Creatine is formed naturally in the body. Most of it is then stored in the muscles with about 2% of it stored in the heart and brain. Creatine has become increasingly popular among athletes due to the many ways it can improve performance. There are two ways you can take creatine, in pill or powder form.
Most recommend that you take creatine prior to your workout and if that is the case, taking the powder is your best option since the pill form won't actually be in your system in time to do any good.
Creatine is recognized as a compound that can help athletes in many ways. For one thing it can help speed up recovery time between workouts. It can enable the microscopic tears to heal more rapidly which will then lead to more muscle growth more quickly.
It can also help with endurance making it easier for athletes to get through not only their workouts more easily, but there day as well.
One of the main potential side effects of taking creatine is dehydration. You always have to be careful during your workouts (and all the time) to stay hydrated but when you are taking a creatine supplement you have to be doubly cautious that you are getting enough hydration.
There is no controversy about the safety of creatine. Most agree that it is safe, the only potential problem comes when considering the loading dose.
When someone first starts taking the supplement there is a higher than normal loading dose that some believe can create toxicity in the body. If you find that you are getting stomach cramping or diarrhea during this loading dose stage, jut cut back a little on the amount you are taking.
The typical loading dose consists of taking 20 to 25 grams of creatine daily for the first 5 days from that point on you can cut back to the normal dosage.
Before you start taking any type of supplement you should talk to your doctor to make sure there is no interaction with drugs you are already taking. This precaution can help you stay safe and get the most out of all your fitness efforts.
When it comes time to buy your nutritional supplements, all of them and not just creatine, be very careful where you get them from. There are many cut rate manufacturers that have less than stellar quality control.
Some of the cheaper forms of creatine can be made cheaply and with little regard to the production process which means they can often be contaminated with other substances.
Some of these substances can be heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium and even lead. Be careful where you buy. Price shouldn't be the main consideration when choosing a brand of supplements, quality should be.
Since the powder form of creatine does not dissolve very well when mixed with liquid, you want to make sure that you take creatine immediately after mixing it. Taking it prior to your workout is the best idea.