The Top 8 Creatine Myths Busted

EndurElite Chief Endurance Officer Matt Mosman, MS, CISSN, CSSN busts the top creatine myths and sets the record straight on this super supplement with science!

Full Video Transcription:

Good morning Family of Fast, Matt Mosman, the Chief Endurance Officer over at EndurElite.Welcome to another episode of busting the BS, my favorite. On the chopping block today is the top creatine myths.

Now we know from previous videos creatine is one of the most studied and effective sports supplements you can take to increase performance, strength, power, endurance, hydration, brain health. In short, it's awesome.

But still, there's some major misconceptions about it that we are going to clear up today. So let's just get right to it. I have my handy dandy list right here so I don't miss any of these good little nuggets to bust the bullshit on.

Creatine Myth #1: Creatine causes kidney damage

My God. So there are no studies showing creatine causes kidney damage in otherwise healthy people.

In fact, there are several studies that have demonstrated that taking creatine has no adverse effects on kidney function or the way the kidneys filter blood in the body to boot.

There is a 5-year study out there that followed 75 people that took 16 grams of creatine a day. And at the end of the study, there were no adverse effects on kidney and/or liver function in these people. So creatine, extremely safe, is not going to kill your kidneys.

Creatine Myth #2: Creatine causes GI issues like explosive diarrhea.

Again, this is a myth, kind of. It does happen in about 5% to 7% of the population, but usually only when they take way too much creatine at once or on an empty stomach.

So from previous videos, you know to take about 2.5 to 5 grams of creatine daily and take it with some food so you don't get the farts and the gas and the pooping.

Creatine Myth #3: Creatine causes cramping and dehydration.

Simply not true. The way creatine works is it actually acts as a hyperhydrator because when the creatine goes into the muscle cell, it actually draws water in and, again, it actually will hydrate you a little bit better, which can be extremely beneficial for endurance athletes who might exercise or race in hot and humid conditions.

Creatine Myth #4: Creatine causes bloating.

I hear this one a lot. They say they take creatine and they notice their skin is a lot more puffy. Again, not true. Creatine is not stored right under the skin subcutaneously. It's stored in the muscle tissue, some in the eyes, and then the rest in the brain. So that myth is busted.

Creatine Myth #5: Creatine causes weight gain.

Well, this is actually kind of true, and that can be a benefit for strength athletes, people who are looking to put on some major bulk, baby.

Most of this is due to water retention in the beginning, but the way creatine works is it'll actually help you to push harder when you're lifting weights, and that will lead to the gains in muscle mass.

Now, if you want to get the benefits of creatine without the weight gain as an endurance athlete, you want to take about 2.5 to 3 grams daily.

And this can increase power output for you again, act as a hyperhydrator and actually increase endurance performance.

Creatine Myth #6: Creatine is a steroid.

No, that's not the way creatine works. In fact, if you eat any kind of meat or fish, you're already taking creatine. It's a naturally occurring compound in a lot of foods. So again, creatine is not a steroid.

Creatine Myth #7: Creatine is only for bodybuilders.

So it is extremely effective for bodybuilders, right? That's what most people think of when they think of creatine. But as I mentioned before, creatine can be extremely beneficial for endurance athletes, because the way creatine works is when you ingest it, it's actually creatine phosphate.

The creatine phosphate is stored in the muscles. And when you exercise, your body relies on something called ATP to produce energy to fuel those muscular contractions and help you going longer and stronger.

So when ATP is broken down, you're left with ADP. And what happens, this is where it is really, really cool, is the creatine phosphate donates the phosphate group to ADP to reform ATP and you are going faster for longer and more explosive and stuff like that, and it's awesome. So again, creatine is just not for bodybuilders.

Creatine Myth #8: You need to load creatine for it to be effective.

So in the past, you were told you need to take 5 grams of creatine 5 times a day for about 10 days to saturate creatine stores.

Now you can absolutely do this if you want to saturate creatine stores a lot faster, but you can just take 2.5 to 5 grams daily and you'll saturate muscle creatine stores in about...with 5 grams daily in about 28 days with the 2.5 in about 45 days.

So I think that covers all the creatine myths. If I missed one, just comment somewhere below and I'll address that one and bust that bullshit too. So that's all I have on creatine and busting the myths behind it today.

If you want other videos like this on endurance training, nutrition, supplementation, random musings, and other episodes of busting the bullshit, head on over to the EndurElite YouTube channel or the EndurElite blog and

We also post this stuff on social like the Facebook machine and the Instaslam, so check us out there. And until next time, my endurance friends, stay fueled, stay focused, stay fast, and stay informed.