Creatine is a chemical that has multiple beneficial uses to the athlete. Biologically, it is made by the body and can also be obtained from certain foods such as fish and meat, which are considered excellent sources of creatine. Creatine can also be manufactured in a laboratory setting.
Creatine is most commonly used for improving athletic performance and increasing muscle mass in athletes and older adults. There is some scientific evidence of the use of creatine increasing the athletic performance of young people during short high-intensity activity such as sprinting. Older adults, on the other hand, do not seem to benefit as much from creatine. It has not been shown to improve strength or offer any athletic benefits to people over the age of 60.
Creatine Side Effects
Despite its benefits, creatine can carry serious drawbacks.
Foremost among these, large or impure doses of creatine systematically damage the liver, kidney and heart. Doctors strongly advise consumers not to take creatine if you have had previous issues such as kidney or liver disease.
Creatine is often sold as an herbal supplement. Herbal supplements have no regulated manufacturing standards in place, and therefore, many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be laced with toxic metals or other drugs. Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination, and even then, there is no guarantee of safety.
Also, it is important to note that the FDA has not evaluated creatine for safety, effectiveness, or purity.