Creatine side effects - are they real or unfounded ?
Creatine has become the most effective and popular nutritional supplement among people wishing to build muscle or improve performance. However, concerns remain about its safety. Side effects attributed to creatine are they real or unfounded?
Creatine is a very popular supplement. It accelerates gains in muscle and strength compared to exercise alone.
In a 12-week study, conducted by Volek and his team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, creatine users have better results with weight training squat and bench press from other users. They also recorded two times more muscle gains.
Is there any Creatine side effects?
We often hear that creatine gives cramps, muscle spasms and contractions. However, in a 3-year study whose aim was to see whether or not it resulted in this type of side effects, creatine has not been shown to affect injury or cramps of football practitioners.
Research published in the journal “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise” showed similar results. In this study a group of 26 athletes for 4 years, we compared the incidence of injuries and muscle cramps in athletes who took creatine or not. There was no difference between groups.
A more recent 2004 study published in the “International Journal of Sports Medicine” also showed that the side effects of creatine are rare. In this study, a group of 175 people received daily 10 grams of creatine or placebo for a period of 310 days. Only three of those tested had to stop testing due to nausea or diarrhea. For the rest, there was no differences between the two groups in terms of side effects.
Researchers at the University of Truman also found that long-term supplementation of creatine has shown sure. In this study, 23 members of a football team were divided into two groups, one with and one without creatine. Athletes creatine group took 14g of creatine per day for 3 years and the researchers found no deleterious effects on the kidney or liver.
All of these data shows that creatine is not hazardous to health, but does not definitively conclude that creatine is 100% sure and that there is no creatine side effects. We have not found strong evidence linking creatine uptake to the deterioration of digestive functions, cardiovascular, muscle, kidney or liver. However, an absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. There are cases of people suffering from kidney after using creatine. People with health problems or weaknesses in the liver or kidneys should consult before supplement creatine.
Currently, there is no reason to oppose taking creatine by athletes healthy. This is considered an effective and safe aid to improve performance.