Creatine has been around for quite some time now and even if you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard of it. However, as creatine got more and more popular, people divided into two groups, the difference between them being the opinion they had about creatine. One group says that consuming creatine is one of the worst things you can do to your body and the other one says that it’s a great supplement which will boost your performance like no other.
However, the phrase “performance enhancing” had been experiencing quite a negative stigma and myths and legends started forming about the effects of creatine. One thing which is definitely not a myth is that it’s completely legal and safe to use, and it is used by millions of people daily. This is usually when all of those that are opposed to creatine start to listen, because they have heard that it’s bad from someone but they never quite figured out the science behind it.
MYTH #1: If You’re Taking Creatine You’re Practically on Steroids
This is completely false. Anabolic steroids are illegal to get just by sheer will and money – you have to have a doctor’s prescription to buy them. Of course, like anything else they can be bought and sold on the black market but you will not find them in any supplement or gym store around the world.
Creatine is not a steroid – it’s a dietary supplement. Every single supplement or gym store anywhere will have it and sell it to you for money. Sometimes even supermarkets and smaller shops have it because it’s that common! It’s not on any list of banned substances on any international sports organizations. This is why everyone has been buying it for so long – aside from the marvelous effects.
MYTH #2: Creatine Is Purported to Be the Cause of Kidney Damage
This is completely false too. If creatine was harmful to you, do you think all the government agencies, sports bodies, organizations and health groups would let it still be on the market? People who make their living while removing harmful substances from the hands of the public would be overjoyed to remove creatine, if it was harmful. There have been so many studies about the safety of creatine that it’s easier to find proof that it’s safe than proof that it’s harmful. However, before starting to take it, make sure that you don’t have any renal function problems and have a quick consultation with your doctor for any pre-existing conditions.
MYTH #3: Creatine Causes Muscle Cramps
This is false as well. It’s often said that creatine is the cause of cramps in your muscles or injuries in your organs, but this isn’t true as well. However, it has been successful in destroying creatine’s standing in the gym community. However, when people who usually say this are given an insight into the facts and the science behind creatine by someone who has been using it for a long time, they usually relent and change their opinion. Muscle cramps aren’t caused by creatine, they’re caused by insufficient hydration or lacking certain electrolytes.
However, some people who take creatine don’t realize this and they instantly put all the blame on creatine instead of their own malpractices. Recently there was a study performed on 1500 athletes by Dalbo, Kersick and Roberts and it demonstrated clearly that creatine was not in any way related to cramps. The group that took creatine in the study was shown to have far less cramps than the rest who did not take it and this is definitive, scientific proof that creatine has nothing to do with cramps.
Also, even more recently another study on 72 NCAA football players run by Ware and Mayhew wanted to find out if creatine had any links to dehydration or cramps. When they got the results it was clear that there were absolutely zero dehydrations, strange injuries or weird cramps with any of the players. However, there was a positive effect: creatine helped heal the injuries of players who had limbs in a cast.
These myths should be debunked every once in a while to demonstrate that people need something to blame when it comes to problems with their roots in a completely different cause. Creatine is popular and used globally and it’s very easy to point your finger to it when any problems arise or any shortcomings occur.
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The lesson to take home today is to never let anyone tell you what you should think – you have the internet, find out for yourself! Creatine is blamed for more and more things daily by uninformed people and you can avoid being one of them by just reading about it. None of your “gym experts”, friends and coaches know more than the internet. As a little thing to get you started, note that creatine has had over 600 scientific research studies conducted upon it to prove that it’s completely safe to consume and it will simply not harm you when you start taking it. If you’re healthy, creatine will not make you ill, and if you want to pack on as much muscle as possible on your frame, it will help you do that, but also to build muscular endurance and strength.