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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.

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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.