It makes no difference who you are, where you live, or what you do for a living because I'm almost certain that you've heard of creatine. Along with this, you've probably also heard one of two ideals about creatine: (1) It's bad for you and you shouldn't come near it; (2) Creatine is an awesome performance enhancing supplement.
Unfortunately, anytime someone hears about a great "performance enhancing" supplement they always seem to put it in a negative category, which is why creatine has several myths surrounding it. But if you were told creatine was legal and completely safe you might change your mind. Hopefully your mind can be swayed into the positive after we crack some myths about creatine.
1. Creatine is practically a Steroid
Anabolic steroids are completely illegal and the only legal way to obtain them is by getting a doctor's prescription. Of course, you can illegally obtain them through the black market, but the point is that you can't get steroids from a supplement/vitamin store.
Creatine, on the other hand, is actually a dietary supplement so you can go into any supplement store and buy it; you might even try a grocery store because it's that common! In addition to this, you won't find creatine on the banned substances lists of any sports governing bodies.People able to buy creatine for years because it is a safe supplement.
2. Creatine causes Organ Damage – especially Kidneys
I can sum this up in one sentence… if creatine caused any kind of organ damage whatsoever, it wouldn't be on the market. That's just commonsense! Plus creatine has been proven to be safe time and time again through numerous studies. However, you should still check with your doctor about renal function problems or any other pre-existing health conditions you may be suffering from before trying it out.
3. What about the Cramps Creatine causes?
The idea that creatine causes cramps or other injuries might be the biggest myth of them all. Unfortunately, this myth has been devastating to the reputation of creatine because it is accepted as the spoken truth those who don't know any better.
But in reality, cramping is most commonly caused from being dehydrated or having an imbalance of electrolytes. Even still, when an athlete who uses creatine starts cramping, they like to look for something more than just dehydration to blame. And this blame often falls on creatine.
Luckily, a recent study run on 1,500 athletes (Dalbo, Kersick, and Roberts) showed that creatine users were not at an increased risk for cramps. In fact, you may be surprised to know that the group taking the supplement experienced far less cramps than the group that didn't use creatine. This study showed that athletes who think creatine causes their cramps are definitely mistaken.
As if the findings from the first study weren't enough, another study run on 72 NCAA football players (Mayhew and Ware) set out to determine if creatine would cause the players to have more cramps and dehydration. When the study was concluded, no abnormal cramps, dehydrations, or strange injuries occurred. Creatine has even been able to speed up the healing process for people who've suffered from a injury and had their limb placed in a cast.
So are you Safe using Creatine?
The point of busting these myths is to show that people are too quick to blame a popular and effective supplement like creatine for problems caused by something else. Hopefully, this inspires you to never let someone else dictate your opinion on a supplement before looking into the matter yourself.
When it comes to something like creatine – where there are truckloads of allegations against it – it's important to investigate for yourself. You'll benefit more from finding the information on your own rather than listening to friends, coaches, and so-called fitness gurus.
Besides, creatine has had over 600 different studies done in order to prove that it's a safe supplement so there is no reason to think it could harm you in moderate amounts. As long as you're healthy and looking to put muscle on, you should never completely avoid creatine. It is simply an ergogenic aid you can use to increase strength, muscular endurance, and also build muscle.
By Jeremy Olson