Monday, December 04, 2006

Creatine - More detailed Info

Creatine a naturally occurring substance, is converted by the body to phosphocreatine which is a form of stoed energy used by muscles.
Evidence for the positive effects of supplemental creatine are not definitive, but it probably has more evidence behind it then any other sports supplement. Numerous double blind studies have shown that it may be able to increase athletic performance in short but high intensity activities i.e. sprinting.
The theory behind its use is simple – creatine can build up a reserve of phosphocreatine which helps the muscles perform on demand and evidence suggests that may enable the body to make new phosphocreatine faster.

Although some creatine exists in the daily diet, it is not an essential nutrient because your body can make it from the amino acids L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine. Provided you eat enough protein (the source of these amino acids), your body will make all the creatine you need for good health.
Meat (including chicken and fish) is the most important dietary source of creatine and its amino acid building blocks. For this reason, vegetarian athletes may potentially benefit most from creatine supplementation.

For bodybuilding and exercise enhancement, a typical dosage schedule starts with a "loading dose" of 15 to 30 g daily (divided into 2 or 3 separate doses) for 3 to 4 days, followed by 2 to 5 g daily. Some authorities recommend skipping the loading dose. (By comparison, we typically get only about 1 g of creatine in the daily diet.)
Creatine's ability to enter muscle cells can be increased by combining it with glucose, fructose, or other simple carbohydrates; in addition, prior use of creatine might enhance the sports benefits of carbohydrate-loading.
Caffeine may block the effects of creatine.

Creatine is one of the best-selling and best-documented supplements for enhancing athletic performance but the scientific evidence that it works is far from complete. The best evidence we have points to potential benefits in forms of exercise that require repeated short-term bursts of high-intensity exercise; this has been seen more in artificial laboratory studies, however, rather than in studies involving athletes carrying out normal sports. It might also be helpful for resistance exercise (weight training), although not all studies have found benefit.
Creatine has also been proposed as an aid to promote weight loss and to reduce the proportion of fat to muscle in the body, but there is little evidence that it is effective for this purpose.

Preliminary evidence suggests that creatine supplements may be able to reduce levels of triglycerides in the blood.(Triglycerides are fats related to cholesterol that also increase risk of heart disease when elevated in the body.)
Creatine supplements might also help counter the loss of muscle strength that occurs when a limb is immobilized, such as following injury or surgery; however, not all results have been positive.

Preliminary studies, including small double-blind trials, suggest (somewhat inconsistently) that creatine might be helpful for reducing fatigue and increasing strength in various illnesses where muscle weakness occurs.

Creatine appears to be relatively safe.No significant side effects have been found with the regimen of several days of a high dosage (15 to 30 g daily) followed by 6 weeks of a lower dosage (2 to 3 g daily). A study of 100 football players found no adverse consequences during 10 months to 5 years of creatine supplementation. Creatine does not appear to adversely affect the body's ability to exercise under hot conditions.
However, there are some potential concerns with creatine. Because it is metabolized by the kidneys, fears have been expressed that creatine supplements could cause kidney injury, and there are two worrisome case reports. However, evidence suggests that creatine is safe for people whose kidneys are healthy to begin with, and who don't take excessive doses. Furthermore, a one year double-blind study of 175 people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis found that use of 10 grams of creatine daily did not adversely affect kidney function. Nonetheless, individuals with kidney disease, especially those on dialysis, should avoid creatine.

Another concern revolves around the fact that creatine is metabolized in the body to the toxic substance formaldehyde.However, it is not clear whether the amount of formaldehyde produced in this way will cause any harm. Three deaths have been reported in individuals taking creatine, but other causes were most likely responsible.

As with all supplements taken in very high doses, it is important to purchase a high-quality form of creatine from a reputable retailer, as contaminants present even in very low concentrations could conceivably build up and cause problems.

13 comments:

NFTA Ceo said...

Through many years of personal experience and documented personal experimentation, as well as years of observation, I can tell you that I have observed no negative effect from combining caffeine with creatine. It is a myth.

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