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What Are the Benefits of Creatine for Vegetarians?

Vegetarians may take creatine to help build muscle mass.
Vegetarians might take creatine because they don't eat meat, the only natural source of creatine.
Runners might rely on creatine to build muscle density and strength.
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  • Written By: Helen Akers
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 19 August 2014
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The main benefits of creatine for vegetarians include increased energy and muscle strength. Since creatine is a nutrient found in meat products, vegetarians naturally have lower levels in their muscles. Vegetarians who are concerned about building up and maintaining their body's muscle mass will benefit the most from creatine supplements.

Creatine naturally occurs in the muscles that animals and humans use in physical activity. It was discovered to be a part of muscle tissue in the mid-1800s. Certain organs, such as the pancreas, produce creatine. Even if it is not consumed by eating meat, vegetarians still have some traces of creatine in their bodies.

Vitamin supplements that contain creatine for vegetarians help this group receive adequate levels of nutrients that non-vegetarians usually don't have to worry about. Creatine has been shown to build muscle strength and density in runners, body builders, and other types of athletes. In athletes over the age of 40, creatine is more effective in maintaining muscle strength than it is in building additional body weight.

Due to their diets, supplementation of creatine for vegetarians can help them maintain healthy metabolic rates. The increased muscle strength and mass allows the body to burn calories more efficiently and decrease muscle fatigue. Physical activities, such as running and aerobics, can become more effortless as endurance is typically increased with creatine intake.

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Another benefit of creatine for vegetarians is the ability to recover more quickly from physical strain. Symptoms of overexertion — such as muscle spasms, strains and even minor injuries — may take less time to heal when creatine supplements are consumed. Muscles may also be able to perform better during physical exercise and strenuous, extended activity.

Taking creatine for vegetarians is a way to obtain the benefits of meat consumption while following a desired lifestyle. Meat consumption may be avoided by some for weight loss, religious practice, personal preference, animal activism, or for numerous other health reasons. Some supplement complexes mix creatine with other nutrients needed by vegetarians, such as vitamin B12, coenzyme Q10, and carnitine. Vegetarians who consume dairy products as well as those who abstain from all animal food sources need these nutrients.

Supplements that combine several nutrients, including creatine, can help vegetarians with their memory and retention abilities. They can also increase overall energy and have a positive effect on emotions. Lower physical energy can lead to feelings of mild depression or moodiness, a dietary side effect of which many vegetarians may be unaware.

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Ivan83
Post 2

I am a vegetarian and very committed but I am also a bodybuilder and have struggled to find ways to get all the protein I need to make my muscles grow.

I began using creatine about 2 years ago and the results have been fantastic. I am bigger and stronger than I have ever been before. I bounce back from tough workouts in no time and my muscles are defined in a way that I didn't think a vegetarian could ever hope for.

I know that some people are not crazy about supplements, but the simple fact is that it is hard to really increase your body mass using bread and veggies alone.

whiteplane
Post 1

I hear all the time that vegetarians need to take special supplements in order to be as healthy as meat eaters. But I think it's important to note that this isn't true for all vegetarians. It is possible to get all the nutrients you need without supplements, but you just have to be really aware of what you need and make sure you get it, which can be a pain.

I have been a vegetarian for almost 20 years and it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am healthier and certainly trimmer than most of my friends and I have as much strength and agility as I had at 25.

If you eat a balanced and healthy diet with a wide range of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and legumes you will get everything your body needs regardless of the lack of meat. Nature provides everything you need. You don't have to turn to a supplement company to get healthy. Just look to your dinner table.

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