Does Creatine Actually Work Or It’s Another Useless Supplement?

facepalm to the question does creatine workThe times where I give myself facepalms in the gym when I’m hearing stories and myths about creatine are starting to get more frequent.

Many people that take this supplement don’t even know what it is, how our body use it or if it’s effective.

I hope that after reading this article, you will know the answer to the question “does creatine work?”.

When I first started bodybuilding, I feared creatine. I thought I would get sick.

Some people told me that it works. Others told me that it only gets water in your organism. Some people even said they had kidney problems because of using creatine.

What’s The Truth?

After seeing that I couldn’t get to the bottom of this problem if I kept asking questions right and left, I started researching it. I bought a jar of creating and tested it.

What I discovered is not out of the science books or anything world changing but before I get to that point, let’s analyze the creatine.

What Exactly Is Creatine ?

Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid (it doesn’t really matter if you know what it means – I just want it to sound like rocket science). It supplies energy to every cell in your body but the primary cell that gets it is your muscle mass. It can also be found in skeletal muscle.

It contains three aminoacids: arginine, methionine, and glycine.

Whole body concentrations of creatine are at ~ 95%. The 5% that remains can be found in the brain and heart.

When It Was Discovered ?

The first mentions of creatine were found to be around the year 1832 when Michel Cheveul (he was a brilliant but crazy French chemist), stumbled upon this acid.

Going forward 160 years into the future, the first time when this supplement hit the store shelves was in 1992. It was an instant success and many questions arose for this supplement appearance.

Does Creatine Work?

As a side note, it seems that creatine has some potential benefits in the treatment of certain diseases. But I will stay focused at the question “does creatine work?”

From research studies I’ve read, from what other nutrition wise people are saying, and also from my own observations, if you were to chose only a single dietary supplement to aid you in the gym that it’s proven to work, this would be the same old creatine monohydrate.

Having hundreds of studies discovering it’s a safe and effective supplement, I wouldn’t think twice before getting myself a box of this supplement.

There isn’t very much to say about this supplement other than it surely works for most people.

One interesting fact is that there might be some people that are creatine non-responders. They are not receiving any of the aforementioned benefits, like no weight gain or performance improvement.

How to know if you are creatine non-responder ?

You will find out yourself after reading bellow because it’s pretty self explanatory.

The traditional approach to supplementing creatine is mostly done in three ways:

  1. By taking 20 grams in 4x5g doses everyday for the next five days as this would cause the fastest creatine muscle loading. A word of caution for people that have a sensitive stomach. I wouldn’t recommend this dosage for those people. Fortunately, most of you will not encounter any problems with this protocol.
  2. By taking it for a month, 3-5 grams a day (3 grams is the minimum dosage that gives you the benefits of creatine).
  3. Taking 10g of creatine for the next 10 days (this approach is less upsetting on your stomach if you already have problems with the nr 1 method)

If you use creatine in even only one of the aforementioned methods for some weeks/months, and you don’t see any improvements in either force, recovery, or pump, than this means that you are in the non-responder group.

In that case, creatine doesn’t work for you. You can pretty much stop taking it.

Question: Does creatine cause hair loss?

Answer: Creatine doesn’t cause any hair loss. Many people are asking this question but not so many tell you they have a history of male pattern baldness in their family.

Question: If I drink caffeine and after that I take the creatine supplement, It will still be effective?

Answer: Don’t worry about taking your daily caffeine as the minor details like these are not so important as the big picture.

Question: When should I take the creatine?

Answer: In the morning, before or after workout or whenever you want. Just get it daily into your system.

Question: What creatine should I use?

Answer: Simple. Get the cheapest you can find from a good company.

I know I’ve only listed one research study here but in all seriousness, that study is enough to show the benefits creatine gives in sport performance and also recovery.

Are there any horror stories you’ve heard from people, about creatine?

If yes, share them with us.

If no, what are your thoughts on creatine?

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  1. creatine monohydrate does work quite well as you stated, the only downside to monohydrate is that there are some people that have problems swallowing all that white puff and I am one of that person.

    That’s why I use it in the pill form so I don’t get something ugly from my mouth =)

    good piece

  2. Hadley V. Baxendale says:

    Strict vegetarians may benefit from creatine since most of us get plenty of creatine from meat, eggs, fish, fowl, dairy. Before creatine came on the market as a supplement, keep in mind that plenty of weight trainers and bodybuilders used to become extremely strong without it. So eat that bacon cheese burger and don’t waste your money on creatine.

  3. I’ve been taking creatine for 5 months. I don’t feel like I’ve made strides at the gym. Actually, my bench press stalled approximately 2 months where I only added 5 lbs to the barbell barely able to make 3 sets at 8 reps. All my other compound exercises have been slow progression also. I don’t think creatine has helped me.

    The only place where I think I’ve noticed a remarkable improvement is in my sprints. At the 7th to 10th second into it I feel a burst of energy to carry me further and faster as if I got a rocket boost from my muscles. This I attribute to creatine because I didn’t have this before taking creatine.

    • Hey Dan. If it doesn’t work for you, it means you are probably situated in the non-responder bucket. But if it helps you with sprinting, I don’t see any problem with continuing to take it.

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