Creatine has rapidly become wildly popular among people looking for an
edge in strength training and sports performance. One study indicates as
many as 16% of teenagers use creatine, and 57% of people who frequent
health clubs also take the nutritional supplement. Creatine has been
clinically proven to increase lean muscle mass and boost performance,
but is creatine safe?
When it comes to creatine, you can count on
two things happening. First, some users will abuse it and consume
ridiculous levels of the substance in a desperate effort to boost their
performance. And secondly, the FDA and organized medicine will do
everything they can do discredit creatine as part of their campaign to
regulate or outlaw all nutritional supplements. These two actions go
hand in hand, of course: as a few isolated abusers of creatine are found
to exhibit negative side effects, the FDA will leap at the opportunity
and publicly declare creatine to be "dangerous to everyone" in a
sensationalist manner. The campaign to discredit creatine will, in fact,
closely mirror the FDA's campaign to suppress ephedra -- a common weight
loss herb that is actually remarkably safe, despite what you may have
heard in the popular press.
Creatine is like most other nutritional
supplements: if used widely, it can assist in reaching health goals like
losing weight or attaining greater physical strength. But if abused, it
can overload certain body organs (the kidneys, especially) and
ultimately cause serious health problems. The key is to understand that
the substance is not the problem, it's the desperation and lack
of nutritional wisdom of certain individuals that's the actual source of
the problem. The FDA would argue that since a few people can't figure
out how to limit their consumption of creatine to safe levels, then the
substance should be removed from the reach of the entire population. It
reminds me of the state of Oregon, where it's illegal to pump your own
gas at a gas station. Minimum wage attendants have to pump all your gas
for you in Oregon, because the state legislature decided that the
average gasoline consumer somehow has even lower intelligence than the
attendants who work there.
The FDA thinks the same way about the
general public: since a few people are too stupid to limit their
consumption of creatine, it should be restricted from everyone. It's an
insult to the intelligence of the thinking, lucid people in American
society. Yes, the number of lucid people may be shrinking rapidly thanks
to brain-destroying diets (hydrogenated oils, aspartame, MSG) and food
additives, but there are still tens of millions of people running around
this country who can think for themselves, and in my view, the FDA has
no right to restrict their access to relatively safe nutritional
supplements like creatine. Technically, creatine is no more dangerous
than coffee. There are probably thousands of deaths caused each year by
the frequent consumption of coffee, yet the FDA isn't at all interested
in banning that substance.
Do I use creatine myself? I tend to stay
away from it, but on occasion, I will consume a tablespoon of creatine
as part of a pre-workout protein drink made with soy milk, stevia and
whey protein. In my experience, it definitely helps with the workout.
But I don't rely on it as a foundation of my physical health, and I
would never consume it on a daily basis. It's not like vitamins and
minerals -- creatine isn't something you need on a daily basis. It can,
however, help the intensity of your workout if used wisely.
About the author: Mike Adams is a natural health researcher, author and award-winning journalist with a mission to teach personal and planetary health to the public He has authored and published thousands of articles, interviews, consumers guides, and books on topics like health and the environment, and he is well known as the creator of popular downloadable preparedness programs on financial collapse, emergency food storage, wilderness survival and home defense skills. Adams is an honest, independent journalist and accepts no money or commissions on the third-party products he writes about or the companies he promotes. In 2010, Adams co-founded NaturalNews.com, a natural health video sharing site that has now grown in popularity. He also launched an online retailer of environmentally-friendly products (BetterLifeGoods.com) and uses a portion of its profits to help fund non-profit endeavors. He's also a noted technology pioneer and founded a software company in 1993 that developed the HTML email newsletter software currently powering the NaturalNews subscriptions. Adams also serves as the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a non-profit consumer protection group, and enjoys outdoor activities, nature photography, Pilates and martial arts training. Known as the 'Health Ranger,' Adams' personal health statistics and mission statements are located at www.HealthRanger.org
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