Athletes will put many different types of supplements and drugs to increase their physical strength. These supplements range from protein shakes to steroids. Some sports supplements are incredibly safe and effective, while others still work well but do more damage than good in the long run. In the past athletes had to turn to such things as anabolic steroids or blood doping (the process of taking out blood and adding oxygen to it and putting it back into their body in order to increase their endurance). But they are illegal. Many supplements are as simple as packaged energy and others require a strict exercise and eating regimen. I will explore creatine and it’s effect on the sport world.
Creatine was first introduced to the US in 1993 by a supplement company called Experimental and Applied Sciences. Since then it has become one of the most
demanded items on the market. The creatine that is bought in stores duplicates the natural creatine that is produced by the kidney, liver, and pancreas. Creatine Monohydrate has been proven to significantly enhance athletic performance in the areas of power, strength, and muscle mass. Most importantly though, it doesn’t seem to have any serious side effects. Also, since Creatine is found naturally in the body and in foods, it is likely that it will not be removed from sports.
Creatine is a nutrient that is found in many foods. It is most highly concentrated in lean red meat. A half-pound of red meat contains about two grams of Creatine. Every human body also produces Creatine in very small amounts, though some people produce more than others. Creatine is necessary for proper cell functions and cell reproduction, it is also a primary storage for energy in muscles.
Creatine works when somebody is exercising, his or her muscles demand energy. The energy that the muscle gets is called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). As the muscles keep contracting, the ATP is turned into adenosine diphosphate (ADP). ADP causes your muscles to fatigue. Creatine Phosphate helps to convert ADP into ATP when the ATP is gone. In doing this, the athlete has better endurance during his of her workout or event.
If all this were true, it would be easy to see why athletes are turning to Creatine for an edge on their competition. But are these claims real? Is their scientific proof of what Creatine does? Yes, since Creatine came onto the supplement market it has been
tested a lot. The Texas A&M football program, experimented by putting only a few of their players on Creatine in 1994, and as a result by 1995 they put their whole team on Creatine. The facts don’t lie
Creatine has definite advantages. Since studies on Creatine loading have only been going on for less than a decade, it is still unknown what long-term effects will have. Several small short-term side effects include dehydration, diarrhea, and muscle cramping.
The athletes that will receive the most benefit from creatine are athletes in power and performance sports such as football and wrestling. Though even with
wrestling creatine can be dangerous because of the weight gaining factor, so more effective use my be during the off-season. For such sports as football, Creatine can be very useful in gaining strength and size, while maintaining or increasing speed and endurance. Bodybuilders can also use Creatine as a legal and effective way to enhance muscle growth.
Creatine use can best summed up pretty easy, a person can take all the Creatine they want, but if the proper biological, physiological, and nutritional factors aren’t in place, it won’t be of even the slightest benefit. Creatine allows an athlete to work out harder and more frequently. Plus, it helps an athlete to become bigger, faster and stronger. In addition, Creatine delivers these benefits without causing any serious harm, if any. “The only proven side effect has been weight gain”( Creatine as a Sports Supplement).
Though many reports say that Creatine may cause a person to dehydrate, some disagree with this view. Steven Plisk, director of sports conditioning at Yale U., “Creatine doesn’t have a dehydrating effect on individual muscle cells. If anything, creatine adds water to the muscle-explaining some of the weight gain”( Creatine Basics). Many still argue the credibility of negative comments toward creatine, but none argue its positive effects. Just shoving creatine into your body without proper exercise will result only in creation of fat and waste.
Aproblem that people may see with creatine is the cost factor. A Creatine supply for a month will average close to forty-five dollars. With the cost of
this and other supplements being so high, it seems that the higher class athletes would have an advantage, which causes many critics of creatine (or supplements in general) to deem it unfair. Their case is, athletes of one group should not be permitted to have an advantage over another due to something such as money.
In conclusion, Creatine is and can be a very effective supplement for athletes, it doesn’t help everyone. Depending on the person and the sport they are participating in creatine’s effects can be either positive or negative. Though long term research on the effects of creatine have not been confirmed, as of now the only side effects are diarrhea, nausea, and weight gain. These are outweighed by the increased success that one may have in their strength and performance in sports. Creatine has a positive effect on sports as well as its negative effect, therefore each person should weigh the positive and negative, then make the decision for themselves.