But people with creatine deficiency also need a little supplementation. Most supplements are safe and approved by the FDA before manufacture, but this isn’t the case with creatine. So, while there are no complaints about this supplement, there is no certified or administered evidence.
Healthcare providers can effectively prescribe the correct type of creatine depending on age, gender, and health conditions. Since there are no safety approvals, it is better to consult and be aware of your existing conditions, especially of the kidneys, before you take creatine.
Doctors might not be able to explain possible side effects, but in case you have any for longer than usual, take a visit.
So, if taken per instructions, creatine is safer than any other supplement.
Is Creatine a Steroid?
There is no way creatine is an anabolic steroid or drug. It is a natural substance made in the body. Since your body doesn’t make enough for heavy training, you need the supplement in synthetic form. Since creatine has the same effect on athletes as taking steroids, many people worry that creatine might be a drug.
Even the supplement pack has little or no artificial ingredients with above 90% pure creatine. Its function is to help you store more energy that would allow heavy workouts. You can get the same creatine in protein sources like red meat, chicken, and fish.
Is Creatine Bad for the Kidneys and Liver?
The byproduct of creatine is creatinine, and more creatine reserves mean more creatinine in your blood. Your kidneys and liver are in danger if the amount exceeds the safety bar.
But creatine doesn’t cause high creatinine levels since it gets removed whenever you urinate. If you are hydrated enough, the slightly increased level is no threat to the organs. Detailed studies concluded that creatine and its side effects don’t degrade the liver and kidneys.
The only way you can suffer from diseases regarding these organs would be when you have existing conditions. So, always ask for a doctor’s prescription to ensure it is safe if you want to take creatine. In addition, if you have long-term side effects that worsen over time, you might need to stop taking creatine.
Is Creatine Bad For Your Heart?
No evidence to find a link between creatine and your heart. It doesn’t change the way your heart beats. But this isn’t the case if you already have heart problems.
However, some studies showed that creatine might, in some cases, indirectly reduce blood pressure by enhancing fat-free mass total body mass. It can also decrease LDL due to heavy exercise.
As you have more energy, you will work out more and remove excess fat. But still, remember that creatine isn’t a medicine for heart diseases, and you still need to be confirmed that it is safe for you.
Is Creatine Safe For Teens?
Although reports have shown that creatine can’t harm teenagers or kids under 18, it isn’t recommended. The possible side effects might cause severity in them. Doctors discourage creatine or any other supplement since there is no board certification of the safety of creatine.
Kids who want to be active and perform well in sports can use natural sources of creatine, like red meat.
Can You Take It Everyday?
No matter the slight consequences like bloating or cramps, creatine is usually prescribed for a few months at a daily dose. This means creatine is safe to take daily, even within some hours of intervals. You shouldn’t miss any dose for a single day to ensure the full effectiveness of the supplement.
Besides, you can take it regularly for years without any problem.
Side Effects of Creatine
This is the one thing that concerns us all. Let’s see what you must go through with creatine when you chug in a lot.
- Weight gain from water weight
- Bloating from water retention
- Muscle cramps
- Dehydration from insufficient water
- Digestive problems like stomach pain, nausea, or diarrhea
Kidney or liver problems, kidney stones, or even rhabdomyolysis might occur in severe cases. However, this is very rare, and not many circumstances prove it.
Instead, creatine is said to control or reduce most of the symptoms of different diseases. If you get sick, it might happen because you have had kidney problems from the beginning.
Creatine Benefits: The Bright Side
People take creatine for a reason, even though it has no organizational certification. The positive effects of creatine outweigh the few side effects that you suffer.
By taking creatine for a sufficient period for completing the course, you will have the following benefits.
- Increased strength, energy, and muscle mass for better and longer hours of performance.
- Rapid recovery from injury and muscle tissue damage, and avoid new ones.
- Solves creatine deficiency, cramps, and dehydration and improves muscles, bones, nerves, and tissues.
- Improves brain function and cognition in older people.
- Take care of the skin with an anti-aging effect to prevent wrinkles.
- It might also help to improve certain chronic conditions, including heart problems.
Any new diet plan, supplement program, or prescribed drugs can interact with others. So, you must consult with a healthcare professional to ensure that creatine won’t interfere with your prescribed medicines. This is more important for those drugs that can affect the kidneys or liver.
If you take medications that can mess up blood sugar, creatine might be a problem as it controls sugar. Besides, creatine can also affect pregnant women and new mothers.
Coffee is also not great with creatine. High levels of caffeine in the blood will interact highly with creatine. If you have Parkinson’s, then this combination will worsen the condition. This will also lead to damaging the kidneys.
Safety Tips to Take Creatine
The key to safe intake is the proper doses as per prescription and drinking a lot of water or your preferred liquid, except coffee and alcohol. Drink more on the warmer days and when you are sweating a lot from the exercise.
If you take some medicines like ephedra for regulating blood sugar, it can cause a stroke and imbalance in severe cases. Other drugs that counteract creatine are antibiotics, ibuprofen, indomethacin, etc. They can damage the kidneys.
Most importantly, be aware of any allergy you have before taking creatine. If you miss it and experience any adverse effects, immediately stop creatine and seek help from your doctor.
So, creatine isn’t bad for you; it all depends on the right way of taking it and whether you are diagnosed with any disease beforehand. If you suffer from any issue, it might be from the drugs you take for treatment.
Besides, diet and hydration also determine whether creatine is effective. You might not be getting any muscle due to insufficient water and exercise. But in the long run, creatine won’t harm your vital organs.
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I started my professional career as a sports medicine consultant in Rola, Missouri. My primary role was to suggest suitable supplements for my patients according to their pre-existing conditions and lifestyle goals. I believe a healthy lifestyle is the most important if you want to make your life really meaningfull.