Creatine is a natural substance that can be taken in supplement form, which, according to WebMD, can help increase muscle mass by providing energy for high-intensity, short-term movements, such as weight lifting. Consuming creatine increases muscle volume by swelling cells with water and encouraging the increase of muscle-building protein enzymes, according to Muscle & Strength.Continue Reading
Creatine is produced by the body and also comes from high-protein foods, such as fish and meat, according to WebMD. Supplement powders, capsules, nutrition bars, and drinks containing creatine are readily available in nutrition stores, supermarkets and on the Internet. As with any supplement, creatine should be taken according to label instructions to avoid side effects.
Some potential side effects listed on WebMD include weight gain, anxiety, nausea, diarrhea, headache, fatigue, and fever. WebMD also notes the potential for dangerous drug interactions with creatine, and that creatine should be avoided when taking "diabetes medications, acetaminophen, and diuretics."
When used properly in accordance with a healthy diet and exercise program, creatine is safe and beneficial; as Muscle & Strength reports, creatine is helpful to bodybuilders and athletes as well as vegetarians, who may develop a creatine deficiency since most natural sources, except for cranberries, are meats and fish.Learn more about Medications & Vitamins