Creatine monohydrate is a substance that promotes an increased capacity for exercise. It is also known to improve athletic performance and help one achieve a lean body mass—this is why athletes and bodybuilders mainly use it since it aids them during high-intensity exercise.
The primary purpose of the supplement is to increase your muscle mass. Creatine can be found in meat and fish, but it's also available in supplements, usually in pill and powder form.
Many people take this supplement when they need to build muscle or just want to have a little more energy for their workouts. However, there are some side effects associated with creatine taking, so before starting using it, here are a few do’s and don'ts that you need to consider.
Do: Talk to your doctor first
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that can also be found in meat and fish. It is synthesised in the liver and used to produce energy.
Creatine Monohydrate (CM) is a supplement that can increase muscle mass, improve performance during intense exercise, and help quickly recover from muscle damage. The body needs creatine to function correctly, but it isn't necessary if your diet contains enough protein.
This is why it is essential to talk to your doctor, especially if you have any health issues. They would present to you the different effects of creatine and how it can affect your performance,
Don't: Drink Alcohol
Drinking alcohol affects creatine supplements. It affects its efficiency. Taking creatine supplements with alcohol will cause more water to be drawn into your cells. This means that your cells will retain more water than usual, potentially leading to dehydration. Alcohol also inhibits the absorption of creatine supplements. It is best to avoid it when taking this dietary supplement.
Creatine supplements offer a lot of benefits for athletes and regular people who exercise. They can help increase muscle mass, decrease fatigue, and even reduce body fat. It is a scientifically proven fact that drinking alcohol while taking creatine could be toxic to the liver.
Alcohol consumption is counterproductive when consuming creatine supplements since it can cause the body to break down the creatine supplement. This will result in a loss of potential workout benefits.
Do: Learn the correct dosage for your body
It is essential to know the correct use of creatine. That includes knowing the proper dosage for your body. The amount that you need to take is dependent on your body mass. Study shows that a person can take creatine supplementation up to 30 g per day, but the recommended is only 3-5 g.
The 30 g per day is based on what is called creatine loading. Creatine loading is a process in which you take a high dose of creatine (20-30 g) every day for five days. It is an effective way to significantly improve athletic performance in high-intensity sports such as weightlifting or sprinting.
Creatine loading is different from the standard creatine supplementation (5 g/day), where people would take it occasionally, like before and after their workout sessions. There are a few side effects of creatine supplementation, and not all of them are good. This is why it is advisable to talk to your doctor first before taking it.
Don't: Drink as much as you want
One may think that the more creatine monohydrate you drink, the more lean muscle mass you get. This is untrue. Taking too much creatine monohydrate can lead to toxicity or even death. Too much can also cause muscle cramps, dehydration, and high blood pressure. The recommended dosage, as mentioned, is 3-5 grams per day.
Drinking too much creatine monohydrate is not good for your health. It can cause muscle cramps, stomach pain, weight gain, and even kidney or liver damage.
There is no scientific evidence that suggests that the benefits of higher doses of creatine outweigh the risks. That's why it's important to know what you're taking and how much to avoid adverse effects.
Do: Hydrate well
It is important to drink water when taking creatine monohydrate because the more hydrated your muscle cells are, the better they can maintain their shape.
It's good to drink some water every few hours while taking creatine. If you don't, you'll have a higher risk of developing muscle cramping or water retention.
This creatine monohydrate side effect is very common. And, because creatine monohydrate is used by members of certain high-performance sports teams with high-intensity exercises, the muscles can become tenser, contributing to even more cramping.
Don't: Take when pregnant or breastfeeding
A couple of studies suggest creatine supplements may have benefits to the fetus, but that has not been fully established yet. Currently, there is no evidence that creatine supplementation during pregnancy and breastfeeding is safe. Since its safety to the baby has not been established, it is best to avoid creatine supplementation.
Do: Know the proper timing
The timing for taking the supplement is crucial since it builds up in the muscles over time and is not fully effective until it reaches a certain level. Three different methods can be used to build up levels of creatine: loading, maintenance, and cycling. Cycling, however, is the most common way of building up your levels of creatine because you take it on an everyday basis.
Don't: Take any diuretics
Diuretics are used for people with high blood pressure, kidney disease or diabetes, to get rid of excess water in their bodies. Creatine is an amino acid that helps our muscles recover faster after workouts and improve athletic performance. If you take diuretics and creatine together, you can experience dehydration and muscle cramping due to decreased water retention in your muscles. Drinking more water will help fix this problem, but it’s important not to go overboard with it!
There are mixed opinions about Creatine Monohydrate, but it’s clear that Creatine is one of the most effective supplements for athletes. Creatine does what Creatine does for a reason, but this is just one ingredient that fitness enthusiasts need to understand to be confident in their supplement choices. Know that creatine supplements are safe to take and have many benefits. They are also one of the few supplements that are backed by scientific evidence.