Continually in the news people see the questions about creatine and a teenager. Especially in high school sports where in some cases the supplement has been banned. But if you have read the creatine article entitled “Creatine: What is it?” you will certainly know it’s not banned because it’s an illegal or dangerous supplement.
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 99.99999% 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 and teenager 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.