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Jan 14

What Is Creatine Monohydrate?

female-creatineCreatine monohydrate supplements are popular performance-enhancing drugs used by athletes. Creatine is naturally created in the body and is also available from eating foods that are rich in protein, like fish and meat. However, according to WebMD, when it is taken as a supplement, it can help in building up muscle mass, helping the muscles contract, thus giving the athlete that burst of energy needed when the body is demanded to perform.

The performance enhancing potential of this drug was discovered by researchers in the 1970s and gained popularity among exercise enthusiasts athletes, both amateurs and professionals, in the 1990s.

It was believed that creatine can enhance athletic performance by increasing the bulk of lean muscles, making them stronger, and helping muscles recover faster after an intense workout. However, not all athletes who tried this reported the same benefits. The benefits were more pronounced in athletes who needed to increase the bulk of their muscles, like bodybuilders.

The supplement also benefited the athletes who needed that intense, short burst of power during competition, like sprinters or weight lifters. In a review of creatine supplementation written by Dr. Mark A. Jenkins of Rice University, he cited studies that showed athletes who engaged in endurance sports did not benefit from taking creatine supplements. So this supplement is not for everyone.

Are There Any Risks?

There is no definitive information on the long-term effects of taking creatine supplements. For most people in good health, there are no negative side effects. However, when the supplement is overused, it can lead to problems. According to WebMD, side effects can include kidney problems, stomach problems, difficulty in breathing, weight gain, fatigue, and many others.

Using caffeinated products with this supplement can intensify the side effects. Also, creatine supplements can have serious interactions with some drugs including Tylenol, or acetaminophen, diuretics and diabetes medicines. People predisposed to diabetes and renal problems, plus women who are pregnant and young people under 18 years of age should not take this supplement. The doctor should always be consulted before starting any regimens of a supplement so that any adverse reaction can be minimized.

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