Supplements

Supplement Mythbuster: Creatine Edition

Hey guys! I’m back to talk more about one of my favorite topics-supplements! Today I’ll be playing the role of mythbuster, and the supplement in question is creatine.

If you’ve read my last blog about this awesome stuff, you know where I stand on the subject.

Basically, if you aren’t already using creatine, you probably should be! The benefits are well documented and include increased energy and prolonged workouts, quicker recovery and better training sessions!

And who doesn’t want better training sessions and results? Am I right?!

Many people, especially women, are still hesitant to add creatine to their supplement cupboard. I’m convinced that most of the hesitation they feel stems from misinformation, which continues to be fed by a handful of widespread myths and misconceptions.

I’m here to shut down the rumor mill and set the record straight! I’ve identified and dispelled six of the most prevalent myths out there today:

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#1 Creatine will cause weight gain

I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked, “Doesn’t creatine make you look bulky?”

Here’s the short answer: Nope!

To fully understand how creatine works, definitely check out my last blog, but basically, creatine can help you train better and can lead to enhanced training results-whatever those desired results may be!

Creatine use alone has never caused anyone to balloon out of control and start looking like the Incredible Hulk. Yes, when you start out there will be a minor amount of water retention leading to an additional pound or two. This extra water is intracellular, however, so you won’t look bloated, soft or chubby! (Check out my photo below!)

So if your primary goal is to bulk-up, creatine can facilitate that result. However, if your goal is to lose fat, tone, sculpt, firm-up or simply to get stronger, and your training and nutrition is appropriate, adding creatine to your current supplement regimen can help you realize those goals as well!

#2 Women shouldn’t use creatine

This myth sort of goes along with #1, as the primary reason creatine isn’t thought of as a women’s product due to the mistaken idea that creatine will lead to gaining weight and becoming bulky, which is something many women don’t want when considering their fitness goals.

Creatine has definitely developed a “bro” aura over the years, since it’s been primarily marketed to guys who are trying to put on muscle. Certainly we’ve all seen that group of guys at the gym who stand around, protein shake in hand, talking about the supplements they each use. Creatine is always mentioned.

But as we’ve learned, creatine can help you have more effective workout sessions, which lead to improved training results. If your goal is to build lean muscle, creatine supplementation can definitely support your goals!

I always incorporate creatine when I’m in a lean muscle building phase, and I’ve personally seen awesome results.

@idealfit is launching what?!?! Who is as excited about the #idealfit Creatine as I am?? ⠀ ⠀ Creatine can get a bad rap especially with women so I am here to set the record straight! ⠀ ⠀ Will creatine make you gain weight? Well, sorta. I mean yes, the scale usually does go up a pound or two when you start using creatine but it's in the form of intracellular water, not fat. Since it's not subcutaneous water weight it won't make you feel "fluffy". If anything it will make you feel leaner because your muscle will look more full. Muscle tissue needs to be well hydrated to grow and creatine assists in that! ⠀ ⠀ Will creatine make you look muscley and manly? Look at this photo I posted. In that photo I had been taking creatine for 3 years non stop and was currently taking it. 'Nuff said. ⠀ ⠀ Will creatine affect my workouts? YES! It will make your workouts amazing! When you have creatine inside your muscle cells, phosphates will attach to it. This increases your creatine phosphate levels in your cells which means more ATP can be produced during your workouts. ATP = energy! Forget the science talk… taking creatine daily (every day, at the same time of day, even on off days) will increase your energy levels and output during your workouts!⠀ ⠀ If my goal is fat loss can I still benefit from taking creatine? Yes! The more energy you can have during your workouts, the more you will retain muscle during a fat loss phase! ⠀ ⠀ Creatine is super easy to use. Just take 5g of it every single day whenever you'll remember it. I use it post workout but you can do what works for you. ⠀ ⠀ Grab yours at our introductory price of $9.99 and make sure you use the code TRAINERLINDSEY to save 10% off that price! See link in bio! Also, if you sign up for Sculpt this now comes with that bundle! SCORE!

A post shared by Lindsey Mathews, Fit Trainer (@trainerlindsey) on

I’ve also recommended it to almost all my women clients during my decade-plus as a trainer. Women definitely can and should use creatine!

#3 You already get enough creatine in your diet

steak with salad and potatoes

Unless your typical meal plan includes four 12 oz sirloins every day, you are probably not getting enough creatine in your diet to notice additional training benefits.

While you can take in small amounts of creatine by consuming salmon, tuna, and red meats, you’re sort of capped on the amount you can realistically get from the foods you eat.

The creatine concentration in these foods is simply too small to make a drastic impact. For instance, two to three pounds of uncooked meat or fish contains roughly the amount of creatine (5g) in a single serving of Ideallean creatine.

Since studies show that 5g creatine per day is optimal for best results, I suggest supplementing with creatine as opposed to relying on your diet alone to get enough creatine every day.

#4 Creatine damages your kidneys

Maybe one of the most rampant rumors on the market today is the fallacy that creatine use is somehow harmful to your kidneys.

Rest assured that this myth has been disproved time and time again, and has a mountain of data stacked up against it.

All rumors have to start somewhere though, and this one was given life by another compound called creatinine. When your body breaks down creatine, a natural byproduct is creatinine (confusing enough, right?). Some of this creatinine makes its way around your body and will eventually be measurable in a urine analysis.

Coincidentally, creatinine is a marker looked for when testing for kidney dysfunction. While creatinine doesn’t cause, contribute or lead to kidney dysfunction, it will be present in such cases and thus it is tested for.

When researchers started to occasionally find trace amounts of creatinine in urine samples of people using creatine, they jumped to the conclusion that the creatine was causing kidney damage (it wasn’t).

This rumor quickly spread, and as a result, studies were performed to analyze the effects, if any, of creatine use on the kidneys. It turns out, there are none!

Creatine use has been shown to have no effect on the kidneys.

#5 Creatine will dehydrate you

couple chatting at the gym

Some creatine supplements include a direction to increase water consumption, leading to the incorrect assumption that creatine dehydrates you. This is not the case!

Increased water intake is often suggested for best results because water is critical to optimal fat loss and muscle building, but not because of increased dehydration!

Most of us could probably benefit from a little more water in our lives, but you definitely don’t need to worry about dehydration during creatine use.

In fact, some studies suggest that creatine may actually improve hydration during exercise!

#6 Creatine is a steroid

This one may take the cake as far as myths are concerned. While it has widely been stamped out by now, there are still pockets of misinformed people who continue to believe that creatine is an anabolic steroid.

Anabolic steroids are drugs that make testosterone levels skyrocket en route to achieving the desired result of increased muscle mass. Steroids are widely illegal and have been banned by all major sports.

Creatine is a nutrient produced naturally within your body and it has no hormonal effect or function. It isn’t even in the same family as steroids!

Not only is creatine not a steroid, it’s completely unregulated and totally allowed in high school, college and pro sports as well as the Olympics.

So this is one more myth that can be tossed out the window!

Conclusion

In a nutshell, creatine is safe and effective, and when used along with a proper diet and eating plan, it can help support your lean muscle building goals and promote improved strength!

I hope that by now you’re feeling a little better about this supplement and are ready to start using it with confidence! Once you begin to see the results of better workout sessions, you’ll be glad you made the decision to add creatine to your supplement collection!

Your next move is to decide which creatine product is right for you. With so many options on the market, it can be a tall task to select the best. But look no further than Idealfit’s creatine for women!

Providing 5g per serving of the highest quality creatine monohydrate, and free of any unnecessary fillers, sugars, carbs or bulking agents, you get all the benefits with no unwanted side effects! Get your IdealLean Creatine today!

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Lindsey Mathews

Lindsey Mathews

Head Trainer & Nutritionist

Lindsey Mathews is the Head Trainer and Nutritionist at IdealFit. She is a NSCA-CSCS certified personal trainer, C-ISSN certified sports nutritionist, Pn. 1 certified nutrition coach, and a nationally qualified NPC bikini competitor. Before joining IdealFit, she ran the largest boot camp program in Utah County.


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