In the fitness world, creatine is one of the most consumed and popular sports nutrition supplements.
However, some fitness enthusiasts still try to stay away from creatine because of certain myths and misconceptions.
Truth be told, creatine has an exceptional safety profile and hundreds of scientific studies have demonstrated that it is unarguably one of the safest sports nutrition supplements.
Myth #1: Creatine is an anabolic steroid
Anabolic androgenic steroids are synthetic versions of the primary male sex hormone, testosterone. They are banned by almost all sports bodies and under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
Steroids are Class C, Schedule III controlled substances regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They can lead to severe side effects.
On the other hand, creatine is an amino acid that is found naturally in muscle cells. Creatine supplements are legally available for sale and they have an exceptional safety profile.
Creatine, an over-the-counter dietary supplement, does not belong to the category of anabolic androgenic steroids.
Myth #2: Creatine causes kidney and liver damage
Creatine supplementation is associated with a marginal increase in the level of creatinine in the body but it doesn't harm your liver or kidneys in any way, whatsoever.
In fact, countless studies have proven that healthy kidneys are fully capable to flush out any extra dose of creatinine from your body.
Myth #3: Creatine causes hair loss or baldness
The current body of evidence as suggested by hundreds of scientific studies doesn't indicate that creatine supplementation can trigger hair loss or baldness as it doesn’t increase total and/or free testosterone or dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Myth #4: Creatine leads to muscle cramping and dehydration
Creatine prevents dehydration and symptomatic muscle cramping by 60 percent. This is primarily because creatine supplementation is associated with fluid retention to a certain extent.
Since the muscle are hydrated, they don't get torn down easily and can easily avoid muscle cramping and dehydration.
Myth #5: Creatine is harmful
Creatine is safe for both men and women in both short- and longer-term. It has an exceptional safety profile and is well tolerated.
In fact, creatine supplementation can help users improve the levels of muscle mass, size, definition, healing, growth, and recovery.
Furthermore, creatine supplementation promotes fat-free mass and hand grip strength. Creatine also demonstrates efficacy to prevent and/or minimize concussions or sub-concussive impacts, oxidative stress, and inflammation.
Myth #6: Creatine increases fat mass?
It is commonly believed by many that creatine supplementation is associated with an increase in the level of fat mass. On the contrary, creatine promotes fat-free mass.
Myth #7: Creatine would not work unless loaded
For long, the necessity of the creatine loading protocol has been overblown. There is absolutely no truth in the statement that creatine will not work properly without loading.
In fact, a daily single dose of 3-5 grams creatine can still produce similar ergogenic effects. With creatine loading, you will see results faster and the purpose of the creatine loading phase is only a matter of speed and not efficacy.
We hope that this piece of information on myths and misconceptions about creatine would have given you a better and clear understanding of creatine.