Creatine: the Myths Behind the Latest Supplement Phenomenon
It’s one of those supplements that is always turned to by gym enthusiasts, but it’s also a supplement which attracts plenty of controversy and questions. Creatine really is something that divides opinion and for every person that uses it, you’ll find one that won’t even consider it.
Those that are particularly against creatine supplements generally are because of the various myths that surround it. Years ago, before any in-depth research was conducted on it, it was right to ask questions. Now things have settled down, and so many scientific studies have been conducted, it’s time to address and debunk many of these myths once and for all. Let’s get going.
Myth #1 – Creatine makes you fat
Most myths don’t come out of the blue; there’s at least a logical reason behind the path of thinking. This is particularly true with this first misconception as in actual fact, creatine will make you heavier.
The inaccuracy about the myth comes in the “fat” element though. This additional weight isn’t because of your body storing more fat; it’s actually because of water.
There can also be indirect reasons behind weight gain. Many people taking this form of supplementation do so to gain muscle. Suffice to say, the more muscle you have, the heavier you are. Don’t mistake this for the F-word.
Myth #2 – Creatine is dangerous
This is one of the stranger myths out there, but it’s still quite common so let’s cover it.
The reason it’s strange is that no scientific studies have ever suggested that creatine is dangerous. There have been suggestions that it can give you muscle cramps, gastrointestinal problems as well as issues with your kidney. Following these topics, several studies took them on directly and found that creatine had absolutely no bearing on any of the above. In other words, the science just doesn’t back up the myths.
Of course, if you surpass the recommended daily allowance, you might experience side effects. For everyone that sticks to the guidelines, science says it’s safe.
Myth #3 – Whole food will give you all the creatine you need
Well, let’s put something out there, this myth is actually correct. Let’s delve into the topic a little more though; there’s more to it than meets the eye.
The body can store about 100g of creatine through its cells, and uses up to 4g every day for basic activities. This means that you would need to consume around 500g of the right foods to take in sufficient amounts of creatine. When we talk about the right foods, we’re referring to the likes of raw meat and fish. It goes without saying that this is a huge amount, particularly if you’re attempting to consume creatine naturally every day.
As such, the answer to this myth is that you can obtain creatine from whole foods, but whether or not its practical from a taste perspective is a different matter in its entirety. On the most part, we’d suggest not.