How Safe is Creatine? Safety Factors for Creatine Monohydrate?

Creatine Safety

Regulatory Toxicology Pharmacology, 45:242-251, 2006

Creatine monohydrate was discovered in 1832, but has only been popular as an athletic supplement since the early 1990's. Creatine is made in the liver, kidneys and pancreas from the amino acids arginine, glycine and methionine. It builds strength and muscle mass and improves physical performance in short, repeated bursts of high-intensity exercise. Creatine may also improve the quality of life in some patients with neuromuscular diseases. The ideal dose is 5 grams of creatine 60 minutes before or immediately after exercise.

Scientists from the Council for Responsible Nutrition reviewed approximately 70 studies published on creatine in the last 10 years to determine the supplement's safety. Athletes can safely take 5 grams of creatine per day indefinitely. There's no evidence that creatine increases the risk of muscle strains, muscle cramps, heat injury or other side effects. Long-term intake of creatine appears safe at dosages as high as 15 grams per day, but we don't know if it's safe at dosages higher than that.

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