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02 Dec 2005

creatine
My son wants to take creatine monohydrate to build muscle. He takes muscle fuel dynamic as we are vegetarian and don't get a lot of protein. I wanted to know if he should take this product. He is 14 years old, weighs 66kqs and is about 1.66 m.
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

Hi jemma

I don't think that he needs it at all. In fact, I strongly advise against it. It is a product that was in the news a few years back because all our elite athletes started taking it and it was credited for many of their great performances etc. However, its 'star' has waned a little since then, mostly because many scientific studies found that it had only limited benefit and in the end, it was the training that was done while taking it that helped with muscle growth, and not the creatine by itself. So, while it can work in some people, there is also evidence that in many people, there is no effect, and so we know that there are responders and non-responders. I would of course be impossible to know if he is a responder without trying it, but I don't believe it is even necessary and herein lies the important point:

Your son is only 14. His focus is obviously on developing muscle and bulking up. That's fine, but it can become excessive in someone so young. I appreciate that he wants to be bigger and stronger, but he has to realise that as a young boy, he is still growing and so forcing his muscles to develop puts a great strain on the joints and bones, and that can lead to injury. That's the first point. The second is that has the advantage of the greatest muscle building molecule we know of - testosterone. He is at the perfect age to start growing and building muscle anyway, even without all these supplements. Over the next few years, even if he doesn't train, doesn't eat huge amounts of protein etc. he will bulk up, because his body is absolutely pumping out steroid hormones by itself. So why take something else that may not work, may have harmful side effects and requires the same amount of training anyway. It doesn't make any sense to do it, and so I would just encourage him to remain active, to continue with the proteins since you are vegetarian and to train well. Focus on the training, not only for it's effects on muscle, but on general well-being. If he does that, then I can guarantee that in 2 years, he will be a lot bulkier than he is now.

Good luck
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