The things we take

„After a few months in my parents’ basement, I took an apartment near the state university, where I discovered both crystal methamphetamine and conceptual art. Either one of these things is dangerous, but in combination they have the potential to destroy entire civilizations. The moment I took my first burning snootful, I understood that this was the drug for me. Speed eliminates all doubt. Am I smart enough? Will people like me? Do I really look all right in this plastic jumpsuit? These are questions for insecure potheads. A speed enthusiast knows that everything he says or does is brilliant.” – from David Sedaris, „Me Talk Pretty One Day”

Coffee, the psychoactive drug and neurotoxin, will hardly be called for what it is, by anyone: a drug. Even though coffee has its dangers, it’s cheap, widely accepted, and purchasable by just about anyone who is willing to drink it.

Contrariwise, my favourite drug is not even a drug, it’s a sports supplement. And contrary to coffee, hardly anyone talks about it. You have probably never heard anyone say „I’m taking Creatine Monohydrate.” If you have ever heard anyone talk about it, they’d probably said something along the lines of „Quite some time ago [decades] I’ve tried it [for a short period of time] but didn’t feel anything. It’s just not for me.”

And yet, Creatine Monohydrate is the single best-selling workout supplement of all time. It has more published human studies than any other supplement in history. It costs around USD 20 per pound (half kilogram). If you take a standard dose of 3–5 grams per day, it will last you around three to four months. It is the most popular nutritional supplement in the United States with approximate annual sales of USD 400 million.

And yet, you have probably not heard of anyone bragging about that scoop of Creapure they had with breakfast yesterday.

I understand that people have different reasons for taking the things they take.  We have surprisingly specific, emotional profiles for purchasing, usage, usage effects, and long term consequences. For some people alcohol is the perfect match, for some it’s weed, for some it’s fat, for some it’s sugar, for some it’s cocaine, for others it’s pain killers.

I’m a low risk person who doesn’t like to waste money, easily worries, and is concerned about his health. Creatine Monohydrate fits me like a glove.

Quality Creatine Monohydrate is very stable and almost tasteless. It does not work as a stimulant, and it does neither heighten nor numb my senses. Judging from my feeling alone I wouldn’t know that I have taken any. It just sits there, somewhat chemically transformed, in my skeletal muscle tissue, silently, waiting patiently, doing nothing.

But good heavens. When I choose to do muscular work, just a little bit more than what’s easy, it will kick in. It has that certain punch to it. It’s like a good friend, a guardian angel, „Oh, you just got into a strenuous movement, but don’t worry, I will flatten that out for you.” It makes me able to sit for hours at a time, hunched over my laptop, without feeling sore or tired.  It brings a smile to my face every time I squat up from a chair, or when I push open a heavy door as if it was made from air. Or when I step up a stair. Sometimes I feel like I’m flying up stairs. Or I feel like I could be pushing the watts in the gym like Chris Froome (for 10 seconds at least). It brings my lower back safely through the night and helps me get up in the morning without feeling tight in the back, as if I had never had any lower back troubles. It fuels my muscles like electricity fuels a Tesla Model S when going from 0 to 60 in less than 2 seconds.

We humans like to share our happiness and good experiences. But if you talk about sports supplements, especially Creatine Monohydrate, you will quickly learn that people do not respond friendly, and thus hardly anyone talks about it.

The first rule about Creatine Monohydrate? You don’t talk about Creatine Monohydrate.