T Nation

Is Creatine Having a Placebo Effect?


#1

I tried creatine for the first time yesterday. All I used was one teaspoon. I'm not doing a big loading...I'm just slowing building up my creatine stores. However, the next day I noticed I had way more energy for my workout. I'm wondering if this was a placebo effect. Is it possible to get a noticable effect from creatine from just a single 5 gram dose?

Here's one aspect which might explain why it helped. I eat meat sparingly. So I think I have a low storage of creatine in my body. Maybe getting that dose of 5 grams really had a effect since I may have a low storage in my body?


#2

What you’ve experienced is almost 110% placebo. Creatine may help with neural functions as well as acting as a phosphate donor in cells so that you have quicker ATP generation thus increasing your overall intracellular energy pool. It also has some capacity to help drive water into cells. The effects however, by the time they kick in when you start getting that increased saturation of creatine, are modest and most likely you’re not going to notice because of how gradual the benefits creep in over time.

I guess if you’re very limited on eating animal flesh, perhaps you may feel it more acutely since you are severely lacking in creatine to begin with.


#3

[quote]kissdadookie wrote:
What you’ve experienced is 110% placebo.[/quote]

Yes!
Now the question you have to ask yourself is why you have been unable to reach that level without fooling yourself into it.


#4

Yeah, I was just having a “good” day that day. I keep taking creatine, but I sometimes wonder if it’s doing anything.


#5

Actually, the more I think about it the more I think the creatine has had a big effect. I’ve never felt stronger than I have before. Everytime in the past I’ve tried to do weightlifting I’ve always felt too weak. However, now that I’m taking creatine I just see that I’m able to push my body further than ever before. I can do stuff like diamond pushups where before I felt too weak to do them. I think it’s also helped me, because I don’t eat tons of meat. I get a lot of my protein through eggs, dairy and protein powders…but not much from meat.


#6

“Creatine”?


#7

[quote]DiddlySquat wrote:
Actually, the more I think about it the more I think the creatine has had a big effect. I’ve never felt stronger than I have before. Everytime in the past I’ve tried to do weightlifting I’ve always felt too weak. However, now that I’m taking creatine I just see that I’m able to push my body further than ever before. I can do stuff like diamond pushups where before I felt too weak to do them. I think it’s also helped me, because I don’t eat tons of meat. I get a lot of my protein through eggs, dairy and protein powders…but not much from meat.[/quote]

It makes me ALOT stronger as well.
No placebo there…
But I will say I retain a shit load of water …
Tradeoffs I guess


#8

[quote]DiddlySquat wrote:

Here’s one aspect which might explain why it helped. I eat meat sparingly. So I think I have a low storage of creatine in my body. Maybe getting that dose of 5 grams really had a effect since I may have a low storage in my body?[/quote]

Could be the case, veg-heads usually get a better response than most from creatine


#9

I continue to take creatine. I have worked out in the past without it and I think this time around I’m seeing better results in terms of muscle fatigue. I think in the past when I didn’t take it I’d burn out quicker. I couldn’t get in that last rep or two, etc.


#10

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:

[quote]DiddlySquat wrote:

Here’s one aspect which might explain why it helped. I eat meat sparingly. So I think I have a low storage of creatine in my body. Maybe getting that dose of 5 grams really had a effect since I may have a low storage in my body?[/quote]

Could be the case, veg-heads usually get a better response than most from creatine[/quote]

This. Creatine is vital for cognitive function as well as very short duration muscle energy.

When supplementing with creatine, I notice that I can usually squeak out an extra rep or lift maybe 5 lbs more. That adds up over time.