Creatine and the Safety for Teenagers

Continually in the news people see the questions about creatine and the safety for teenagers.  Especially in high school sports where in some cases the supplement has been banned.

In fact, the best general article to read when it comes to creatine side effects is The Truth About Creatine Side Effects. You’ll certainly understand when you read that creatine article that in general, the side effects of this supplement are minor and usually related to stomach discomfort. This rule applies to “individuals” in general. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Creatine is not a steroid. Creatine is a naturally occurring substance is generally safe for men, women and teenagers.

Before the teenagers (under 18 crowd) start cheering I’m actually going to state the opposite even though in my own non-medical opinion I feel there’s no peer research to show any negative side effects.

Creatine and teenagers just don’t mix.

Before I get booed off the stage, please bear in mind that in general (men, women, teens) nutrition and training are 97% of the puzzle and supplements are around 3%. With this in mind, taking or not taking creatine as a teenager is literally going to make very little different in the scheme of things. Ask yourself a question if you are under 18 before you roll your eyes.

Can you answer the following questions? (True or False)

  • You know how many calories you need a day to reach your goals?
  • You know exactly how much protein you need a day?
  • You always have a plan when you workout?
  • Your workouts are never boring.
  • You’ve never hit a plateau?
  • You don’t miss a meal?
  • You have short, medium and long term goals?

Because 99% of teenagers will answer false to at least one of those questions. Mostly questions 1 and 2.

My point is…

While there’s not any scientific research to conclusively prove that creatine use in teenagers is harmful whatsoever, it’s my belief that while you are under 18 and still growing, there’s no reason to take any sports supplements unless you can answer true to all of the above questions and are responsible enough to follow directions per the supplement and be mature enough to quit if you experience any creatine side effects that you feel are negative.

There’s not a whole lot of good reason to take creatine as a teenager. You’ll get far more benefits as an adult when you’ve had more training experience under your belt and a few more years of solid nutritional fundamentals. The 3% that supplements will make does not outweigh any ‘potential’ creatine side effects you may experience at such a young age.

And while it’s true that science does not prove taking creatine is in any way negative, it’s just a common good practice that individuals who are still growing just focus on a solid nutritional diet and not worry about additional ways to gain a small advantage.

Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it's free).

read more
read more

6 Responses to "Creatine and the Safety for Teenagers"

  1. Bullish:
    December 28, 2011 04:14 am

    Marc, thx for the advice. I saw a doc today. Said I definitely tore the pec. Good news is there is no bulging or sinking in my pec. He says it should heal up on its own in 4-5 weeks. Appears to be best case scenario for a bad scenario.

    Leave a reply  
    1. Marc:
      December 28, 2011 04:21 am

      That’s great news! I’m glad to hear it. Next time you get any injury, see a doctor ASAP. Don’t do what 99% of my bodybuilding friends do. The old “wait and see.” I am very happy to hear it’s a minor tear and will heal on it’s own without intervention.

      Leave a reply  
  2. Bullish:
    December 26, 2011 10:50 pm

    I was maxing out on bench press (300) via a Powertech. I was able to do two reps, went for a third. Soon as I pressed the third rep I felt the worst feeling I ever had lifting. Felt like my pec literally ripped.

    Day 1 – my left pec swelled. No purple. Can hardly put my shirt over my head – very limited range of motion.
    Day 2 – woke up with some seriously gross looking purple blotches in the arm pit.
    Day 3 – most of my bicep turned purple. Much improvement in range of motion. I can now lift my arm over head. Only painful if I touch the spot.

    Leave a reply  
    1. Marc:
      December 26, 2011 10:53 pm

      Sounds pretty common. I’d still recommend seeing a sports physician or your GP as soon as possible. You run the risk of a tear healing incorrectly and your range of motion could be limited in the future.

      Leave a reply  
  3. Bullish:
    December 26, 2011 08:12 pm

    I’ve had great results from creatine. Been using for almost 2 mths. 8lbs and increased strength.

    Have you ever written or experienced a possible pectoral tear? I may have done so this weekend. Specifically about the rehab time and need to see a doctor.

    Leave a reply  
    1. Marc:
      December 26, 2011 10:40 pm

      Personally I have not. I know close friends who have and seeing a doctor as quickly as possible is the best outcome. It may be minor and you just see a lot of blood in the tissue (purplish color) with some soreness and difficulty for some time doing certain exercises to a complete tear that requires surgery. In either case, it’s not something I’d wait and see what happens.

      The rehab time can vary depending on the actual extent of the tear. An MRI should give a better indication.

      How did this occur may I ask?

      Leave a reply  

Leave a NO BULL Comment with Facebook