Today’s article hosts creatinine, a chemical substance discussed a lot and confused a lot.
Is creatinine the same thing as creatine?
What is its function in the organism?
Read this article, to find answers on many questions about creatinine and how affects your general health.
Creatinine – What it is
For providing answers on all your questions, we must first determine the identity of the chemical substance called creatinine, its way of production and the nature of its function in the organism.
It would be helpful prior to proceeding to any information on creatinine to answer a common question asked by most people.
Starting the creatinine analysis as a chemical substance, we should mention that this is a decomposed product of the chemical substance creatine phosphate.
In fact, creatinine is nothing more than a product of organism’s basic metabolic function, a “food” for muscles, as provides them with valuable energy.
The value of creatinine – as already mentioned – is relatively stable in the organism, as the amount of creatinine produced is directly related to muscle mass.
As long as muscle mass remains stable, so does the creatinine produced remaining relatively unchanged.
Nevertheless, even for a person following exercise program, the change from day to day is relatively negligible so not counted as a significant change in creatinine value.
Creatinine is associated with the kidney function, with the organism converting about 2% of creatine into creatinine daily, eventually transported via the blood to kidneys.
Following a filtering and purification process, the organism excretes the “waste” resulting, via the urine.
Important information on the value of creatinine produced: Any change in kidney function can affect the reflux of creatinine and its levels in blood.
Why Creatine is used as a Nutritional Supplement?
Creatine – as you have probably heard – is a very popular supplement especially for athletes contributing mainly to obtaining physical endurance, energy and strength, but also increased cell mass of body.
Creatine, is a dietary supplement, which – unlike many other supplements – is not affected by the user’s physique or fitness.
A completely natural supplement for strengthening the physical strength and athletic performance, safe for the organism (the reason for being so popular).
The relationship between creatine and creatinine has already been mentioned.
As a breakdown byproduct of creatine phosphate, creatinine is affected in terms of quantity, by administration of a creatine dietary supplement.
This results to providing energy to muscles. Creatine phosphate undertakes the production of ATP as a source of energy for organic cells, to perform all their necessary biological functions.
However, the main reason many athletes select a creatine supplement is the strengthening and growth of muscle mass.
Creatine enhances the formation of basic proteins so promoting muscle growth and ribbing.
In addition, a creatine supplement acts as an inhibitor of myostatin levels in organism.
Myostatin is a substance leading to muscle degeneration.
Therefore, by receiving a creatine supplement, you prevent the production of myostatin and enhance your muscle benefits.
By now, a clearer picture of creatine and creatinine, as well as their role in the body, is outlined
In other words, creatinine is produced from creatine phosphate and is a highly important chemical byproduct for muscle energy production.
How affects the Athletic Performance
Creatine related to ATP produced and therefore to levels of creatinine in blood, results to “nourishing” the muscles and providing them with beneficial energy.
Therefore a creatine supplement increases the levels of refined creatinine, delivering higher amounts of beneficial energy to muscles, practically affecting during training the:
- physical endurance
- muscle strength
- ignition speed
- ability to accelerate
- muscle mass development
- ability to recover muscles (and time required)
- perceptual capacity of brain
- ability to concentrate
- avoiding injuries
- fatigue tolerance and demanding training
- concentration on target
The Normal Creatinine Levels: Which they are and the Way to Find them
The kidneys are the organs undertaking to maintain the creatinine circulating in blood (refined & pure) at a normal level. Any kidney dysfunction automatically affects the levels of creatinine in the organism.
Creatinine, found as a sufficiently reliable indicator of kidney function, where elevated creatinine means a decreased kidney function or a kidney disease.
The calculation of creatinine in blood is carried out with a simple blood test.
This simple routine test can detect abnormally high creatinine levels (which usually indicate a possible kidney problem or even kidney failure).
The term “creatinine calculation” actually refers to calculation of creatinine refined by kidneys (Glomerular Filtration Rate / GFR).
The Glomerular Filtration Rate measured in two different ways.
The first uses data such as serum creatinine level, patient’s weight and age, while the second is a more direct way requiring a 24-hour urine and blood sample, analyzed by experts with their values being compared.
The normal glomerular filtration rate is between 88-128 mL / min in women and 97-1137 mL / min in men, with normal creatinine levels around 0.6 to 1.2 (mg / dL) in adult men and 0.5 to 1.1 (mg / dL)) respectively in adult women.
How I maintain Creatinine Levels at Normal Limits (in case increased values shown)
Here are some simple but very important dietary tips to maintain your refined creatinine in your blood in normal levels (providing larger energy amounts to your muscles):
- Limit the salt consumption in meals: causes fluid retention
- Consumption of large amounts of water: Water fights dehydration, helping the proper functioning of kidneys and of the entire organism
- Limit dietary protein: In these cases, a great help is to follow a diet program based on the consumption of fruits & vegetables
- Avoid creatine supplements: Creatine intake increases the amount of refined creatinine from the kidneys even more, carrying the risk of muscle cramps, kidney swelling and heart complications.
- Avoid dairy products: Dairy products are another source of protein, increasing the level of creatinine in blood.
- Avoid legumes: Legumes contain a form of vegetable protein which could increase creatinine levels.
- Avoid other foods as: cocoa (and by-products), peanuts, almonds, seaweed, sesame (and sesame pulp), beer.
- Consumption of whole grain products recommended
- Consumption of sugar and sweets contraindicated
- Recommended consumption of herbs: Ginseng, dandelion and cinnamon are herbs helping to control creatinine levels in blood.
Are Creatinine Levels Related to Age?
Obviously are related.
As mentioned, the levels of creatinine produced after refining are related in blood and to muscle mass and kidney function.
As you grow older, your muscle mass decreases, affecting creatinine production.
This not being the only fact.
As kidneys grow, tend to malfunction, resulting in significantly less efficient refining of creatinine.
An abnormal level of creatinine levels in blood and urine may indicate severe renal impairment, requiring immediate medical attention and treatment.