Out of all of the supplements out there, Creatine is the most misunderstood. It is often given a bad reputation merely because others don’t understand what it can do.
I know there are SO many supplements out there and it can be confusing to know what to take! But science speaks and basically, if you did feel you should need to take anything, you should take Creatine.
Before I dive into busting these myths, I thought I would share just a quick summary as to what Creatine is and why someone would feel the need to take it..
Creatine is a substance found in your muscle cells. Almost 95% of creatine is present in your muscles. Supplementing with creatine increases your stores of phosphocreatine, which is a form of stored energy. In turn, your body will then produce more of the high-energy molecule - adenosine triphosphate (ATP) - which is required for muscle contraction. It is taken as it improves muscle strength and power.
It’s time to do some creatine myth-busting...
Here are 5 myths about creatine you can erase from memory:
1️. Creatine is like steroids.
Creatine is NOT a steroid or similar to a steroid. Or magic. In fact, your body actually produces it and it’s found in some foods like beef.
2️. Creatine causes weight gain
Yes, people do tend to show increased body fat percentages when supplementing with creatine, but remember that correlation doesn’t always reveal causation. The fact is that most people who are supplementing with creatine are also trying to gain weight, so they have increased their caloric consumption to create a surplus.
The only real weight you are going to gain from creatine is the muscle mass. It doesn’t make you fat. It cannot - it contains no energy.
3️. It is only suitable for men
Because creatine is often called a steroid, most women weightlifters steer clear of the supplement. The other association is that, while building muscle size, creatine causes water retention—something women don’t want.
A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology concluded that there was no difference between male and female cross-sectional area of muscle ratio. It literally just helps your muscles produce ATP (energy) and therefore, you can potentially train a bit harder.
Creatine can also increase the amount of calories burned during exercise, making it all the more beneficial to women, who generally have a harder time burning fat than men.
4. Creatine damages the kidneys
An unproved theory. However, one study did conclude that there were no changes to renal activity when individuals took 20g dosage, of Creatine Monohydrate, for 7 days. In other words, unless you have existing kidney problems, there is no reason to worry about creatine damaging your kidneys.
5. You need to load up on Creatine for it to be effective
Not true. In the past, it was common to be told to take 5g Creatine, 5x a day, for 10 days. Now you can absolutely do this if you want to saturate creatine stores a lot faster, but 5g daily, for 28 days, is just as great too.
Creatine is one of the most researched supplements in the history of dietary supplements. Evidence continues to point towards creatine’s effectiveness and nutritional benefits to elite athletes and even those just starting out in the gym. It’s time to leave the old myths behind and embrace the truth: that creatine is necessary if you want to be your best in the gym.