Studies have found distinct links between creatine and blood pressure. Creatine may raise blood pressure, although other studies show no effect. These studies mostly focus on healthy people. Creatine may affect blood pressure more in those with hypertension or other cardiovascular disorders.
Some of the possible mechanisms by which creatine may affect blood pressure are:
Creatine has the ability to attract water into your muscles giving them a substantial and fuller appearance. Nevertheless this can also lead to an increase in your body weight and fluid retention, which might result in elevated blood pressure levels.
Creatine supplements often contain sodium or are taken with sports drinks that contain sodium. Sodium can increase your blood pressure by causing your body to retain more water and by constricting your blood vessels.
Creatine supplements are sometimes taken with caffeine or caffeinated drinks. Caffeine raises blood pressure by stimulating the system and constricting blood vessels.
Creatine supplements may raise blood creatinine levels, affecting renal function. Kidneys filter creatinine and excrete it through urine. Creatinine levels over normal may indicate kidney injury or dysfunction, which can impact blood pressure.
How Can You Safely Use Creatine?
To minimize the potential risks of creatine on your blood pressure, you should follow some general guidelines:
- Consult your doctor before taking hormone or kidney-affecting supplements.
- Check your blood pressure and notify your doctor of any changes.
- Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol, soda, and other sugary drinks that might dehydrate or increase sodium consumption.
- Eat a balanced diet with potassium, magnesium, calcium, fiber, and minimal sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol. These nutrients can lower or prevent high blood pressure.
- Exercise regularly and reasonably. Exercise lowers blood pressure by improving cardiovascular health and stress. However, overexercising or exercising in excessive heat or humidity can cause dehydration or heat stroke.
- Follow the recommended dosage and cycling protocol for creatine supplementation. The typical dosage is 3–5 grams per day after an initial loading phase of 20 grams per day for 5–7 days. The typical cycling protocol is 4–6 weeks on followed by 2–4 weeks off.
Creatine is produced by the body or obtained from food or supplements. It is mostly stored in muscles, where it provides energy for contractions. Cognitive function is improved by creatine, along with performance and muscle gain.
However, creatine can affect blood pressure due to water retention, sodium intake, caffeine interactions, and renal function. These effects may be greater for hypertensives and other cardiovascular patients.
Before supplementing creatine, ask your doctor for safety and well-being. Blood pressure should be monitored regularly. Drinking enough water, eating a balanced diet, exercising moderately, and following the creatine supplementation dosage and cycling procedure are also vital.