Photos like this sell. I’m disgusted by the internet hype and BS that drive the athletic supplement industry, so I’m going to preface this article with a piece of advice I hope you take seriously.
Don’t believe a damn word you read on the internet.
This includes me if I ever make a comment about a supplement without posting links to peer reviewed human based research. There are huge risks to blindly swallowing pills without a comprehensive understanding of how compounds react in your body. This includes something as simple as a multivitamin containing iron, which can be very hazardous to the health of most males. Source
Okay, now I feel better, so we can move on.
The focus of this article is creatine monohydrate, which is the most widely researched form of creatine with the most data available. Many other forms have been made available in recent years, but there is much less data available on these other forms. Below is a partial list of alternative forms of creatine, each with it’s own positive and negative attributes. Comparison of these forms is for another article.
Other forms of Creatine not addressed in this article:
Micronized Creatine, Creatine Ethyl Ester, Creatine Serum, Effervescent Creatine, Creatine Citrate, Di and Tri Creatine Malate, Creatine Kre-Alkalyn, Creatine Orate, Creatine Hydrochloride
Creatine monohydrate is one of the most researched sports supplements available with ample data demonstrating results for increased strength, increased muscle hypertrophy, and improved muscle recovery. Source. Creatine has been found to improve fatigue resistance. Source
Consuming creatine monohydrate post workout has been shown to be more effective than consuming it pre workout. Source.
One possible negative side effect is a reduction in range of motion. This is possibly due to increased intracellular water retention. Source
Important note: Not everyone responds to creatine monohydrate supplementation. Some people are “non-responders”, which means they gain little to nothing from creatine monohydrate supplementation. Source.
People with kidney problems should think twice before using creatine because increased creatinine levels could act as a false indicator of renal dysfunction. Source
Safe Long Term?
Test subjects in this study used creatine for up to 21 months. Source
Test subjects in this study used creatine for up to 2 years. Source
Is Creatine the king of ergogenic supplements? Well, probably.
Most of the performance supplements available are a waste of money. Creatine does not belong in that category. Given the overwhelming evidence, I take it.
Creatine monohydrate is the only supplement I have ever taken that actually made me perform noticeably better in the gym and on the track. I notice improved endurance and strength.
Oh yeah…One more thing: I’m not a doctor and you should ask your doctor about whether you should take creatine.