Myths & Misconceptions on Creatine

Myths & Misconceptions on Creatine

By: Neel Duggal

This article was originally posted on

Creatine supplements are one of the most popular health supplements utilized by InsideTracker users and the general population. And it’s also one of the most controversial. While some hail it as a useful tool to increase muscle gains, boost recovery, and surge testosterone, others denounce it as an ineffective supplement that causes liver and kidney damage. Where does the real answer lie? In this piece, we cover all of the nitty-gritty research and distill what creatine supplements do and don’t do to your body.

What is the History behind Creatine?

Before we sort out the impact creatine supplementation has on the body and how it may increase your “Gainz” or inflict stomach cramping, we need to sort out the science behind it. Creatine, which is technically known as “creatine monohydrate”, is a small, nitrogen-containing organic acid that is found naturally in humans and other vertebrates. In the body, it is commonly found in one of two forms. It can be attached to a high energy molecule called a phosphate group where it is known as “creatine phosphate.” The second form, called “creatinine,” is a breakdown product of creatine that is then excreted by the body.

Creatine’s main function is to supply energy to cells in the body, especially those in muscle tissue, by increasing the production of the body’s primary energy molecule called “Adenosine Triphosphate” (ATP). When producing ATP, creatine phosphate loses its phosphate group and transforms to creatine monohydrate. It is eventually broken down into creatinine and excreted by urine. Thus, creatine phosphate is the main driver of the substance’s effects on the body. Also important: Despite having “creatine” in its name, the indicator of muscle damage “creatine kinase” is unrelated to creatine monohydrate!

Creatine is not an essential nutrient; this means that the body produces it organically without ingesting food. It is naturally produced in the human body by the kidney and liver using the amino acids glycine and arginine. Overall, about 95% of the human’s body creatine is found in skeletal muscles- the muscles involved in body movements such as the biceps or quadriceps. Overall, about 1% of blood content is composed of creatine.

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