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How to Choose the Best Creatine
What is creatine and why are more people, especially athletes and body-builders, take it as a supplement? Basically, our body has natural creatine produced in the liver, which provide small amounts of energy boost to the body in the form of adenosine triphosphate or ATP. Creatine is inherently found in vertebrates and plays an important role in the metabolism of skeletal muscle, a major muscle type in the human body that is usually connected to the bones through the tendons. The creatines produced by the body are mostly utilized by our muscles that are attached to the skeleton, providing doses of energy for short-termed intense activities such as marathon running and weight-lifting. The remaining percentage of creatine in the body goes to the heart and the brain. After it is consumed, it becomes a waste product called creatinine and are eliminated as urine.
In the 1920s, scientists discovered that the intake of more creatine can significantly enhance strength and muscle performance. Scientists learned about creatine phosphate that became the major ingredient of creatine products in the market nowadays. The first synthesized creatine, Cell-Tech, was introduced by MuscleTech Research and Development in 1998. Cell-Tech contains alpha lipoic acids that boost phosphocreatine concentration in the body. From that time on, other companies endorsed their own brands of creatine products such as Micronized Creatine Monohydrate by AST Sports Science and Micronized Creatine Powder by Optimum Nutrition.Why Do People Take Creatine?
- Fatigue Reduction
Aside from increasing muscle strength, it was discovered that creatine reduces muscle exhaustion through decreasing lactic acid in the body that causes weariness.
- Bigger Muscles
Although not all researches validate it, a few studies have revealed that creatine also augments muscle mass. This finding still needs to undergo more research since the safe dose for building more muscle mass with creatine is not yet established.
- Extra Remedy for Muscle-Related Illnesses
Since creatine enhances muscle performance, it has been used as additional remedy for muscle-related illnesses such as congestive heart diseases, muscular dystrophy, and post-surgery/injury therapy. However, studies have shown that creatine does not bring much improvement to hereditary diseases such as McArdle's disease.Types of Creatine
There are three major types of creatine. First is the most commonly used Creatine Monohydrate. Once mixed with water, a creatine substance becomes creatine monohydrate. If you want to have a good dose of creatine, creatine monohydrate provides the most volume.
The second type is Creatine Citrate, a combination of citric acid and creatine molecules. It is known for its water solubility so when it is mixed with water, it is easily dissolved. But creatine citrate contains only a small level of creatine as compared to creatine monohydrate. It is also more expensive.
The last one is the Creatine Phosphate. It is creatine combined with phosphate substance. This type of creatine is also famous to athletes and body-builders. However, it is found to be not as effective as creatine monohydrate.Safety Issues and Side Effects
Through various tests, findings show that the intake of creatine is relatively safe. Nevertheless, long-term use of it is not yet proven to be safe for the body. Partial studies have not yet established the side effects of prolonged creatine ingestion. But probable side effects include weight gain, nausea, stomach pains, diarrhea, muscle spasms, and asthmatic indications in some people. Also, excessive amounts of creatine can possibly be harmful to the internal organs. There is no conclusive proof about the harm that creatine could possibly do to the body, but people with kidney or liver illnesses should avoid it.
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Last updated: September 9, 2011