As the current President of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, I was glad to read the T NATION interview with Dr. Rick Kreider. I've known Rick for over 10 years, and he's a world-leading authority on the effects of creatine supplementation in humans.
Without beating a dead horse, the collective facts are that judicious use of high-quality creatine monohydrate:
- Does not cause muscle cramps, dehydration, or impaired thermoregulation
- Does not cause liver or kidney damage
- Does not cause muscle compartment syndrome
On the other hand, an emerging area of research points to the fact that creatine monohydrate has potent neuroprotective effects. As Dr. Kreider mentioned, "You could actually make the case that not allowing football players to take creatine would put them at higher risk than if they did. Creatine would help with concussions, temperature regulation, and recovery."
In other words, every athlete in a contact sport should probably use creatine monohydrate, at least in low doses until their muscle and brain levels of high energy phosphates are topped off.