T Nation

Is Creatine the Real Deal?


I've heard alot of things good and bad about creatine, some say it's only water retention others say it's a vital supplement. I read a pamphlet for purple k that said all other creatines were bad and converted to creatinine that damages the kidneys, and that purple k doesnt break down into water or even stomach acid, which makes me wonder how gentle it is on the liver.

Everytime i look for information on this product on the net i seem to get very biased info, and maybe on the forums too but i think it is worth a shot to ask some people with experience what they think.
thanks for the info.



This should help.


Creatine monohydrate is creatine monohydrate. Some companies may break down their creatine so it's easily digestible or whatnot, but either way, it is what it is. 5g per day (I take 10g) and lots and lots of water should do the trick.

(The following is not too scientific, but a summary of facts in basic terms)

What creatine does is load your muscles with water, which increases size and body weight (obviously). The added water increases your muscles' endurance and decreases their recovery time, allowing for more extended/intense workouts, which in turn means more muscle down the road.

So, if you are looking to take creatine, go to GNC, Vitamin Shoppe (my preferred store), or T-Nation's online store and buy some right now, it's very worth it.

Make sure it's simply "creatine monohydrate" and nothing else. I don't suggest taking creatine combinations. Oh, and make sure that (if you buy from GNC or Vitamin Shoppe) that you don't let them trick you into purchasing N.O.-Xplode from BSN. Bad move if you do.


Creatine breaks down to creatinine after digestion. If that Purple K has made the claim that their's donesn't, then congrats to them for making a product that is unusable to the body.

Simple monohydrate is best becuase it will deliver any of the promises made by other compainies with fancy names or buffered products, and costs a lot less.

With creatine, simple is best.


I just started taking creatine monohydrate. 5g with breakfast on off days, 5g pre/post workout on training days. I can tell you i've definitely noticed a difference in the one week i've been on it.

I'm doing Bill Starr's 5x5 strength workout, so it's quite easy to see if it is helping. It's not going to be that magic supp that makes you shatter your previous PRs but the studies and all the talk on it are definitely legit. You probably can't find many articles claiming that creatine is worthless (I don't think i've seen any) yet you continue to read that it is one of the best supps you can buy.

If I had to pick between three supps and only three, i'd choose whey, creatine, and a multivitamin for overall health.

Just be sure to get plenty of water!! I have never been so thirsty in my life; make sure you are getting enough water while on it.


watch out for the placebo effect, it tends to happen a lot. I'm not doubting your progress/growth/etc, I'm just sayin...be careful. but it's creatine, so yeah, it should work. consume lots of water. congrats.


I've just started taking it. I've always been of the school of thought that supplements are stupid except for protein which is just easier to consume (but no better if not inferior) than cans of tuna, chicken breasts, yoghurt, steak, etc.

I am a man who values an open mind and after reading about it I gave it a go.

I take the same does as the guy above at breakfast and after workout. Only because it is so bloody cheap. All the research says 5g after workout is all that is needed. Why do I take 10g a day then? Because I'm experimenting!

Two things I will say about creatine.

1) Its cheap - worst thing that could have happened to me was that I spend a couple of dollars on some 'experience'.

2) It worked for me. I noticed a difference in two weeks. I plan to take creatine forever with my protein shakes.

By this I mean I've been putting in the effort and adding that extra few pounds to the bar or going for one more rep and being succesful. Some of this is hard work on my part and some of this might be the creatine.

I have always stayed well hydrated and noticed no ill effects with creatine (because I already drank lots of water).

Go buy some creatine monohydrate (forget about the other kinds).

Google is your friend - don't trust me, go and do some research.



I've been using creatine monohydrate for 2 years. I was just warning him about thinking he's seeing results so quickly, because that could very well be a mental thing. in my statement I said that it was creatine, which usually produces quick physical results (mass storage of water in the muscles = increased size).


My inflection has been lost in written form once again!

I was just giving him a third opinion to mull over.

I was trying to say I am not sure myself about the results and it might be placebo but for the cost it is worth a try.

I agreed with you about the possible effects or lack thereof but nullified (is that a word?) this point with the fact that creatine is cheap.

There I go again - that last paragraph is probably gonna piss you off. Its no meant to :slight_smile:



Ok its time for me to be a nOOb, I got the creatine and I understand why and how its good for you, I checked that block. Now for my nOOb moment, why is N.O. Xplode from BSN bad for you? I have a feeling that I wasted money, /sigh. If someone could fill me in on the good bad and ugly, bash me if needed, just give me some info if you have the time. Thank you in advance!



It's a good supplement, but it's not the end all be all.

There's a lot of bad info on the net about pretty much any supplement. This industry is one of the dirtiest ever. It's very very hard to obtain any good information about anything. Congrats for finding T-Nation, at least here the ratio of useful info / bullshit is better than in pretty much any other place.

I remember when I took creatine the first time, years ago. Granted, my training and diet were pure crap at that moment, but still. As soon as I started to take creatine, my strength went up a lot. Every day, I was adding more plates, and it still didn't feel very hard to lift the bar.
Sure, I was probably "starving myself" at that time, but anyway, the fact remains - creatine enabled me to make a huge leap initially.
Of course, now it's not even close to that. I guess I'll stop taking it for a couple of weeks and see what changes occur, if any.

Just keep in mind - don't buy the fancy stuff. Creatine monohydrate is best, even better if it's micronized. But that's it, forget about silly combinations. Stick to pure creatine powder.


Creatine is, I think, "the real deal". I believe that it does help.

When you work out your muscles first use ATP, which is naturally stored in muscle tissue, for the 'burst' energy needed to move weight. ATP (three phosphate molecules) is broken down and becomes ADP (two phosphate molecules).

Supplementing with creatine will increase your muscles level of stored phosphocreatine (creatine bound with a phosphate molecule). Then, when ATP is broken down into ADP during weight training, the ADP is able to bind to the phosphate molecule which was bound to the creatine thereby creating new ATP for energy.

The end result is you are able to work out longer before your ATP stores are exhausted. When there is no readily available ATP the body must then enter a stage called Glycolysis (I think that's the one) where-by your body creates the energy you need along with the muscle burn you don't!

I may be wrong, but I always thought that the water retention was a side-effect and not the "desired-effect". However, it could also be possible that the water saturating the muscle tissue could help to dilute the burn...although I've never read this in any study.


okay so i just got some simple creatine monohydrate from GNC i think its by prop performance, anyway i figure ill just do 3g ed post workout until i run out. apparently you don't need to cycle it if you stick with lower doses. i was just wondering how much i should use for the loading phase and how long that should last? couldnt find it in the aforementioned article.


NO-Xplode is pretty much a shitload of caffeine with a bit of creatine in it, among other things. It has vasal dilators, creatine, some formula that does God-knows-what, and caffeine. All it does is boost energy, but once it wears off over the course of the day, you're gonna hit a low.

Also, if you don't cycle it right, you'll develop stomach problems. My buddy didn't cycle it at all and in his 18th week (2nd week of his 5th month--they tell you to cycle on 4 months and off 2, I believe), he had to go to the hospital with a stomach ulcer. Ouch.

If you want to get the effects of NO-Xplode, take a vasal dilator, some creatine, and an energy drink, but I don't officially recommend the energy drink.


I'm actually taking no-xplode right now. I knew it was bunk before buying it, but i'm always curious.

I take 3 scoops a day. I honestly don't feel a thing from it. And this is on top of the ECA stack. I guess I just have a high tolerence to caffeine.