Dr-Scott-Forbes-Creatine-for-Strength-Training

Creatine for Strength Training: Myths + Truths w/ Dr. Scott Forbes

Creatine can be one of the most beneficial supplements out there, especially for those who are physically active. However, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about creatine. This is why I have invited ‘Dr. Creatine’ himself to the show today, to arm you with the knowledge necessary to decide if creatine is right for you.

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Key Takeaways

If You Are Interested in Creatine, You Should:

  1. Educate yourself about the benefits of creatine when taken properly 
  2. Learn about the common myths and misconceptions about creatine and how they differ from reality 
  3. Stay up to date about the latest creatine research from doctors like Dr. Forbes

Enhancing Athletic Performance with Dr. Scott Forbes

Dr. Scott Forbes is a researcher who focuses on sports science and various nutritional and training interventions that enhance athlete performance. He is an expert at examining nutritional and exercise interventions for optimal muscle and brain health in older adults and has worked as a personal trainer and athlete consultant for several professional and varsity level sports teams. He is passionate about helping those interested in creatine understand the science and reality behind the supplement so that they can make informed decisions for themselves and their health.

Understanding Creatine

Creatine is derived from three amino acids and is generally stored in muscle tissue. Creatine is beneficial for those who participate in high-intensity exercises, such as sprinting and lifting weights. It is not just for ‘meat heads’ or ‘gym bros’, and its benefit for bone health, muscle performance, and brain function are scientifically proven. Creatine works to enhance your muscle strength, not your muscle mass, which means it won’t make you bulk up more than you want to.

The Science Behind Creatine

Dr. Forbes’s research specifically looks at the gender gap that has previously existed in scientific studies and works to prove that creatine is safe for both males and females of varying ages. Dr. Forbes wants to help others avoid unnecessary work ad complications when it comes to supplementing with creatine and dismiss the myths and misconceptions that can surround this supplement. 

If you have considered taking creatine or want to get some real, scientific-based evidence into the benefits of creatine, this is an episode you cannot miss.

How does creatine play into your workout routine and supplementation? Have you experienced the benefits of creatine? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.

In This Episode

  • The first thing you should know if you have never heard about creatine supplements (9:57)
  • Why taking creatine can be beneficial when it comes to your workouts and overall health (12:44)
  • Female-specific benefits that you can expect when you start to take creatine (18:30)
  • Addressing common myths and misconceptions about creatine as submitted by listeners like you (20:54)
  • What to expect in the future of creatine medicine and how to know which type of creatine is right for you (28:57)

Quotes

“Over time, it has been the one supplement that has been shown to have a benefit. And there seem to be more and more benefits in regards to creatine, so that is why I have just stayed engaged with creatine and got more excited over the years, and now it has become a focus for the past five or six years in my research laboratory.” (7:26)

“There are so many myths and misconceptions associated with creatine, and I am just passionate about providing that information to whoever is interested in listening and trying to influence one person at a time.” (8:03)

“If you take a creatine supplement, you get about a 20% increase in the amount of creatine within your muscle. So you make that energy system just a little bit bigger, and then you can run a little bit faster, you can lift a few more reaps, and over time that can translate into bigger and stronger muscles.” (13:13)

“If you combine creatine with resistance training, you can enhance bone strength, particularly in post-menopausal women.” (17:35)

“Be patient, wait a little bit, and you will actually have bigger and stronger muscles over time.” (22:40)

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Creatine for Strength Training: Myths + Truths w/ Dr. Scott Forbes

Steph Gaudreau
When it comes to supplements that can help your performance in the gym, one of the most well-studied, but most mythological, is creatine. On today’s podcast, we’re welcoming a very special guest who’s going to bust some really common creatine myths, share some of the new and exciting research in this field, and help you understand if creatine is right for you.

Steph Gaudreau
The Listen To Your Body podcast is all about helping women who lift weights get stronger, fuel themselves without counting every bite of food, perform better in and out of the gym, and take up space. I’m a strength coach, nutritional therapy practitioner, and certified intuitive eating counselor Steph Gaudreau. This weekly show brings you a discussion about building strength without obsessing about food and exercise, lifting weights, food, psychology, and more. You’ll learn how to eat, train, recover, listen to your body, and step into your strength. Hit subscribe on your favorite podcast app. And let’s dive in.

Steph Gaudreau
Hello, and welcome back to the podcast. Thanks so much for being with me here today. We have a special guest with us on this podcast today. And I’ll introduce him momentarily but before we do that, just a quick reminder to please hit subscribe on your favorite podcast app. That way new episodes are uploaded to your phone or your device as soon as they become available. Okay, today’s special guest is Dr. Scott Forbes. He is affectionately known on Instagram as Doctor Creatine. And he’s here today to set the record straight on some really common creatine myths. Creatine is a supplement that’s well documented in the research that has benefits for exercise and some new ones that he is sharing with us today. Who will creatine benefit? What are some of the common myths about this supplement that need to be busted, he’s going to be doing that today. He’s going to be sharing with you some of the really cool research about creatine and women, for example, and how we can start incorporating this into your day. So I hope that you find this episode beneficial whether or not you’ve ever thought about taking creatine definitely encourages you to listen and keep an open mind. Alright, we’re going to go ahead and jump into the show here.

Before we do also a quick reminder to get on the waiting list for my group program strength nutrition on a lot. You can do that by going to StephGaudreau.com/link. This program is for athletic people who are lifting weights and want to have better performance through fueling, lifting, and recovery. And we break it all down in a really simple to understand and pragmatic way and evidence-based program that’s really going to help you to get results, have more energy, build muscle and perform better so you can get information about that at StephGaudreau.com/link.

Alright, let’s go ahead and jump in to this episode with Dr. Creatine, Dr. Scott Forbes.

Steph Gaudreau
Hello, Dr. Scott Forbes. Welcome to the podcast.

Dr. Scott Forbes
Thank you very much happy to be here.

Steph Gaudreau
I’m super stoked that you’re here. You are someone that I honestly found quite randomly on Instagram. I’d like to say I had this master plan of finding Dr. Creatine but I didn’t. I actually think I found you from a friend of mine who is a sports nutritionist in New Zealand and he shares a lot of your work and I started getting really interested because creatine is something I’ve recently have been taking myself. And I know it’s something that people have big questions about and there’s so much myth and misconception. So I wanted to bring you on the show so that we can bust some of those myths and address some of those misconceptions and help you talk about the thing that you’re really passionate about.

Dr. Scott Forbes
Absolutely. Creatine is probably one of the most beneficial supplements, if not the most beneficial supplement. I think it’s the king of supplements. But that’s maybe for another time another story but I think yeah, perhaps it’s even more beneficial than things like protein, which protein…, I know I know crazy, but as a supplement. So you can get sufficient protein from eating either animal-based or plant-based proteins. Whatever fits your lifestyle. But you can get those from foods but it’s very difficult to get sufficient creatine to really optimize exercise performance and a variety of other tissues can be enhanced with creatine supplementation without supplementing with that magical white powder, which we call a creatine monohydrate. But yeah, there’s also a lot of myths and misconceptions associated with creatine as well.

Steph Gaudreau
Okay, we’re definitely going to dive into that. And I love how you just say, well, like you just dropped the mic here at the beginning about, you know, creatine and protein and all of those things where we’ll probably dive more into that. But before we do that, I would love to hear how did you end up making creatine such a focus of your research? I mean, was it something personally, that was really interesting to you? Did you sort of stumble into it by accident? Like, I know, a lot of people end up in their sort of research fields of study, just it’s kind of serendipitous. But how did you end up here doing what you’re doing? And, you know, being Dr. Creatine, how did this happen?

Dr. Scott Forbes
So it happens kind of slowly over time. And I was introduced to creatine as a researcher. And we did some original investigations with it. We just gave college-aged individuals, creatine for 10 days. And we made them do a sprint test on a bike and a bench press test, we found some improvements with creatine supplementation. And so that was in collaboration with Dr. Darren Candow and my supervisor at the time was Phil Chilibeck. And they’ve both been creating researchers for really long periods of time. And I’ve done a lot of creating research. So Dr. Darren Candow, is now at the University of Regina, in Canada. And he’s published the most creative exercise research out of anyone in the entire world. So is, here’s a great person to connect to, at the start of my career involved in research. But really, it’s just over time, it’s been the one supplement that’s been shown to have a benefit. And there seem to be more and more kinds of benefits with regards to creatine. So that’s why I’ve just stayed engaged with creatine and got more excited over the years. And now it’s become a focus really, for the past five or six years in my research laboratory.

Steph Gaudreau
That’s really cool. What inspired you to, sort of, get on Instagram and start sharing, as I said, that’s sort of how we how I initially found you, we kind of connected there. You know, what, what motivates a researcher like you to start sharing it, like the things that you do on a platform like Instagram?

Dr. Scott Forbes
Yeah. So that’s, that’s a great question. And I think it comes down to that there are so many myths and misconceptions associated with creatine. And I’m just passionate about kind of providing that information to whoever is interested in listening and trying to influence maybe one person at a time. So I don’t have any strategic social media plans or anything like that, I just, I do it just for the joy and just for the fun and to share my research a little bit, which I spend a lot of time in my office, which as maybe I can show you a little bit, but it has no windows.

Dr. Scott Forbes
And I’m just stuck in this tiny little hole doing this research all the time, right, and all these papers. So it’s kind of fun to, you know, to reach out to people and show them what some of the research is actually saying?

Steph Gaudreau
Absolutely. And it must be really an interesting way to almost maybe crowdsource or get ideas to you know, there’s I was hopped on a live that you did a couple of weeks ago. And gosh, just the types of questions people were asking were so clever and so interesting. And I wonder if that gives you have any inspiration for further areas of study or, you know, things that you could include in your research?

Dr. Scott Forbes
Yeah, absolutely. So what I think of creatine, and how it’s used in a research setting, is maybe not how people are using it in the fitness world and how they’re perceiving it. So it’s nice to get those perspectives and to get some questions that people may have. Whether it’s different dosing protocols or timing or combining creating with other supplements and things like that, yeah, it’s it comes from other people that are using it and seeing other people do things that they reach out to me and say, can you answer that question essentially.

Steph Gaudreau
I love that. Okay, before we go any further if there is someone listening to this, who has never heard of creatine, you mentioned, it’s a supplement, but what is it and what does it help? I guess in the context of exercise, maybe start there because there are other things that are now coming out in research in terms of benefits. But what is creatine? And in terms of exercise? What does it help our body do?

Dr. Scott Forbes
Okay, so if you haven’t heard of creatine first you gotta climb out from under that rock. You should have heard of it by now because I’ve been pushing hard on social media and things like that. Yeah, but if you haven’t heard about creatine, it’s, it’s derived from three amino acids. So amino acids, if you put 20 of those together, you have a complete protein. So they’re the building blocks for protein. But you just take three of those, you put them together, and you get creatine, and you can actually create creating within your body. So in your liver, and your kidneys, they create creatine, and that eventually can get into the muscle. So 95% of creatine is taken up by the muscle, we also have creatine and other tissues as well, we can get into that.

Dr. Scott Forbes
But most of the creatine is actually stored in your muscle, you can also get creatine from food sources as well. And those are mostly animal-based. So things like fish or red meats contain a fairly high concentration of creatine. And so if you don’t eat animal-based products, then you tend to have lower amounts of creatine in your muscle if you’re vegetarian or vegan because you’re not eating an animal-based diet. And just because those are the foods that contain creatine, so you can get it from food, your body can produce it, and most of the creatine is stored within the muscle. And the way that creatine works is, once it’s in the muscle, it gets converted to this molecule known as phosphocreatine. And phosphocreatine can be broken down to create ATP, which is like the energy currency within the muscle.

Dr. Scott Forbes
So if you’re doing exercise, then you’re using up ATP, you have to replenish that quickly. And this is one energy system that you can use to do that. So it’s really beneficial for high-intensity exercise, things like sprinting or lifting weights, for example.

Steph Gaudreau
Awesome, I think that’ll really help people to get a general gist of what creatine is. So if this is something that’s kind of in our muscles anyway, why does taking a supplement or like focusing on you know, maybe increasing some of those food sources? Why is that going to be beneficial? Does it help us lift longer? Does it help us sprint longer? Like, why would that maybe be something that somebody would want to consider?

Dr. Scott Forbes
Yeah, so even if you consume red meat and fish on a regular basis, if you take a creatine supplement, you get about a 20% increase in the amount of creatine within your muscle. So you make that energy system just a little bit bigger. And then you can run a little bit faster, you can lift a few more reps, for example, and over time, that can translate into bigger and stronger muscles. So that’s really kind of how creatine works and the true benefits of creatine.

Steph Gaudreau
Awesome, I love it. Okay, so we have a pretty good foundation now about what creatine is and why it’s beneficial for exercise. I would love to maybe shift before we talk about some of the myths. I’m going to wait a little bit I would love to hear you talk a little bit about it, you mentioned that about 95% of creatine is stored in the muscle, then you alluded to some other tissues. And I think this is one of the interesting areas of research or creatine usage or benefit that a lot of people have no idea about, they think crazy. And they think meatheads, you know, they think the like something a gym bro would use and that’s it like that’s the only person who’s going to be taking creatine. But can you talk to some of this other research that’s coming out like some of these other tissues that creatine has a benefit for? Because I think this is really important, especially for my audience, who may not identify as a meathead or a gym, bro.

Dr. Scott Forbes
Yeah, absolutely. So not only is it beneficial for your muscles, which can be good for younger and older individuals as well. So if you want to enhance muscle function as an older adult, there’s benefits of creatine supplementation combined with exercise, but some of the other tissues are in your, for example, your brain. So your brain can actually synthesize its own creatine. But we also know that if you supplement with creatine, you could actually enhance the amount of creatine within your brain. And that’s been linked to a variety of different enhancements. So things like improved memory improved processing speed, there’s actually been, there’s a large study with 20,000 individuals, and they correlated dietary creatine intake with depression.

Dr. Scott Forbes
So if you consumed more creatine in your diet, you had a lower risk of depression. So there’s some really cool emerging research, looking at the influence of creatine not only on muscle performance but for example, brain function as well. Hmm. Yeah, I think that’s really important, especially as my community tends to be, you know, I’m in my 40s, they tend to be late 30s 40s. And beyond, also, you know, athletic and lifting too. But there is this element of also thinking about, you know, aging and quality of life and independence, and some of these other things that, you know, lifting for aesthetics, and just kind of performance aside, people are concerned about, so I appreciate hearing that, and that’ll be really interesting to see how that element of creatine research starts to emerge. And what we know more about, that’s really cool. Totally, and another tissue that creatine has beneficial for his bone, as well. So there’s a few really cool studies, again, showing if you combine creatine with exercise, particularly resistance training.

Dr. Scott Forbes
It enhances bone strength and is compared to just resistance training alone or with a placebo. And so there’s, there’s some cell culture research to show that what they, so there’s the osteoblast, those are the bone-forming cells. And essentially, they sprinkle this magical white powder creatine onto it and enhance the activity of those bone-forming cells. So there’s some direct effects of creatine on enhancing bone. But there could also be some indirect effects as well, because if you take creatine and you get bigger and stronger muscles, well, those muscles pull on the bone. And that stress on the bone actually leads to bone formation and bone growth and adaptation over time. And so that’s how creatine might work indirectly on enhancing bone, but there’s some research done by Dr. Darren Candow. That shows Yeah, if you combined creatine with resistance training, you can enhance bone strength, particularly in postmenopausal women.

Steph Gaudreau
Hmm. Very cool. Very, very cool. I was gonna ask you, you know, and I alluded to this earlier because I think people think creatine they think some like knee head guy, and, you know, a Gold’s Gym somewhere. And it’s kind of that unfortunate stereotype that this supplement has gotten over the years. But with regards to women, most of my audience is, is female, or identifies as a woman. And a lot of people are concerned because they think, Oh, well, this is just for guys. Or, you know, like, I don’t really need this as as a woman, or what does the research say specifically about women, there’s more of a movement now to think about the gender gap in research. So I’m really glad that you brought that up to about that, that benefit for perimenopause and bone health. Is there anything else that comes to mind about women specifically in the research on creatine that’s come out?

Dr. Scott Forbes
Yeah, so we recently did a systematic review and meta-analysis. So what that is, is basically we try to collect all the research that’s been done on a particular population, for example, females, and in that particular systematic review, we looked at, they had to be in we looked at older adults, so they had to be either over the age of 60 or clearly postmenopausal. And so in that population, we looked at was there any benefits of creatine supplementation, we found 10 studies. So there has been a decent amount of research in that population. And it showed that if they took creatine they got stronger muscles. But in contrast to what we found in that same age category for males, they didn’t get bigger muscles. So it did not enhance muscle mass, but it enhanced muscle strength, which is kind of interesting because I think a lot of females are actually concerned about, you know, getting really bulky and big and gaining all this muscle mass, but preteens not going to do that. It’s just going to help with enhancing muscle strength, at least in that population. And that’s what the research suggests.

Steph Gaudreau
Very cool. Yeah, I know like muscles, muscle size and sort of being able to tack on the muscle is a little bit of a personal preference for some people. But I mean, I’m all for like building, building as much muscle as you can, especially as we’re exiting our 30s. And going into the 40s and beyond, like, if we haven’t started, I’m a huge advocate for that. But that’s really interesting that you bring that up. Because yes, a lot of people are concerned about a particular bulking effect or looking too big. And it’s not necessarily their aesthetic that they want to go for. But I love that you shared about that meta-analysis and systematic review. That’s very cool.

Steph Gaudreau
Okay, let’s jump in and to some of these myths about creatine. Oh, my gosh, I don’t even know where to begin, I guess I’ll ask some of the questions that I had folks submit on Instagram because some of them do allude to these. And then if I’ve missed some of the big ones, we can maybe talk about that. So the first one that I hear a lot is that creatine is gonna make me really puffy and make me retain water and I’m trying to, you know, look smaller, or that’s a concern for me, I just don’t want to gain any water weight or any way at all. Or maybe I’m competing in a sport and, you know, I’m trying to stay within a certain weight range. So what is the truth on that is creating going to make me just like endlessly puff up and retain a lot of water?

Dr. Scott Forbes
Okay, so that myth has some truth to it but it’s mostly wrong.

Steph Gaudreau
All right, let’s talk about that.

Dr. Scott Forbes
So creatine will increase water uptake into the muscle, but that actually causes the muscle cell to swell. And, but that swelling actually stimulates the muscle to grow. So that causes a whole cascade of events that ultimately increase what we call muscle protein synthesis and the building of muscle. So that’s actually a good thing for that to happen. And that’s one of the mechanisms where creatine enhances muscle growth and enhances muscle mass over time is through increasing water uptake into the muscle cell. So, yes, it will increase at least over the short-term water uptake. But that’s stimulating the muscle to grow. And that’s actually a good thing. So if somebody says, Oh, I’m gaining a little bit of weight and waterway because of taking creatine, I’m like, that’s awesome because that’s actually stimulating the muscle to grow. So just, you know, be patient wait a little bit, and you’ll actually have bigger and stronger muscles over time.

Steph Gaudreau
That’s very cool. Is that effect somewhat temporary? Does it go away? Or does that effect lasts as long as somebody is like loading creatine, for example?

Dr. Scott Forbes
Yeah, so it seems to be a much bigger effect when they’re loading creatine. And there has been some research even showing, for example, eight weeks of supplementing with creatine, that your body does a good job at controlling how much water is in cells and outer cells and things like that. And there was no difference actually, between a creatine group and a non-creatine group after eight weeks.

Steph Gaudreau
Cool. Okay, next myth. Creatine is going to ruin your kidneys, true or false.

Dr. Scott Forbes
So that’s false, as the evidence is very clear that creatine is one of the safest supplements and there’s been multiple studies in both females and males looking at the health impacts of creatine particularly on your liver and kidneys. And there is there’s really no evidence that creatine can impact your kidneys. That being said there was one case study where somebody was taking over 200 Grams of Creatine per day and they had kidney dysfunction. Um, so there is a published case study that or somebody was yes how to self-report of taking over 200 grams of Creatine so if you take 200 grams of creatine, you’re taking too much, and yeah, perhaps at that point, it could do some damage just like taking too much of anything, could potentially do some damage, but if you’re taking it within the recommended doses, there is absolutely zero no evidence that creatine is bad for your liver or kidney.

Dr. Scott Forbes
So we’ve been trying to answer that question with a few recent studies, actually. So going to the timing effect, there was some research to show that if you take it closer to your training session, that can maximize some of the benefits of creatine. And there was some research looking at taking creatine before training versus after training. And there was a small benefit to taking creatine after training, compared to before. But those studies were quite small and quite limited. And so we’ve recently run what’s known as a within-subject design study, which is a very strong, robust way to truly see if timing makes a difference. And so what we did was that we had participants train one side of their body one day, and they got creating before training. And then they had to train the other side of their body the next day, and they got creatine after training. And so this helps to control between-subject differences.

Dr. Scott Forbes
So that could be like we could have different genetics or different protein intake or different sleep, all these things that could potentially influence training adaptations over time, we control for that using this within-subject design. And when we do that, we found no effective timing. So it didn’t matter if you took creatine before training or after training. We’ve also done study creatine during training, also effective as well. So I still recommend taking it close to your training session. But yeah, it doesn’t matter if you take a before, during, or after your training. ,

Dr. Scott Forbes
With regards to loading, there’s two strategies. So when you can do a big loading phase, so usually you take 20 grams per day, and that’s separated into four doses throughout the day. So you take five grams in the morning, five, at lunch, five, at dinnertime, and then five, before you go to bed. So that’s 20 grams in a day, you do that for five days, and you get a 20% increase in the amount of creatine within your muscle, we also know that you can take a lower dose, like three grams per day, so much lower than 20. And not even close to 203, you can take three grams a day, at 28 days, you’ll have a 20% increase in the amount of creating within your muscle. So do you have to load and take 20 grams per day for five days? No, you do not. It might just take a little bit longer with a lower dose to saturate your muscles.

Steph Gaudreau
Awesome. All right, I appreciate hearing those two things. And I think that gives people flexibility and options. You know, I think so much of what we hear is people are worried about doing it wrong. Or if they, you know, quote-unquote, do it wrong, there’s not going to be any benefit. And I think that you know, even what you shared relative to timing, is it’s kind of freeing for people I know sometimes I try to get it before my workout, sometimes I take it after. But I think that that opens up some flexibility. And, and really, I think personally, if we’re stressing about like if we’re adding stress about like our supplements and our we’re taking on the right way or the wrong way, as it can just be a lot of unnecessary worries and in complications. So I appreciate that. With regard to one of the questions, I got on social media as if I’ve been taking creatine for a certain amount of time, should I come off it for a while and then started again? Or is it okay for me to just keep taking it forever?

Dr. Scott Forbes
That is a great question. And there’s actually not a lot of, there’s actually no science that’s compared. It’s like cycling on and off creatine compared to just taking creatine continuously. We do know that you can take creatine continuously. We’ve done studies up to two years in duration and that’s perfectly fine and safe to do. But we don’t know if there’s a difference between cycling on and off creatine versus taking it continues continuously. So we’re currently planning that particular study. So hopefully we can have some answers relatively soon. But we do know if you go off creatine, it takes about four to six weeks for your that additional creatine within the muscle to go back to baseline. So I suspect that it’s not going to have a big difference over time, whether you cycle on and off creatine or whether you take it continuously. So again, I think that’s kind of nice.

Dr. Scott Forbes
It gives you some options. Creatine is a relatively cheap supplement. But if you’re only taking it half the time cycling on and off every four weeks, then you’re going to save a little bit of money that way as well. So I’m pretty cheap. So that’s, that’s a strategy that I usually do. But again, there’s no science to really show that you have to cycle on and off versus take continuously.

Steph Gaudreau
Okay, cool. Well, hopefully, we’ll look for some updates as your data comes out, and you’re able to maybe draw some conclusions.

Steph Gaudreau
One of the other questions I got is, you know, there are lots of really kind of fancy kriya teens versions out there, there’s like proprietary, you know, quote-unquote, proprietary stuff, there’s like buffered creatine or different, you know, not just creatine monohydrate. But there are different versions of creatine, Chemically speaking, you know, can you speak to any of that stuff? Like, should we be opting to spend a little bit more for the fancier, you know, branded creatine? Or is just like straight-up creatine monohydrate good enough?

Dr. Scott Forbes
Yeah, that’s a great question and the short answer is creatine monohydrate. is the best. So there are numerous alternative forms of creatine. And yeah, if you go to a supplement store, they’re a lot more expensive, and they’ll try to sell you in the market at all, you know, these are buffered forms, they enhance absorption, or they’re, you know, they’re better for you. But right now, there is a, there’s a recent systematic review, another one of these reviews on looking at alternative forms of creatine, comparing that to creatine monohydrate. And there is no consistent further benefit with those alternative forms. And, again, creatine monohydrate, is, it’s the most studied. So there’s a lot of literature to show that it’s safe, we know that it’s effective, and it’s the cheapest again, so coming back to there, so you can save money by in this creatine monohydrate versus these alternative forms.

Steph Gaudreau
Awesome. I think people will appreciate knowing that as well. With regard to other supplements, I’ve gotten some questions about should, you know, will it enhance the effect of creatine and or the other supplement? If I combine supplements together? You know, I think folks are always interested in if a little bit of this is good, and maybe combining it with something else is even better. What does the research say on any of that? Like, are there any kind of synergistic supplements that you can add when you’re taking your creatine, you know, anything? Anything to note there?

Dr. Scott Forbes
Yeah, absolutely. So, if you combined creatine with carbohydrates and or protein, you can, well, both protein and carbohydrates will stimulate insulin. And that’s going to help with creatine uptake. So you can get more creatine into your muscle by combining it with other supplements like carbohydrates or protein. And then we also know that, again, there’s some research done in the early 2000s, where they had creatine and protein versus just creating, and they showed that you got bigger and stronger muscles when you had creatine and protein. And so that’s probably the combination of the ideal supplements.

Dr. Scott Forbes
We know actually, recently that if you combine creatine with caffeine, that might actually impair some of the benefits of creatine. And so this was it was limited, based on the sample size. So we fell into the pandemic and we had trouble with recruitment and finishing our studies. So it’s, I would look at it as kind of preliminary or pilot data, but we showed that the creatine group got bigger and stronger. And the group that got creatine and caffeine didn’t get as bigger, strong. So there’s some impairment associated with taking creatine and caffeine at the same time. So I would suggest you’re combining supplements of creatine and protein to avoid creatine and caffeine at the same time.

Steph Gaudreau
Very interesting. You know, I think that’s important because some people will take you to know, even a pre-workout supplement that has, you know, stimulant has caffeine in it, right? Caffeine being orogenic aid in a lot of different ways. So that’s really, that’s really interesting. I appreciate that.

Steph Gaudreau
Anything else that you can think of that we didn’t cover like myths or misconceptions or things that really bugged you and you’re out here to squash?

Dr. Scott Forbes
Yeah, there’s one that I want to end but it’s, it’s difficult for me to actually end this myth, but it’s the myth is that creating causes baldness. So, yeah viewers, they can’t see me but I’m lacking hair. So I’m definitely going bald. But there’s a study in rugby players where they showed that individuals with creatine, had a greater conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone or DHT. And DHT has been linked to male pattern baldness. So now people have heard that and everyone says, oh, creatine causes baldness, but there’s zero there’s no evidence that creatine, in fact, causes baldness. So, that’s one myth that I want to end. And it’s not true that, that if somebody says that it’s definitely not true that creatine causes baldness, but I’m not a very good advocate for that. So I need more females or individuals with hair to advocate with me to say that creatine does not cause baldness.

Steph Gaudreau
Okay, I like that you brought that up. I’ve been taking creatine now for…you know, it’s interesting because I’ve been an athlete for years and years and years, you know, I was a cyclist, then I was basically doing CrossFit and Olympic lifting. And now I do, you know, strength training on the side and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. And I’ve only recently started taking creatine within probably the last six months and have noticed a big difference, I’m almost 43. So that’s just kind of my personal testimony. But you can see I have more hair than I know what to do with. And I have not noticed any excess, you know, hair shedding or hair loss in any way, shape, or form. So I can be your co-advocate on that.

Steph Gaudreau
Awesome, thank you very much.

Steph Gaudreau
Oh, this has been so great. I really appreciate you, you know, bringing your expertise here busting some of these myths, like giving us the science. I appreciate, especially, hearing from your perspective. And hearing you talk about the difference between, you know, these are some like small studies or pilot studies, this is a correlation. This is, you know, systematic review and meta-analysis like and really looking at that hierarchy in terms of research, I think it’s something that we don’t talk about enough out there in the world, you just hear little sound bites and snippets. So it’s really great coming from a researcher specifically.

Steph Gaudreau
And I really appreciate it, I know people are gonna find this useful and helpful. And, you know, we’re going to be out there continuing to probably bust these myths, but I hope that this podcast will go a little way to helping people understand the science and the reality behind it. So I really appreciate it.

Dr. Scott Forbes
Awesome.

Steph Gaudreau
If people want to follow you on Instagram, which I highly recommend, where can they find you?

Dr. Scott Forbes
So my Instagram name is @Scott_Forbes_PhD. And you can find me on Instagram and I try to answer as many questions there so if any of your listeners want to follow me and have any questions they can reach out and direct message me on Instagram.

Steph Gaudreau
Awesome. Thanks so much for being here with us. I really appreciate it and it’s just great to chat with you and thank you.

Steph Gaudreau
Thanks.

Steph Gaudreau
Alrighty, I hope that this episode brought you some really interesting facts and information. So hopefully, when you’re out in the world, or you’re considering creatine supplement for yourself, you have all of the information to make that decision. And you can recognize some of these creatine myths if they come your way. As always, you can get the show notes for this episode, including a full transcript at my website, StephGaudreau.com. Make sure you also follow Dr. Forbes on Instagram. And we would love to hear what you think about this episode. So if you learned something, you want to share it, you can do that on Instagram stories and tag both of us so we can see it you’re sharing really helps to amplify the show out into the world. Make sure you subscribe to the show as well on your favorite podcast app. Alright, that does it for this episode. Until next time, make sure you have an incredible week and stay strong.


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Hi, I'm Steph!

Lord of the Rings nerd, cold brew drinker, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more, not less: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.

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