CREATINE: Does Creatine affect your sleep? The FASCINATING affects of the supplement on the quality of your sleep

Creatine has never been conclusively shown to cause a lessened quality of sleep. Some studies have shown the opposite. These studies have shown that individuals who take creatine daily will have better quality sleep and require less sleep than individuals who do not. 

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Cramps, fatigue, and atrophy. Are all these things ailing you? Where could they possibly come from? Well, the answer can be more complicated than that. Muscle soreness is a completely natural phenomenon that can be caused by many things. Muscle soreness can arise naturally from stimulus and strain from exercising and or weightlifting. However, if soreness does persist for an excessive amount of time, a few weeks or longer. be indicative of something much different than that. if soreness persists, it can indicate different deficiencies in your diet or training routine.  one example of such deficiencies could be that of one of the most crucial components of anyone’s lifestyle, let alone an athlete’s. This component is sometimes looked over by people and forgotten. Sad enough as it is it’s true that many people forget exactly how important it is to muscle growth and overall health. This mystery item I speak of is none other than sleep. 

I can see what you’re thinking. You probably didn’t expect me to say sleep is one of the most important parts of muscle recovery. That seems like such common knowledge or even common sense. You think to yourself of course it’s obvious. Whenever you work out you tire your body. So in other words you need to then rest your body to recover. To build muscle you need to recover from the stress that you induce to your body and muscles. This is exactly true and quite simply the best way and most uncomplicated way of putting it. Some doctors and many personal trainers even consider steroids to have a lesser effect than sleep on muscle recovery and growth. When compared to sleep steroids look like no more than a placebo. Sleep can have such a large effect on your muscle growth and recovery that individuals who do not get enough sleep will suffer much lower muscle gain than that someone who gets a substantial and good amount of sleep. Many studies are rising in popularity nowadays that support the new idea that the quality of sleep one gets is more important than the quantity of sleep. This means that it’s more important that you get good quality sleep over the number of hours that you were asleep. This is particularly true whenever an individual can maintain a consistent sleep schedule. This is where the importance of the topic at hand arises. As the title of this post suggests I will be delving into the science behind creatine and if creatine can really affect your sleep quality. This is extremely important because if creatine does affect your sleep then how can it really help you gain muscle if it’s negatively affecting the quality of your recovery? 


Why would we be concerned about sleep?

As I mentioned earlier sleep is one of the most if not the most critical component of muscle growth and recovery. Other elements are important to gaining muscle and increasing strength but none even come close to sleep. Some of them that probably come to mind would be nutrition or the exercise routine itself and the aforementioned steroid. The exact numbers and percentages that these different variables can improve muscle growth are hard to calculate due to the many different situations and people. One example might be just how varied any person’s diet could be. The spectrum of “healthiness” varies heavily. An example of this could be the amount of protein someone consumes. If this person consumes half the amount they need then they will suffer server consequences, but if we compare this to someone who eats 90% of the needed amount of protein the variability will become clear. The human body is not a cut-and-dry system. The muscles in the body do not require an “exact” amount, but using science we can certainly find the most common averages. This is particularly true when we consider sleep. If someone doesn’t eat the right amount of food or doesn’t get enough protein yeah they will gain 20% less muscle than that of the person whose nutrition is spot on. An individual would see similar results when considering the efficiency or inefficiency of their training routine however there is much more variability due to the exponentially higher number of variables in a workout regiment. When someone doesn’t get the right amount of sleep or let’s say half the amount of sleep recommended then they will not recover properly. This means that person will possibly take twice as long if not three times as long to recover from their training sessions as someone who does sleep the correct amount. Studies show that a person who gets good quality sleep can in some cases have the performance in the gym increased by 50%-80%. 

So now that you understand how sleep is so critical to recovery and muscle growth in fitness and exercise in general you can definitely see why having good quality sleep is important. Now that sentence in itself could raise a question. The question is,  “What does it mean to have good quality sleep?” Good quality sleep can be defined by doctors and trainers alike as sleep that is consistent in quantity and quality. The more consistent the quality and quantity of the Sleep the more the person can recover from training. This is not only true for physical exertion but mental exertion at well. When a person gets a proper amount of quality sleep they will recover both mentally and physically much faster than a person who does not. 

Does it affect sleep?

Now, onto the main question at hand. Does creatine negatively affect your sleep quality? Creatine is the single most researched supplement in the entire fitness and personal health field. Over the course of its lifetime, it has had single handling the most research and studies done on it. Many have tried to prove that creatine has negative effects such as it causes hair loss, heart issues, or even testosterone imbalances, and many more. All of these have had no proof and were to no avail. Much like the rest creatine has never been shown to decrease the amount of quality sleep a  person can get in fact, it’s quite the opposite. As mentioned before sleep is one of, if not the most critical aspects of maintaining a person’s health. Both mentally and physically. This is especially true for athletes who try to increase their performance in the gym and on the field. So it becomes increasingly important to figure out if creatine does affect the sleep quality of an individual.

Creatine has shown no such qualities. In fact, creatine has been shown to decrease the amount of sleep a person needs to feel rested and recover from their training. This is because of the basic science of creatine. Creatine more or less helps store extra energy in the muscles that can been then be used in training to perform better. When someone is able to perform better in the gym and train harder that means that they then can successfully gain more muscle. Put simply if you’re able to tear down the muscles quicker that means that you can build them back at a greater rate. When you work out the muscles begin to develop tiny little tears in them but with proper nutrition, those tears are repaired. This is actually what makes the muscles become bigger and explains this interesting phenomenon. It sounds counterintuitive but as long as the proper nutrition and recovery are met the muscle can be broken down as much as possible without of course injury or otherwise. Also, an interesting fact is that creatine does not only provide energy to the muscles but also to the brain. This means that if a person is taking creatine then at least on some level their brain will have more energy to function as well. This being said there isn’t necessarily a conclusive amount of studies to show one way or the other but there have been hundreds if not thousands of studies on creatine to see if it has negative effects that most certainly are not present.

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