How much creatine should I take? What it is, how much you should take.
In our bodies, proteins are responsible for creating bigger and stronger muscles. There are at least 10,000 different proteins found in the human body, and creatine is one of them.
Maybe you have heard someone talk about the substance in relation to exercising. Or someone in your life has decided to start taking creatine supplements.
But what is creatine supplementation and how does it work? Here is what you need to know about the amino acid, including how much you should take to improve your resistance training, muscle strength, exercise performance, muscle mass and more.
What is creatine?
Creatine is an amino acid that helps muscles produce more energy. Amino acids are considered “the building blocks of proteins,” according to the Cleveland Clinic.
About half of the body’s supply of creatine comes from protein in someone’s diet. This includes protein-rich foods such as:
- Red meat (pork, veal and beef)
- Seafood (fish and shellfish)
- Animal milk (cow, goat and sheep milk)
The remaining creatine in the body is produced naturally in the liver, kidneys and pancreas, according to the Cleveland Clinic. About 95% of the body’s creatine is found in muscle cells, according to Healthline.
Though creatine occurs naturally in body, the amino acid can also be taken as a supplement.
What does creatine do?
Creatine helps improve health and increases athletic performance.
In the body, creatine is stored as “phosphocreatine.” This form of the substance is used for energy exertion. Creatine helps skeletal muscles contract or flex.
When you are exercising, creatine helps build muscle strength and keeps the flow of energy for you to keep moving. Creatine sustains your endurance by giving bursts of energy.
This is why many people choose to take creatine supplements, especially if they partake in “power sports” such as bodybuilding, wrestling, hockey or football, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Additionally, some studies have found that creatine supplements may help improve cognitive function, particularly in those over 60 years old. This includes aiding short-term memory and neuroprotection.
How much creatine should I take?
The pancreas, liver and kidneys make approximately 1 gram of creatine per day, according to the Mayo Clinic. In your diet, you get about 1 to 2 grams of creatine by eating protein-rich foods.
If you’re want to take creatine supplements, the dosage will be different depending on the person and why they want to take it. The recommended dose is between 2 to 5 grams of creatine per day.
If you take too much creatine, you may experience side effects, such as nausea, diarrhea, cramping and muscle pain. Consult with your doctor before taking creatine supplements.
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