Creatine is considered one of the best researched and most promising nutritional supplements on the market today. However, the study situation regarding creatine is somewhat inscrutable. While there are both studies that certify efficacy, there are just as many studies that say the opposite.
With regard to harmfulness, however, all studies suggest that long-term creatine supplementation does not cause any consequential damage – although the latest studies have so far only considered a period of about 10 years. In general, the intake of creatine or, in general, of many dietary supplements is equated by ignorant people with the consumption of steroidal anabolic steroids. However, Ist gives a very clear difference between steroid preparations and creatine. This concerns both the underlying mode of action as well as the risk potential of both substances.
What are the side effects of taking creatine?
All in all, one cannot speak of serious side effects in connection with creatine, but rather of unpleasant additional symptoms, which can all be explained by the way creatine works. Creatine is able to bind water, which is why it is withdrawn from the body elsewhere. This can have an effect on the appearance of the skin, the digestive tract and body weight.
The fact that water is removed from the body elsewhere also causes the water in the skin cells to disappear. This results in dry skin, the skin appears wrinkled and not as firm. In the area of the digestive tract, diarrhea and in rare cases constipation can occur.
Since creatine cannot be completely absorbed by the body, it is also excreted through the intestines, where it is still able to bind water. This causes the stool to become thinner – in the worst case, diarrhoea can occur. The weight gain, in turn, can be explained by the water that is actually absorbed in the body – more precisely, in the muscles.
Here, too, water is stored more and more, which explains the weight gain. Creatine can also give the appearance of a damaged kidney. The breakdown product of creatine – creatinine – is used in medicine as a marker for the functioning of the kidney.
Physiologically, creatinine occurs as a breakdown product of muscle and is excreted by a healthy kidney in high amounts. If the amount of creatine ingested increases, the amount of creatinine in the blood also increases, which is used as an indicator for the condition of the kidney. However, if the kidney is already damaged, further damage is difficult to detect.
There is no indication that creatine intake would result in reduced potency or reduced sperm quality. The assumption behind this could be similar to the effects on the testicles, that creatine is considered a kind of steroidal anabolic steroid, which may well have side effects in terms of impotence or sperm quality. In this case, too, the very mechanism of action of creatine does not provide any indication of these suspected side effects.
With anabolic steroids, on the other hand, the permanently elevated testosterone level can cause the body’s own testosterone production to cease. In the worst case, after stopping the doping, it can then happen that the body is no longer able to produce its own testosterone. In this case the state of impotence would be reached.
However, this effect has not been investigated for creatine in any study published to date, as the assumption already seems far too far-fetched for there to be a causal relationship. This topic might also be of interest to you:
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Compared to the other side effects discussed in this section, this seems to be the most true. Although there seems to be only one study in the professional world which came to this conclusion, it cannot be ignored as completely unfounded.
However, hair loss only seemed to occur in subjects who “suffered” from hereditary hair loss anyway, so in these subjects, premature hair loss may occur. In these cases, however, they would lose their hair even without taking creatine.However, other people who were not affected by hereditary hair loss were unimpressed by the side effects of creatine. As a further argument one could still lead into the field that it would find with the millionfold application nowadays substantially more over it and more studies to a same result would come, if from the Creatineinnahme a substantial problem would result. Further topics:
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