Creatine has been a hot topic for a while now and for good reason. There has been debates on whether it's worth it or not since we mostly seen the main downsides being bloating. We also see it as just a supplement for the fitness bros, but that's actually very far from the truth.
As a holistic health coach, FDN-P in training and self proclaimed supplement investigator I wanted to get to the bottom of this creatine debate and give you guys what the real pros and cons are.
Let's address the main CON we've seen about creatine which is the bloating. I've normally heard this from popular fitness accounts that already struggle with poor gut health to begin with BUT the bloating usually comes from the "loading" phase of creatine. A lot of brands suggest people load creatine and take a higher dose amount for a couple days before starting the maintenance phase. This is common in the fitness world and can totally be skipped. This alone tends to skip the bloating a lot of people endure.
The second part that contributes to bloating is since creatine can cause you to hold onto water it gives this "bloating" effect BUT if you are into wellness then you know that water retention has a lot to do with lymphatic drainage and also the quality of water you drink. So if you skip the loading phase, take care of your lymph through eating well, getting in regular walks, dry brushing and gua sha plus drink high quality water with minerals/electrolytes then bam bloating is not likely to happen.
I personally have not experienced the bloating phenomenon since doing this. Now let's talk about why someone would take creatine as a supplement.
Creatine is a substance that your body produces naturally from the amino acids arginine, glycine, and methionine. You can also get creatine from meat like steak and fish and as someone woh consumes a lot - when I got some routine testing done I was deficient in creatine even though I am an avid meat eater. This is when I started taking it seriously.
The main pros of creatine is not just for gym junkies since it gives your muscles energy, can help with muscle growth (definitely does have experienced this first hand) BUT it's also been GREAT for brain health and function.
Creatine has been shown to be beneficial not just for men and women but all ages even 50+.
In a robust 2022 meta-analysis, it was concluded that creatine supplementation significantly improved memory (compared to placebo). This improvement was particularly impressive among older adults (aged 66-77).
In a systematic review of randomized trials published in 2018, researchers concluded that oral creatine supplementation may improve healthy individuals' intelligence and reasoning abilities.
There has also been a debate on which creatine to take but I havent seen research on whether one is better than the other (mono or HCl) but you should just focus on one with cleaner ingredients.
We currently sell two different creatine brands on the website including Earth Fed Muscle powder creatine which is just a classic one ingredient creatine and no taste so great to mix with pre-workout, juice etc. We also have Cymbiotika Creatine with L-Glutamine which helps support the gut also, it is already flavored so I personally mix it in water or can take it straight from the packet. Both are great options for starters!