Creatine is one of the most popular sports nutrition products on the planet. Should you be taking it? Let’s look at 5 key facts about Creatine to see if you should add it to your regimen.
1. Creatine works
This may seem like a funny thing to say, but bear in mind that most supplements make extremely dubious claims and typically show poor or inconsistent results in a laboratory or field setting. Creatine, on the other hand has been shown to help with power output, lean muscle building, anaerobic cardiovascular performance, hydration and more! There’s a reason it’s included in most combination supplements, it’s good stuff.
2. Creatine is safe
There is a misconception that creatine is damaging to the kidneys. The reason for this is fairly straightforward. A by-product of creatine breakdown is creatinine. When the kidneys fail, they produce large quantities of creatinine. This means that high creatinine levels are found in both regular consumers of creatine and those with kidney failure. This is a side-effect that both states share, there is no direct link between them. One interesting study even dosed a man with only one, damaged kidney with creatine to prove it was safe. By all accounts he was perfectly fine, even on a higher-than-normal dose.
3. Creatine is cheap
Some supplements cost an arm and a leg. Creatine monohydrate, on the other hand, costs mere pennies. And, as I already mention, it has a better track record of success than most of the more expensive supplements. Creatine monohydrate is the least expensive form of creatine, and is also the most tested and possibly the most beneficial variant. You really can’t lose with this one.
4. Creatine is even more important for vegetarians
Creatine is largely found in the diet in the form of skeletal muscular tissue i.e. meat! Vegetarians can therefore be deficient in creatine and, by supplementing, can overcome some issues associated with its deficiency. There is a particularly notable increase in cognitive function in vegetarians who supplement with creatine.
5. It might be better not to consider creatine a ‘supplement’
There is a growing consensus that creatine is more like a vitamin or mineral supplement than a conventional ‘bodybuilding’ supplement. There are simply too many benefits, not just to performance but to general health and well-being. Added to the low cost, there is no reason for anyone not to supplement with creatine.
To sum up, creatine is safe, cheap and effective
If you can find any other supplement that fulfills all three criteria to the same extent I will be frankly astonished. But there’s no need to take my word for it. There is an astonishing amount of information widely available on the internet. And, frankly, with the low cost, you may as well just try supplementing for a few weeks and seeing the results for yourself!