Updated: Nov 14, 2019
You probably ALL know what creatine is.
And you've probably heard that creatine is bad for you at some point... but is it really?
Well let's discuss this.
Firstly, What Is Creatine?
Well.. to put it simply.. creatine is a supplement which gives you more energy.
It can improve your workout intensity and energy levels.
Not only this, it may even help you build muscle.
We have gone over this topic in much more detail on another article, just follow the link above for that article to learn more about creatine.
So What Are These Misconceptions Of Creatine?
There are quite a few misconceptions about creatine, but in this article we will go over the top three misconceptions about creatine.
Top Three Creatine Myths:
Creatine damages your kidneys.
Creatine causes fat gain.
Creatine makes you go bald.
Read on below for the truth about these myths.
Misconception About Creatine One: Creatine damages your kidneys
As we've discussed in another article, creatine increases the blood plasma levels of a chemical called creatinine.
Because creatinine is used as a marker of kidney damage, creatine has been associated with kidney damage.
Creatinine is a waste product from the normal breakdown of muscle tissue. As creatinine is produced, it's filtered through the kidneys and excreted in urine. Doctors measure the blood creatinine level as a test of kidney function.
However this has been debunked in multiple studies.
The excess creatinine produced in response to creatine also happens if you eat enough meat.
Fact: It is just a metabolic reaction, not a result of kidney damage. However, if you currently have kidney damage or issues, creatine may make these worse, so avoid creatine in this situation.
Misconception About Creatine Two: Creatine causes fat gain
Creatine has a reputation for increasing weight gain.
But.. it is simply that.. weight gain..
Creatine doesn't cause any fat mass gain any differently than if you aren't taking creatine.
The weight gain that comes as a result of creatine supplementation is simply the result of water retention within muscle tissue and cells. This gives you the appearance of larger and more full muscles.
These findings support previous research that creatine supplementation increases TBW. Mean percent body fat and caloric intake was not affected by creatine supplementation. Therefore weight gain in lieu of creatine supplementation may in part be due to water retention.
Fact: Therefore, the myth that creatine causes fat gain is completely unsolicited and false.
Misconception About Creatine Two: Creatine makes you go bald
Testosterone is the male body's major anabolic hormone.
DHT, a derivative of Testosterone, is the male body's major androgenic hormone.
It is also responsible for male-pattern baldness.
Creatine was actually shown to increase DHT by 56% during the "loading phase" of creatine supplementation..
However, levels of DHT increased by 56% after 7 days of creatine loading and remained 40% above baseline after 14 days maintenance
Fact: The role of creatine in hair loss and baldness is not fully known. However, creatine does in fact increase DHT levels, and DHT promotes male-pattern-baldness.
Therefore, the conclusion of IT'S POSSIBLE has been reached. This doesn't necessarily mean that creatine will cause baldness but we can't rule it out.
Creatine Myths Debunked:
Overall, creatine supplementation is regarded as most likely a safe supplement, for the general population of people at least.
Creatine damages your kidneys: Not True
Creatine causes fat gain: Not True
Creatine makes you go bald: It's Possible
If you wish to purchase some creatine and try it out, be sure to download my free guide to creatine (shop page) or read my blog post on whether or not creatine builds muscle (link above).
However if you do wish to use creatine, we recommend this product: MyProtein Creatine 500g