The truth behind creatine monohydrate

Learn some truths and lets debunk the myths about the most widely researched evidence-based sports supplements on the market: creatine monohydrate.


Myth. The more creatine monohydrate you consume, the better your results will be.

Truth. Studies from the Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State University suggest that just 5g of creatine monohydrate is enough to reach saturation and for you to see strength and explosive gains in the gym or on the field.

Myth. The creatine loading phase is necessary

Truth. If you are a olympic sprinter, professional bodybuilder, competitive powerlifter or any other athlete training at an elite level then the loading phase may help with bringing results faster. However for most individuals supplementing with 5g per day everyday should be all that’s required to see those big strength gains!

Myth. Creatine monohydrate negatively effects the liver and kidneys

Truth. Unless you have a genetic predisposition or a pre-existing liver/kidney condition then taking a fitness supplement such as creatine monohydrate should not damage your kidneys or your liver. There has been multiple studies done on creatine monohydrate supplementation and the general consensus is that it is safe and doesn’t add any stress or negatively effect the liver or the kidneys in any way.



Myth. Creatine monohydrate needs to be taken with water or juice.

Truth. There are some reasons why creatine can be taken with a cordial type drink and this has to do with insulin in the body. Insulin supposedly helps shuttle the creatine to the muscles faster. However, in the early studies of creatine monohydrate, tests were done on creatine taken with a warm solution such as tea or coffee with no effects of creatine degradation. Try 5g of creatine monohydrate taken with your morning green tea for a convenient way to get your daily amount in.



Myth. You can easily get enough creatine from your diet.

Truth. Whilst creatine is a natural compound found in a variety of food such as beef, salmon and tuna, the cooking process can degrade creatine into its inactive counterpart creatinine through the removal of a water molecule.(1) Also getting an efficacious dose of creatine through food is difficult. It is said that in order to hit 2g of creatine from the diet you would need to consume around 1.4lbs of chicken or up to a pound of lean red meats, daily.



Myth. Newer forms of creatine work better than creatine monohydrate



Truth. Just google the words “creatine monohydrate” and see how many research papers there are on this amazing natural bodybuilding supplement. It is the most research backed fitness supplement on the current market. Companies using newer forms of creatine will build them up with new “studies” however don’t believe the hype. Stick to what the science says. In short, no other creatine form has enough evidence to claim it is better than creatine monohydrate.

Myth. Creatine can be used for all sporting backgrounds.

Truth. Creatine monohydrate should not be used where the athlete requires a steady aerobic output such as endurance athletes like marathon and ultra marathon runners. People who stand to gain the most from creatine monohydrate supplementation are professional bodybuilders, competitive powerlifters, MMA fighters, sprinters, and professional rugby and football players, amongst many others. Athletes that require a sharp, sudden high intensity burst of energy should consider supplementing with creatine monohydrate to improve athletic performance.

Myth. Creatine is a steroid.

Truth. This is total BS. Creatine has no structural relationship with a steroid. It is a natural compound found in foods such as animal fats and fish.



Myth. Creatine causes bloating.

Truth. This is another false negative of creatine supplementation. Creatine does cause the muscles to hold more water than usually normal (around 6.2% more on a 5g per day creatine supplementation plan over a 9 week period(2)). This is because creatine is stored in the muscles and therefore requires additional water for it to be held there. However, the extra water weight is intra-cellular “inside the cell” rather than subcutaneous meaning “beneath the skin”. In other words creatine does not cause bloating because the water retention, however slightly caused, is stored in the muscle cell and not in the muscle just underneath the skin. It may be the case that because creatine monohydrate can be used extremely well as a bodybuilding bulking supplement users will tend to follow a higher caloric diet than normal and may end up adding extra fat around the abdomen causing a bloating type look.

 

For a convenient way to supplement with creatine monohydrate we recommend our mint flavoured chewable creatine tablets

References:
1 Influence of creatine, amino acids and water on the formation of the mutagenic heterocyclic amines found in cooked meat Carcinogenesis (1989) 10(12): 2293-2301 (Available: http://carcin.oxfordjournals.org/content/10/12/2293.full.pdf)
2 Kutz MR, Gunter MJ. Creatine monohydrate supplementation on body weight and percent body fat. J Strength Cond Res. (2003) (Available: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14636103)