There is a wide range of supplements available for athletes and enthusiasts, but many of them are a waste of money. Some of these supplements just go down the drain because they are not absorbed well by the body. In fact, there are supplements may even be dangerous. Some, for instance, contain hidden ingredients that can be harmful to the body while others, such as those taken to help with weight loss, are known to cause heart problems, fainting, and stroke.
Health buffs, however, can attest to the benefits and safety of certain supplements. One of them is creatine. If you are on the lookout for a supplement that can help you achieve a fitter and stronger body, here are some facts about creatine that should help persuade you to use it with a fitness routine.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is a chemical that is naturally found in the body, particularly in the muscles. It is also found in the brain. This substance is present in seafood and red meat, but it can also be made in the laboratory.
This organic compound helps produce adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, which provides the energy needed by the body for muscle contractions. This is the reason why creatine supplements are popularly used to improve exercise performance and increase muscle mass in athletes and even in older adults.
Benefits of Taking Creatine Supplements
Creatine dietary supplements are geared towards those who want to improve muscle strength and performance. Creatine is known to improve strength and power. Most of the sports nutrition supplements marketed in the United States have creatine.
A range of scientific studies suggests the benefits of incorporating creatine in a fitness program.
Research suggests that creatine can improve the athletic performance of young and healthy people during brief high-intensity activities. During high-intensity training, creatine can help maintain strength and training performance while increasing muscle mass.
In one study, researchers found that adding this organic compound to the training program increased weightlifting performance by 14 percent, improved strength by 8 percent and enhanced bench press one-rep max by up to 43 percent.
Researchers also found that in well-trained athletes, those who took creatine supplements for 28 days increased their bench-press performance by 6 percent and their bike-sprinting performance by 15 percent.
Is Creatine Safe?
Creatine has been a subject of research for more than 200 years and many of these studies suggest that it is safe for long-term use. Clinical trials spanning up to five years also show that taking creatine supplements does not cause adverse effects in healthy individuals.
Despite the touted benefits and safety of creatine, however, it is still best to let your doctor know if you plan to take creatine or any other supplements, especially if you have medical conditions such as diabetes, as well as kidney and liver diseases.