When it comes to health and wellness, people will try anything once!
The pursuit of wellness is very important to live a long and healthy life. In addition to that, increasing your athletic ability and muscle capacity are common desires for many people.
This is where creatine comes in!
Creatine is a substance already found in our muscle cells.
It is common for athletes such as bodybuilders or endurance athletes to take creatine supplements to help with weightlifting or intense bursts of exercise. As with most popular exercise supplements, the questions of effectiveness and symptoms of use are constantly being asked.
Keep reading to find out more about creatine and possible side effects, including the potential for bloating.
What Exactly Is Creatine? Why Do People Use It?
As mentioned above, creatine is something already found in human muscle cells.
This makes it a natural substance and one that is more familiar to the body than other options.
In the human body, creatine helps your muscles to consistently produce energy during intense workouts or heavy weightlifting.
Athletes often seek out creatine because you can get it easily at supermarkets and drugstores.
It is similar to protein powder, being widely available to anyone who wishes to use it for exercise.
When ingested, creatine turns into creatine phosphate inside the body.
Creatine phosphate is vital for making a substance known as ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
ATP gives you more energy for muscle contractions, which helps in weight lifting and intense exercise.
That is why creatine is so popular!
It does not make you a naturally better athlete or automatically give you muscles; rather, it gives you the ability to build those tools yourself.
Health Benefits of Creatine
When you begin taking creatine supplements, you may notice both short-term and long-term improvements.
This is one of the primary benefits of creatine, as it helps you build muscle for quick goals as well as longer goals down the road.
Creatine has often been selected as the best supplement in the market for gaining muscle mass, which helps improve your overall health. Here are some of the other potential health benefits of creatine:
- Quicker Recovery
Muscle contractions, aided by creatine, can help with joint stability and recovery after an intense workout.
Do you know that feeling of being incredibly sore after a workout?
It can often keep you from engaging in more activity until your body heals. Creatine can help with that and potentially allow you to recover more quickly from muscle soreness or damage.
- Potential for Increased Brain Health
Most of your body’s creatine is stored in muscle cells, but a small percentage is stored in places such as the brain or kidneys. Increased creatine can lead to a higher amount of phosphocreatine in the brain.
Phosphocreatine has been shown to have links to increased brain health.
- Increased Creatine Stores for Vegetarians
Vegetarians and others who have naturally low creatine stores in their bodies can benefit from taking creatine supplements.
This increases muscle mass in people who may struggle to naturally uphold their muscular health.
These are just a few of the potential health benefits of creatine.
Increased brain health can also possibly protect from neurological diseases such as brain trauma or Alzheimer’s disease.
Of course, the most obvious benefit comes from increased muscle mass and athletic ability.
This all sounds great! However, creatine has been shown to have potential side effects that you should know about before using it continuously.
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Side Effects of Creatine, Including Bloating
As with any exercise supplement, creatine is not perfect.
While it naturally occurs in the body, you should be careful to only take proper amounts given your level of activity and current muscle mass.
Some potential side effects of creatine include kidney problems, dehydration, and weight gain.
These all have to do with creatine’s function in the body!
Creatine can impact hydration by stimulating muscle cells, so it is important to drink lots of water.
Weight gain can also come from increased muscle mass, which can be distressing for individuals who do not want to gain weight. However, it is important to remember that muscle weighs more than fat!
Bloating is a common side effect of using creatine supplements that concerns many people.
After all, shouldn’t creatine decrease signs of bloating? In actuality, yes! Bloating is frequently experienced by creatine users who are just starting out.
The beginning phase of using creatine supplements is also known as the “loading phase” because your body is being loaded with creatine to assist in your workouts.
Bloating is most common in the loading phase and typically decreases once it passes. It is connected to the increase in muscle mass as well as the increased hydration of new users.
Since creatine can cause dehydration, many people increase their water intake.
This, paired with the newly gained muscle mass, can lead to that bloated feeling.
The total amount of water in your body typically increases. In addition, the energy to workout may lead to a higher consumption of calories which can add to the appearance of bloating.
Bloating will typically only last for a short while, with a few weeks being the maximum amount. The best way to avoid bloating is to take it slow and avoid loading yourself with more than 5 grams of creatine a day.
Your progress may seem slower, but it will decrease the risk of bloating.
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What To Remember About Creatine Going Forward
It is important to remember that creatine exists as a supplement to assist you in your workouts. It is not a magical solution but rather a tool to aid you on your fitness journey!
Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about taking creatine supplements.
Bloating is a common side effect but it will not last forever!
After the loading phase has passed, few creatine users ever experience it again.
If you are looking for a good boost for your workouts and to gain muscle mass, creatine can certainly help!
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