creatine Not only is strength athletes one of the most popular nutritional supplements, it is also distinguished by the fact that from the point of view of sports science it has been extensively examined in terms of its mode of action in numerous studies. Despite the Enlightenment, which was driven, inter alia, by the aforementioned scientific studies, there are still countless myths about creatine, the truth of which tends to zero. So that you do not have to worry about the uncertainty in the course of creatine use, in the following article we will deal with 6 creatine myths, which are primarily related to any side effects, and check them for their veracity.

Myth 1 - Creatine causes kidney and liver damage

The most persistent creatine myth is that persistent use of the substance leads to kidney or liver damage. The reason for this assumption, which is especially popular in the boulvard media, is, for example, the practice of using creatine concentration in the blood as an indicator of kidney problems. Therefore, if you supplement creatine and for some reason experience kidney problems, the doctor's conclusion is that this is related to your creatine use. Not least to clarify this issue, many universities in the past conducted studies that clearly demonstrated that creatine intake does not affect the development of kidney stones or other kidney problems. Incidentally, the same applies to the occurrence of liver failure. Rather, it is usually the case that other factors such as a genetic bias, serious illnesses or simply a permanently too low hydration favor the development of liver and kidney damage.

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Myth 2 - Creatine can cause gastrointestinal discomfort

To say one thing in advance: The use of creatine is safe in perfectly healthy people and causes no organ damage. However, this does not mean that the creatine intake has no side effects, because in some people, there may well be gastrointestinal complaints. It has been proven that only about 5-7% of creatine users experience these symptoms, especially when an extremely high dose of creatine is given at once. Possible symptoms include mild nausea, bloating and diarrhea. However, if you're one of those 5-7 percent, it does not mean you have to forgo the benefits of taking creatine. In order to avoid the likelihood of gastrointestinal discomfort, manufacturers have dedicated themselves to the development of alternative products that can be significantly better dosed, for example due to their dosage form in a capsule and thus protect the gastrointestinal tract.

Myth 3 - Creatine provokes muscle spasms and dehydration

Another myth often used by skeptics is the dehydration of creatine intake and the related development of muscle cramps. In fact, despite numerous investigations of the subject matter, there is no indication that the negative effects mentioned result from the intake of creatine. Rather, the absorbed creatine helps your body maintain its hydration status longer, as every gram of creatine binds to a few milliliters of water. Surprisingly, a large-scale study by San Diego State University has shown that taking creatine in hot weather conditions even helps keep your body's body temperature from rising too much, even under stress.

Myth 4 - Creatine favors the development of compartment syndrome

Basically, the compartment syndrome describes the decreasing blood flow of a tissue due to increased tissue pressure, such as water retention. Since creatine stores water, this assumption can not be completely dismissed, which means that this myth is not without foundation. In fact, the increased water retention in the musculature and the associated expansion of the tissue structures may possibly lead to a restriction of the blood flow to the tissue. In reality, however, this risk is much lower than many commenders put on the wall, because compartment syndrome usually only occurs after injuries, during which water accumulates in the damaged tissue, increasing internal pressure in the tissue. Sports medicine studies with bodybuilders suggest that creatine use can only promote the development of compartment syndrome when it comes to excessive consumption. As a result, you should stick to the given intake recommendations for creatine supplementation and not act according to the motto "a lot helps a lot".

Myth 5 - Creatine causes rhabdomyolysis

Rhabdomyolysis is commonly understood as the dissolution of striated muscle fibers of the heart or skeletal muscle as a result of injury, muscle inflammation, metabolic disorders or excessive training. The myth came after a New York Times article treating the phenomenon of high school footballers. The reason for assuming that creatine is the trigger is that elevated levels of creatine kinase are found during rhabdomyolysis. In practice, the results of countless studies, however, speak a different language and attest the intake of creatine no direct significant side effects that are dangerous for a healthy organism.

Myth 6 - Creatine causes weight gain

As every gram of creatine in the tissue binds to several milliliters of water, it naturally causes weight gain, so this myth is actually true. As mentioned earlier, weight gain, which is between 0.8 and 2.8 percent of body weight depending on the personal dose, is in detail just water, not body fat. Studies also show that the water-applied weight returns completely to baseline after cessation of creatine.

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