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Should i take creatine?


This blog post will go through 3 common myths and some general info around creatine so that you can decide for yourself.

Myth 1: Creatine is only beneficial for bodybuilders and strength athletes.

Fact...

While creatine is commonly associated with performance enhancement in athletes, research has shown that it can also be beneficial for individuals performing high-intensity exercise or power-based activities, such as sprinting, jumping, and cycling. Additionally, creatine may have neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancing effects, making it potentially beneficial for individuals with neurological disorders or cognitive decline. (1)


Myth 2: Creatine causes dehydration and muscle cramps.

Fact...

Studies have shown that creatine supplementation does not cause dehydration or muscle cramps when consumed at recommended doses. In fact, some research has suggested that creatine supplementation may actually increase hydration status and reduce the incidence of muscle cramps. (2)


Myth 3: Creatine is not safe and can cause kidney damage.

Fact...

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that creatine supplementation causes kidney damage in healthy individuals when consumed at recommended doses. Several long-term studies have found no adverse effects on kidney function, even in individuals with pre-existing kidney disease. (3)


General information on creatine:

  • The most extensively researched type of creatine is Creatine Monohydrate. And it is also usually the cheapest. So don't get fooled by the fancy high price stuff claiming to be better. Even if in some cases those claims may be true in the lab, there is no practical real world advantage.

  • Creatine does not need to be 'cycled' ie you don't need to stop taking it from time to time to continue to get benefits, as you do not develop a "tolerance".

  • Timing is largely unimportant. When you take creatine in relation to your workout does not offer any clear and undisputable advantage. Furthermore, creatine supplementation doesn't need to be restricted to the days you train.


References:

1. Rawson, E. S., & Venezia, A. C. (2011). Use of creatine in the elderly and evidence for effects on cognitive function in young and old. Amino Acids, 40(5), 1349-1362.

2. Kilduff, L. P., & Pitsiladis, Y. P. (2003). The effects of creatine supplementation on cardiovascular, metabolic, and thermoregulatory responses during exercise in the heat in endurance-trained humans. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 13(3), 307-324.

3. Gualano, B., Novaes, R. B., Artioli, G. G., Freire, T. O., Coelho, D. F., Scagliusi, F. B., ... & Lancha Jr, A. H. (2008). Effects of creatine supplementation on renal function: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 103(1), 33-40.

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