Please understand that I am not a licensed physician. This is my personal research on creatine. People like to question me on why I take the things I take, so I am going to explain each and every one, one at a time.
Creatine is a non essential nutrient and it is NOT a steroid. If you are a meat eater, chances are you are getting enough. I, however, do not partake of such… so taking 5 grams of Creatine Monohydrate a day is beneficial for me. I take it once a day after lifting weights for 30 to 75 minutes, in my plant protein shake, along with L-Arginine, L-Ornithine, Glutamine, CLA and ALA, (which I take before and after biking and before and after lifting). I never front-load, even when I haven’t taken it for a while. You’ll have the same result at the end of four weeks, just a bit slower to see results.
Some great benefits of Creatine include; improvement of upper body strength and power, increases muscle mass and muscle fiber, promotes greater gains, reduces severity of injury, improves recovery, and slows Parkinson’s and Huntinton’s. I don’t know about you, but those are all some pretty good reasons to take it. I don’t have either of those diseases but the rest of the benefits are wonderful for a bodybuilder, or aspiring one like myself.
There are some supposed possible side effects. I did allot of reading about creatine when I was trying to convince myself to take it for two months before I got the nerve. And I’ve done a good bit for this post, and I very much doubt these “possible” side effects are actually side effects of creatine. More likely something else being ingested or possible even just an underlying and/or unresolved health issue.
Stomach cramps: I’ve yet to have this even when I haven’ drank enough water. Diarrhea, nope, not even the day I took it two times in one day because I didn’t take it the day before (which I won’t do again, I did get palpitations, but more than likely that was caused by dehydration and overdoing it working out).
Muscle cramps, no. Although I take allot of glutamine so that could potentially counteract an issue like that, but I doubt an active person taking it correctly is going to get muscle cramps. Dizziness and nausea, no and no. IF you starve yourself and take creatine you might get that result but that is no fault of creatine. Fever or heat intolerance? I doubt it. I certainly have not had that issue with it.
Dehydration and water retention, those I can agree with. Creatine helps your muscles pull in water, which causes retention and if you aren’t drinking enough water you will get dehydrated…. Not so common sense, and there are many drugs out there that will cause water retention, so drink water!
Now we get to blood pressure.. I am finding conflicting opinions on whether it helps or impedes improvement of high blood pressure issues. I have been having high blood pressure issues, and it is hard to tell if it is because of the creatine or just the fact that I am over weight. I think the latter. When I get back down to where I need to be, around 20 pounds less than I am, we will see if it is still an issue.. and if so, then I reckon I will have to go off it and see, but i think fat is a good portion of all human health issues.
Kidney and liver damage, I don’t think so. If that were to happen I think it would be from some other cause. Just because you are taking creatine and you develop some ailment, doesn’t automatically make creatine the culprit. Lots of things can cause kidney and liver issues; lifestyle in general, hereditary illnesses, drug abuse, alcoholism, diabetes, blood pressure, urinary tract issues, lupus, hepatitis, cirrhosis and malnutrition in general.
Contraindications are kidney damage, of course, diabetes, NSAIDS (Ibuprofen and Naproxen), diuretics, caffeine, probenecid and cimetidine, (acid reducers), and ephedra (which can cause stroke). I quit taking nsaids when i discovered it causes high blood pressure, i recently switched to decaf (because of blood pressure) and i don’t take any of the others, so these are not an issue. With this, I hope you are now comfortable with me taking Creatine, and if you are not, well,,,I don’t know what else to say.