Creatine supplements are generally considered safe for most people when used appropriately. However, there are some concerns about their use among people with diabetes.
Overview Of Creatine Supplements
Creatine is OK for high type 1 diabetes people. But, people with low type 1 diabetes/kidney problems should not take creatine because it can affect blood sugar levels and increase the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
People with type 2 diabetes should talk with their doctor before taking creatine because it may have similar effects on blood sugar levels.
What Is Creatine?
Creatine is a natural substance found in the body, primarily in the muscles. It’s made from amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Your body produces creatine, but you can also get it from foods or supplements.
Creatine helps your muscles produce energy by increasing how much your body can work against gravity during exercise. This extra energy allows you to lift heavier weights for more repetitions and do more reps than you could without creatine supplementation.
When you’re working out, some of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) stored in your muscle cells gets used up to make energy.
The rest of the ATP stays trapped inside your cells until you need it again — like when you’re lifting a heavy weight and need extra energy to push yourself through another repetition or two before exhaustion sets in.
This is where creatine comes in: It helps take up any leftover ATP so that it doesn’t get wasted before you need it again for another rep or two.
You may have heard people say that creatine makes you feel stronger or gives them more energy — this is because creatine increases the amount of ATP in your muscles so they don’t waste as much during high-intensity exercise.
Creatine And Diabetes Study
Creatine is a natural substance found in the body. It is used to produce energy in muscle cells.
It may be possible that creatine supplements could improve blood sugar control and help lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. However, research studies on this topic have been mixed.
In one study of 28 people with type 2 diabetes, those who took a daily dosage of 5 grams of creatine for 12 weeks had greater increases in strength and muscle mass than those who did not take creatine. Also, after 12 weeks, the group taking creatine had a significant improvement in insulin sensitivity compared to the placebo group (16).
In another study of 41 people with type 2 diabetes, those who took 5 grams of creatine per day for 6 weeks had an increase in lean body mass and insulin sensitivity compared to those who took a placebo (17).
In another study of 30 people with type 2 diabetes, those who took 1 gram of creatine per day for 6 weeks had improvements in fasting glucose and insulin levels compared to those who did not take any supplement (15).
Can You Take Creatine With Type 1 Diabetes?
Yes! Creatine is a safe supplement, and you can take it while you have high type 1 diabetes.
There are many types of creatine supplements, but the most common is creatine monohydrate. It can be taken in pill or powder form.
Creatine supplements are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means that they have to prove they’re safe or effective before they’re sold on store shelves.
However, there have been no major side effects reported from taking creatine supplements when used as directed on product labels. A few people have experienced stomach cramps and diarrhea from taking too much creatine at one time or over time (more than 20 grams per day for several weeks).
Creatine might also increase blood pressure in some people with high blood pressure or other conditions like kidney disease or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland).
Do Creatine Raise Insulin Levels?
Creatine does not affect insulin levels. In fact, it may reduce the amount of insulin needed by those who have type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Researchers tested this theory on rats with T2DM who were given 20 grams of creatine per day for eight weeks. They found that the rats’ glucose tolerance was improved and their insulin response was decreased. The researchers concluded that creatine may be useful in helping people with T2DM manage their condition better.
Does Creatine Fight Diabetes?
In one study, researchers compared the effects of taking creatine supplements with those of taking a placebo (a “sugar pill” that has no active ingredients). They found that taking creatine supplements reduced blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes who were overweight and obese. However, the study was small, so more research is needed to confirm these results.
If you’re a type 1 diabetic and you’re looking to increase your muscle mass safely and naturally with the guidance of a doctor or dietician, taking creatine supplements in conjunction with proper nutrition and exercise is safe for you.