Creatine is one of the oldest supplements in the bodybuilding world. It is one of the few supplements that has a ton of science behind it and is proven to work in real life. Over the years, creatine seems to have picked up a variety of different myths along the way, some that might make sense and some that are downright stupid. I think it’s time to bring this wonderful supplement out of the dark ages and into modern times.
Myth 1 – Creatine is Harmful to Your Kidneys
This myth seems to be the most popular creatine myth around. Thankfully, there is not much truth to it, unless of course, you already have a pre-existing medical condition, in this case, always consult with your doctor before use.
For those with healthy kidneys, creatine has no negative impact on the kidneys or in fact the liver at all. Long-term studies have been conducted (at relatively high doses) amongst different types of athletes that have proven that regular creatine usage is safe.
You don’t need to take large doses of it either so you are safe. Which brings me to the next myth.
Myth 2 – Creatine Loading is Necessary
This is an old one and thankfully, it seems to be fading away, however, if you were to do some research on creatine, this one is still likely to show up on a few websites.
Creatine loading is basically where you take frequent doses of creatine throughout the day for up to 7 days. This apparently ensures that your muscles and cells get saturated with creatine.
Myth busted. Save your money. Recent studies have shown that loading makes absolutely no difference in the long term. Just 5-10 grams a day is enough. I like to split mine pre-and-post-workout.
Myth 3 – Creatine MUST be Taken with Grape Juice
I have no idea how this got started but it is just ridiculous. I am going to guess that some dude who just happened to have grape juice lying around took some with his creatine and was amazed at the results. The truth is, he could have taken it with any carb-heavy drink and seen the same results.
The studies show that creatine is better absorbed by the body when taken along with foods/drinks that raise insulin. Insulin helps to better transport creatine.
So, if you don’t like grape juice, don’t worry. You can just mix it with your protein or any other juice/carb drink to have the same effects.
Myth 4 – Creatine Monohydrate is Inferior to All the New Types of Creatine
No. Creatine monohydrate is the version that has the most amount of studies and real world studies behind it. It is proven to work and still does to this day.
Some people find that they experience an upset stomach from using monohydrate, in this case, you can use other versions of it but if you experience no issues, save your money and stick to monohydrate.
Do note that your creatine should always be top quality, regardless of the type of creatine. Use reliable sources.