What should I know before using creatine?

Before using creatine, check with your doctor to make sure it is safe and recommended for you to use. Creatine is a chemical found naturally in the muscles of your body. It is also available as a supplement in powders, liquids, pills, energy bars, drink mixes and other products. Fish and meat are sources of creatine.

Creatine is used commonly by young athletes to improve strength and performance of intense, short duration exercises such as sprinting or weight lifting, although study results on its effectiveness have been inconsistent. Muscles can reach a saturation point with creatine, and taking more won't raise levels further. Creatine can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea and muscle cramping. At high doses, there is some concern it could damage the liver, kidney or heart. Creatine may interact with other drugs and supplements, potentially causing serious problems. Be sure to tell your doctor about any supplements or medications you use regularly.

Continue Learning about Dietary Supplements

Dietary Supplements

Whether you're visiting the drug store, grocery or natural food shop you'll likely find an aisle where there are jars and bottles of things for you to put in your body that are neither foods nor medicines. Ranging from vitamins an...

d minerals to fiber and herbal remedies, these supplements are not regulated in the same way as either food or medicine. Some of them are backed by solid research, others are folk remedies or proprietary cures. If your diet does not include enough of certain vitamins or minerals, a supplement may be a good idea. Natural treatment for conditions like constipation may be effective. But because these substances are unregulated, it is always a good idea to educate yourself about the products and to use common sense when taking them. This is even more true if you are pregnant or taking a medicine that may be affected by supplements.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.