Creatine: Is It Really Good for You?

The decision to be healthy and fit is not one to be taken lightly, as many fitness enthusiasts can verify. It takes a lot of commitment to a proper workout schedule and a resolve to modify one’s diet—all in all, it definitely means an overall change in lifestyle. In most cases, there is also the intake of additional dietary supplements, especially if your workout is intense and involves a lot of skeletal muscle function. Creatine and other protein supplements play supportive roles to increase amino acids in the body. They are needed to repair damaged fibers that result during the exercise as well as to synthesize more in order to build up skeletal muscle mass. However, before you do decide to take such supplements, it would be good to know some tips on how to maximize the effects and benefits of this supplement:

  • It is important that you learn about the side effects and risk factors of this protein. Naturally, you would really just want to get the benefits and none of the detrimental side effects. Researching about it will help you adjust your expectations before you start with the supplementation. You will also be made aware of possible side effects to watch out for, namely stomach pains, diarrhea, and nausea. If these symptoms are beyond tolerable, you should stop intake and find another supplement that is more suitable to you.
  • Read about the dosing protocol as well. Such supplements come with drinking instructions, and these you have to read because each supplement is taken in a different way. In this particular case, the usual intake involves a 5-day loading dose followed by a maintenance dose. There are now quite a lot of protocols on how the protein is taken, so try the recommended dose that sounds right to you and watch how your body reacts to it. If all is well and you are getting good results, then best to stick to that protocol. Otherwise, you should look for another system to try. Keep in mind to stick to the recommended dosage and not go beyond it. This is to avoid the the risk of possible side effects.
  • Learn about taking protein supplements with other medications. It can’t be helped; there are times when we have to take in certain medications for other aspects of our health. It is important that before you take in this protein supplement, you need to pay your doctor a visit so as to get this person’s medical opinion. Your doctor knows best about medicine. There is such a phenomenon known as drug interaction that you would need to watch out for; some drugs, when taken in conjuction with other drugs, can cause certain effects to manifest, oftentimes to the detriment of your health. Get your doctor’s approval if you are currently on some kind of maintenance medication before you embark on starting a supplementary regimen.
  • Your doctor also knows your current health status best. You want to make sure you are healthy and strong and not in any kind of medical condition that could worsen if you take in certain protein supplements. According to SportScience, there have been no reports that indicate kidney damage can be caused by increased creatine intake, but there have been some incidence of kidney inflammation in some cases. Doctors would caution you from taking in this supplement if you already have an existing condition, so a visit to a doctor to get a general check-up of your current state of health is definitely needed before taking on dietary supplements like this. For a woman, you may also want to confirm the possibility of pregnancy first—pregnant and breastfeeding women are not encouraged to take these supplements simply because there are no long-term studies on them as yet.

So, before you start doing something involving a drastic change in your lifestyle, be it exercise or a diet supplementation, it is always good to learn more about it in relation to your body first. When it comes to your own health, it is always best to be safe than sorry later.

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