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  • Creatine, to those unaware, can sound a little scary and often erroneously labeled similar to some moreserious substances.

  • But like many things perpetuated on the interwebz, creatine information has succumbed to the unfortunate demise of faulty information.

  • Or as we like to say in the fitness world: bro-science.

  • Thankfully, a quick dive into the scientific literature can clear up some of the confusion.

  • First, a quick breakdown of what creatine is.

  • Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid that our body itself makes from two other amino acids, arginine and glycine.

  • Most of it presides in our muscles.

  • There, it has a role in the ATP-PCr system, the system responsible for the initial 10 to 15 seconds of energy production during physical activity.

  • Creatine essentially replenishes this system during rest, explaining its popularity among athletes employing bursts of speed and strength.

  • For fitness enthusiasts, supplementing creatine generally means adding a few more pounds or reps to your lifts, which is great.

  • But as great as this performance benefit is, how safe is creatine really?

  • Fortunately for us, creatine is perhaps the most studied supplement in the world, with over a thousand studies covering its effects.

  • And with all this treasure trove of data, signs seem to point to creatine supplementation being safe.

  • Here's the gist.

  • According to the findings of the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition, after doing the legwork of sifting through the science,

  • they found that short and long-term creatine studies consisting of different dosages, fitness levels, and age groups, including infants and adolescents, displayed no adverse health risks with creatine supplementation.

  • No increased risk of injuries, no dehydration, no cramping, renal dysfunction, or even upset stomach.

  • The only potential side effect is slight weight gain potentially attributed to water retention.

  • And for those wondering, the often-perpetuated side effect of balding is also, for the most part, untrue.

  • There might be a link between creatine and DHT, a substance related to balding, but no direct connection.

  • And it only pertains to individuals susceptible to balding in the first place.

  • Now we know that creatine is fairly safe, but the immense data also shows that creatine has quite a bumload of additional health benefits.

  • These benefits include but are not limited to, obviously improved exercise performance, improved injury prevention and rehabilitation, improved post-exercise recovery, improved anti-aging, and even improved protection to diseases like Parkinson's and muscular dystrophy.

  • Luckily, we can get most of our creatine simply from our food, especially in red meats and seafood.

  • Supplementation, however, is often suggested anyway since we don't store too much creatine in our bodies.

  • Typical recommendation is roughly 2 to 5 grams of supplemented creatine per day.

  • And to close, again, regardless of what you might have heard elsewhere, for healthy populations, creatine is definitely safe.

  • Let me know how creatine has been for you.

  • Does it work for you or maybe you experienced your own set of side effects?

  • Let me know in the comments.

  • If you enjoyed this video, please give it a thumbs up and share it with your creatine-loving friends.

  • As always, thanks for watching, and GET YOUR PROTEIN!

Creatine, to those unaware, can sound a little scary and often erroneously labeled similar to some moreserious substances.

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