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Actions and Effects of Creatine.

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Actions and Effects of Creatine Throughout time, humans have had a fascination with being excellent at what they do, and athletics have been no exception. Many substances exist, and many have been criticized and analyzed for their safety, legality, and morality for athletes. With the banning of steroids from competitive sports, and the implementation of random drug testing in most sports, most athletes, professional, recreational, and would-be professionals are hoping to gain an edge. More recently, one such edge has been discovered, and it has found itself in locker rooms across the country, in the hands of these athletes, and all the while, and probably more importantly, in the media's direct line of fire. Although legal, creatine has it's proponents and it's opponents, through this paper, I'll discuss some of the factors that make creatine such a hot topic in sports and the health industry. To understand why people use creatine, we must first understand what it is. Creatine is a naturally occurring nutrient that is found in the body (Sahelian, 2000). It is also found in meat and fish, usually at a concentration of about 4 grams of creatine per kilogram (Sahelian, 2000). ...read more.


increase the amount of exercise that can be performed during workouts, 3) increase muscle size and strength, 4) improve anaerobic power and endurance, and 5) increase body weight (Arapoff and Riley, 1998). These are all very attractive and positive factors that an athlete would love to be able to attain legally, not compromising their safety with illegal substances such as steroids, but through essentially, natural and relatively safe means. Luring to some users are reports that results are quick and consistent, along with increased muscle mass, and a prolonged pump during strength training (Sahelian, 2000). Although touted and highly regarded among some professional strength trainers, there are some that are skeptical. For instance, the San Francisco 49er's, have an estimated three quarters of the team using creatine, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers strength coach will not allow creatine in the Bucs' locker room (Bamberger, 1998). The creatine economy is booming, Experimental and Applied Sciences, have a stranglehold on the creatine market, since they were instrumental in it's introduction to the sports supplement arena, they have such athletes as Shannon Sharpe as a paid user/endorser in EAS apparel at public appearances, and this is a great way for them to increase exposure and their marketability, along with having a phenomenal skyrocket in sales (Suggs, 1998). ...read more.


For any sport where bulking up is required creatine would provide an advantage, but any athlete trying to lose or maintain weight will be offset by creatines reported effects. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), has issued a statement that although creatine is an effective aid in performance enhancement, there have not been nearly as many field studies as there have been laboratory studies conducted, also, the ACSM notes that the jury is still out on the safety and effectiveness of long term creatine use (Rose, 1998). Since there have been no studies conducted about the long term safety of creatine, it is not currently recommended to supplement for long periods of time, rather cycle creatine use, by stopping or significantly reducing usage for a month's time (Sahelian, 2000). Although the long term consequences of creatine are not known at this time, it has, to this point, proven to be safer than any illegal performance-enhancing aid, such as anabolic steroids. Creatine supplemenation through a powder is also a viable way to obtain the amount necessary to provide results. To obtain the recommended dosage through our diet alone, one would have to consume anywhere from 5 to 25 pounds of meat daily (Gutfeld, 1997). Someday, maybe creatine research will conclude that it really is nature's very own steroid. ...read more.

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