A lot has been said about the many benefits of creatine for bodybuilding, in the same way there are some myths surrounding this popular bodybuilding supplement. We have tried to bust some of the popular creatine myths for you.
Creatine is a pretty known and common term used and understood by various people in the sports, bodybuilding and fitness industry. Myths about creatine usage can be a result of mere locker room bro talks, seemingly proven but actually not. Creatine myths may also be the result of careless people spreading rumors and not following a proven fitness regime. So before we go ahead and bust 5 creatine myths, let’s understand what creatine actually is.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is a naturally occurring substance, produced in the human body from amino acids. It can be naturally found in foods such as meat and fish. Our body is known to make about one gram of creatine per day. Creatine is a proven supplement that can be taken by weightlifters, bodybuilders, sprinters, etc.
- Increases muscle size
- Helps in combating inflammation
- Provides lean body mass
- Improves athletic performance
Now that we have a fair idea about what creatine is and what are creatine facts, lets look at 5 creatine myths busted.
Myth 1: Creatine makes you fat
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This is a myth that people generally confuse with a fact about creatine. So when we say creatine causes weight gain, the creatine fact is that it does pull and hold water in the body. But this happens inside the muscle cells. It does not happen beneath the skin. And neither does it have to do anything with body fat increase. Creatine has no impact on fat metabolism. Creatine has a positive effect on body composition. Taking creatine can help you gain lean mass. It helps in superhydrating the muscle. Thus, creatine does not make anyone look fat or bloated.
Myth 2: Creatine causes cramping
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You know sometimes when we say that – It’s not what you are thinking, it’s what your brain is telling you to think. Something similar happens when Athletes and Bodybuilders take creatine supplements. They might question that is creatine safe? The answer is that muscle cramping is not a result of any side effects of creatine.
The cramps that occurs during the course of exercise, might actually happen due to lot of reasons. But, athletes taking creatine are more likely to connect the cramp with creatine. In fact creatine is actually known to reduce the chances of cramping. Creatine usage improves hydration as well.
Myth 3: Creatine can damage kidneys
One of the most common, talked about and completely baseless myths is that creatine causes kidney damage. There is no scientific study that gives any evidencing of creatine causing kidney damage. In fact, there are many studies done that show that creatine usage had no adverse effect on kidneys function. Creatine is a naturally occurring compound. So unless you are already suffering from a kidney infection or disease or you use dosage out of recommendation, there shouldn’t be a problem.
Myth 4: Creatine is a steroid used by bodybuilders.
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Creatine is not steroid. Being steroid-like is just another myth about creatine. This especially happens in the case of concerned parents of young athletes. Creatine is not an unnatural substance. It is produced from amino acids in the human body, which is natural. Thus, creatine is completely unrelated to a steroid in every way. It is true that creatine has a positive effect on growth hormone in the body like training does, but in addition to this, it also boosts athletic performance. It is a known fact that creatine helps increase the muscle size. And it is that big muscle size that creates a confusion. The moment people look at a bodybuilder flashing big muscles, they think that the bodybuilder is on steroids.
Also, thinking that creatine is only for bodybuilders, is incorrect. People are under an impression that creatine is only used by bodybuilders to build big muscles. But, believe it or not, creatine is a popular supplement amongst many athletes. ATP or Adenosine Triphosphate is the body’s stored energy. And creatine helps recreating ATP from ADP, thus contributing more energy to the body muscles. This greatly helps various athletes who require such kind of energy during their rigorous training sessions. Sprinters who indulge in high intensity training can greatly benefit from this.
Myth 5: Creatine intake must be timed
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Many creatine consumers, especially the new ones, are confused about the time to take creatine. Some say creatine should be taken before workout. And many say it should be taken after workout. But, the truth is simple – there is no particular time to take creatine. Timing creatine intake is a myth. Creatine can be taken anytime you want. Anytime you think is suitable for you or works out best for you, is the relevant time to take creatine. Once you have decided the time to take creatine, you may schedule it on that time everyday just to ensure being regular.
Thus, we need to understand that, myths are nothing but stories told to entertain or maybe even scare or maybe just for fun. The only truth is that there is no truth about a myth. And when there is a myth about something as serious as health and fitness, such myths need to be busted ‘n’ bunked left, right and centre.