Creatine Monohydrate (Micronised): Its Health Benefits, Dosage and Precautions

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Are you looking to take your fitness routine to the next level? Are you striving to improve your performance, gain muscle mass and enhance your cognitive function? If so, have you considered creatine supplements? Creatine is a natural compound found in our bodies and certain foods and it has been scientifically proven to provide a range of benefits for athletes, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts.

In this blog post, we'll explore the power of creatine supplements, explain how they work, and answer common questions about dosage, safety, and effectiveness. Get ready to unlock your athletic potential with the help of creatine.


Author

Dr. Ayesha Tufail

Certified Medical Doctor, Researcher and Top-Rated Medical Writer on Upwork. Dr. Ayesha Tufail has more than 10 years of experience working as a General Practitioner. Her areas of research include Stem Cell Therapy, Herbal Health Supplements & Adult ADHD.

You can get in touch with Dr. Ayesha via her LinkedIn account linked at the end of this page.

Are you looking to take your fitness routine to the next level? Are you striving to improve your performance, gain muscle mass and enhance your cognitive function? If so, have you considered creatine supplements? Creatine is a natural compound found in our bodies and certain foods and it has been scientifically proven to provide a range of benefits for athletes, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts.

In this blog post, we'll explore the power of creatine supplements, explain how they work, and answer common questions about dosage, safety, and effectiveness. Get ready to unlock your athletic potential with the help of creatine.


What is Creatine?

Creatine, a naturally occurring compound within our bodies, is a key player in the realm of athletic performance and muscle function. Discovered in the early 19th century, creatine was first identified in meat extract by French chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul in 1832. It wasn't until the mid-20th century that scientists began to grasp its significance in energy metabolism.

Creatine is synthesised in the liver and kidneys from amino acids, primarily arginine, glycine, and methionine. Once produced, it travels through the bloodstream and is taken up by skeletal muscle tissue, where it plays a vital role in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary source of cellular energy. In essence, creatine acts as a fuel reservoir, supplying the necessary energy for high-intensity activities like weightlifting, sprinting, and jumping. By understanding the origins and functions of creatine, we can fully appreciate its impact on athletic performance and explore how supplementation can maximise our physical capabilities.

 

Health Benefits of Creatine

Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found mainly in our muscle cells. It is widely known for its ability to enhance athletic performance by increasing strength, power and endurance. However, its health benefits go beyond sports performance. Research has shown that creatine supplementation can also have positive effects on various aspects of health, such as brain function, bone health and even certain medical conditions. In this article, we will explore the many health benefits of creatine and how it can be used to support overall wellness.

 

1. Enhanced Athletic Performance

Creatine is widely recognised for its ability to enhance athletic performance, particularly in activities that require short bursts of high-intensity effort. Let's explore how creatine supplementation can improve various aspects of athletic performance:

  • Increased Strength and Power:

Creatine supplementation helps increase the levels of phosphocreatine in the muscles. Phosphocreatine plays a vital role in rapidly regenerating adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the primary source of energy for muscle contractions. With more phosphocreatine available, athletes experience enhanced strength and power output, allowing them to lift heavier weights or generate more force in activities like sprinting, jumping, or throwing.

  • Improved Anaerobic Performance:

Short-duration, high-intensity activities heavily rely on anaerobic energy systems, which are fueled by ATP and phosphocreatine. By replenishing phosphocreatine stores, creatine supplementation prolongs the availability of ATP, thereby delaying fatigue during intense exercises. This leads to improved performance in activities such as weightlifting, sprinting, and high-intensity interval training.

  • Enhanced Muscle Mass and Hypertrophy:

Creatine has shown positive effects on muscle protein synthesis, leading to increased muscle mass and hypertrophy over time. By promoting protein synthesis and reducing protein breakdown, creatine supplementation supports muscle growth and development. This can be especially beneficial for athletes engaged in resistance training or seeking to improve their overall body composition.

  • Accelerated Recovery and Reduced Muscle Damage:

Intense exercise can result in muscle damage and inflammation. Creatine has been found to possess anti-inflammatory properties, potentially reducing exercise-induced muscle damage and inflammation. Additionally, it may facilitate the recovery process by promoting glycogen re-synthesis and enhancing the availability of energy substrates for subsequent workouts.

  • Improved Endurance Performance:

While creatine is predominantly associated with high-intensity activities, it may also benefit endurance performance to some extent. By increasing the body's total creatine pool, supplementation can enhance glycogen storage in the muscles. This extended glycogen availability helps delay fatigue during prolonged endurance exercises, such as long-distance running or cycling.

It's important to note that the effects of creatine supplementation can vary between individuals and not everyone may experience the same level of performance enhancement.

 

2. Potential Role of Creatine in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Creatine has shown potential benefits in managing type 2 diabetes mellitus, a metabolic disorder characterised by insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels. While more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms of action, here are some ways in which creatine may play a role in managing this condition:

  • Improved Glucose Control:

Creatine supplementation has been shown to enhance glucose uptake by skeletal muscle cells. By increasing the uptake of glucose from the bloodstream into the muscles, creatine may help improve insulin sensitivity and promote better glycemic control. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with type 2 diabetes who struggle with insulin resistance.

  • Increased Muscle Glycogen Storage:

Creatine supplementation has been found to enhance glycogen storage in the muscles. Glycogen serves as a storage form of glucose, and increased glycogen levels can contribute to better glucose regulation. By increasing muscle glycogen stores, creatine may help optimise glucose utilisation and prevent excessive glucose buildup in the bloodstream.

  • Body Composition and Fat Loss:

Type 2 diabetes is often associated with obesity or excess body weight. Creatine has shown potential in promoting lean muscle mass and improving body composition. By increasing muscle mass and reducing fat mass, creatine supplementation may aid in weight management and potentially improve insulin sensitivity.

  • Anti-inflammatory Effects:

Chronic low-grade inflammation is common in individuals with type 2 diabetes and contributes to the development of insulin resistance. Creatine has exhibited anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce systemic inflammation associated with diabetes. By modulating inflammatory markers, creatine supplementation might contribute to improved metabolic health in individuals with diabetes.

It's important to note that while creatine shows promise in managing type 2 diabetes, it should not replace standard medical treatments or lifestyle modifications prescribed by healthcare professionals.

 

3. Potential Role in Heart Health

Creatine, primarily known for its effects on muscle and athletic performance, has also shown potential benefits for heart health. While more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms of action, here are some potential roles of creatine in promoting heart health:

  • Improved Energy Production: 
Creatine plays a crucial role in the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the main energy source for cells, including heart muscle cells. By increasing the availability of creatine, supplementation may enhance ATP synthesis and improve energy production in the heart. This can contribute to better heart function and performance.
  • Enhanced Cardiac Output: 

Creatine has been shown to increase stroke volume, which is the amount of blood pumped by the heart in each beat. By improving cardiac output, creatine supplementation may enhance overall circulation and oxygen delivery to tissues, including the heart itself. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with heart conditions or reduced cardiac function.

  • Protection against Ischemic Injury:

The ischemic injury occurs when blood flow to the heart is reduced or blocked, leading to insufficient oxygen supply. Creatine has demonstrated potential protective effects against ischaemic injury by reducing oxidative stress, preventing mitochondrial dysfunction, and promoting cell survival. These effects may help mitigate damage to the heart during episodes of reduced blood flow.

  • Antiarrhythmic Effects: 

Some studies have suggested that creatine supplementation may have antiarrhythmic properties, potentially reducing the occurrence of abnormal heart rhythms. However, more research is needed to understand the specific mechanisms and clinical implications of these effects.

It's important to note that while creatine shows promise in promoting heart health, it should not replace standard medical treatments or lifestyle modifications prescribed by healthcare professionals.

 

4. Potential Role in Brain Health

Emerging research suggests that creatine may have a potential role in promoting brain health. Creatine is involved in energy metabolism and is a readily available source of high-energy phosphate bonds in the brain. Studies have indicated that creatine supplementation may enhance cognitive function, memory, and attention in both healthy individuals and those with neurological conditions. Additionally, creatine has demonstrated neuroprotective properties by reducing oxidative stress, inflammation, and cellular damage. It may also support brain health during aging and neurodegenerative diseases. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms and benefits, creatine shows promise as a potential intervention for promoting brain health and cognitive function.

 

5. Creatine Supplementation for older adults

Creatine supplementation in older adults shows promise in addressing age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia). By promoting muscle protein synthesis and increasing lean muscle mass, creatine may help counteract muscle wasting. It also improves muscle strength, power, and endurance, enhancing physical performance and functional capacity. Additionally, creatine's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may mitigate muscle damage and inflammation associated with aging.

Research studies suggested that the beneficial effects of creatine supplementation appear only if creatine supplementation is combined with high-resistance exercise. While further research is needed to establish optimal dosing and long-term effects, creatine supplementation holds potential as a safe and effective intervention to support muscle health and physical function in older adults. Consulting with healthcare professionals is recommended before starting any supplementation regimen.

 

Creatine Supplements

Creatine supplements are available in powder and pill form. Most of the supplements contain creatine monohydrate. Micronised creatine monohydrate powder supplement is a popular form of creatine used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts. The term "micronised" refers to the process of reducing the particle size of the creatine powder, resulting in improved solubility and easier mixing. This fine texture allows for better absorption and utilisation by the body. Micronised creatine monohydrate powder is typically flavourless and can be easily mixed with water or other beverages. It offers the same benefits as regular creatine monohydrate, including increased muscle strength, power, and endurance. This form of creatine is convenient, affordable, and widely available, making it a preferred choice for those seeking to enhance their athletic performance and muscle gains.

 

Recommended Dose of Creatine Supplements

The recommended dose of creatine supplements can vary depending on the age group. Here are general guidelines for adults, children, and older adults:

  • Adults: For adults, a common loading phase involves taking 20 grams of creatine per day (in divided doses) for 5-7 days, followed by a maintenance phase of 3-5 grams per day. This loading phase is optional, and some individuals may choose to skip it and start directly with the maintenance dose. It is important to drink plenty of water while taking creatine to stay hydrated.
  • Children and Adolescents: Creatine supplementation is not recommended for children and adolescents under the age of 18, as there is limited research on its safety and efficacy in this population. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or paediatrician before considering creatine supplementation for individuals in this age group.
  • Older Adults: The recommended dose of creatine for older adults is similar to that of adults. However, it is important to consider individual health conditions and any potential interactions with medications. Older adults should consult with their healthcare provider before starting creatine supplementation to ensure it is safe and appropriate for their specific circumstances.

Side Effects

Creatine supplements are generally considered safe for most individuals when taken within the recommended dosage guidelines. However, like any dietary supplement, there are potential side effects to be aware of:

  • Gastrointestinal Distress:

Some individuals may experience gastrointestinal issues such as stomach cramps, diarrhoea, or nausea when taking creatine supplements. These side effects are usually mild and can be minimised by taking the supplement with food or dividing the dosage throughout the day.

  • Water Retention:

Creatine supplementation can cause an increase in water retention in the muscles, which may lead to slight weight gain. This is a temporary effect and typically resolves once supplementation is discontinued.

  • Kidney Strain: 

There is limited evidence to suggest that high-dose and long-term creatine supplementation could potentially strain the kidneys. However, there is no definitive evidence of harm to healthy individuals with normal kidney function when taken within the recommended dosages. Individuals with pre-existing kidney conditions should consult with a healthcare professional before using creatine.

  • Interactions with Medications:

Creatine may interact with certain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and diuretics. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional if you are taking any medications to ensure there are no contraindications.

  • Dehydration Risk:

Creatine supplementation can increase the body's need for water due to its water-retention effects. It is crucial to stay adequately hydrated while using creatine to prevent dehydration.

 

Precautions for Specific Populations

Creatine supplementation is not recommended for children and adolescents under the age of 18, as there is limited research on its safety and efficacy in this population. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should also avoid creatine supplementation due to the lack of sufficient research on its effects in these groups. Creatine supplement is not recommended for people who have bipolar disorder or kidney disease, as the substance may make both conditions worse.


Conclusion

In conclusion, creatine supplements have been extensively researched and demonstrated to be an effective supplement for enhancing athletic performance, muscle mass, and strength. It is a safe supplement when taken within recommended dosage guidelines, and the potential side effects are generally mild and rare. Creatine is widely used by athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and older adults to improve their physical performance, body composition, and overall health. 

If you're looking to enhance your athletic performance, increase muscle mass, or improve your overall fitness level, creatine supplements may be a valuable addition to your supplement regimen. Our high-quality creatine monohydrate powder supplement is micronised for improved solubility and absorption, and it's easy to mix with your favourite beverage. Our product is manufactured to the highest quality standards and is backed by our satisfaction guarantee. Try our creatine monohydrate powder supplement today and take the first step towards reaching your fitness goals.

 

Medical Disclaimer: While we have delve into the research available on the health benefits of these awesome supplements we offer, this is for informative purposes only and shouldn’t be taken as medical advice. Those who have any health-related queries should reach out to a medical professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Therapeutic Good Administration. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Dr. Ayesha Tufail's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-ayesha-tufail-679176252/

 

References:

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  2. Kreider, R. B., & Stout, J. R. (2021). Creatine in Health and Disease. Nutrients, 13(2), 447. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020447
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  5. Candow, D. G., Chilibeck, P. D., Forbes, S. C., Fairman, C. M., Gualano, B., & Roschel, H. (2022). Creatine supplementation for older adults: Focus on sarcopenia, osteoporosis, frailty and Cachexia. Bone, 162, 116467. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bone.2022.116467
  6. Jagim, A. R., Stecker, R. A., Harty, P. S., Erickson, J. L., & Kerksick, C. M. (2018). Safety of Creatine Supplementation in Active Adolescents and Youth: A Brief Review. Frontiers in Nutrition, 5. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2018.00115
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