I decided to focus on explaining the benefits and downfalls of supplements for the next few days, and today I’m starting with Creatine.
Creatine is a supplement that I used to take for about 3 years, back when I was playing college baseball. I needed something to give me that “boost” for increased performance during my workouts as well as during my games. Creatine does have many benefits, but there are also some downfalls, and I’m going to now explain what those are, but first I am going to explain how creatine works.
How It Works– this might be a little confusing, but I’ll make it as simple as possible!
– ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) is the muscle’s primary fuel, and when we exercise, it loses a phosphate group and becomes ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate). When taking a creatine supplement, it donates a phosphate group to ADP, which transforms it back into ATP, therefore giving the muscle more energy during the workout! See, simple enough, right?
There are many benefits associated with creatine, especially if you are an athlete or someone involved with an intense daily workout program like P90X.
(1) More energy during workouts because of ATP regeneration!
(2) Reduces lactic acid, which allows you to workout longer and harder, therefore increasing muscle strength and mass!
(3) Quick weight gain. I know this is true because I put on about 10 lbs within the first 3 weeks of taking it! If you are someone who is very skinny and is looking to gain weight, this would be the way to go.
(4) Decreased recovery time.
(5) Decreased fatigue.
You all are going to surprised by this, but after there have been MANY studies done that show there are minimal negative side effects associated with creatine supplementation, but there are some.
(1) Dehydration. Just make sure you drink enough water!
(2) Cramping. This is a side effect that I commonly experienced. During my games, on hot days that I didn’t take in enough fluids, I would get cramps in my calves. Again, drink enough water and you shouldn’t cramp!
(3) Upset stomach or diarrhea.
(4) Mood swings. I thought this one was interesting, but actually know people who claim that taking creatine makes them angry. This could be because creatine increases testosterone levels.
*And I know you all are saying, “Wait a minute, I thought it damages the kidneys!” To burst your bubble, there have been many, many studies done, and there is no evidence that creatine supplementation damages the kidneys.
So there you have it, both the benefits and downfalls of creatine supplementation. If you have any additional questions about creatine, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!