What does creatine do to your body?
Creatine is an amino acid found in the body, primarily in muscle cells. It helps provide energy to cells throughout the body and plays a key role in muscle contraction. When taken as a supplement, it has been shown to improve athletic performance, increase strength and power output during exercise, help build lean mass when combined with resistance training, and reduce fatigue during intense exercise.
Creatine also acts as an antioxidant and helps protect against cell damage caused by free radicals. In addition to its effects on physical performance, creatine may also improve cognitive function by increasing brain levels of phosphocreatine (PCr), which serves as a reservoir for high-energy phosphate groups that are used for energy production within cells. This can lead to improved memory formation and recall speed.
Creatine has also been studied for its potential therapeutic benefits in various neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease due to its ability to support healthy nerve function.
Finally, some research suggests that creatine supplementation may be beneficial for improving glucose metabolism which could be beneficial for individuals with diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
Can you take creatine on an empty stomach?
This is a question that many people have when considering taking this popular supplement. Studies suggest that it is safe to take creatine on an empty stomach, but there are some considerations to keep in mind.
Creatine is best absorbed when taken with food or a carbohydrate-containing beverage such as juice or a sports drink. A recent study found that taking creatine with carbohydrates increased its absorption compared to taking it alone on an empty stomach.
However, another study found no difference in muscle creatine uptake between those who took it with or without food. Therefore, while there may be some benefit from consuming carbohydrates alongside your dose of creatine, the evidence isn’t clear enough to recommend one way over the other at this time.
That said, if you choose to take your supplement on an empty stomach for convenience sake, then do so knowing that you will still likely get the benefits of supplementation regardless of whether or not you have consumed any food beforehand.
Common creatine side-effects
Creatine has many benefits especially when it comes to workout performance and muscle gains. However there are some common side-effects you can get from taking creatine.
The most common side-effect from taking creatine regularly. This can cause stomach cramps, bloating and diarrhea. Gastrointestinal distress occurs when you take creatine but don’t drink enough water or if you take too much creatine at once.
Solution for this side-effect
If you are just a newbie when it comes to taking creatine, it is important to start off with a small dosage in order to avoid any unpleasant gastrointestinal issues.
From there gradually increase your intake of creatine over time and be sure that you are drinking enough water throughout the day in order to keep your body hydrated and functioning properly.
Another common side-effect of taking creatine is muscle cramps. Creatine makes your muscles to retain water this can lead to dehydration and an imbalance in electrolytes. If you have an electrolyte imbalance you are more likely to experience muscle cramps.
Solution for this side-effect
To avoid getting muscle cramps you have to make sure drinking enough water and getting enough electrolytes. You can get electrolytes from sports drinks, however most sports drinks also contain larger amounts of added sugars. Be sure to check the nutrition of the sports drink before consuming them.
Nausea and vomiting
Consuming too much creatine or not drinking enough water can cause side effects like nausea and vomiting. If you take the recommended dosage of creatine for your age, height and weight , stay well hydrated, and spread out your doses throughout the day, it’s significantly less likely to lead to these unpleasant side effects.
Solution for this side-effect
In order to prevent potential adverse effects of creatine like nausea and vomiting, begin by taking a smaller dosage that fits you and gradually increase it over time. Make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day and take your creatine supplement after you have eaten a nutritious meal.
Increase in body weight
Some people may observe an increase in their body weight when taking creatine supplements. This is due to the fact that creatine encourages muscles to hold on to water, resulting in a temporary gain of 1-2 pounds during the first week. However, this effect should not be long-lasting and any additional weight will dissipate over time.
There is actually nothing you can do against this. This is also temporarily so you don’t have to worry about this too much.
When should you take creatine?
Some say that you should take it before your workout some say the best results are if you take it after your workout. But when is the best time to take creatine for the maximal muscle gains?
A study has shown that consuming creatine after your exercise has benefits to your body composition. Taking creatine after your workout has shown gains in fat free muscle mass however this was the first study to show these effects.
Best way to take creatine
The best way to take your creatine is with water. You can dry scoop creatine but for some people this can cause side-effects such a stomach aches. In addition you need to drink water to fuel your body with hydration it needs to avoid other side-effects from creatine such as bloating.
If you are looking to gain weight, taking creatine with your pre workout supplement can be a great way to do it. Most pre workout supplements already contain creatine so there is no need for you to add it yourself. This can be an easy and convenient way of taking creatine if the taste is not something that appeals to you.
Some people like to snort creatine, this is an absurd idea. It doesn’t add any benefits to taking creatine via the nose and it can actually be dangerous to your sinuses. So please don’t snort creatine.
Conclusion on can you take creatine on an empty stomach?
It is not advisable to take creatine on an empty stomach as it may lead to unpleasant side-effects such as abdominal pain, swelling and loose stools. For optimal results and fewer side-effects, it is best to take creatine with a meal or shortly after your workout.
However, if you do choose to consume creatine without food then be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day in order to avoid potential health issues associated with dehydration.