Benefits Of Creatine
Are The Benefits Of Creatine As Good As Advertised?
The benefits of creatine have been proven in some areas, particularly as an aid to bodybuilding and athletic activities in general. In other areas its benefits appear to be more general, though further studies may be needed. In still other areas, the benefits of creatine appear to have some validity though results of studies taken to date are somewhat mixed.
Popular With Bodybuilders - Creatine, particularly creatine mono hydrate supplements are most often used by bodybuilders and athletes as a source of instant energy to the body. In bodybuilding, this permits more repetitions of many exercises to be performed, whereas if creatine were not available the athlete would have to stop due to muscle fatigue. Creatine supplements are very popular in that few if any serious side effects are apparent. Some users report minor side effects, most report none.
We Don't Make Enough On Our Own - The key word in any discussion of the benefits of creatine is the word supplement. Creatine is produced naturally in the body by the liver. It is produced in the form of creatine phosphate and primarily serves as an energy replenishing compound. We produce enough of it; typically approximately 100 grams are stored by the average person, to go about our daily business. However, athletes need more than the body can supply at any one time to maintain peak physical performance in certain activities, or in anaerobic workouts such as weight training. Consequently, many of these athletes purchase creatine supplements as they can be obtained over the counter, and as mentioned previously do not appear to produce serious side effects. Side effects which have been reported include muscle cramps, stomach upset, and headaches, though the latter is suspected to be caused by inadequate water consumption during exercise. Taking excessive amounts of creatine while not on a program of weight training can lead to weight gain.
We can increase the store of creatine in our bodies somewhat by eating meat, and especially by eating various species of fatty fish, which are rich in the chemical. Unfortunately cooking the meat or fish will reduce the amount of creatine that will be made available. We will get some, but likely not enough if we are heading for the weight room.
Proven And Potential Benefits OF Creatine - The benefits of creatine which are supported by the greatest amount of scientific evidence are those of increasing muscle mass in the body, and as a source of energy to do grater amounts of work, hence the popularity of supplements with bodybuilders. People who suffer from chronic heart disease, particularly congestive heart failure are thought to benefit from taking creatine supplements as well. If is a known fact that those with chronic heart failure have lower than normal levels of creatine in their systems. It's possible that creatine supplements could improve heart muscle strength, however reliance on creatine supplements as a curative drug should not be undertaken without prior discussion with a physician. The same holds true regarding benefits of creatine as an aid to heart attack victims as far as speed of recovery is concerned. Indications are that creatine supplements may be helpful in this area, but more studies are needed to validate this.
Similarly, creatine supplements may benefit those undergoing heart surgery. Some studies indicate that a patient's recovery rate is improved. The results remain inconclusive however, and additional studies are needed. The same holds true for the elderly who need supplements to improve or increase bone density. The benefits of creatine in this area appear somewhat positive, but again, further studies are needed.
Summary - In summary, the benefits of creatine can be set forth in a reasonably straightforward manner. Outlandish claims addressing supposed curative or preventive powers appear to be the exception rather than the rule. If you take creatine supplements to address those areas in which its benefits are well known and documented, and not take the supplements in areas where it "might" be effective, you will probably benefit and have little risk of encountering bad side effects.