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Creatine: find and benefit from it

Updated on May 10, 2011
Creatine 3d model
Creatine 3d model

What is creatine?

Most people may know or heard of creatine as a supplement bodybuilders and athletes use to build lean muscle mass and strength, but it's a natural substance created from amino acids, mainly in the kidney and liver. After its creation, creatine is sent to the muscles through the blood stream. It is believed that 95% of creatine in a person's body is located in the skeletal muscles. It serves as energy for the cells in the body, but its primary effect is on muscles.

The word "creatine" comes from the Greek word kreas (which means meat). This nitrogenous organic acid occurs naturally in vertebrates and increase ATP (adenosine triphosphate) formations. Half of the body count of creatine comes from food we consume, majority of it being from meat. Vegetables have less creatine but show the same levels as meat if eaten with supplements.

Negative effects of use solely for muscle growth

Yes, you may get lean muscle mass and strength using this supplement, but there are negative effects if used in large numbers for a long period of time. One thing that could occur is asthmatic symptoms and shouldn't be consumed by someone with known allergies. Creatine isn't dangerous itself, but bodybuilders, wrestlers, and other athletes that require brute strength tend to take 3x the amount as a very high protein diet. Long term use of creatine supplements have also been reported to cause interstitial nephritis.

There are positive effects from creatine as well. Of course these benefits surround the muscles, which was the goal in the first place. Building muscle faster is possible with this nutrient because not only does it help build lean muscle mass and strength, it also gives your body that extra boost of energy when doing your workout. Most importantly, creatine helps battle common diseases.

creatine supplement
creatine supplement

How is it used?

Creatine supplements can be bought in pills or powder form. There are many products on the market and most of them work the same, just different graphics and names. Don't be confused though, the lowest price isn't always the best and research is necessary, especially when it has something to do with what you'll be consuming in your body. These supplements are typically known as the "pre-workout supplement" and may be used as such. All of these products have instructions that you should read before trying these supplements. Keeping a healthy dose of creatine in your diet should prevent you from experiencing the negative effects listed above.

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