Creatine Safe but Banned!
Most of my American audience (which includes my fellow Canadians…"America" isn’t a country, it’s two continents – starts on at the Southern tip of Chile and ends at the Northern tip of Ellesmere Island in Canada – but enough with the geography lesson) doesn’t really pay much attention to what happens with sports supplements over here in the UK and Europe. Overall, there are the same misconceptions about creatine in both parts of the world.
When it comes to creatine, I would say that well over 90% of people who train with weights still have misconceptions about its safety and side effects. The fact is, it’s been around for almost 20 years now and has been used by millions of people. It’s even given to ill children who have rare genetic muscular diseases and studies have evaluated its safety at dosages of well over ten times the recommended maintenance dose.
There have also been expert roundtable discussions in which the world’s foremost experts have given it the thumbs up on safety. So at this point, anyone who tells you it may cause health problems in healthy people is just plain ignorant of the facts or purposely trying to mislead you.
Just about everyone still believes it causes cramps and bloating and I won’t address this topic right now because my column in the upcoming Muscle Insider Magazine hits the news stands in Canada in a few weeks and the information I’ll be delivering is so powerful that it actually puts an end to this controversy once and for all! No more arguments, no more rumour, innuendo, etc!
Despite this information being available to anyone willing and able to look hard enough, creatine is banned in France! That’s right, the French agency for food safety (AFSSA) banned it years ago and apparently haven’t caught wind of the deluge of scientific studies and massive number of users who haven’t come up with a single substantiated negative health effect! Of course the French tried to also ban Red Bull and aren’t big fans of the amino acids taurine and carnitine either, so they have a bit of a anti-supplement, "don’t confuse me with the facts", bias going on.
Anyhow, that’s my American update of some of the silliness going on over here in Europe. Maybe I’ll do one on a wacky American supplement fact for my UK/European readers in the next few weeks??
Mark Gilbert B.Sc. (Nutrition)
Sports Supplement Specialist
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