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Creatine and Teens | Is it Dangerous?

Is it Dangerous

Creatine for teens has always been a hotly debated topic between researchers, nutritionists, dietitians, and especially parents. Athletes always are looking for ways to improve their game and take it to the next level, and teenage ones aren’t much different.

As the most researched supplement on the market to date, a conclusion about teens and creatine was bound to be found. In today’s article, we’re going over if a teen should ever consider creatine, and if they do, how they should go about.

The Simple Creatine

I’d like to give a brief summary of what creatine is before hopping right in. If you’d like a detailed article about the pros and cons of creatine, click here to read another article I wrote getting down and dirty with creatine.

Creatine monohydrate, or simply creatine, is an amino acid that is primarily stored in our muscles for energy. Our bodies, specifically in the kidney, do produce a decent amount of creatine on their own. Still, supplements are consumed in order to increase that amount. (1✔)

Creatine and Teens | Safe and Encouraging

The added amount of creatine in our bodies from supplements allows for several things to occur in our bodies. Since more creatine in the muscle, more ATP, the energy source for our cells, is generated. This boost in ATP allows for more energy to be expended during training and on the field. (2✔)

This indirectly correlates to an increase in muscle mass due to the potential for better training. The added energy can aid you even in the most intense workouts. This is why you see so many creatine promotions with shredded dudes using them. (3✔)

Creatine and Teens | Safe and Encouraging

Lastly, not only does creatine do wonders for your physique, but it can also improve certain brain functions. So much research has gone into creatine that benefits have been found throughout the entire body, even in your psyche. (4✔)

Improvement in memory, and in cognitively demanding tasks have been observed from creatine takers. Not to mention, people that have experienced brain trauma felt lowers feelings of dizziness and headaches from taking creatine. Outstanding! (5✔6✔)

Creatine x Teens

Supplements, in general, has always been a hot topic when it comes to teenagers, let alone creatine. From protein powders to pre-workout, teenagers who hit have the privilege to hit the gym are always eager to try these supplements. (With little knowledge of them, but, I digress)

Creatine and Teens | Safe and Encouraging

I remember I took my first supplement in my sophomore year in high-school. My older brothers would share some of their protein powder without my mom knowing, of course, after working out. I didn’t know much back then, but looking back, it wasn’t all that bad.

I’d like to discuss a series of studies that tracked a handful of athletes from different sports but around the same age group, 17-21. Researchers observed the effect of consistent creatine usage on each specific sport. The results are still quite fascinating.

1998 Study 

One of the first-ever studies to arise when it comes to creatine and teens, Grindstaff et al. observed the effects on 18 male and female swimmers. Each person was assigned to either a creatine group or a placebo group for 9 days. (7✔)

After the experiment was over, the researchers “noted significant improvements in repeat sprint performance in swimmers after creatine supplementation.” As one of the earliest creatine experiments with teens, this study helped lead the way for more to come. (7✔)

2002 Study

This study by Dawson et al. is more or less the same study conducted by Grindstaff et al. in 1998 just with an extended creatine supplementation period. Their goal was to replicate the findings in young, elite swimmers. (8✔)

Following the 4 weeks of creatine supplementation, the authors “did not note any significant improvement in single sprint performance.” However, they did notice a dramatic improvement in swim bench test performances. (8✔)

2004 Study

Conducted by Ostojic et al., the creatine supplementation was distanced away from swimmers and given to soccer players. 20 young male soccer players, we’re observed when taking creatine for 7 days. The researchers observed significant improvements in soccer specific-skills following the 7 days. (9✔)

2017 Study

As for the most recent study, another bunch of elite youth soccer players was observed when on a period of creatine supplementation. Low-doses of creatine were distributed for 7 days straight. (10✔)

Creatine and Teens | Safe and Encouraging

To the surprise of nobody, significant improvements in the overall power output of the youngsters were observed. Not to mention, betterment in sprint performance and dribbling abilities could be seen. (10✔)

With this collection of studies, no adverse events or side-effects were reported by the participants following supplementation. Meaning, not a single teen experiences any harsh or moderate side effects while taking creatine monohydrate. (11✔)

Why Should A Teen Take Creatine

The majority of the research and studies make creatine look like a perfectly safe and effective supplement for the masses to take. However, creatine is still a supplement, meaning it’s a privilege to take once certain criteria are met.

Proper diet and exercise are things a teen should establish first as a foundation before plunging head on to supplements. Your macronutrients should be coming from your complete diet and not from the added supplements.

Exercise is also critical when on creatine. No teen will be experiencing any of the discovered benefits if they don’t exercise, train, or workout. They need to damage the muscle fibers and tissues in order for growth to occur.

When a teen does decide to take creatine and follow a proper workout routine, the benefits will start rolling one. The added energy from ATP increases will begin to aid their intense lifts during training allowing for indirect muscle growth.

Conclusion

In conclusion, creatine for teens has always been a fiercely debated topic, which is understandable. The safety of such a young adult with much life to be lived is at stake, so precaution should always be taken. However, the research is all in favor of creatine being very safe.

The past two decades of research and studies have depicted creatine monohydrate as being a safe and effective supplement for teens. Taking these supplements will aid their performances in the gym, on the court, and on the field.

Got any questions? Leave them down below, along with any questions you may have!

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2 Comments

  1. Brian Jeron

    It’s good that I found this article. My son and I had heated argument about using creatine for supplement. Being conservative, I didn’t know about this supplement because we  never used any supplement during our time even though we were physically active. Your article gave me so much idea about the benefits of creatine. You know parents are always for the welfare of their children that is why I’m reacting negatively about supplements unknown to me.

    • Jose Gallegos

      Hey Brian, 

      Yeah man, I totally understand your point of view even though I haven’t really had kids yet. My mom didn’t really approve of supplements until I was 18, even though my brother helped me sneak in some before that. However, creatine is a very researched supplement, so much so, that even kids and the elderly have been tested on it. 

      From what researchers have gathered, creatine is a very safe supplement, so your son wouldn’t experience any side effects. However, it is your choice as a parent to lay down the law, so I’ll just leave it at that! 

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