Home > Uncategorized > Creatine will make your arms EXPOLDE! (sarcasm, no they will not)

Creatine will make your arms EXPOLDE! (sarcasm, no they will not)


McMinnville High in Oregon became famous last week. 24 McMinnville football players were seen by a doctor last week with 13 being admitted to the hospital for at least one night all with symptoms of  compartment syndrome. 21 of the 24 had elevated creatine kinase levels and 3 actually had the condition and needed surgery to alleviate the pressure. Read the whole story here and here

This case is very unusual and has made a lot of headlines last week. Mostly it’s been used to demonize creatine supplementation (although none of the boys admitted to supplementing with creatine) and creatine hasn’t been linked to an increased chance of developing compartment syndrome. Though, for a while, it was thought that creatine may increase the  possibility of developing compartment syndrome because of some early papers which were usually based on a single case or one subject within a study lead to these two: 



…who’s findings haven’t been replicated……and have been discredited as having faulty methodology. So, as often science does, someone had a thought looked into it, got some data, presented it, others thought it was interesting enough to look into it, got some more data and we found out it doesn’t really appear to be the case as we first thought….thats what science does…that’s why it exists….to find truth. 


So I guess what happened was a lot of doctors and even researchers took this to be the reality and when the news came a calling they came had to say something, anything….and of course the “journalists” which work for these esteemed outlets went back and fact checked the statements, right? Obviously…So now everyone “knows” creatine is bad and will turn you into a zombie and you’ll eat your family like it’s all you can eat steak and lobster night at the Golden Corral…and not just any zombie but one of these new age fast, smart, strong zombies… 


…or we could actually look at the freaking mountains of research that have been done on creatine and realize that this stuff is both really safe and works really well….but that would leave out the zombie part……. 

See the whole problem with trying to demonize what I’ve heard (but I don’t know for 100% fact) is the most studied sports performance supplement ever, is that it’s really easy to look stupid when you pass off un-informed dogmatic crap as knowledge. 

Creatine is generally considered to be extremely safe. Don’t think so? 

Creatine and Creatine Kinase in Health and Disease- Gajja S. Salomons and Markus Wyss 

The available data suggests that there are few adverse effects associated with creatine supplementation when ingested at recommended doses. Anecdotelly, muscle dysfunction appears to be commonly associated with creatine supplementation, but data do not support this.” – Salomons and Wyss (emphasis mine) 

International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise 

“Despite lingering myths concerning creatine supplementation in conjunction with exercise, CM remains one of the most extensively studied, as well as effective, nutritional aids available to athletes. Hundreds of studies have shown the effectiveness of CM supplementation in improving anaerobic capacity, strength, and lean body mass in conjunction with training. In addition, CM has repeatedly been reported to be safe, as well as possibly beneficial in preventing injury.“- ISSN (emphasis added) 

Ohh…. but they just READ and INTERPRETED the DATA….they didn’t talk to Gym Bro who gets angry and “on edge” when he “does creatine”…..especially if he’s “doing” protein at the same time.. 

"Dude, me, on creatine? You have no idea.....NO IDEA!"

I actually know this kid, we played hockey in college together…(this was for a spoof article that ran in  free daily)… 

Right now I’m on a pretty hard cycle of green beans, squash and ground turkey..Ya know, I’m “on” veggies and poultry…idiots….

Recently the ISSN released a statement trying to refute the erroneous claims that have come from this incident. Mostly it reiterated the positions of the earlier statement but also stated: 

“Specific to the alleged association of creatine to development of rhabdomyolysis and ACS; a number of studies have evaluated the effects of creatine supplementation on dehydration, cramping, fluid retention, muscle injury, CK levels, and health status in athletes engaged in intense exercise (including football players engaged in intense training in hot and humid environments).  These studies have consistently indicated that creatine supplementation does not promote cramping, muscle injury, elevations in CK, and/or heat related injuries.  Conversely, studies report that creatine may improve the athlete’s ability to tolerate intense exercise in hot and humid environments and lessen the incidence of injury.  Athletes have been using creatine on a widespread basis as a dietary supplement since the early 1990′s.  No clinically significant side effects have been reported and a number of potentially beneficial medical uses are being studied.   It is the opinion of the ISSN that suggestions that creatine caused this incident is inconsistent with the scientific literature and implausible.”   

So it looks like creatine wasn’t the culprit in this debacle….they I guess we’ll have to look somewhere else…like….maybe ……the “training” (for what I can’t tell you cause it sure wasn’t to prepare for a football game) for the season: 

 “the practices were roughly two hours long each afternoon, with a skills portion of the camp – running drills, pass routes – conducted in “95-degree” heat. The players would then do a series of dip exercises to work on triceps. Christian Red, NY Daily News (emphasis min…again) 

Ohh snap!……you mean, what most people would have looked at first might be the problem? Really? That’s crazy..Like training for hours in extreme heat, doing a “series of dip exercises to work on the triceps” might just maybe have something to do with EXCESSIVE SWELLING IN THE UPPER ARM…..or not……cause excessive training in the heat can’t cause this condition..or maybe? 

In the same statement as earlier from the ISSN Dr. Richard Kreider states, ” It is unfortunate that individuals unfamiliar with the creatine literature are speculating that creatine caused this problem when the athletes indicated they did not take creatine and they ignore the obvious precursors: excessive and inappropriate training in a hot and humid environment.” 

Dr. Robert Salis echoed this, “I have to believe this rash of cases was related to a very inappropriate training routine,” said Sallis. “The athletes must have been doing very excessive exercise involving the affected extremities.”-  ABC news 

and some more: “This is a textbook case of overexertion in insufficiently conditioned athletes,” said Dr. Stephen G. Rice 

Sooooooo, it looks like this whole thing was maybe…just maybe  NOT because of the evil creatine…and instead was a coach who didn’t really know what he was doing.. 

So why again was creatine supplementation even brought up in the first place?

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 4, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    You really gotta do your research before drinking this stuff some of the stuff in it is really hard on your digestive track. Oh and I get a kick out of the people that drink this stuff all the time and all they do for a days exercise is an easy hour on the recumbent bike while reading a magazine and then they say “oh those protein drinks don’t work all they did was make me fat.” DUUUUUUH!

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