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Creatine Side Effects

I was thinking about starting creatine since I wanted to gain weight. A lot of people have recommended it to me (and I’ve seen it recommended many times in the articles on this site), but I have heard some negative stuff from some friends as well. I heard that creatine can mess up you kidney and even give you kidney stones. Just wanted to know how much of this negative stuff is true. Are there any long term effects I should know about?

I also wanted to know that if I took creatine to gain my ideal weight, if I stopped would I have a hard time keeping that weight and would I be weakened? I do not want to start something that will have to become a necessity.

Creatine monohydrate

3-5 grams per day

No loading phase

No side effects

End of story

Creatine has been researched to death and is fine.

Forget friends. Go an read up on supplements you want to use from reputable sources on the web or in reputable magazines (MD has a good sciencey section if you like to read from paper).

Also, it would be good to read up on exactly what creatine actually does seeing you dont really seem to know what it does. You should find plenty in the article here on T. Do a quick search.

Supps in general but none the less a good read.

Creatine is not potent enough to give you renal failure. Creatine is not potent enough to give you strength gains so great that they would go away if you stopped taking creatine.

Your body produces creatine naturally. Creatine is also found in all types of meat. Creatine is a molecule that allows ATP to be turned into ADP. This is how every living thing produces energy.

Taking creatine is meant to give you extra creatine so your body can turn more ATP into ADP. If you can turn more ATP into ADP, you wil have more energy. If you have more energy, you can lift heavier weights. If you lift heavier weights, you can cause greater overload on your body and make faster progress.

Many ignorant critics of creatine say that there has not been a study for the long term health effects of creatine supplements. That’s because such a study would be a total waste of time.

Unlike steroids, amphetamines, or narcotics, creatine is not a drug. It doesn’t trick the body into producing more hormones or more dopamine. All creatine does is allow your body to use the ATP it already has produced more effectively.

The myth about renal failure is probably in reference to the non-existent dangers of protein supplements. People tend to get stories about creatine, protein shakes, and steroids mixed up…especially when they drink more than a six pack every weekend.

Some people may tell you that creatine will cause your muscles to gain water weight. Well, that’s just fine. Your muscles are mostly water. It seems like muscles should hold more water as their size increases.

What’s the negative about creatine? I think its effectiveness is pretty debatable. It helps some people more than others. I think the benefits people see from creatine supplements are 90% placebo and at the most 10% biological.

Supplements like NO Vapor and NO Xplode work better than creatine for giving you extra energy. But the only reason for this is that they have a ton of caffeine in them. They’re also way more expensive than raw creatine.

Bottom line? Biotest’s Creatine is really cheap, mixes really well, and is probably the best pure Creatine powder you can buy. You get like 100 doese for not a lot of $$$. But I think having cup of coffee with lunch and having a good diet helps a lot more.

The renal failure thing comes from the fact that patients with renal failure tend to have elevated levels of creatine. Thus, people suspect that creatine could be a cause of renal failure. If the kidneys do not work properly in the first place then a build up of creatine happens. The build up is caused by the kidneys unable to do their job of excreting the excess creatine and hense a build up is caused.

Excessive creatine can therefore be used as an indicator of suspected renal failure, however it’s not the cause of renal failure.

The only real negative aspect of creatine is that it doesn’t allow your body to produce the ‘normal’ amount of creatine that it used to. But I don’t believe that is a big deal. Once you are off creatine I’m guessing it will produce the ‘normal’ amount again.
RS

[quote]Rico Suave wrote:
The only real negative aspect of creatine is that it doesn’t allow your body to produce the ‘normal’ amount of creatine that it used to. But I don’t believe that is a big deal. Once you are off creatine I’m guessing it will produce the ‘normal’ amount again.
RS[/quote]

I heard that one should use creatine on an odd-month basis ie: use for a month and then stop for a month before continuing the next month.

Is there any truth to this?

It seems it could be related to what your saying…

It’s been shown in murine models (rat studies) that exogenous creatine supplementation lowers the overall expression of the CreaT protein, which is the protein that transports creatine into the cells.

I did a 3 minute search on negative feedback from supplementation, and I found a couple of sources that mention evidence of lowered endogenous production.

It’s probably best to cycle off every once in awhile, but from my quick search I don’t see anything that just jumps out and says do or don’t cycle off.

When I get to the lab, I’ll be able to do a better search.

I don’t understand why I keep seeing articles that say "there have been no long term studies of creatine…hasn’t it been around for decades? That seems like a long enough time to have a couple long term tests, IMHO.

Unfortunately, tw0scoops2, the limiting factor is funding. You have to have some significant funding for science research nowadays, and the government/other entities aren’t really just throwing out money for creatine supplementation studies.

[quote]FightingScott wrote:
Taking creatine is meant to give you extra creatine so your body can turn more ATP into ADP. If you can turn more ATP into ADP, you wil have more energy. If you have more energy, you can lift heavier weights. If you lift heavier weights, you can cause greater overload on your body and make faster progress. [/quote]

You have it all wrong really you do. When a muscle contracts it used ATP and it becomes ADP! ADP is a unusable source of energy. Creatine has a phosphate bonded to it and donates it to the ADP to transform it back to ATP. Why would you want to convert ATP to unusable ADP? ADP IS UNUSABLE ENERGY!!! ATP is the engery currency of the body ADP does nothing! The body also has slower ways to convert ADP back to ATP but creatine allows this process to happen quicker. The main reason for creatine is recovery of you ATP. I think my keyboard is broken from slamming the keys so hard to write this on how wrong you are.

[quote]Rico Suave wrote:
The only real negative aspect of creatine is that it doesn’t allow your body to produce the ‘normal’ amount of creatine that it used to. But I don’t believe that is a big deal. Once you are off creatine I’m guessing it will produce the ‘normal’ amount again.
RS[/quote]

Only in young people like the ages of 16 years. If someone that age would take creatine for a long period of time theoretically their “natural” process of producing creatie will slow down or be taken over by supplement creatine. In men who take steriods their family jewels shrink due to the fact they have so much testosterone in their system the brain senses this and tells the hypothalamus which tells the gonads to stop producing “natural” testosterone. Same thing can be said about creatine that where its produced naturally may slow down and not produce much natural creatine if there is a lot in the system. The body doesn’t naturally secret much creatine anyways most is gained from dietary supplements and meats.

The only negative I have found is severe cramping

[quote]Fuzzyapple wrote:
FightingScott wrote:
Taking creatine is meant to give you extra creatine so your body can turn more ATP into ADP. If you can turn more ATP into ADP, you wil have more energy. If you have more energy, you can lift heavier weights. If you lift heavier weights, you can cause greater overload on your body and make faster progress.

You have it all wrong really you do. When a muscle contracts it used ATP and it becomes ADP! ADP is a unusable source of energy. Creatine has a phosphate bonded to it and donates it to the ADP to transform it back to ATP. Why would you want to convert ATP to unusable ADP? ADP IS UNUSABLE ENERGY!!! ATP is the engery currency of the body ADP does nothing! The body also has slower ways to convert ADP back to ATP but creatine allows this process to happen quicker. The main reason for creatine is recovery of you ATP. I think my keyboard is broken from slamming the keys so hard to write this on how wrong you are.
[/quote]

Actually if you analyze it a little more closely, both responses are somewhat correct. However, your response has a least two additional errors.

Hydrolysis of ATP to ADP and inorganic phosphate is a spontaneous rxn which provides free energy which is used to drive other non-energetically favorable rxns within the body.(mainly metabolic processes)

“ADP does nothing!”
Actually it does a few things. Another phosphate bond can be cleaved to release more free energy. It is also an important regulator of the phosphagen system.
http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:lbY1Psbd1joJ:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADP-ribosylation+ADP+powered+reactions&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=5&gl=us&client=firefox-a

“You have it all wrong really you do. When a muscle contracts it used ATP and it becomes ADP!”

While this is partly true, it is misleading. The primary energy source for muscle contraction is glycogen and not ATP hydrolysis.

[quote]Fuzzyapple wrote:
Rico Suave wrote:
The only real negative aspect of creatine is that it doesn’t allow your body to produce the ‘normal’ amount of creatine that it used to. But I don’t believe that is a big deal. Once you are off creatine I’m guessing it will produce the ‘normal’ amount again.
RS

Only in young people like the ages of 16 years. If someone that age would take creatine for a long period of time theoretically their “natural” process of producing creatie will slow down or be taken over by supplement creatine. In men who take steriods their family jewels shrink due to the fact they have so much testosterone in their system the brain senses this and tells the hypothalamus which tells the gonads to stop producing “natural” testosterone. Same thing can be said about creatine that where its produced naturally may slow down and not produce much natural creatine if there is a lot in the system. The body doesn’t naturally secret much creatine anyways most is gained from dietary supplements and meats. [/quote]

The basic principles of homeostasis apply to adults as well as adolescents. The primary difference between the groups is that in developing bodies SOME types of exogenous hormones, drugs, and their cogeners can have lasting or permanent effects. This is due to the fact that growth and development are incomplete, hence the regulatory systems are rapidly changing and are more susceptible to damage or alteration.

However, creatine has still not been demonstrated to be harmful for teens either.

I loved how you quoted it from Wikipedia one of the least trusted site for information. But yeah you are correct. As well I didn’t say it it is harmful for teens in anyway I said it “may” be. You have to understand to that muscle contraction isn’t fully understood on how it exactly works and why. It’s only a theory. That it how I was taught in school. Trust me when I say this I didn’t take offense to you critiquing me and I’m not mocking you in any way.

[quote]Fuzzyapple wrote:
I loved how you quoted it from Wikipedia one of the least trusted site for information. But yeah you are correct. As well I didn’t say it it is harmful for teens in anyway I said it “may” be. You have to understand to that muscle contraction isn’t fully understood on how it exactly works and why. It’s only a theory. That it how I was tough in school. Trust me when I say this I didn’t take offense to you critiquing me and I’m not mocking you in any way. [/quote]

I don’t have access to Lexus at home, pubmed is slow and clunky, and the article was well referenced as well as being fairly obvious to anyone with a chem/biochem background. Special Relativity is just a theory as well. I don’t doubt it’s veracity.

The last word is all yours.

nothing more to be said

Also, I’m surpirsed no one mentioned this. Make sure you drink lots of water when using creatine. If you experience cramping problems or anything else, its probably b/c you’re not consuming enough water. Also, keep in mind creatine isn’t a wonder supplement. It works well for most, but make sure your diet is in line above all else.

It would be irresponsible to operate heavy machinery, such as buses, cranes and large trucks when under the influence of creatine.

High altitudes should also be avoided: a very dear friend of mine once boarded a long haul flight to Australia after finishing a loading phase.
He exploded while the stewardess was serving appetizers. The pump was just too intense sniff