Some people talk about creatine as if it is a form of anabolic steroids. Sure, creatine increases your muscle’s energy and helps you get through a couple more reps in the set but it is far from being a form of anabolic steroid, but what is creatine? Here are a few things that draw the line in defining what sets creatine apart from steroids.
What is Creatine in Nature?
Creatine is a natural substance created by the body as a form of energy for the muscle. Commercially available creatine is used in anaerobic respiration like what you do when you lift those weights. The body breaks it down to create ATP. Anabolic steroid however is used primarily to enhance performance. Steroids are synthetic versions of testosterone and are used to initiate increase in muscle mass and strength. The bottom line is that creatine has a completely different structure and application than steroids.
Creatine Side Effects
Creatine supplements are just like any supplement that is if taken in high dosage, can cause some side effects. Issues like kidney problems and dehydration can be common overuse of creatine. Dehydration is pretty easy to detect though. If your urine starts to get too much coloration, that is a good sign of dehydration. The darker urine you have, the more dehydrated you are. So make sure you drink a lot of water when using creatine supplements.
Anabolic steroids however have a lot longer list of side effects and substantially more dangerous. Side effects like acne, penis and testicle size decrease, sperm production problems, increase in LDL and decrease in HDL (good cholesterol), neuropsychiatric toxicity, aggressive behavior, liver damage and even failure, premature baldness and even the development of “man-boobs”, reduced sexual functions, heart palpitations, enlargement of the heart, and finally cardiac arrest. I think anybody will agree when I say that this is an incredibly dangerous list of side effects that anybody in their proper mind would not risk it just to have bigger biceps.
Another big difference between creatine supplements and anabolic steroids is the cost. Although steroids are not available legally without a subscription, it can still be bought in the black market and online but it is still a lot more expensive than creatine which is available and distributed by many supplement companies legally. You cannot just walk in to a local drug store and buy a vial of steroids while you can buy creatine supplements pretty much in any gym.
These three are just the common difference between the two but there are a lot more if one really wants to go into the details. Sure, anabolic steroids can give you a lot bigger muscles faster but it can also kill you in more ways than one. Creatine is a great supplement when taken properly and enough hydration and not to mention, it’s legal. What good is a beach ready body when you will be spending the next few years behind bars anyway seeing nothing but other dudes. If it is still not clear by now, creatine is not steroids in any way or form.