Debunking 7 Common Creatine Myths

Debunking 7 Common Creatine Myths

Creatine is a powerful supplement that's been the talk of the town in the fitness and general wellness community. Whether you're a bodybuilder, an athlete, or simply a health enthusiast, you've probably heard of creatine. However, with great popularity often comes many misconceptions, and creatine is ripe with them. 



At CON-CRĒT, we’ve heard all of the myths about creatine you have…and probably several more than you haven’t. As the leading supplier of Creatine HCl, we know a thing or two about creatine and how it works. We’re going to break down these myths, separate the facts from fiction, and set the record straight once and for all. 

What Does Creatine Do? 

Creatine is a naturally occurring substance in our bodies that’s primarily found in our muscle cells. It plays a role in the production of energy during high-intensity workouts or heavy lifting. Simply put, creatine is your body's power generator that supports you in pushing harder, going faster, and recovering optimally.

The science behind taking creatine is both compelling and conclusive. Numerous studies have confirmed its overall effectiveness in bolstering your athletic performance:

One review published in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition concluded that creatine supplementation can increase maximal power and performance in high-intensity anaerobic repetitive work by up to 15 percent. 

In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, creatine was found to significantly bolster the total work performed in sets of maximal effort muscle contractions. This means that creatine doesn't just encourage your body to work out harder — it encourages you to work out longer, too.

Another study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology discovered that participants who were supplementing with creatine maintained muscle health during periods of high-intensity workouts. This means less downtime recovering and more time to push your limits.

What Are Myths About Creatine That Are False?

When it comes to creatine, there are a lot of misconceptions, and the facts often get lost in all the noise. We’re here to set the record straight about creatine, so let’s tackle some of the most persistent myths one by one:

1. Creatine Causes Kidney and Liver Damage

  • The Myth: One of the most common myths about creatine is that it wreaks havoc on your kidneys and liver. This misconception likely stems from the fact that creatine supplements are processed within these organs.
  • The Truth: The scientific evidence tells a different story. Multiple studies, including a comprehensive review published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, have found no link between long-term creatine supplementation and kidney or liver damage in healthy individuals. It's important to note that these findings apply to individuals with no pre-existing liver or kidney conditions.

      Of course, creatine should be taken responsibility, as with any supplement. It’s important to follow the recommended dosage guidelines. Overdoing it with a larger dose won’t provide any extra benefits, but it can strain your body unnecessarily. 

      2. Creatine Leads to Dehydration and Cramps

      • The Myth: Another common misconception is that creatine causes dehydration and muscle cramps. This belief likely originates from the fact that creatine can sometimes cause water retention within the muscles.
      • The Truth: Contrary to this myth, scientific research has shown that creatine, in general, does not lead to dehydration or cramps. Though it is commonplace to increase water intake when supplementing with creatine monohydrate, you do not need to consume any extra water with Creatine HCl due to its solubility in the body.



          Remember, extra hydration is important when taking creatine monohydrate, not because it causes dehydration but because water is essential for every bodily function, including the process through which creatine works. Creatine HCl is typically an ideal choice for those looking to maintain optimal hydration levels while supplementing with creatine.

          If you aren’t drinking enough water to replenish what’s lost during exercise and normal bodily functioning, then dehydration and cramps are likely to occur.

          3. Creatine Is a Steroid

          • The Myth: Perhaps one of the most damaging myths is that creatine is a steroid. This is a gross misunderstanding of what creatine is and how it works.
          • The Truth: Creatine is not a steroid. It's a naturally occurring substance found in our bodies and in certain animal-based foods, like red meat, poultry, pork, and fish. Steroids, on the other hand, are synthetic substances that mimic hormones in the body, particularly testosterone. 

              The confusion may arise from the fact that both creatine and steroids can support athletic performance. However, they do so in very different ways. Steroids alter the body’s natural hormone balance to promote muscle growth and increase strength. On the other hand, creatine encourages your muscles to produce more energy to support power output and muscular endurance. 

              4. All Creatine Is the Same

              • The Myth: A common belief is that all creatine is the same, regardless of the form it comes in.
              • The Truth: This couldn't be further from the truth. While all creatine forms share the same base molecule, the difference lies in the molecules attached to it. These variations can significantly affect how creatine is absorbed and utilized by the body.

                  For instance, creatine monohydrate is the most commonly used form of creatine and is attached to a water molecule. Creatine HCl, like the kind that we invented here at CON-CRĒT, is bound to a hydrochloride molecule instead. 



                  The difference is substantial, as this molecule helps to improve its stability and solubility, eliminating the bloating typically associated with creatine monohydrate.

                  5. Creatine Is Only for Bodybuilders

                  • The Myth: Many people believe that creatine is only for bodybuilders or athletes who want to bulk up.
                  • The Truth: While it's undeniably true that creatine is popular among bodybuilders, its benefits extend to a wide range of athletes and individuals. Creatine provides cellular energy to every cell in your body. It can benefit anyone, whether involved in high-intensity activities such as sports or someone simply looking to enhance their overall wellness.

                      Creatine may also have cognitive benefits. A study in Psychopharmacology found that creatine supplementation supports cognitive function in young adults, indicating that it's not just for those looking to bolster physical performance but mental performance as well.

                      6. Creatine Causes Weight Gain

                      • The Myth: Another common myth is that creatine causes weight gain.
                      • The Truth: Creatine can cause a slight increase in weight when you first start taking it due to water retention in your muscles — note that this is typically associated with creatine monohydrate, not Creatine HCl. However, this is not the same as gaining fat. Over time, as you build more muscle, you may see an increase in weight due to muscle being denser than fat.

                          A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that creatine supplementation, combined with resistance training, supported lean body mass maintenance more than resistance training alone. This means that any weight gain associated with creatine is likely due to muscle mass and not fat. 

                          7. Creatine Makes You Bald

                          • The Myth: Some believe that creatine can lead to hair loss or baldness.
                          • The Truth: This myth likely stems from a single study that reported an increase in a hormone (dihydrotestosterone) that’s associated with hair loss in men who took creatine. However, the study didn’t measure their hair loss, and the hormonal increase was found to be well within normal clinical limits.

                              As of this writing, the results of this study have yet to be replicated. No other studies have found any evidence to suggest that creatine might cause hair loss and increase the hormones that contribute to it. The claim made in the study mentioned earlier is simply not supported by any scientific evidence.

                              The Truth Unveiled: Creatine's Real Impact on Fitness

                              When it comes to fitness and health, creatine stands out as an extremely popular supplement that’s backed by science and embraced by wellness enthusiasts worldwide. Yet, it's often shrouded in myths and misconceptions that can cloud its true potential.

                              We’ve taken the time to sort through these myths and debunk them one by one. While these myths aren’t likely to go away anytime soon, hopefully, you have a better understanding of the very real benefits of creatine. Ultimately, it’s a tool that goes beyond the gym and can greatly support your overall health and wellness journey. 

                              So, don't let myths cloud your judgment. Consider trying CON-CRĒT Creatine HCl supplements for yourself and experience the benefits firsthand. Creatine HCl gives you all the health benefits of creatine monohydrate while saying goodbye to bloating, making this an ideal choice for health enthusiasts.


                              International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Creatine Supplementation and Exercise | PMC

                              Creatine Supplementation and Exercise Performance: A Brief Review | PMC

                              Creatine Supplementation Enhances Muscle Force Recovery After Eccentrically-Induced Muscle Damage in Healthy Individuals | PMC

                              International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Safety and Efficacy of Creatine Supplementation in Exercise, Sport, and Medicine | JISSN

                              The Nutritional Biochemistry of Creatine | ScienceDirect

                              Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Cognitive Function of Healthy Individuals: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials | NCBI Bookshelf

                              Effects of Creatine Supplementation and Resistance Training on Muscle Strength and Weightlifting Performance | NIH

                              Three Weeks of Creatine Monohydrate Supplementation Affects Dihydrotestosterone to Testosterone Ratio in College-Aged Rugby Players | NCBI Bookshelf

                              Cramping and Injury Incidence in Collegiate Football Players Are Reduced by Creatine Supplementation | PMC

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