In addition to that, it also has many other benefits, such as increasing brain function and decreasing blood pressure and sugar level.
It is considered one of the safest gym supplements but is creatine safe for teens? Many teenagers take it frequently in the gym, and they may want to know what the supplement's functions are and if it is beneficial. You must read this article if you want to know more about creatine.
Read More: How To Become a Teenage Model?
Is Creatine Safe For Teens?
Creatine is a naturally occurring chemical compound in the muscles and benefits athletes and bodybuilders. Let's take a look at creatine.
What Is Creatine?
Creatine is an amino acid that naturally exists in all muscle cells, like adenosine triphosphate. It helps our muscles to produce energy; its chemical formula is C4H9N3O2.
Many individuals get creatine with the help of meat. The creatine you get through meat is low compared to the supplemental creatine. The liver, kidney, and pancreas make about one gram of creatine daily.
Is It Okay To Use Creatine As A Teenager?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, creatine is unsafe for teenagers. According to research, it can harm the kidneys if used in the teenage year's other side effects of using creatine as a teenager may include dehydration and muscle cramp.
If you are an adult, then creatine is safe and beneficial, but using it long-term may produce some side effects. Creatine supplements are extremely popular among teenagers and frequently used to gain weight and build muscle. Many teenagers nowadays are using creatine, so why not look at its uses, side effects, and benefits in teenagers?
How Does Creatine Work?
Creatine can help in improving health and muscle mass in many ways. If you are doing high-intensity exercise, it will increase the level of phosphocreatine in your muscles. The additional creatine will be used to produce ATP, which is the body's energy source. Creatine performs its function in the following ways.
- Creatine helps in boosting the workload and allows you to produce total volume in a single training session.
- It also helps improve cell signaling, resulting in quick muscle repair and new muscle growth.
- It not only increases energy level but also helps in increasing anabolic hormones such as igf1
- Our body continuously breaks protein, but creatine prevents protein breakdown and helps increase muscle mass by reducing muscle breakdown.
- Creatine induces self-volumization by increasing cell hydration which may play a role in muscle growth.
- Creatine supplements also increase the level of phosphocreatine in the brain, which may promote brain health and improve neurological disorders' symptoms.
- Myostatin levels are reduced in the body after taking creatine. Higher levels of myostatin inhibit muscle growth.
Creatine Effects on Teenagers
Creatine is a natural amino acid found in a balanced diet and occurs naturally in the body; its supplements are considered healthy for adults and have many beneficial effects.
There is much research that shows that creatine is safe for adults, but there is very little research that shows that creatine is also safe for teenagers. Many teenagers nowadays use creatine for bodybuilding and to excel in high school sports, so let's look at the pros and cons of creatine for teenagers.
Pros Of Creatine For Teenagers
Teenage athletes are most passionate about winning sports and want supplements that increase their stamina and strength. Creatine is an effective supplement for increasing strength. Given below are some benefits for teenagers.
Creatine Helps In Increasing Muscle Mass
Creatine is considered one of the ideal supplements for increasing weight and gaining muscles. In the beginning, the creatine supplements will draw water from your muscle cells which results in some water retention;
however, after some time, creatine concentration will start to increase in your muscles, and it will break during the workout to provide energy, increasing the workout span and promoting muscle mass.
Creatine Increases Performance And Muscle Strength
Creatine helps to increase physical performance by increasing energy levels and overall athletic performance. Different studies have shown an increase in peak muscle output power in teenagers under 18.
Most teenagers consider increased strength one of the main benefits of creatine supplements. Different sports organization state that the use of creatine supplement is good for bodybuilders and help in increasing overall performance
Creatine Helps In Quick Post-Workout Recovery
Teenage is when most people have maximum energy and like to engage themselves in intense exercises. These intense training exercises break the muscle fibers, which then grow back bigger.
Creatine supplements also play a role in post-workout recovery and ensure the muscle fibers are growing back quickly. It not only helps in increasing the process of muscle fiber formation but also prevents any injury and muscle soreness.
Creatine Helps In Treating A Specific Disorder
Creatine is helpful for bodybuilding and athlete and has other medical benefits, such as treating brain injuries and muscular dystrophy. The use of creatine help reduce the symptoms associated with trauma and protect the brain of teenagers.
Cons Of Creatine For Teen Athletes
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American college of sports, creatine has several benefits, but teenagers must avoid using any performance-enhancement creatine-containing supplement.
Creatine is safe for adults because it helps increase physical performance and build muscle mass. Still, its side effects on teenagers are evident, and very few studies show that creatine is safe for teenagers.
Effect On Kidney
Our kidney is the primary organ after the liver, which helps eliminate the breakdown of creatine from the body. If you take an excessive supplement of creatine, the kidney may overwork and become damaged after some time.
In addition to that, if you're already suffering from any kidney issues, it is not recommended to take creatine supplements.
Effects On Stomach
One of the most common side effects of creatine supplements is GIT disorders. It will upset your stomach, and you may become unable to digest other meals properly. The negative side effects of creatine are increased if you take it at an extremely high dose.
Side Effects In Adults Of Creatine
Some of the other possible side effects of creatine in adults are:
- Water retention at early stages
- Kidney problems and liver problems such as jaundice
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhea and cramps in the muscle
- Acute weight gain
How To Select An Ideal Creatine Supplement?
If you are a teenager and still want to take the supplements after going through side effects, you must buy them from a reputable supplier. Some studies have claimed that creatine supplements of some brands contain contaminants and heavy metals. Try to buy a creatine supplement that is verified by NSF certification. The NSF-certified brand has been tested multiple times and will be free from harmful substances.
If you are curious and also want to know that how a good quality creatine supplement will look like, then take a look at some of the characteristics of a good creatine supplement
- A good creative supplement is white or pale in appearance
- Its moisture content must be less than or equal to 12.5%
- The supplement must be tested negative for e coli and salmonella
- The percentage of yeast and mold must be less than 50 per gram
- Poison and heavy metals must be less than ten ppm, and other contaminants must be less than three ppm.
The Correct Method Of Taking Creatine
There are two ways of taking creatine appropriately, which are given below.
In creatine loading, you must take 5 grams of creatine four times per day for at least one week, which means taking 20 grams daily.
According to the theory, this loading face will quickly fill your muscle cell with creatine.
After the creatine loading phase, you can move to the maintenance phase, and in this, you can take 3 to 5 grams of creatine per day to maintain the muscle level.
Low-Dose Daily Supplementation
In this method, you don't have to take any loading dose and can take 3 to 5 g of creatine daily.
In this method, you may have to wait three weeks to show visible results, but this method is safer and preferred by many nutritionists.
Tips For Taking A Creatine Supplement
- Always take creatine supplement with 240 ml glass of water or any other fluid.
- Another thing that you must keep in mind is to stay hydrated after taking a creatine supplement because creatine draws water into your muscle cells. If your body's water content is low, it may cause dehydration.
- If taking 3 to 5 grams of creatine daily, drink 4 to 5 liters of water. Your body will tell you whether you need water or not. Just ensure you are following your body's command and not overdo it.
- If you feel bloating or a stomach disorder such as diarrhea, immediately move to the low-dose daily supplementation phase from the continuous loading phase.
Some Controversial Side Effects Of Creatine
We already have discussed some of the side effects of creatine, but those were obvious, and many people, especially teenagers, observed that. Still, some side effects of creatine are not proven by any research, and there are misconceptions about that, so let's look at some of the other side effects, which are just myths.
Many people think that one of the side effects of taking creatine in teenagers is to stunt growth, but it's not true. Creatine is one of the most effective supplements for supporting growth and for increasing height creatine not only increases muscle growth but also helps in brain development.
Many teenagers and adults see people developing acne after taking creatine, but creatine is not responsible for causing acne. Teenagers already prone to hormonal-driven acne may observe breakouts when taking creatine. Another reason for developing acne after taking creatine supplements is routine workouts people who take creatine mostly work longer, and the increased level of sweat and oil can also result in an acne breakout.
After conducting many research and clinical trials, scientists have claimed that creatine does not affect testosterone or DHT. Creatine is frequently used in lotion and facial creams because it assists in repairing skin. So it may help give you glowing skin, but it can't be the reason for acne.
Many people think that, like other supplements, creatine can also cause anxiety. Still, recently two types of research have been conducted on creatine's effect on anxiety.
It is claimed that creatine consumption may improve mood positively; as a result, researchers and scientists are exploring whether they can use creatine to treat depression in combination with antidepressant therapy. Because of its many positive effects on the brain, creatine has already been used for treating PTSD patients, so it can't cause anxiety but is a treatment for that.
Is Creatine Responsible For Changing Facial Symmetry?
We all know that creatine can lead to water retention in the initial phase. Because of that, the face may become puffy and bloated. This side effect is most commonly seen in people who take creatine but don't drink enough water.
So, drink at least 3 to 4 liters of water if you take creatine supplements daily. The more water you will drink, the less bloated you will appear. Another common reason why your face shape can be changed because of creatine is anaphylaxis.
It is a swear allergic condition in which your mouth, lip, and tongue will swell if you consume creatine supplements. Some of the common signs and symptoms of this reaction are
- Slow speech
- Increase cardiovascular function
- Pain in the abdomen
- Skin rashes
If swelling is not treated at the early stages, it may build pressure around your heart, and your throat will close, leading to an emergency.
Treatment For Anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis reactions are acute, and you need to call 911 immediately. Sometimes it is necessary to insert a breathing tube to help you breathe. Your doctor may give you a shot of epinephrine, which will rapidly reduce the side effects of creatine.
Depending on your condition, your doctor will inject you with corticosteroids and antihistamines to prevent any other allergy reaction.
Why Do I Feel A Little Weird After Taking Creatine?
Creatine itself is a good supplement, but misuse of it may lead to some side effects, which are not side effects of creatine, but you are experiencing them because you're using the supplement the wrong way.
- If you are taking excessive creatine supplements, it will affect your GIT track and lead to stomach disorders. Many people may feel sick during the loading face, but they ignore it.
- If you feel sick during the creatine loading phase, you can split the dose into 2 to 4 doses per day or skip the loading phase and move to the maintenance dose.
- Another reason you may feel weird after taking creatine is not drinking enough water. Creatine draws water from tissues and increases workout intensity, possibly resulting in dehydration.
- If you are taking other medications, then it is always recommended to consult your doctor before taking creatine. Because creatine may interact with other drugs and produce side effects
- Another common reason you may feel a little weird is electrolyte balance. Creatine affects the body's water levels. It may also disturb the salt in the body.
What Is A Dose Of Creatine Safe For A Teenager?
According to different dietitians and expert researchers, you can take about 3 to 5 grams of creatine per day; if you are targeting building muscles, then it is safe to take 20 grams of creatine per day for seven days, and after that, you can move to 3 to 5 gram of creatine per day.
Some people are sensitive to creatine, and too much creatine at a time can result in stomach pain, so make sure that if you feel any signs and symptoms of stomach pain, immediately stop taking creatine and contact an expert doctor.
How To Calculate 5g Of Creatine?
Five grams of creatine, if it is in powder form, then it will be equivalent to 1.3 teaspoons or one heaped teaspoon of powder. In most cases, good suppliers provide you with measuring scope in the creatine powder, but if there is no spoon, you can always take it from the kitchen.
If you need to learn how to measure 5 grams of creatine powder with the help of a teaspoon, this video may help you.
In this video, you can see that getting 5 grams of creatine accurately with the help of a teaspoon is not much easier, and you may mess up while filling the second teaspoon, so I would suggest you invest in a small kitchen scale because a few dollars is not worth more than your health.
When Does Creatine Start Working?
Creatine starts to show its action in a week or even less than that if you start taking creatine by loading protocol; however, if you don't go for the loading protocol phase and you are taking it at the low dose of 3 to 5 grams, then you will start seeing the effect after approximately 3 to 4 weeks.
What is an ideal Creatine-Taking Timeline?
According to different clinical studies and research trials, taking almost 30 grams of creatine daily for five years is completely safe. According to various research, it is completely safe to take creatine, and no side effects have been observed in the five-year window.
Also, the half-life of creatine is short, so when you stop taking creatine, 46% of it is excreted within the first 24 hours. After that, the body will return to normal creatine levels within four weeks.
What Are The Requirements To Buy Creatine?
You can buy creatine at any age and don't need an ID to purchase it. If you are a teenager, you can buy creatine without getting a parent's consent because it is not regulated by the FDA and is considered one of the nutritional supplements.
Because of this, many questions can arise about the ingredient's priority. For this purpose, I will always recommend you buy creatine supplements certified by NSF.
In most cases, you don't need an ID to buy creatine supplements, but some health stores, such as Walmart, may require it to avoid lawsuits.
Is The Use Of Creatine Legal For Teenagers?
The use of creatine is legal for teenagers, but many types of research are conducted on the effect of creatine on adults. On the other hand, only a few types of research prove that creatine is equally effective for teenagers. Different researchers claim that creatine may not be good for teenagers, and it is also discouraged by many expert dietitians.
Still, if you want to take creatine, you can take it at your own risk. Also, try to take an alternative to creatine, such as whey protein.
What are other effective uses of creatine?
Creatine is considered one of the safest nutritional supplements and helps treat several brain disorders, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. It is also effective for people who are just slim and want to gain some weight.
If NSF does not approve the creatine supplements, is it okay to use them?
No, if NSF does not approve the supplements. In that case, I will never recommend using them because such creatine supplements may contain heavy metals or other contaminants that are not favorable and may cause more harm than benefit.
Many teenagers or High School athletes who want to build their bodies may ask questions like, is Creatine safe for teens? So yes, it is considered a safe supplement, but it is not recommended for teens.
You can use it safely if you are an adult, but there are better choices for teenagers. You can instead use some alternative sources, such as whey powder.