One of the most well-liked dietary supplements on the market is creatine. On the Internet, there are a lot of myths about it as well as false information regarding its applications and adverse effects. It was possibly one of the most researched dietary supplements for that reason.
Simply put, creatine prevents exhaustion during exercise, enabling you to train longer and more intensely, ultimately resulting in an increase in strength and muscular mass. Additionally, it efficiently boosts muscle volume.
Myth: Creatine causes water retention & makes me look “puffy”
Creatine causes water retention is one of the most common “creatine myths” levelled at this supplement. Creatine supplementation has often been associated with the concern that it can promote dehydration as it facilitates greater fluid uptake into muscle cells.
However, facts about creatine causing high levels of water retention have yet to come to fruition and one study led by Eric J. Sobolewski at the Department of Health and Human Performance at Oklahoma State University conducted a study on “Physiological Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Hydration” and found no evidence to back this claim either.
It is accurate to say that maltodextrin and other sweetened refined carbohydrates are commonly used to sweeten creatine supplements. This big carbohydrate bolus may cause a sharp rise in blood sugar levels, which may then lead to an increase in blood insulin levels.
Higher insulin levels cause the kidneys to reabsorb more salt. This action has the potential to interfere with the body’s normal maintenance of fluid balance, which may explain why people who used creatine supplements in the past felt “puffier” than usual.
Myth: Creatine causes kidney and liver damage
Numerous research on creatine supplementation have come to the same conclusion: long-term use of creatine had no negative side effects on the liver or kidneys. The majority of worries concerning the safety of creatine are primarily connected to how effectively the kidneys filter blood.
It’s possible that the ambiguity results from the use of creatine, which raises the amount of creatinine (a marker used to identify kidney issues). These “good consequences” aren’t at all damaging to our bodies, though.
Creatine does not adversely affect how well the kidneys filter blood, according to numerous research. There are also countless studies looking at the general safety of creatine as a supplement. We’ve prepared a concise summary of the creatine safety literature if you don’t have time to read the articles and studies from the sources listed below:
- 12weeks of creatine supplementation has no effect on blood lipid profiles.
- Long-term use of creatine does not adversely affect athletes’ health indicators.
- To this day, no studies have been found to show significant changes in kidney, liver, heart, or muscle function due to creatine use
Myth: Creatine leads to weight gain
Due to “poured” water into muscle during the first few days of supplementation, creatine absorption may cause an initial increase in body weight of 0.8 to 2.9% of body weight; however, this phenomenon is less likely to persist when dosing in tiny amounts.
Some researchers have discovered that taking creatine has led to an increase in total body water. Despite that, studies have shown that taking creatine in conjunction with strength exercise improves body composition by increasing pure muscle mass and decreasing fat mass.
One study was conducted on American football players undergoing 28-day resistant training to supplement placebo or 15.75 grams of pure creatine monohydrate. The results of the study showed that the creatine group experienced a significantly greater increase in pure muscle mass.
Myth: Women shouldn’t use creatine
Another myth regarding creatine is that it shouldn’t be used by women. This is untrue in every way, much like most sweeping statements surrounding both gender and supplements.
The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) states either gender of athlete would benefit from supplementation of creatine, and it should be considered as part of an athlete’s performance related strategies.
There may be other unique benefits of creatine supplementation unique to females. Increased bone mass density during menopause and the promotion of neural development and reduction in complications resulting from birth asphyxia during pregnancy to name a few.
Myth: Creatine causes gastrointestinal pain
Creatine is safe to take, according to all known research, although it may cause minor stomach issues. There is some truth to the claim that stomach pain is a side effect of creatine, although it is quite uncommon. In reality, research has shown that only 5–7% of creatine users experience issues with stomach pain. Typically, ingesting creatine on an empty stomach or in excess can result in stomach issues.
Creatine dosages of 3 to 5 grams per day are suggested. You can avoid stomach issues and abdominal pain by taking this dose.
Remember: Creatine has different results for different people
When they witness a huge change in another individual, most people turn to creatine because they believe that they can achieve the same results. Actually, not quite. Some individuals naturally have high quantities of creatine in their bodies. For example, meat and fish eaters are likely to give a lower change by creatine as compared to vegetarians who have lower levels of creatine from their diets.
Therefore, don’t lose hope if you don’t see the exact result your friend got – there’s a lot more going on for the changes to appear than sticking to the dosage.