Creatine: What It Is, What It Does, and Its Side Effects

Creatine is a nonprotein substance that is synthesized in the body from three amino acids.  Creatine combines with phosphate to  form phosphocreatine which is present in your muscles and is  necessary for muscle contraction.  Standardized blood tests often check for creatine levels.  Elevated levels are found in the urine of individuals with muscular dystrophy.  Some weight lifters, body builders, football players and sprinters use a creatine supplement to enhance their performance.  Most supplements are a powder that you add to water or a drink.  Some adverse side effects for those taking supplemental creatine have been reported but not at this time researched under controlled conditions.

Key Points:

  • 1Creatine is a substance created in your body to help with muscle contraction.
  • 2Some are now taking supplemental creatine to boost performance levels.
  • 3Anecdotal side effects of kidney damage, heart problems, muscle cramps and pulls, dehydration and diarrhea have been reported by those taking supplemental creatine.

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