The Truth About Creatine


Is creatine safe? Graphic by D. Khan.

R. Xavier, Staff Writer

Creatine is the most researched supplement on the market. With this much research available, it is important that bodybuilders and athletes stay informed on how to properly use creatine and whether it is safe for them. Creatine is an amino acid that is commonly consumed in red meat and seafood. Creatine aids in the ongoing supply of energy to active muscles by maintaining muscular development. It’s also present in little levels in your heart, brain, and other organs. Many athletes, powerlifters, and bodybuilders supplement with creatine monohydrate to gain its benefits in gaining lean muscle mass and strength gains.

A common misconception is that creatine is an anabolic steroid. This is a myth as creatine is found in many types of red meat and seafood as well as in your body. However, creatine isn’t taken at an optimal amount in foods alone. That is why supplementing with it could prove beneficial for bodybuilders, powerlifters, and athletes. 

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend creatine supplementation for teens. This conclusion wasn’t reached based on research indicating negative side effects of creatine supplementation in teens, but the opposite. In an excerpt from a study conducted by the US National Library of Medicine, the article stated “As can be seen in Figure ​Figure1, the results of our systematic review revealed that no studies to date have been completed that sought to directly examine the safety of creatine use in an adolescent or youth population. Subsequently, each efficacy study in adolescents (Table ​4) was closely reviewed by the authors to ascertain any information that might be present regarding any clinical side effects resulting from creatine use in adolescents. In this respect, none of these studies observed any gastrointestinal discomfort or changes in hemodynamic, urine, or any blood markers of clinical health and safety following the supplementation periods.” This states that there haven’t been enough studies conducted to draw a firm conclusion that creatine supplementation is unsafe in teens. Creatine, while the most researched supplement, its safety hasn’t been researched in teens.

In conclusion, Creatine is a supplement that promises great benefits for bodybuilders and athletes and is recommended for healthy adults. If you are a teen who is considering whether or not to take creatine before you do make sure that you don’t have any health risks and make sure to do your research, learn to read health studies, and choose reliable sources.