Creatine is an amino acid that is primarily used to supply energy to the body. Aside from supplying energy, a lot of theories are claiming that it can also lead to muscle growth and muscle strength. Contrary to popular belief, Creatine is an organic natural compound.
It is not a man made drug similar to steroids; however, there are Creatine supplements synthesized in the laboratory to provide the needed muscle growth and muscle strength that athletes and malnourished individuals must have. Creatine is part of the protein that we eat. It is neither a drug nor a hormone, but a supplement..
Creatine is naturally produced in small amounts in the body with or without protein. Majority of muscle fibers in the body contain Creatine which is why the ingestion of protein foods would definitely result to a higher Creatine intake. Aside from protein foods, Creatine is also synthesized in the laboratory in cases that this nutrient is desired. It can be bought in tablets or capsules in local drug stores or any retail store online.
a. Animal Sources
Since Creatine is produced in any living thing with muscles, any meat products would be certain to have high Creatine levels within it.
b. Plant Sources
Fruits and vegetables on the other hand, do not contain high amounts or do not contain any amount of Creatine at all. This is the reason why patients with kidney failure are strongly recommended to eat fruits and veggies and avoid meat as much as possible.
Benefits and Therapeutic Effects
Creatine typically increases the muscle size of the user. This is the reason why a lot of malnourished individuals are recommended to take Creatine to increase their body weight. A lot of athletes are also patronizing this product because this helps them become stronger.
The reason why Creatine increases muscle size is because it supplies energy to the cell. An increased amount of energy in the cell would require each cell to produce more mitochondrion to synthesize all the available energy sources. The increase in mitochondrion would result to a bigger cell. The bigger cell would result to bigger muscle size thus stronger muscle strength.
Also, individuals with normal Creatine levels tend to be healthier than ordinary individuals.The reason for this is because high amounts of energy and protein are needed by the immune system work. The stronger the immune system would mean a healthier person.
Aside from increased muscle size, Creatine is also rumoured to improve the cognitive ability of a person. Individuals who have high levels of protein tend to perform better in school because of the relatively high number of permutations that their neurons could make. The high number of permutations is made possible because of the high amount of energy available for use.
Signs of Deficiency
Mild signs of Creatine would be muscle weakness and a thin appearance. A person who is severely deprived of nutrients would not only lose Creatine but would lose other important nutrients in the body as well. The disease of a person with protein deficiency is called kwashiorkor. Whenever there is protein, there is Creatine.
There is no disease that would be caused by the absence of Creatine alone.
According to the food pyramid, the protein intake of a person should be around 2-3 servings per day. If the person would be taking Creatine in form of supplements a dose of .3mg/kg of body weight is recommendable. This dose would vary depending on the assessment and diagnosis of your physician.
Side Effects and/or Toxicity
Since Creatine increases energy and muscle size, this in turn may lead to obesity and organ failures. Increased amounts of Creatine without proper exercise may be harmful for a person since he/she may not be able to control the added weight gain of this nutrient. An obese person is more likely to get sick than any other individuals especially if these diseases are problems coming from the heart and from the blood vessels.
In conclusion, Creatine is part of the food groups of protein foods. It is not a medicine, but a supplement. All living individuals (animals) especially human beings need Creatine in order to survive.