Knowing all about creatine
What is Creatine ?
Creatine is a natural substance found in the body. The skeletal muscles hold the majority of them. They are also present in cells with high energy requirements, such as those in the heart muscles, liver, kidney, inner ear, intestinal lining, sperms, and eye photoreceptors. The body mainly receives it from red meat and fish, while it is additionally produced in the kidneys and liver and sent to the skeletal muscles for use.
Facts about creatine
- A French chemist, Michel Eugène Chevreul, was the first to discover it in 1832.
- The Greek term for meat is where its name originates.
- It is primarily generated in the human body in the liver using portions from three different amino acids: glycine, arginine, and methionine.
- The skeletal muscles eventually store 95% of it, with the remaining 4% going to the brain, the heart, and the testes.
- It is predominantly stored as phosphocreatine in the muscles of the body.
- It is eliminated from the body as creatinine.
- To maintain normal levels, our body has to eliminate the stored creatine every day; the amount depends on an individual’s muscle mass.
- Primarily found in animal sources; hence, vegetarians may have reduced creatine levels in their systems.
- Supplements derived from synthetic creatine have a higher creatine content than food sources.
Biological role of creatine
Creatine’s functions in the human body can include:
- Generates ATP, which is a kind of energy for cells.
- Constantly supplies energy to cells with high energy needs.
- Helps by giving muscles the energy they need to contract.
- It also functions as a neuroprotective agent.
Sources of creatine
- Animal source – red meat, chicken, fish, and milk.
Human bodies can make creatine from amino acids like methionine, glycine and arginine.
- Arginine – milk, cheese, sesame, pumpkin, walnuts, almonds, beans, peas, and seaweed.
- Methionine – milk, eggs, tofu, ricotta cheese, quinoa, Brazil nuts, and white beans.
- Glycine – milk, cheese, pistachios, spirulina, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, seaweed, and spinach.
- A wide range of sports supplements, including creatine.
- Skeletal muscle typically contains 120 mmol/kg of creatine, but supplementation can increase this amount to 160 mmol/kg.
- An individual would require roughly 1-3 grams of creatine daily to keep up typical creatine storage without supplementation.
- Larger athletes who train hard might need to get in five to ten grams of creatine daily to keep their stock.
- To stay healthy, people who can’t manufacture creatine due to a medical issue might have to consume 10–30 g daily.
- In adults, a loading dosage of up to 20 grams is taken orally once for a maximum of seven days, followed by a daily maintenance dose of 2.25–10 grams taken orally for up to 16 weeks.
Safe dose in adults
- Dosage up to 25 grams/day for 14 days.
- Lower doses – 4-5 grams/day for 18 months.
- Dosage up to 10 grams/day for five years.
Safe Dose in Children
- 5 to 18 years – 3-5 grams/day for 2- 6 months.
- 2 to 5 years – 2 grams/day for six months.
- Infants – 0.1 – 0.4 grams/kg daily for six months.
Creatine has the following benefits
Rare creatine-metabolizing disorders
- Oral creatine supplements may raise brain creatine levels in kids with certain creatine deficiencies, such as GAMT or AGAT ( Guanidinoacetate Methyltransferase Deficiency)
- Elderly persons and vegetarians may benefit from taking it to improve their cognitive well-being and standard of life.
- Athletes and bodybuilders commonly take creatine to increase strength and performance.
- Benefiting both older and younger individuals.
- May lower the incidence of dehydration, cramping in the muscles, and injuries that affect bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves.
Particularly in elderly persons it enhances cognition and promote brain’s health .
- When combined with folic acid, decreases UV damage and minimizes wrinkles due to aging.
May help balance age-related drops in skeletal muscles, sarcopenia, and the density of bone.
In medical disorders
Creatine may also supports in overall well being of people suffering from
- Brain or spinal cord injuries
- Muscular dystrophy
- High cholesterol/triglyceride levels
- Pulmonary disease .
Improve glucose metabolism
- Primarily when paired with physical activity, improves glucose metabolism in both healthy and diabetic patients
- Vegetarianism or veganism may result in creatine deficiency.
- Genetic reason – Creatine deficiency diseases (CCD) are genetic errors in creatine metabolism and transportation
- Deficiencies can result from errors in any of these two enzymes, GAMT or AGAT.
- To get to the brain, creatine needs a specific transporter. The third CCD is the result of a flaw in this transporter CRTR.
- Developmental delay.
- Social phobia
- Intellectual disability or cognitive malfunction
- Movement disorders, including chorea-athetosis and dystonia.
- Behavior issues, including aggression, autistic spectrum disorder, and attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder.
Side effects of creatine
Overdose of creatine may cause the following side effects
- Weight gain. (Water retention)
- Stomach pain.
- Stomach upset.
- Muscle cramps.
- High blood pressure
- Liver dysfunction
- Kidney stones
- Kidney damage
What precautions should one take?
Caution is advised for those who have the following conditions
- Kidney disease.
- Liver disease.
- Hypertensive patients.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women.
- Gastrointestinal problems.
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
- Electrolyte imbalances.
- Bipolar disorder.
- Athletes aiming for specific weight categories.
Interactions with other medicine
Creatine, if taken with certain medications, may show interactions:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Creatine may raise the risk of renal injury when combined with NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen.
- May interfere with the body’s ability to utilize creatine, and combining it with creatine may raise the chance of dehydration. Parkinson’s disease could advance more quickly as a result.
Diuretics or water pills
- When taking creatine and diuretics like furosemide, the risk of dehydration and renal injury may increase.
- Creatine with cimetidine (Tagamet) can raise the chance of kidney damage.
- When used with creatine, the risk of kidney damage is increased.
The Bottom line
Although the body produces creatine independently, one must maintain their levels by eating a healthy diet every day. Creatine is one of the most affordable, efficient, and secure supplements consumed by athletes and non-athletes to increase power, strength, muscle mass, and performance. Using supplements may be especially beneficial for elderly persons and vegetarians who may not be getting enough creatine from their diets. However, it is best to consult a physician or a registered dietician to determine an individual’s right product and dosage.