The Honest Truth
There are always truths and lies about supplements on the market to make them look better; today, we’re talking about the creatine facts and myths. There’s tons of information out there about creatine, a lot of it being true, but a lot of it is also wrong.
I’d like to clear up the confusion you might have with some of the claims people may have made about creatine. Does it really build muscle? Do you have to load up? Is it pretty much steroids? All these questions answered and more in today’s article.
Before starting, I’d like to provide a foundation for creatine just if you’re not entirely on track with what creatine exactly is. If you think you have a good enough grasp on creatine, feel free to skip this section.
Known as creatine monohyhdrate, creatine is an amino acid created from the breakdown of two other amino acids, glycine and arginine. In our bodies, it is naturally found in our muscle cells, which is used for energy. (1✔)
The first discovery of creatine monohydrate was in 1832 by the French chemist Michel Eugene Chevreul. Still, it’s popularity didn’t really grow until almost a century at the 1992 Olympics. Several gold medalists reported taking creatine before the Olympics, which sparked many athlete’s interests in creatine. (2✔)(3✔)
It took a year for there to finally be a creatine supplement for the public to enjoy and use. What we knew about creatine back then is nothing compared to what modern science and technology allow us to know now.
I mention that creatine is the most researched supplement we have at our disposal, and it’s no contest. Creatine monohydrate has been tested on teens, the elderly, and even kids to see what results they could get. (4✔) (5✔)
Creatine List of Myths
If you’ve read the section prior, some of your questions may have already been answered in the overview. However, let’s begin to discuss some of the popular beliefs people have about creatine simply not true.
Creatine Is Pretty Much Steroids
Creatine is in no way, shape, or form anabolic steroids. Steroids are in a whole different category than creatine when talking about substances. The only way to obtain steroids is through a prescription from a licensed physician.
The side effects of going on roids are well known among the lifting community and, frankly, throughout society. The main take away between the two should be that creatine is much safer than anabolic steroids. (6✔)
Not only that, but creatinine is way more affordable, accessible, and consumable. There are a handful of ways one can take steroids, some less pleasant than others. With creatine, pouring a scoop into a cup and drinking it is all it takes.
My Teen Can’t Take Creatine, It’s Not Safe
This is an excuse that’s been used by parents who don’t want their teens experimenting with supplements. It’s true that a parent’s concern for their child’s safety is unmatched, but when it comes to creatine, it’s one of the safest supplements on the market. (6✔)
This especially goes for teens and adolescents too, they’ve been tested with creatine just as much as adults. Signs of side effects are non-existent, but signs of better muscle growth, faster recovery, and even increased energy have all been documented. (4✔)(7✔)
Here at Supplement Wolf, you can find an article we wrote describing everything that has to do with teens and creatine. Click here if you’d like to check it out. The bottom line is all the research points to creatine being safe for teens.
You Have To Load On Creatine
This a very common one that’s thrown around the fitness industry. “You need to do a loading-phase, or else you won’t grow muscle.” Even doing a little research can show you that a loading-phase is completely unnecessary. (8✔)
A loading-phase can indeed make the effects of creatine occur faster. However, it’s not really needed as the “gym-bros” say. Taking lower doses of creatine, around 5 grams, a day can prove just as effective, just taking a long time. (9✔)
You Immediately Build Muscle On Creatine
You can say this is a half myth, half-truth. The thing with creatine is that you can build muscle indirectly with it. What does that mean? It means that creatine gives you the tools to grow muscle, but you must put in the effort to make it happen.
Creatine is an amino acid that provides your muscles, specifically energy, in the form of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). On it’s own, your body doesn’t produce all that much creatine, so bodybuilders use creatine supplements to provide more energy to their muscles. (10✔)(11✔)
Someone taking creatine can’t simply take it and not work out. They need the stimulus to break down their muscle tissue for growth. It’ll work if you’re in the gym pushing yourself, but not if you’re sleeping on the couch.
You’ll Get Fat From Creatine
This is also a prevalent myth, but also a very uneducated one. There is zero stimulation of fat gain when taking creatine. There’s only stimulation of muscle growth and not of your fat stores throughout your body. (12✔)
There is clear evidence of a change in weight when taking creatine. Your water-weight will change on creatine due to the water retention properties of creatine. Your muscles absorb more water and retain more of it. (12✔)
Feelings of bloating are common because of this. However, it’s still not weight from fat. Your weight may go up due to water fluctuation, but your body fat composition won’t change unless you exercise.
Creatine List of Facts
There are many myths of creatine as you read, some that people still believe even to this day. Even with a little research, they can debunk the myth and reveal the truth. Now, we’ll be going over some, not all, facts about creatine.
Creatine Is The Safest Supplement On The Market
Many people don’t know this, but creatine is the most tested supplement on the market currently. No other dietary supplement has gone through as many tests, experiments, and studies like creatine monohydrate has. (6✔)
It’s been tested on kids, teenagers, adults, and the elderly. The results of each age group have come back with very minimal side effects. If you’re hesitant on creatine’s safety, don’t be, it’s safer than protein powder, and that’s taken more than creatine.
You Don’t Experience Dehydration
The side effects of creatine have been documented, but they’re very minimal. One of the side effects that actually doens’t occur is Dehydration. If you think about it, it truly doesn’t make sense to why Dehydration would occur. (13✔)
Your body retains more water when on creatine, which means you’d have more water in your body. Even in hot weather conditions, creatine does not cause Dehydration, nor does it cause muscle cramps, which is another popular belief.
As a matter of fact, creatine’s effects actually lowers the risk of both dehydration and muscle cramps. It does the complete opposite of what people believe. (13✔)
Creatine Is Extremely Affordable
This was touched upon early on in the article but should be brought one more time because it has to be one of the most affordable supplements. A creatine container can cost you as low as about $10 and last you around 3 months.
This creatine here by Bodybuilding.com is one of my favorites, which I’ve been using recently. It has 80 servings and is completely tasteless. You can mix it in with anything, and you’ll forget it’s even there it’s so tasteless. If you’re looking for a creatine supplement, check out this one, it’s pretty solid.
In conclusion, there you have some creatine facts and myths. There are plenty of more out there. However, these are just some of the popular ones people still believe in. It goes to show you how good creatine is instead of it being dangerous.
It’s important for people to do research before diving headlong into a supplement that they barely know anything about. A friend or buddy might recommend it, but it’s still key to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
Got any questions? Leave them down below, along with any questions you may have!