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04/05/24 5

Creatine monohydrate improves male sexuality: true or false?

We have already discussed creatine supplementation in many articles in our magazine (creatine and strength, creatine and cycling). In the context of fitness, for example, creatine monohydrate is one of the most popular and appreciated dietary supplements, as it promotes increased energy production in the body. However, it may not be known to everyone that creatine can also influence the male sexual sphere. We will go into this aspect in more detail later in the article, so please continue reading.

What are the benefits of taking creatine?

The main function of creatine is to boost energy production in the body. When fatigue is experienced, creatine provides a quick energy boost, facilitating training, especially high-intensity training.

In addition, creatine is known to promote muscle building, as it increases the production of the hormone IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1), also known as somatomedin. During the muscle recovery period after training, creatine prevents protein breakdown, contributing to the strengthening of muscle cells (see this study).

Creatine also appears to have benefits on brain cells, providing them with an energy boost that promotes concentration and increases productivity. Already a 2018 study published in the European Journal of Sport Science, but even more relevant and up-to-date is this randomised study published in BMC Medicine, which showed that creatine supplementation can lead to improvements in cognitive performance, accelerate recovery from traumatic brain injury and alleviate symptoms of neurological diseases.

How does creatine work?

Creatine is a protein produced naturally by the body, using the amino acids glycine, arginine and methionine. By eating a protein-rich diet or taking creatine powder supplements, up to 80% of the body’s creatine reserves can be reached.

Creatine binds to a phosphate group to form creatine phosphate, which is stored in muscles and used to produce energy through adenosine triphosphate (ATP), essential for all cellular activities in the body.

During the energy production process, ATP loses a phosphate each time it is used, becoming ADP (adenosine diphosphate), which waits to be converted back into ATP thanks to creatine, which provides the phosphate needed for this process, allowing the body to generate more energy.

The relationship between creatine and sexuality

The increase in energy production due to creatine intake benefits the entire body, including the sexual system. The link between creatine and testosterone is particularly significant.

In men, testosterone levels tend to decline after the age of 30, resulting in reduced stamina, strength, mental acumen, energy and sexual desire. Testosterone plays a key role in regulating sexual desire, and its decrease can lead to reduced libido and, in some cases, erectile dysfunction.

However, some studies (such as this one) suggest that taking creatine can increase testosterone levels. A study published in the Human Kinetics Journal examined the effects of taking a creatine supplement during a 10-week endurance training programme and found improved strength and increased testosterone levels in participants.

Another 2009 study, published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, involved rugby players, examining creatine supplementation versus levels of DHT, the most active form of testosterone. After a period of creatine supplementation of 25 grams per day for 7 days, the participants’ DHT levels increased by 56%.

Are there any side effects to taking creatine?

Several studies have confirmed that taking up to 30 grams of creatine per day for up to 5 years is safe. However, it is important to consider that side effects can occur, as with any other supplement. The least statistically significant are gastrointestinal complaints, while increased testosterone may contribute to male hair loss in genetically predisposed men. On the other hand, water retention is sementita, as the retention properties associated with creatine act at the intracellular level and not systemically. The occurrence of unexpected effects depends on individual medical history and the quality of the supplement taken. It is always advisable to consult a doctor before taking supplements.

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