The majority of people know creatine to be the hero supplement widely used by athletes to improve performance, build muscle mass and aid faster recovery times.
For many years this naturally occurring chemical has been the go-to compound for an endurance boost. In fact, until very recently it was considered a safe and effective aid for power sports by all. So, why now, is creatine getting a bad name?
As the internet becomes increasingly flooded with questions concerning possible side effects on skin, it is time to take a look at the facts.
One of the key concerns of creatine usage is whether it causes acne. Although there’s no evidence to support a direct link between creatine consumption and the onset of acne, users continue to report this unpleasant find.
It’s time to get down to the truth of the matter and find out if and where a connection lies.
In this article we address what this supplement is and why it is used. Scroll down to look at possible reasons behind acne-inducing claims and if they hold water.
We delve into its effects on those already prone to acne and consider other possible causes. We also point out creatine’s skin-loving benefits and which product to buy.
This article concludes with a verdict on this continuing worry. For additional information, don’t forget to read the frequently asked questions too.
What is Creatine and What Does it Do?
Creatine is a chemical found naturally occurring in both the body and in food such as red meat. This amino acid is produced in the body to supply energy as required.
However the creatine in question is the performance enhancing supplement known as creatine monohydrate. During the process of unleashing its power-giving abilities, creatine converts testosterone into DHT within the body.
DHT(formally known as dihydrotesterone) is a sex hormone that contributes towards development of male characteristics.
Effects of Raised DHT Levels on the Skin
Studies show that frequent usage of creatine supplements undoubtedly raise the body’s DHT levels. The problem here being that this is an androgen. The hormone’s key purpose is to bring masculinity to the table.
As we all know, this involves changes in hair follicles and sebum production. Hair follicles seem to get the brunt of the attack. The result is a receding hairline and occasionally, hair follicles on skin may become clogged.
It’s a safe bet to assume research suggesting high DHT levels trigger male pattern baldness is right. There is a vague risk that persistently clogged pores may lead to blemishes occurring.
That said, it is not proven to directly cause hormonal acne breakouts. An increase of DHT makes those already prone to hormonal acne more susceptible to future breakouts.
Even so, no studies can officially attribute this to causing the problem.
Other Possible Reasons for the Onset of Acne
People engrossed in high-intensity workouts and training will sweat far more than usual. Prolonged sweating combined with any delay in grabbing a shower leads to a bacteria-fueled party all over the skin.
What does this do? It opens the door to blemishes, breakouts, and – yep, you guessed it, the dreaded acne.
Furthermore, those who fall into certain age ranges are going to be at a disadvantage before even working up that sweat.
It may be worth considering that many athletes and trainers who take creatine fall into this category, labelled ‘the super-hormonal years.’
Another possibility for an increase in acne sufferers is that they may take other medications or steroids in addition to the creatine.
By doing so, it is likely to wreak havoc on the skin, triggering an array of unwanted skin problems.
Benefits of Creatine for the Skin
We’ve looked at the possible drawbacks creatine may have on the skin. Now for the benefits. You may be happy to discover this much relied upon supplement can actually deliver remarkable benefits for the skin.
Extensive research and studies have shown this energy provider to have a few other specialist abilities. Creatine can actually improve the appearance of aging on skin.
Should you be worried about fine lines, wrinkles and sagging, this little pick-me-up will feel like your savior. Better yet, it even helps to repair sun damaged skin, whilst supporting further protection against harmful rays
Which Creatine Supplement to Choose?
There is a seemingly unlimited selection of creatine supplements available. We recommend choosing high-quality supplements from credible sources that are GMP certified. Try Amazon’s number one best-seller, Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Capsules, 2500mg (300 capsules), available at Amazon
Consuming creatine supplements promotes high-intensity training. Consequently people sweat more. This creates the perfect conditions for bacteria to thrive, increasing the risk of breakouts. This is a weak argument against creatine.
The only trail that leads from creatine to acne comes from increased DHC levels. However, this wouldn’t stand up in court, as it isn’t definitive and only suggests a possibility of encouraging breakouts.
Should you have a surplus of hormones and frequently fall victim to these awful breakouts, you should introduce creatine supplements gradually. In such cases, balance is vital for avoiding breakouts. Excessive sweating, raised hormonal levels and unpredictable skin types may trigger the problem.
Overall, creatine provides many benefits for the majority and is not proven to cause acne. Anyone with health problems should speak to their clinicians before taking the supplement.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the recommended daily dosage for taking creatine supplements?
It is recommended that people take no more than 20mg of creatine monohydrate per day. This is often ignored and many people cycle the supplement throughout the day in an effort to achieve optimal training goals. Not a good idea.
Is creatine safe to take?
The supplement is scientifically proven to be both safe and highly effective as a sports training aid. It is considered a life line for those involved in high intensity sports and is allowed by all professional sports associations, such as the NCAA.
However, should you be predisposed to allergies or have underlying health conditions, you should consult your doctor before using the supplement.
Does creatine dry the skin?
Reported side effects of creatine include skin dryness. It is important that you stay hydrated during high intensity resistance exercises.
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