Creatine In Sport In today’s society, a lot of emphasis is placed on how you look.
Almost everybody wants that “perfect body”. But with all the things people have to do, not many are willing to put in the time to get it. So there must be an easy way to get it. Right? Not too long ago people were experimenting with anabolic steroids.They injected horse testosterone into their veins to increase the amount of muscle mass produced from lifting.
But after a while, some professional athletes and high profile people started showing the side effects that are associated with them. For example, Lyle Alzado, a popular star in the NFL, developed a brain tumor and died. This scared a lot of people and the recreational uses of steroids decreased. With the dangers of steroids well known people started looking for other substances to give them an edge.
Bee pollen, carnitine and chromium picolinate, were among the things people tried.Of course none of these worked. But now there is a product on the market that has been proven to significantly enhance athletic performance in the areas of power, strength, and muscle mass. This substance is Creatine Phosphate. ABOUT CREATINE When you exercise you obviously burn energy. There are many things involved in this process.
The energy that you burn is called Adenosine Triphosphate, ATP. This molecule has very high energy bonds between the phosphates and the rest of the molecule. Your body breaks these bonds releasing the energy for use and changing the molecule to ADP (di-phosphate). Since the body has a relatively low supply of ATP, it needs to convert the ADP back into ATP. Creatine helps to speed this process along. Creatine is an amino acid made in your liver and stored in your muscles.In the diet it is found in milk, steak, and some fish.
Although scientists have known about it for about 160 years, studies on it have have just started to be done. CREATINE SUPPLEMENTATION *Picture* After the publication of test results in 1990, the area of creatine supplementation has exploded. Now almost everyone knows what it is and someone who is using it. As was stated earlier, creatine helps speed up the process of converting ADP back into ATP. So it is logical that if you increase the amount of creatine you should increase the conversion rate.The daily requirement of creatine is about two grams. Most of the creatine supplement products recommend taking ten times that amount for the first week or so to saturate your muscles, and five grams a day to maintain it.
In most published studies the logic is correct; if you increase dietary creatine you increase stored creatine. DOES IT WORK? With the increase of stored creatine there should be an increase in conversion time. In most of the studies that I have seen this is true. There is also a relationship between the amount of hydration in a muscle cell and the amount of work it can do. Creatine makes the cell retain water and therefore should increase the amount of work individual cells can do.
But this is not all that it does. In many studies, along with increased recovery time, creatine showed to increase muscle mass, explosive power and strength. In one study groups of athletes put on five to seven pounds of lean muscle mass in a month. These results were far better than athletes receiving a placebo in the same study. Some critics state that the increase in muscle mass is mostly water, but there are studies that say there is an increase in the size of Type II muscle fibers.With the increase in mass there should be an increase in power.
In the same study the athletes saw a thirty percent increase in bench-press. With an increase in strength and recovery time there is an increase in overall explosive power. IS IT FOR ME? Although creatine supplementation has shown results in particular areas, it doesn’t help everyone. The supplements are pretty expensive and with the recommended dosage, they go pretty fast.If you are not serious about training or are a weekend warrior you may see results but you will pay for them. But if you are seriously into bodybuilding, creatine will help you see gains.
Also, athletes that perform short burst sprints with little recovery time will benefit from creatine. Basketball and football players in particular. But if you are an endurance athlete such as a marathoner or a sprinter there are studies that show that creatine supplementation may slow you down. Some think it is from the weight gained. There are also people who are immune to its effects.They are officially called “nonresponders”. These people are studied little and it is not known why they are immune or who these people are. IS IT SAFE? Since studies on creatine loading have only been going on for less than a decade, it is still unknown what long term effects the extra creatine will have.
Some researchers fear that, with the amount of extra creatine contrived through the diet, the body might stop producing it. The only way we will find out the negative effects of long term use is time. The sales of creatine supplements are very strong, so a lot of people are using it.After a decade goes by we might find out the hard way that it is dangerous.