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Are Protein Supplements To Enhance Performance Safe? All You Need To Know

Read on to know what creatine supplements do, how they work, whether they're safe, and what are their side effects.

Are Protein Supplements To Enhance Performance Safe? All You Need To Know

Supplements may help boost your muscle growth and gym-performance

A never ending quest goes on between athletes and fitness freaks to excel in their respective fields, a quest to become stronger and faster than the rest. For this, they turn to supplements, energy drinks and all sorts of drugs to enhance their performance. One of the most popular of these is Creatine supplements. Though creatine can be obtained from foods like meat and fish, it is also available in the market as a dietary supplement.

Does Creatine Make You Lean or Fat?

One of the most frequently asked questions about creatine is that does it make you fat or not. This supplement is used by athletes and body builders to increase muscle mass, and at the same time cut down on body fat!

Yes, it will help you lose body fat, not increase it. While working out, creatine helps you gain muscle weight, now this may increase your body weight but that is not as a result of excessive fat. As your body develops more muscles, automatically body weight gets affected, but that has nothing to do with fat, because creatine just cuts down excess body fat.

How Does Creatine Work?

It is considered to be the most effective and studied dietary supplement available in the market as it fosters muscle growth by 10 pounds and strength by 10%. It increases water weight in your muscles, and also an important energy component which helps you cover more reps and carry out intense workout, hence improving body metabolism. Creatine helps improve lean muscle mass and also improve muscle recovery during exercise. Another reason for the creatine popularity is its availability. Where some supplements and drugs are not available everywhere or can be bought without prescription, creatine tablets, drinks, energy bars can be bought directly from medical stores, without a prescription.

Though a natural substance, creatine supplements have not been researched well, it is still not stated what effect they may have on young people, how effective they can turn out to be.

Protein powders can upset your stomach

Creatine can help you lose body fat
Photo Credit: iStock

Is Creatine Safe?

Well, just because it comes from a natural source, it is not stated that creatine is safe. It does have side effects. Long term effects of creatine are still under question. Youngsters who take this supplement do so without a doctor's recommendation and hence go past the required amount. This in turn leads to side effects which can be of any type.

Here are some of the cons of creatine supplements you need to know:-

1. Creatine responds only to some people's muscles.

2. It can have adverse effects in rare cases, specifically when taken in excess.

3. Creatine should not be taken when you are on medication or supplements affecting blood-sugar level.

4. Drugs including diabetes medication can have harmful reactions with creatine, so is the case with caffeine and ephedra, which can increase risk of side effects.

5. Creatine consumers should drink lots of water to avoid risk of dehydration.

6. It is not recommended for people with kidney or liver problems. Also, for children under 18 years of age or women who are expecting should not go for this supplement.

7. Other side effects of creatine may include breathing problems, diarrhea, fever, headache, fatigue, weight gain, anxiety, bad digestion and nausea.

The Bottomline

Keeping all these in mind, you can now proceed with your fitness training using this supplement. Nevertheless, a doctor's recommendation should be considered before going for any dietary supplement, irrespective of how healthy you are.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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