Unleashing The Power Of Creatine: A Thrilling Journey Into The Science Behind Creatine Research
When it comes to dietary supplements, creatine has been a trendy choice for athletes and fitness enthusiasts for decades. Its impact on muscle performance and its ability to create energy in our bodies is unmatched among other nutrition supplements. Additionally, scientific research on creatine shows that it's one of the few substances with real benefits when taken correctly.
So whether you're a severe strength trainer or just looking to take advantage of natural energy sources, understanding the science behind Creatine can help you make smart decisions and understand its potential impacts better.
Brief Summary Of Creatine Research
In recent years, research on creatine has expanded to include potential cognitive and brain health benefits and its use in certain medical conditions such as Parkinson's disease and depression. It is also seen that different types of creatine, like creatine monohydrate, show better results than other types. Additionally, it’s been proven that oral creatine supplementation combined with food like red meat can create even better results than supplementation alone.
Overall, creatine research has come a long way since its initial discovery in the 1800s, with a growing body of evidence supporting its effectiveness as a sports supplement and potential therapeutic agent.
Medical Research On Creatine
Medical research on creatine has been conducted to explore the potential therapeutic uses of creatine beyond its traditional use as a sports supplement.
Some studies have found that creatine may have beneficial effects in certain medical conditions such as:
Research shows that creatine can help improve the symptoms of Parkinson's disease by improving muscle strength and reducing fatigue, however, no dietary supplements can reduce or cure Parkinson's disease in the elderly.
A study published in 2015 shows that patients with the disease showed no curing effects in five years of using creatine. Moreover, relatively long time usage caused gastrointestinal issues like nausea. So using it for muscle strength is the only use of creatine for such patients with Parkinson’s.
Creatine supplementation has been found to have an anti-depressant effect. According to the Journal of biomolecules paper, creatine is the best dietary supplement against major depressive disorder, depression during Parkinson's disease, or any other causes of depression that are treated with it.
One of the reasons for treatment is that it treats the neurological condition of the brain and relaxes the brain cells working as an antidepressant agent. Another research shows that increased brain creatine can lead to better cognitive processing and healing of traumatic brain injury.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder causing musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, sleep disruptions, and cognitive difficulties. It affects an estimated 10 million adults in the United States. Recent research suggests that creatine monohydrate supplementation may be beneficial in treating fibromyalgia symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and depression with the help of muscle protein synthesis.
Studies show that creatine supplementation can reduce pain intensity by up to 20% and improve physical functioning by up to 12%. Additionally, creatine supplementation has been found to significantly improve levels of fatigue and depression among those with fibromyalgia.
Huntington's is a highly progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by an inherited genetic mutation. It affects movement, cognition, and behavior, and is ultimately fatal. Recent studies suggest that creatine may be beneficial in treating Huntington's disease symptoms.
Creatine supplementation has been found to improve muscle strength and motor coordination among patients with Huntington's disease. Additionally, some studies have reported a decrease in mental decline associated with the disorder when patients are supplemented with creatine for six months or longer.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is another neurodegenerative disorder characterized by muscle weakness leading to paralysis and death due to respiratory failure. Recent research suggests that supplementing with creatine could benefit those living with ALS.
Some studies have demonstrated improved motor neuron functioning (the cells responsible for muscle contractions) when supplementing with creatine, while others have noted increased muscular strength among those living with ALS who supplemented with creatine over time.
Cardiac And Skeletal Muscle Disorders
Creatine may also be beneficial for those suffering from various cardiac and skeletal muscle disorders such as cardiomyopathy (heart muscle damage), myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness caused by autoimmune dysfunction), dysferlinopathy (muscle wasting caused by defective gene expression), and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (progressive muscular degeneration).
Studies have shown that creatine can reduce symptoms associated with these disorders, such as muscle atrophy, cardiovascular function impairment, fat accumulation in skeletal muscle cells, and decreased physical performance capacity following exercise.
Is Creatine Scientifically Proven?
Creatine is a well-studied supplement and has been the subject of numerous scientific studies. Most research on creatine supports its effectiveness as a supplement for increasing muscle creatine and power and improving athletic performance. It has also been seen that exercise-induced muscle damage and recovery time are raised with increased creatine intake. According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, creatine is safe and beneficial for muscular strength in all ages.
Current scientific evidence supports that the effects of creatine supplementation are safe and effective. Creatine has been shown to increase muscle strength, power, and endurance in healthy adults when used appropriately and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Long-Term Safety Concerns
The long-term safety of creatine supplementation needs to be better established. While creatine is generally considered safe for most healthy adults when taken in recommended doses for up to five years, there are some concerns about the potential for adverse side effects with prolonged use.
Some studies have suggested that creatine supplementation may lead to kidney damage or dysfunction in people with pre-existing kidney problems. In addition, it may increase muscle cramps, strains, and pulls. There have also been some reports of an association between creatine use and an increased risk of certain types of cancer, although the evidence is not conclusive.
Contraindications Related To Creatine
Contraindications are conditions or situations where a particular treatment or medication should not be used. Some contraindications for creatine supplementation include:
Pregnancy Or Breastfeeding
Creatine is not recommended for use in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to the lack of research on its safety. It is known that creatine can cross the placenta, but the effects of this on a developing fetus are unknown. There is also no data to demonstrate whether or not creatine can pass into breast milk and its potential impact on a nursing baby. Therefore, until further research is done, it is best for pregnant and nursing mothers to avoid taking creatine supplements.
Kidney Or Liver Disease
People with existing kidney function or liver problems should not take creatine supplements as they could potentially worsen their condition. Additionally, since creatine increases fluid body volume, those with pre-existing kidney or liver impairment may have difficulty properly metabolizing the extra fluid and be at risk for dehydration and other complications.
Children Under 18
Creatine supplementation has only been tested in adults, so its effects are largely unknown when taken by children under 18. Due to this lack of knowledge, there is no safe dosage recommendation; thus, creatine should be avoided in minors.
People With A History Of Muscle Cramps, Strains, Or Pulls
Since taking creatine can increase muscle mass and strength, those who already have issues related to muscle cramps, strains, or pulls might find that their symptoms worsen due to too much strain on an already weakened muscle group. Thus, these individuals should avoid taking creatine supplements until further research has been done regarding its potential benefits for muscle recovery.
People With Diabetes
Those with diabetes should exercise caution when considering using creatine supplements, as high doses of this supplement could affect blood sugar levels negatively. As such, it would be wise for those with diabetes to consult a physician before beginning any supplementation regimen involving creatine.
People On Medications
Creatine may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin), chemotherapy drugs like cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), and some antibiotics like doxycycline (Doryx). People taking prescription medications should always check with their healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement, including creatine, as interactions between them could cause serious side effects or health complications if taken together without careful consideration beforehand.
Precautions For Those Who Take Creatine
Precautions are conditions or situations where a particular treatment or medication should be used with extra care. Some precautions for creatine supplementation include:
People With High Blood Pressure
Creatine has been shown to cause an increase in blood pressure, so those with high blood pressure should use it with extra caution. People with hypertension should assess their risk factors before considering using the supplement. They should also consult with a healthcare professional to ensure they are taking the right dosage and discussing any drug interactions that may occur.
People With A History Of Heart Disease
Creatine supplementation is known to affect heart rate, so use it with caution, especially if you have a history of heart disease. Increased muscle strength and mass associated with Creatine can lead to increased blood pressure and heart rate, which can strain the cardiovascular system. Individuals with pre-existing conditions should consult with their healthcare provider to assess risk factors and devise a safe supplementation plan.
People With Allergies To Seafood
Creatine is often sourced from fish or taken with a combination of fish, especially for resistance training, so individuals with seafood allergies should use it with caution. This can be a particular concern for those with a severe or life-threatening allergy to seafood, as coming into contact with the active ingredient in creatine could lead to an allergic reaction and potentially severe adverse effects. Additionally, people taking medications that interact with seafood should avoid creatine supplements as they could increase the risk of adverse reactions.
Dosage And Administration
The dosage and administration of creatine vary depending on the individual's goals and the type of creatine used. The typical recommended dosage for creatine monohydrate is:
- Creatine loading phase: 20 grams per day for 5 to 7 days.
- Maintenance phase: 3 to 5 grams per day
It is essential to stay hydrated while taking creatine, as creatine can cause dehydration if not handled with enough water.