Is Creatine Safe? “Oh, Hell Ya!” Says the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition

In a recent position paper by the International Society of Sports Nutrition, they step up to defend creatine against the myth-mongers:

Although creatine has recently been accepted as a safe and useful ergogenic aid, several myths have been purported about creatine supplementation which include:

1. All weight gained during supplementation is due to water retention.

2. Creatine supplementation causes renal distress.

3. Creatine supplementation causes cramping, dehydration, and/or altered electrolyte status.

4. Long-term effects of creatine supplementation are completely unknown.

5. Newer creatine formulations are more beneficial than creatine monohydrate and cause fewer side effects.

6. It’s unethical and/or illegal to use creatine supplements. While these myths have been refuted through scientific investigation, the general public is still primarily exposed to the mass media which may or may not have accurate information.

In the full PDF article, they go on to correct these misapprehensions:

Position Statement: The following nine points related to the use of creatine
as a nutritional supplement constitute the Position Statement of the
Society. They have been approved by the Research Committee of the
Society.
1. Creatine monohydrate is the most effective ergogenic nutritional
supplement currently available to athletes in terms of increasing highintensity
exercise capacity and lean body mass during training.

2. Creatine monohydrate supplementation is not only safe, but possibly
beneficial in regard to preventing injury and/or management of select
medical conditions when taken within recommended guidelines.

3. There is no scientific evidence that the short- or long-term use of creatine
monohydrate has any detrimental effects on otherwise healthy individuals.

4. If proper precautions and supervision are provided, supplementation in
young athletes is acceptable and may provide a nutritional alternative to
potentially dangerous anabolic drugs.

5. At present, creatine monohydrate is the most extensively studied and
clinically effective form of creatine for use in nutritional supplements in
terms of muscle uptake and ability to increase high-intensity exercise
capacity.

6. The addition of carbohydrate or carbohydrate and protein to a creatine
supplement appears to increase muscular retention of creatine, although
the effect on performance measures may not be greater than using
creatine monohydrate alone.

7. The quickest method of increasing muscle creatine stores appears to be
to consume ~ 0.3 grams/kg/day of creatine monohydrate for at least 3
days followed by 3-5 g/d thereafter to maintain elevated stores. Ingesting
smaller amounts of creatine monohydrate (e.g., 2-3 g/d) will increase
muscle creatine stores over a 3-4 week period, however, the performance
effects of this method of supplementation are less supported.

8. Creatine products are readily available as a dietary supplement and are
regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Specifically,
in 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed into law the Dietary Supplement
Health and Education Act (DSHEA). DSHEA allowsmanufacturers/companies/brands to make structure-function claims;
however, the law strictly prohibits disease claims for dietary supplements.

9. Creatine monohydrate has been reported to have a number of potentially
beneficial uses in several clinical populations, and further research is
warranted in these areas.

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One response to this post.

  1. […] admin wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptIt’s unethical and/or illegal to use creatine supplements. While these myths have been refuted through scientific investigation, the general public is still primarily exposed to the mass media which may or may not have accurate … […]

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