So eventually I’m going to get a little more in depth on my thoughts on supplements, but the real fast version is, I don’t think that most work, at least never to the degree promised by the obnoxious ad copy. I’m not convinced there’s a health risk per se, but generally outside of the placebo effect, most (non-steroidal) performance enhancing supplements have little to no research to back up their claims.
However, one of the supplements that has stood out through study after study as being safe and effective is your friend and mine, creatine monohydrate. Is it as powerful as steroids? Obviously not. Is it for everyone? Again, not really, because not everyone is training for goals that will be supported with creatine supplementation. That said, there are now bucket loads of research to support creatine’s safety and efficacy in improving the rate of strength gains (albeit a small percentage of the population classifies as “non-responders” and shows no real beneficial effects from creatine supplementation).
As some of you may have seen, there was an unfortunate incident over the summer involving some high school wrestlers and some sketchy training protocols (working out in 115 degree heat, not drinking adequate water) that landed them in the hospital. ABC News reported that creatine may have been responsible. And the real hilarious part is… the students maintain they weren’t even taking the supplement that is being blamed for their hospitalization. Wait… what? You mean like… the news reported that creatine is the probable link even though the guys involved weren’t even taking it? Huh?
Now listen friends. Its one thing to not be into taking supplements. Like I said, most kind of suck. And of course its cool if you’re just not into taking creatine. I’m not pro or anti supplement. I am, however, pro intellectual honesty. When the news media starts saying ridiculous things and inferring supplements like creatine are a health risk, I have to call SHENANIGANS.
Listen, in reality, the supplement industry is not super well regulated (although it IS regulated, just not as tightly as it could be) and there very well may be supplements that pose a health risk. Creatine is not one of them. A slow news day doesn’t justify making stuff up. Just saying.
For more detailed info by (pissed off) fitness journalist Chris Shugart, check out the article below:
Lastly, I’d like to apologize for the use of the word “hubub”.