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Nearly every reputable source I read advises that there’s basically no need to cycle or load it because it’s just as effective at a constant dose rate of 5G/day. But then why is cycling it even a thing? There must be some benefit in exchange for the added complexity?

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    It's an outdated belief that people believe because a more experienced person told them who believes it because a more experienced person told them who believes it because a more experienced person told them who....
    – DeeV
    May 18, 2023 at 0:04
  • Turtles all the way down then? Where did the belief originally come from, even if it is now outdated? May 18, 2023 at 10:50
  • Same as where the 220-age came from. One guy stated it, a bunch of people beleived/repeated/taught, and niow we are stuck with bad science.
    – JohnP
    May 18, 2023 at 13:41
  • Are you referring to max heart rate formulas? May 18, 2023 at 14:33
  • Yes. It's one of the worst myths in exercise that keeps getting perpetuated.
    – JohnP
    May 18, 2023 at 15:19

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I'm not sure it would be possible to trace the origin of the belief, but like most things in fitness, it most likely started because there was no information at the time so all people had to go by was anecdote and personal experience. So someone long ago believed it before there was any evidence to the contrary. This knowledge was passed along to other people who passed it along, and it spread. Eventually the science starts catching up and people find out that maybe it's not as important as previously thought, but it's hard to undo many years of conventional wisdom.

This form of wisdom is often called "broscience". Science often does in fact validate broscience so it's not something that should be discounted when there's no evidence to the contrary. However, sometimes broscience just doesn't have any validity to it.

In the case of creatine, people used to believe that the potency of creatine wore off over time and you had to cycle off it to re-sensitize yourself. This isn't exactly baseless as there are supplements like caffeine where this does in fact happen, and cycling off can be beneficial. So, like caffeine, people believed creatine worked the same way (as well as all other supplements).

There were also some people that believed that the body stops producing creatine if you take high doses of creatine for too long similar to exogenous testosterone. You can still find a lot of websites that make this claim, although I do not believe it's ever been shown.

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