Creatine is one of the most popular fat loss supplements currently available. The majority of people who try to lose weight use creatine because it’s often touted as an effective ergogenic aid. However, the truth is much more complex than most people realize.
In this article, we’ll discuss the facts behind the myths surrounding creatine, helping you understand exactly what it is and how it works.
Creatine Is A Dietary Supplement
Many people believe that creatine is a dietary supplement that you need to consume in order to obtain the desired effects. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Creatine is actually a naturally occurring substance that is synthesized in the body from the amino acids arginine and glycine. It is primarily found in muscle tissue.
The only reason that you might consider creatine to be a dietary supplement is because of its popularity among bodybuilders. However, as previously stated, creatine is completely bioavailable and 100% natural, so there’s no need to worry about taking in too much or too little of it.
If you’re interested in trying creatine for weight loss, you should consume it in conjunction with a proper diet and exercise program. Creatine can’t replace the effects of a healthy meal plan or a daily workout regimen, but it can help by taking some of the stress out of working out.
Creatine Is An Effective Weight Loss Tool
Like many dietary supplements, creatine has been touted as an effective weight loss tool. While this might seem like a plausible suggestion, the scientific literature doesn’t really back up these claims. In fact, studies have shown that creatine monohydrate is more effective at preventing weight loss when compared to placebo pills.
The reason for this is that creatine helps to restore normal fat metabolism in individuals trying to lose weight. Normal fat metabolism entails the body using fat as an energy source rather than storing it in cells as excessive quantities of lipids can lead to serious health problems. When your body starts losing weight, this can lead to a condition known as lipodystrophy, or fat loss. The condition varies from mild to severe and can have a debilitating effect on an individual if not treated properly.
Creatine inhibits the conversion of fat into cholesterol, which is essential for normal brain functioning and growth. In addition, creatine inhibits the enzymes responsible for converting carbohydrates into glycogen, which are necessary for maintaining blood sugar balances. When these enzymes are inhibited by creatine, blood sugars can rise, resulting in the familiar blood sugar crash that many people experience after eating a high-carbohydrate meal.
To that point, creatine has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity, regulate glucose output, and enhance lipid metabolism. All of these factors contribute to making creatine a fairly versatile supplement for those seeking to lose weight.
Creatine Does Not Help With Brain Function
Another common misconception about creatine is that it helps with brain function. Although creatine can be synthesized in the brain for neural use, it does not actually boost cognitive performance in any significant way. Its various functions are all related to the maintenance of normal cell metabolism in the body.
Studies have shown that creatine can protect neurons in the brain from damage caused by a lack of oxygen. Essentially, the body produces creatine in response to a lack of oxygen, so it can perform some of its normal functions while in the brain. However, even when oxygen is available, creatine does not seem to offer any significant advantages to brain cells. This is mostly attributed to the fact that the majority of cells in the brain do not utilize creatine, anyways. There’s also not much of a reason to boost brain function when trying to lose weight.
Creatine Is Toxic To Human Health
A common misconception about creatine is that it is somehow toxic to human health. Although some individuals have adverse reactions to creatine, these are usually mild and transient in nature. The vast majority of people experience no harmful effects from taking creatine at recommended dosages.
It is only when people try to take in more than the recommended daily allowance that they start to see problems. In fact, there’s no evidence that long-term use of creatine at high dosages leads to any damage at all. This is mostly because the body has a way of regulating the amount of creatine that it absorbs based on the needs of the brain and other cells throughout the body. There’s also now evidence that creatine might be able to improve cardiovascular health, particularly in individuals with diabetes.
There Are Many Effective Alternatives To Creatine
If you’re looking for an effective alternative to creatine, you have many options. Many of the leading sports nutrition companies have already synthesized and analyzed the effects of almost all popular weight loss supplements. In addition to this, new dietary supplements are being developed and optimized for use in combination with a reduced calorie diet and exercise program. So if you’re searching for an alternative to creatine, you might find something that could be just what you’re looking for.
However, if you want to get the most out of your weight loss effort, you need to consider several key points. First, you need to make sure that you’re taking in the right nutrients. You might need supplements to help with this endeavor, but you should never try to replace vital nutrients that you’re lacking in your diet. This could seriously damage your health.
Also, you need to make sure that you’re not overdoing it. Taking in excessive amounts of nutrients (particularly vitamin C) can also cause problems. Instead, you should aim to take in the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamins and nutrients, while also avoiding overconsumption.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that everyone can benefit from taking in some creatine. However, that doesn’t mean that they all should. If you’re not eating a healthy diet and aren’t participating in regular exercise, there’s no need to take in any nutrients, including creatine. Instead, you should focus on repairing your diet and getting back in shape. This will help you lose weight and improve your health in the long run.