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Creatine supplementation isn’t just gym theory. It creates a physical response directly related to strength and muscle size. Specifically, creatine increases your ATP stores which is the energy source needed for short burst, explosive movements.
While there are many positives, there are also some negative aspects. Here’s a list of the pros and cons of using creatine.
Pro: You’ll Get Stronger
Study after study has shown the benefits of creatine when it comes to short term, explosive movements. Creatine has become the number one recommended supplement for strength and weight training because of the nearly instant benefits.
Within a few weeks of beginning creatine use, you’ll notice an increase in both reps and maximum weight you’re able to move.
Con: It Doesn’t Work For Every Activity
The same studies that showed an improvement in short burst movements, also revealed limited benefits to other activities. If you’re an endurance athlete, or just a casual gym goer, creatine will be less effective.
Pro: You’ll Get Bigger
If gaining muscle size is your thing, then creatine is a must. The gains in strength and performance will have an indirect benefit to your muscle size. As you get stronger, you’ll move more weight, which will help you gain muscle size.
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Con: You Have To Use It Forever
Creatine supplementation is effective, when done right, but it’s also a temporary boost correlated to the creatine you store in your body. If you decide to stop supplementation, your creatine stores will deplete and you’ll lose all those strength and muscle gains you received from creatine use.
You’ll get some solid gains from creatine, but the gains are not permanent and muscle size and strength will be linked to your continued usage.
Pro: It’s Cost Effective
Anyone who’s ever stepped into a gym, or lifted a weight, has fallen prey to the miracle bottle of “muscle grow”. You know the one. That $80 bottle of crap that did absolutely nothing other than give you gas.
So when you see a container of creatine selling for $12, you figure it can’t possibly work. But it does. Surprisingly, one of the most effective (and legal) muscle building supplements ever discovered is also one of the cheapest.
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Con: It Ruins Your Protein Shake
Ruin is a pretty strong word, but it definitely makes your protein shake less enjoyable. If you’re using the powdered supplement, as recommended, you’ll need to pour 5 grams of creatine into your protein shake every day.
It has a distinct aftertaste that can make your protein shake taste bland. You’ll have to fight off the temptation to add sweeteners to offset the creatine taste.