Were you wondering, "Is creatine natty"? Well, wonder no more.
Thankfully, I have all the answers you might need.
This semi-comprehensive guide on creatine safety and legality will provide insight into what makes this supplement legal, popular, and effective, and why some people still consider it not natty.
So, let’s find out - is creatine natty?
- Are Creatine Supplements Considered Natural Or Not?
- What Does Natty Actually Mean? (Detailed Explanation)
- Is Creatine A PED? (Banned Substance Or Not?)
- How To Know Creatine Supplementation Is Right For You
- Common Questions About Creatine Consumption
Are Creatine Supplements Considered Natural Or Not?
Creatine is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, supplements on the market and has been used by bodybuilders for decades.
It can help improve strength, power, and muscle growth while also providing energy during intense exercise. But is it safe to use, or is it a PED (performance-enhancing drug)?
Taking creatine is considered natty, despite what some purists or "social media fitness gurus" may say.
Creatine is one of many naturally occurring amino acids found in the human body. It is also one of many amino acids created by our kidneys and found in foods such as red meat and fish. And you can also make it in a lab, but that's a story for another time.
"Hey! Testosterone is also naturally occurring but still considered "not natty," one might say.
And that's true. However, testosterone is banned from professional sports by both the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Olympic Committee. Creatine isn't. That's why creatine is natural.
This is essentially what makes creatine natty and why natural bodybuilders take creatine but stay away from steroids. And also why you'll never see natural bodybuilders go head-to-head against CBum or other juiced bodybuilders. At least not successfully.
Are Bodybuilders Tested For Creatine?
Natural bodybuilders get their own competition, where every athlete is rigorously tested for every known PED, and creatine isn't one of them.
While we're on the subject of body building, another reason why taking creatine is deemed natural is because of how it works and what it does and does not do.
For starters, creatine does not and cannot help you to pack on a bizarre amount of lean muscle mass while maintaining 7% body fat as anabolic steroids do. Instead, it provides energy in the following way.
How Does Creatine Work?
Creatine stores high-energy phosphate groups in the form of phosphocreatine, which helps our bodies to create more ATP (adenosine triphosphate) - the body's primary energy source.
During strenuous workouts or any other physical activity, ATP stores in our body are quickly depleted and converted into ADP (adenosine diphosphate). Once ATP is gone, we get tired and fatigued. Supplementing with creatine helps combat that.
By increasing phosphocreatine levels, our body takes a phosphate group from phosphocreatine and ties it with ADP, turning it back into ATP, giving us more energy. In other words - phosphate + diphosphate = triphosphate = increased energy = a better workout.
Apart from that, creatine also increases power and stamina, aids with post-workout recovery, helps with definition, and helps build muscle.
Not as much as steroids do, but still more than enough to make a difference.
Learn More - How Long Does Creatine Take To Kick In And Work?
What Does Natty Actually Mean? (Detailed Explanation)
Natty means natural. A "natty" is someone (bodybuilder, athlete, regular Joe) who has made muscle gains without any performance-enhancing drugs or PEDs.
This means they don't take testosterone or other anabolic steroids, hGH, IGF-1, or any other drug dubbed a PED to achieve their physique.
For example, despite Liver King claiming to be natty for well over a year, consuming bull testes and turkey liver while slurping on bone marrow isn't what got him jacked.
Despite all the creatine in that liver. It's the absurd doses of IGF-1, Test, Decca, Omnitrope, and Winstrol that made him look like a superhero. And that isn't natty. Not even in the slightest.
So, let's explore the terminology behind the term and see how creatine works in all of it.
Natties rely on proper nutrition, good food (meat, nuts, veggies), natural supplements, and resistance training to make their gains slowly but surely over time. That's what it takes to be natty.
Learn More - Is Creatine Vegan? (Find Out Which Brands Are Safe)
Now, there's another group - those who have used anabolics or different things in the process but are currently maintaining their gains naturally. Are they natural?
Personally, I think that if they take blood tests and their results come clean - they can call themselves natty.
Almost all the extra muscle they've put on while juicing will wean off as time goes by, as the body can't maintain such muscle mass without the extra hormones raging through it.
Their strength and stamina will drop significantly, too. Their hormones will actually fluctuate during the day, etc. So, I think it's fair to say they're natty if they test clean.
As for those who claim to be natty just because they're in between steroid cycles - they are not natty. Not a chance.
Basically, as long as you're training hard and eating right while using only WADA-approved supplements, like creatine or whey protein - you can call yourself natty.
Is Creatine A PED? (Banned Substance Or Not?)
No, creatine is not a banned substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) or other governing bodies in the sports world.
Creatine is well-known as a natural dietary supplement and can be found as a standalone product or in many of the most popular muscle-building products on the market.
Some would argue that despite being legal or "not banned," creatine should count as a PED because, technically, it does increase your performance. And technically, that is true. However, where do we draw the line?
Caffeine is another substance proven to aid performance, yet most people and their grandma (especially their grandma) enjoy a cup of coffee several times a day, and no one is calling them not natty.
To understand why creatine is not a PED, we have to look at the definition of the term PED - a substance taken in non-pharmacologic doses specifically for purposes of improving sports performance. Okay, so... Creatine is PED?
Well, technically, creatine is PED, but it is a legal one.
However, in terms of "natty or not," the only thing that matters, at least for a professional athlete, is whether it is recognized as a banned substance or not, but as we said, creatine is perfectly legal.
How To Know Creatine Supplementation Is Right For You
With all that out of the way, let's explore creatine a bit further.
As we've said, creatine supplementation has been shown to be beneficial for those looking to gain size, strength, and power.
Research also suggests that creatine may help improve recovery times between workouts and provide improved endurance during exercise bouts.
The same study shows that it has also been linked with improved mental focus and alertness, which can benefit athletes looking to stay sharp during resistance training and competition.
In some cases, creatine is not enough.
Understand Your Goals
It's all about your goals.
For example, if your goal is solely focused on being the best natural athlete and achieving a peak natural physique, then 5 grams of creatine monohydrate, along with a proper diet and a good training regimen, will suffice.
However, if you're looking to compete in bodybuilding competitions, chances are you're going to need A LOT more.
As you recall, we've already said it's impossible to get super muscular and super lean at the same time without some heavy PED usage. The same goes for gaining a lot of lean mass quickly, losing a bunch of weight quickly, getting shredded in 12 weeks, etc.
Still, if you want to be the best you can be while remaining natural - creatine's the way to go.
Should You Ever Avoid Creatine?
The only reason you might want to avoid this supplement is if it's causing you trouble, like irritable stomach, cramping, or maybe some bloating.
Still, if you're completely healthy - you will certainly benefit from creatine.
In all honesty, while tons of supplements are available on the market today, none have as strong research backing behind them as creatine does when it comes to improving athletic performance or body composition.
Whether it's building new muscle cells, strength gain and power output, or improving recovery times between workouts, there's nothing quite like creatine.
Furthermore, due to its high safety profile when used correctly (e.g., not exceeding the amount of creatine recommended by health professionals), it can also provide a safe alternative for athletes who wish to avoid riskier ergogenic aids such as banned substances or anabolic steroids, which are known for their long-term harmful effects on health despite yielding exceptional benefits towards muscle-building.
Common Questions About Creatine Consumption
No. Creatine is not classed as a steroid.
So, in conclusion, is creatine natty? Yes, it’s considered natty.
Are you still natty if you’re taking it? Yes, you’re still natural even if you take creatine.
Pretty much everyone, regardless of age, fitness levels, gender, or occupation, can benefit from creatine supplementation, from athletes looking to gain strength, power, and size over regular gym-goers who just want to get an edge in the gym to complete newbies looking to get in better shape.