Creatine has become a well-known additive among athletes, weightlifters, and young men and women who thrive on fitness. The supplement’s primary purpose is to increase muscle mass and help in fast healing after sports or any other related activity has also been desired among teenagers. However, is creatine safe for teens? That is the question that we all want to know the answer too.
Several scientific research has been conducted on creatine, and findings indicate that there are several benefits after the use of this product, including among teenagers. Creatine has been studied extensively, with research showing it’s safe and effective when taken at appropriate dosages.
Ninety percent of teenagers and parents crave answers to questions such as when I should start using creatine? How many times should I take creatine in a week? Are there common symptoms of this supplement?
This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know about creatine safety in one place!
What Is Creatine?
Creatine is naturally made by human organs, namely the pancreas, kidney, and liver, after being manufactured by three amino acids found in our body. It is usually located in the brain and muscle tissue.
Even though creatine is acquired through meat, milk, and seafood, physical fitness, especially among athletes and weightlifters, requires more to enhance their muscles. Therefore, they opt for supplements.
Creatine is a source of energy for teens out in the field for training purposes for sports such as football. Creatine is normally found in their muscles, thus boosting their resilience for more workouts.
How Does Creatine Work?
Creatine monohydrate, also known as creatine phosphate or phosphocreatine, is a substance that is naturally produced by the body. It helps to produce ATP in muscle cells and thus supports muscle contraction. It can also be taken as a supplement and is used by many athletes to enhance performance in strength, power, speed, and endurance.
The most common forms of creatine include creatine monohydrate and creatine ethyl esters (CEE). CEE has been found to be less effective than creatine monohydrate. There are other forms of creatine available such as Kre-Alkalyn, Creapure®, and micronized creatine monohydrate. This is a form that has been made smaller which means it can be absorbed more properly into the body without being broken down first.
Types of Creatine Supplements
- Creatine Monohydrate
Creatine monohydrate is the most popular use of creatine among teenagers and even adults. Most findings elaborate this type of creatine is highly recommended. Creatine monohydrate can be manufactured differently but produces the same results.
First, the water molecule to process the creatine is detached, leaving the creatine anhydrous. Another way is the supplement being automatically processed to enhance the number of water molecules. These results improve the quantity of creatine in every dose consumed. Nevertheless, absorbing the creatine becomes easier when the water is easily dissolved.
In addition, creatine monohydrate boosts the advantages of muscle development among its users. It is also cheap and effective.
- Creatine Ethyl Ester
Studies have indicated that the consumption of creatine ethyl ester is not as good as creatine monohydrate in boosting its capacity in the muscles. This type of creatine is not recommended for use.
- Creatine Hydrochloride
Creatine hydrochloride creatine is popular due to its easy absorption in water compared to other types of creatine; this widespread speculation suggests that one needs a lesser dose, thus avoiding well-known side effects like cramping. However, creatine monohydrate is more effective since it has been largely studied and tested.
- Buffered Creatine
Buffered creatine is an alkaline powder put in the stomach to enhance its solidity. It helps lessen the common side effects such as stomach upset and cramping. Creatine monohydrate and buffered creatine are less the same.
- Liquid Creatine
Liquid creatine is unique compared to most creatine that are in powdered form. It exists in liquid form; therefore, you don’t have to add water to use it like the rest of powdered creatine. This saves a lot of time that you would probably use to prepare.
However, its effectiveness is low compared to the other creatine. For better results, powdered creatine is recommended.
- Creatine Magnesium Chelate
Creatine magnesium chelate is magnesium attached to the molecule. Creatine magnesium chelate has the same effects as creatine monohydrate; thus, it is recommended for boosting physical performance.
Is Creatine Safe for Teens?
Creatine, in the right dosage, is a safe supplement used by young athletes since there have been no reports of major side effects and conditions after its use. It is a nutritional additive to boost performance and physical fitness.
The first step to finding out if creatine is safe for you or not is identifying your goals. If your goal is to build muscle, then creatine likely won’t cause any harmful effects. However, if your goal isn’t building muscle or performance enhancement, then it’s best to consult with a doctor first before using the supplement.
Another thing you can do is research the side effects of creatine supplements. If you find any side effects listed on the supplement label, make sure they’re something you’re willing to deal with before taking the supplement.
For example, if the listed side effect says that creatine may decrease kidney function over time (which could be potentially dangerous), make sure you go talk to a doctor before continuing the use of the supplement.
The Benefit of Creatine Among Teens
So, many years of research by different scientists have established that creatine is a dietary supplement that positively impacts athletes and teens performing in sports. Below are several benefits.
- Creatine Enhances Muscle Build in Teenagers
Most teenagers are usually in their adolescent stage. Therefore, taking creatine helps boost their muscle mass and eventually accomplish their goals of having a good body for performance. A finding concluded that when used daily, nutritional supplements such as creatine can enhance muscle weight as long as one engages in frequent exercises.
- Creatine Helps Boost Performance and Strength in Teens
Teenagers who participate in sports use this supplement to help them gain the stamina they need, including strength and performance. Sports companies support creatine to help their players gain better performance and power strength to shine in the fields. Teenagers can use creatine because it is effective for their performance as athletes.
- Creatine Encourages Fast Post-Workout Recovery in Teens
Common injuries among teen athletes include soreness and muscle strain, among others. These injuries are usually obtained after an intense workout of playing out in the field during normal performance.
The good news is that creatine comes in to quicken the recovery process after such exercises. Sometimes the muscles get damaged; creatine is then absorbed to reduce the soreness and injury of the muscles.
- Creatine Helps Treat Certain Paediatric Illnesses
Creatine qualifies as a medication for certain illnesses, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), gyrate atrophy, muscular disorders, and many more related ailments. This was discovered way before it became popular amongst athletes. A particular study confirmed that creatine is an aid to children aged between 1 to 18 years in enhancing behavior and mental functioning.
- Improves Brain function
The brain is one of the most important organs of the human body. Creatine supplements enhance brain functioning in terms of memory and logical reasoning.
Prevalence of Creatine Use Among Teens
Supplements are popular among adolescents and college students for various reasons, including improving body composition, increasing immunity, and improving athletic performance.
Creatine is a dietary supplement available in various forms, including powders, pills, and liquid supplements. Because of its history of use by athletes, recommendations from sports groups, and availability without a prescription, this supplement has become a popular choice among teenagers.
According to one study, high school kids frequently use creatine because of referrals from friends and the drug’s ability to improve post-recovery.
Another study found that high school athletes as young as 14 years old were using creatine, with a reported frequency of daily use of 35 percent in one study.
Is Creatine Administered to Teens Safe?
The International Society for Sports Nutrition has long suggested creatine to athletes as a safe and useful supplement. On the other hand, the committee establishes guidelines for the use of creatine by younger athletes under the age of 18.
Since no studies have been conducted to determine if creatine is safe or effective in typical teen athletes, pediatricians are opposed to using such supplements.
The research continues to show that creatine use in adolescent athletes is well-tolerated, with no documented side events. It has also been shown to effectively treat some medical disorders in adolescents, despite the controversy surrounding it.
The use of creatine as a nutritional supplement is considered safe by professional sports organizations. High school students also extensively utilize it to improve their academic performance. Even though it is still controversial, research has shown that kids who use creatine are more tolerant.
The Correct Dosage of Creatine for Teenagers
One crucial factor to note is that the recommended creatine supplement for adults and teens should always be powdered. Therefore, the creatine dose depends on medical conditions, sex, and age.
Adherence to these critical factors will reduce side effects and certain instances such as an overdose.
The dose should be administered 3 to 5 days with 0.3 to 0.8kg a day. This dosage is enough to boost strength, muscle mass, and other benefits in general.
The energy produced by creatine is sent to the brain to prevent tiredness of the body that may lead to other fatigue symptoms.
Side Effects of Creatine
Every supplement has a common side effect, just like normal medications. Well known side effects of creatine include:
- Bloating: Bloating is the most common side effect of creatine. Bloating is caused by water retention in the muscles.
- Weight Gain: Taking creatine might result in weight gain if you don’t work out or eat right.
- Diarrhea: Diarrhea results from increased protein intake. Some forms/types of creatine that can be taken to prevent diarrhea are Creatine Hydrochloride and Magnesium Creatine Chelate (MCC).
- Kidney Stones: Kidney stones result from the imbalance between water and salt in the body. Creatine is said to increase water retention in the body, which might cause kidney stones.
- Stomach Aches: Stomach aches are caused by several factors. They can be creatine-related or a result of dehydration or lack of electrolytes in your diet.
- Nausea: The increased protein intake while on creatine might cause nausea, vomiting, and dizziness
- Muscle Cramps: Cramps are caused by dehydration, lack of electrolytes, and improper workout schedule. Taking BCAA supplements will help solve this problem.
- Headaches: Headaches result from dehydration, lack of electrolytes, and improper workout schedule.
- Musculoskeletal System Disorders: Are caused by the increased protein intake while on creatine which might cause cramps, joint pain, muscle spasms, and weakness.
- Dizziness: This is also a side effect caused by dehydration and lack of electrolytes; taking BCAA supplements can help solve this problem.
It is important for teens to always get advice from the doctors in charge of the dosages and get guidance from their teachers and parents on the correct use of this supplement to avoid such side effects. Most of these side effects are not long-term; therefore, teens should not be worried about using creatine in the future.
How to Take Care of Your Body When Taking Creatine
The most important thing to keep in mind when taking creatine is that it can be dangerous if you do not take care of your body. Creatine can cause dehydration, muscle cramps, nausea, diarrhea and more. Therefore, the best way to protect yourself from these side effects is to drink plenty of water before, during and after taking creatine.
The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) recommends that individuals drinking 64 ounces or more of fluids per day should consume at least 16 ounces of water 30 minutes before a workout. Additionally, individuals who exercise for around 2 hours should drink another 16 ounces of water every hour for the first 6 hours following their workout.
If you feel like you are getting dehydrated or having cramps/issues with your muscles/bowel movements, stop the supplement immediately and hydrate yourself properly!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does creatine help you build muscle?
The answer is yes. Muscles are one of the key areas that are enhanced after taking creatine. They get strengthened, their mass increases for better performance.
Is creatine safe for a 16-year-old?
Studies have not shown any negative affect of prolonged creatine use among teens. However, proper knowledge should be instilled on the dosage of this supplement, especially to athlete teens.
Is there a specific age for one to purchase creatine?
The law has not prohibited minors from buying creatine; however, teenagers who seek this supplement should always have proper direction from a nutritionist or doctor for safety purposes.
How does creatine affect a teenager?
Creatine has a lot of benefits among teenagers, including muscle mass, strength, great performance. It is also a recovery supplement, especially after intense workouts.
Is creatine safe for teens?
Creatine is safe for teens. It has been used for many years in the fitness industry, and there have not been any reports of creatine causing harm. Creatine is proven to be safe, but it is important to remember that, like anything else, there are some precautions that you should take before supplementing with creatine.
Creatine is a nutritional supplement that boosts energy and muscle growth. Research has also established that creatine can treat several paediatric diseases such as traumatic brain injury. Athletes, weightlifters, and teens have greatly benefited from this additive, especially during workouts.
However, is creatine safe for teens? Teens as young as the ninth graders use creatine for their daily exercises and field activities. In case of any injury, the same supplement acts as a recovery method.
Creatine also has several side effects, such as muscle cramps, bloating, and dehydration. The side effects are temporary because they eventually subsidize. Teens using this supplement should also be guided by their coaches and nutritionist on how to take the correct dose.
Teens can have a great healthy and strong body with creatine as long as they follow the instructions on using the supplement.
- Reasons Why Creatine Monohydrate Is the Best: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/creatine-monohydrate-is-best
- Types of Creatine: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/types-of-creatine
- PH-Dependent Stability of Creatine Ethyl Ester: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4469200/
- Is The Warning That Creatine Is Not for Teens Getting Through? https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/01/02/507478762/is-the-warning-that-creatines-not-for-teens-getting-through
- Creatine Supplementation in Children and Adolescents: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7922146/pdf/nutrients-13-00664.pdf
- Is Creatine Safe, and Does It Have Side Effects? https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/creatine-safety-and-side-effects
- Creatine: https://www.nsca.com/education/articles/kinetic-select/creatine-essentials/
- Is Creatine Safe for Teenagers? https://bestfornutrition.com/creatine-for-teenagers/
- Creatine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK209321/#_ddd00135_
- Safety of Creatine Supplementation in Active Adolescents and Youth: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6279854/
- International Society of Sports Nutrition position Stand: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2048496/
- Creatine Supplementation in High School Football Players: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11753062/
- Creatine Use Among a Select Population of High School Athletes: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11126833/