With all the supplements on the market these days, it can be hard to figure out which ones are good for beginners and which ones aren’t, and creatine is no exception. So, is creatine good for beginners to take?
Put simply, creatine is a great supplement for beginners to take. The reasons are:
- Creatine Is Safe
- Creatine Is Widely Researched
- Helps Beginners Make Progress
- Creatine Isn’t Too Intense for Beginners
- Building Discipline for Lifting
- Creatine Gives a Boost in Strength and Muscle
- No Long Term Side Effects
Overall, creatine is great for beginners to take. This being said though, there are some caveats that you should know about. Below, I’ll go over everything you need to know about taking creatine as a beginner lifter.
If you’re looking for the best creatine for beginner lifters, check out what I wrote about my favorite one. I’ve tried many creatine brands over the years, and this one is by far my favorite.
Creatine Is One of the Safest Supplements on the Market
To put it simply again, creatine is just one of the safest supplements that you can take. There are a few common side effects, but none of them are particularly harmful. These side effects include:
- Water Retention
While these side effects don’t sound great, the only ones I could find that were proven in medical studies was water retention. This isn’t a big deal. You’ll hold a little extra water in your muscle cells, and you likely won’t notice it at all. Because of all this, it means that creatine is a good, safe supplement for anyone to take, beginners included.
Creatine is proven to be safe to take for up to 5 years without stopping! After 5 years, there haven’t been any studies, but it’s likely safe to keep taking after this period. If you want to learn more about all that, check out my article on how long you should take creatine.
Creatine is great, and it’s pretty safe to take. Some people may experience minor side effects, but only a small minority of creatine takers do. Even if you’re one of the people that do, the side effects are almost always non-harmful. If you’re a beginner, you can be confident that creatine is a good and safe supplement for you to take.
The fact that creatine is so safe to use means that it’s very easy for beginners to manage. There’s really no way to abuse or misuse it, and no way to hurt yourself by taking it. This is contrary to many other supplements, like pre-workout, that can make you pretty sick if you take it in the wrong way or take too much. Later on, I’ll talk more about this.
Creatine Is Studied More Than Any Other Supplement
As I mentioned above, many studies have shown that creatine is very safe to take. Over 500 studies have been completed and evaluated on the effects of creatine supplementation.
This isn’t a good thing on its own but combined with the fact that almost all of these studies showed that creatine is safe and effective does make it a good thing. This means that creatine is definitively shown to be safe, effective, and great to take for every type of athlete.
Whether you’re a beginner lifter or a beginner in any other sport, creatine is great and ready for you to take no matter what your expertise level is.
The fact that all of these studies on the effectiveness and safety of creatine are positive means that it’s one of the best supplements available on the market.
With many other supplements, like pre-workout, being sketchy and unregulated, if you’re a beginner, you can rest assured that creatine is a great place to start.
Creatine Helps Beginners Make Progress
There’s sort of a running joke in the lifting community about “beginner gains”. This is a thing because it’s notoriously easy for beginners to make progress in the gym, and it’s harder for experienced lifters to make the same amount of progress.
While beginner gains are a real thing, creatine can compound them and make it easier for beginners to see progress. If you didn’t know, creatine makes it much easier to build muscle, by giving your muscle cells more energy.
Basically, when you take creatine, you’re able to do more sets and reps in the gym or lift more weight as a whole. For beginners, this makes it so you can build muscle and strength much faster than you could without creatine.
This is not only a good thing because it’s easier to build strength, but also because getting a strength boost can also be great for staying motivated. When you first start lifting, it can sometimes be hard to stick with it, and it can be demotivating looking at veteran lifters who are a lot farther along.
In this way, creatine helps jump-start the strength-building process and helps you stay motivated to keep lifting weights.
Creatine Isn’t Too Intense for Beginners
Some supplements like pre-workout are pretty intense. In fact, they’ve caused multiple deaths in the past. This sounds scary, but even these pre-workouts are usually safe to take.
Injuries and deaths occur sometimes from supplements like these because of how intense the supplements are on your body, and usually occur from misuse and taking too much.
Another big problem is that pre-workout isn’t regulated at all by the FDA, so you never really know what you’re getting in your supplement. Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about this with creatine.
Unlike these unregulated and intense pre-workout supplements, creatine isn’t intense at all, and it’s very safe to take, as you know if you’ve read this article up to this point.
Many veteran lifters take pre-workout without any issue, but they’re experienced and know what they’re doing. On the other hand, creatine is hard to abuse and misuse, making it a great option for beginner lifters.
Building Discipline for Lifting
Lifting requires discipline in eating habits, going to the gym, recovering. Pretty much every aspect of lifting requires discipline in some way. Creatine, as well as any other supplement, also requires discipline.
You have to stay consistent with taking creatine in order for it to work properly. Building discipline for creatine can and will help you build discipline for lifting.
Taking creatine can help beginners build up the discipline skills that you need to be successful with lifting. If you don’t have discipline with your lifting, or with your supplements, it’ll be hard to see results.
In order for beginners or anyone to make progress with lifting it’s important to build discipline, and creatine will help you achieve it.
Discipline is great to have in all aspects of life, not just lifting, but it especially helps beginner lifters to get started in making progress in the gym.
Creatine Gives a Boost in Strength and Muscle
Whether you’re a beginner or not, creatine can help you build strength and build muscle. This is a great benefit for anybody, but it’s especially good for beginners. The whole point of lifting is to build strength, get bigger, and look better, and creatine can give you a boost to get to your goals much faster.
I’ve mentioned this earlier in the article, but I want to go over it again. Creatine works by giving your muscles more energy. Creatine helps your muscles to produce ATP, one of our body’s forms of energy. When you take creatine, your body fills up reserves of it in each of your muscle cells.
When you’re lifting, your body needs to use up energy, and having extra creatine in your reserves means that you have more of it. This means that you’ll be able to lift more weight, do more sets, or do more reps.
In the end, this is a huge bonus for beginners. I’m sure every lifter wants to build more strength and muscle, especially when you’re just starting out. Creatine can help you get there, but it won’t do it on its own. Even if you’re taking creatine, you still need to put the work in in the gym to see results.
No Long Term Side Effects (That We Know Of)
As far as science can tell, there aren’t any long term side effects of creatine supplementation. Again, this is great for everyone, but beginners included. As I mentioned earlier, creatine is proven to be safe for up to 5 years of continual supplementation.
It hasn’t been proven harmful past these 5 years, but there just haven’t been any studies longer than that. It can be dangerous to assume things sometimes, but this data makes it look like creatine would be safe to take pretty much forever.
After all, if it’s safe for at least 5 years, creatine is likely to be safe for even longer. Of course, there aren’t any studies to prove or disprove it, so use your own due diligence and judgment.
What Beginners Should Look Out For
As I’ve mentioned multiple times, creatine is a great supplement for beginners. It gives your muscles a boost, gives you motivation and confidence, and can even help beginners develop discipline.
All this being said though, there’s one thing every beginner should look out for when taking creatine; don’t let yourself become reliant on supplements.
There’s nothing wrong with using supplements to improve your performance in the gym, but it’s dangerous to become reliant on them. It’s not like becoming reliant on drugs and alcohol, but it’s definitely possible to become reliant on creatine for building muscle.
If you’re a beginner, and you’re going to take creatine, make sure that you know how to build muscle and strength without any supplements, otherwise, you may not be able to improve without them.
If you’re a beginner, check out the I wrote an article about every type of creatine that’s available on the market. It’s a great guide for understanding the different types of creatine, and if you’re a beginner, a great guide for understanding the supplement. Check that out too!