Everyone wants to be stronger, faster, and better in their favored sport. So, it’s no wonder that athletes of all levels are interested in supplements that can give them an edge.
Creatine is one of the most popular supplements on the market. People tend to take creatine to gain weight.
But is it safe for teenagers? Can teenage athletes take it?
Is Creatine Safe For Teen (High School) Athletes?
According to a study National Library of Medicine: Safety of Creatine Supplementation in Active Adolescents and Youth: A Brief Review on the safety of creatine supplementation in active teens, short-term creatine supplementation is considered to be safe for healthy teens.
The study found that there were no adverse effects on liver or kidney function in the young athletes that were supplemented with creatine.
In fact, it has been found that creatine supplementation improved high school athletes’ performance.
However, you need to be sure that your teen is healthy enough to take a creatine supplement.
Athletes need to plan their sports-nutrition, supplement intake, and diet very carefully to stay healthy and avoid any potential dangers.
If they have any pre-existing medical conditions, it’s always best to consult with a doctor before starting any supplement regimen.
Benefits of taking creatine supplementation
A study by the American Institute of Sports Medicine PubMed: American College of Sports Medicine roundtable. The physiological and health effects of oral creatine supplementation suggests that creatine supplementation can help improve performance in short-duration, high-intensity activities.
Let’s take a detailed look at the benefits of creatine supplementation.
1. Improved athletic performance
Creatine has been shown to improve athletic performance, particularly in short-burst activities such as sprinting or weightlifting.
If you are a teen athlete looking for an edge in such activities, creatine may give you the boost you need.
2. Increased muscle mass
Creatine can also help to increase muscle mass, which can be beneficial for both teenage boys and girls.
Boys may want to increase their muscle mass to improve their athletic performance, while girls may want to increase their muscle mass to achieve a more toned and fit appearance. Either way, creatine can help you achieve your goals.
3. Reduced fatigue
Creatine supplements have also been shown to reduce fatigue. This can be beneficial for teenage athletes who are looking to improve their endurance.
Possible drawbacks of creatine consumption in teens
Creatine is generally considered safe when taken as recommended. However, there are some potential side effects that teens should be aware of. Here is a list of creatine effects on teenagers.
Creatine supplementation causes the muscle cells to absorb water. As such, one of the common complaints among people who take creatine supplements is dehydration. Therefore, it is important to find out how much water you should drink while taking creatine supplements.
Symptoms of dehydration include headache, dizziness, and nausea.
2. Muscle cramping
Creatine supplementation is also known to cause muscle cramping. So, it is important to warm up properly before exercise and stay well-hydrated during exercise.
3. Kidney damage
There have been some reports of kidney damage National Library of Medicine: The effects of the recommended dose of creatine monohydrate on kidney function with creatine supplementation, so it is important to consult your nutritionist.
4. Weight gain
The most common side effect of creatine supplements is weight gain, which can benefit some people but not others.
If you are trying to lose or maintain weight, too much creatine will affect your weight goals adversely.
The ideal quantity of creatine for teen athletes
The ideal quantity of creatine for teen athletes will vary depending on factors such as body weight and activity level.
According to a study National Library of Medicine: International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise by the International society of sports nutrition position stand, our body needs at least 1-2 grams of creatine per day. However, a teen athlete can take 3-5 grams per day for 4-8 weeks and then take a month off.
Note: If you are a vegetarian, you may need up to 5 grams per day due to the lack of meat in your diet. Consult with your doctor or nutritionist regarding your creatine supplement requirement.
Creatine supplements are found in many drugstores or health food stores. Many consume them without proper information about the effects of the same. As a teen athlete, it’s essential to do your research before you start taking any supplements. When used correctly, creatine is generally safe with very few side effects.
However, consult your doctor or registered nutritionist to see if creatine is right for you.
|National Library of Medicine: Safety of Creatine Supplementation in Active Adolescents and Youth: A Brief Review
|PubMed: American College of Sports Medicine roundtable. The physiological and health effects of oral creatine supplementation
|National Library of Medicine: The effects of the recommended dose of creatine monohydrate on kidney function
|National Library of Medicine: International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise