CREATINE PROS AND CONS: COMPLETE REVIEW
So you’re interested in including creatine in your supplementation plan, but want to weigh out the potential creatine pros and cons first?
As with many bodybuilding topics these days, creatine supplements are surrounded by a ton of myths and confusion.
In this article we’ll cover all of the creatine pros and cons you should know about so that you can decide whether or not creatine supplementation is right for you…
Creatine Pros And Cons: The Pros
Let’s first start by looking at a few of the main upsides of consistent creatine use…
Pro #1: It increases your strength and power.
Whenever you perform an explosive start-stop activity such as weight training, the primary energy molecule used by the body is known as “ATP” (adenosine tri-phosphate).
By supplementing with creatine, you provide additional phosphate groups to the muscle tissue so that ATP can be synthesized at a faster rate.
As a result, you’re able to move heavier poundages on all of your exercises and squeeze out additional reps.
This allows you to gain lean muscle tissue at a more efficient rate, since the underlying stimulus for muscle growth is progressively increasing the resistance on your exercises over time.
Pro #2: It expands your muscle cell volume.
Creatine requires additional water in order to be stored in your muscle tissue, and this gives your muscles a thicker, more defined appearance.
Once you reach full creatine saturation (this will happen after about 20 days of consistent creatine use), you’ll usually gain somewhere between 3-6 pounds of overall body weight just from the increased water.
Pro #3: It helps you retain muscle during a cut.
One of the primary concerns during a fat loss phase is retaining all of your hard-earned muscle.
Since creatine helps to maximize your performance during workouts, you’ll be able to maintain your strength more effectively and retain more muscle as a result.
Pro #4: It’s safe in both the short and long term.
Creatine is the most heavily studied bodybuilding compound out there and has never been shown to have any adverse effects on human health.
Creatine usage is safe and effective in both the short and long term, and no evidence has ever suggested otherwise.
Pro #5: It’s inexpensive.
As long as you stick with creatine monohydrate (this is the “original” form of creatine and is still the most effective type available) you’ll be able to achieve all of the benefits that creatine as to offer and for a fairly low cost.
Creatine is perfectly affordable for pretty much anyone and is considerably less expensive than many other popular bodybuilding supplements.
Creatine Pros And Cons: The Cons
In all honesty, there really are no specific “downsides” to creatine when used for its intended purpose at the recommended 3-5 gram daily dosage.
Most of the supposed drawbacks of creatine use are perpetuated by those with either a poor understanding of supplement science or who are simply trying to sell you some other “new and improved” product.
A few of the common creatine myths you’ll hear include…
Myth #1: Creatine causes bloating.
Truth: Creatine does cause additional water retention, but all of that increased water is stored directly inside the muscle cell and not outside of it. For that reason, creatine does not cause bloating of any kind.
Myth #2: Creatine is harmful to the kidneys and liver.
Truth: Again, all research performed to date has shown creatine use to be safe in both the short and long term with no adverse effects on kidney or liver health.
Myth #3: Creatine causes cramping.
Truth: A very comprehensive study involving 1500 athletes showed the exact opposite; creatine usage actually decreasesinstances of muscle cramping during high intensity weight training and athletics.
Myth #4: Creatine is a steroid.
Truth: Anabolic steroids are synthetic variants of the hormone testosterone.
Creatine is a combination of three amino acids and is a 100% legal, over the counter dietary supplement. To suggest that creatine and steroids are similar in any way is downright absurd.
The Final Word On Creatine Pros And Cons
If you’re aiming to build lean muscle, increase your strength and/or improve athletic performance, creatine supplementation is pretty much a no brainer.
It produces plenty of valuable performance benefits, increases muscle fullness, is safe and is inexpensive. On top of this, there are really no downsides to speak of when used within the recommended 3-5 gram per day dosage.
Just stick with high quality, German-grade “CreaPure” creatine monohydrate powder as this is the best quality form available.
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