Creatine is a naturally produced molecule in the human body which is mostly found in the body’s skeletal muscles. Creatine is produced by the liver and the pancreas and is found mostly in protein rich foods like beef, pork, salmon, tuna etc. owever creatine produced in the body is at times not enough for most athletes to perform better, therefore most of them resort to taking creatine supplements.
Creatine supplements come in many forms, often in form of powder, tablets, capsules etc. it can be taken dissolved in juice, water or simple added to protein shakes. Though creatine is generally considered quite safe , there are however quite a few health risks associated with taking creatine, though these health risks are primarily due to over dosing on creatine. None the less the health risks associated with creatine facts are as follows
Creatine works by absorbing water from other parts of the body to form creatine phosphate, a molecule which is responsible for keeping up the reserves of ATP in the body. Creatine might lead to dehydration if the intake of water is less then normal. It is essential to up keep your water intake when dosing on creatine. Dehydration may lead to improper functioning of other parts of the body and might lead to dire consequences.
Diarrhea and nausea
People often complain about suffering from bouts of diarrhea and nausea as soon as they start taking creatine. These are often the normal side effects and usually abate over a period of time.
Muscle cramps are also a result of dehydration. It though usually only happens when one is over dosing on creatine without taking proper intake of water. The loss of water from other parts of the body might result in muscle cramps.
People suffering from any sort of kidney disease or renal impairment must avoid taking creatine. Since creatine absorbs water from the body, it might cause a person suffering from any sort of kidney problem to go in shock. It is therefore assumed that people who are on diuretics, under going dialysis or having any kidney problems are better of without taking creatine supplements.
Creatine might cause hair loss
Many people often complain about losing tons of hair when loading on creatine. The most likely reason for this is that creatine produces dilhydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. DHT is responsible for causing male pattern baldness in individuals who already have a receding hair line. Though it is not a common side effect, but still affects few of the male population.
Creatine precautions and warnings
Creatine is probably not safe for pregnant or breast feeding women. There are no studies conducted on the effects of creatine on pregnant or breast feeding women. It should also not be used by adolescents and teenagers, though it is relatively safe when used in normal doses by people who are 18 years of age and above and generally suffer no ill health.