10 Side Effects Of Creatine

For bodybuilders looking to gain an advantage in their size and performance, creatine is a common supplement that is taken usually immediately after a workout. Though the benefits of taking this substance may vary, many lifters swear by its ability to grow large amounts of muscle tissue very quickly. Others find their bodies are unable to carry large amounts of the substance in their bloodstream, nullifying the effects and gaining very little in return.

Though taken as a supplement, creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid that is found in the muscle tissue of meat and fish. It exists as a powder that is mixed with milk for added protein, or even as a standalone drink purchased at weightlifting-related stores such as GNC or in the lobby of gyms. It’s recommended that anyone who takes it drink it with large amounts of water so as to prevent dehydration. Doctors also recommend not taking it at night to avoid excessive dehydration while the person sleeps.

The primary benefits of these supplements are added muscle strength and endurance, although many people believe it can also protect against certain neurological diseases as well. About 95% of creatine that is naturally produced in the body stays within the muscle fibers, whereas the other 5% is stored in the kidneys and liver.

1. Muscle Cramping

Cramps is one of the most common side effects associated with heavy creatine usage since the process takes water out of the bloodstream and puts it into the muscles. It can be caused by one of any number of factors, such as the depletion of minerals, compressed nerves, or lack of blood supply. Dehydration affects the mineral depletion and low blood supply more than just about anything else, and since creatine causes dehydration, it may also cause cramps. The symptoms of cramping, aside from the pain that is found in the muscles and skeletal system, is sunken eyes, general lethargy, and low water output that would normally be found in urine and tears. If the water systems of the body aren’t working, it’s a sign of dehydration and also possibly cramps.

To fight against these symptoms, doctors recommend drinking a higher than normal amount of water during creatine cycles, as well as eating foods that are high in water content as well. Vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes have a lot of water built in, and fruits apples, melons, and berries all are excellent for fighting against cramps. In addition to the hydrating properties, the sugar in naturally occurring fruits can help with muscle recovery and stamina.