October 24, 2016

Dear Dr. Bell, are there any minimum age requirements to taking Creatine? Can a 17-year-old take Creatine with no issues? I’ve been working out for over a year and have gained over 20 pounds. I think Creatine could compliment my training, but I don’t want to take anything that could negative side effects because of my age.

The recommended age you should be before taking Creatine, according to the American College of Sports Medicine is 18. Creatine naturally occurs in meats, fish and is particularly high in lean beef. It is a primary component of your Anaerobic Energy System, the Adenosine Tri-Phosphate-Creatine Phosphate (ATP-CP) Energy System. It is not a hormone, steroid or vitamin and will not affect your Endocrine System (Hormonal System). It should only be used by individuals who have fully physically matured physiologies. There is no research on the effects on those under 18 years of age.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Creatine supplementation may cause side effects and the higher the dose, the greater the potential side effects. Side Effects can include: Gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, nausea, upset stomach, dizziness, elevation in blood pressure, weight gain, tendon, ligament and muscle fascia injuries, and less likely: kidney damage and liver dysfunctions. Most studies show no major side effects at the typical maintenance dose of 2 grams/day.

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