Powering Up With Creatine Essay, Research Paper
Powering Up With Creatine
Many people have wondered if there are any dietary supplements out there that can help them become better athletes and still not harm their bodies. Creatine (methyl guanidine-acetic acid) is a substance that has hit the market with extraordinary power. Creatine is something that the body normally creates and contains. We normally obtain creatine from our diets. Some people use creatine supplementation in order to receive the maximum creatine ones body can hold. Creatine as a dietary supplement is effective in accomplishing this great task of helping people become better athletes. Its effectiveness lies within its ability to help increase the availability of ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) and increase muscle mass, and the fact that it doesn t have any major side effects harmful to ones body that have been proven as of yet. Many studies have been performed to determine if creatine is an effective and safe supplement to use. Within these studies scientists have determined that it s a useful and safe supplement when used within the recommended guidelines.
The main reason many people use creatine is to increase ATP levels in their body. ATP is an energy-containing compound. The body can quickly get energy when an ATP reaction occurs. An ATP reaction is when ATP is transformed or converted into ADP (adenosine di-phosphate) and inorganic phosphate. When you do an intense quick burst of activity, such as lifting weights, your muscles must contract and need a quick source of energy. This quick energy comes from ATP. When your muscles use ATP for energy, a chemical process happens where the ATP is broken down into two simpler chemicals: ADP and inorganic phosphate. During this process of ATP turning into ADP, the energy that gives your muscles the ability to contract is released. However, our bodies do not have an unlimited amount of ATP. We only have enough in our bodies to sustain ten to fifteen seconds at maximum exertion. This is where creatine comes in. When creatine is stored in the muscles, the majority of it bonds with abundant phosphorus and is converted into CP (creatine phosphate). CP is able to react with the ADP in your body and turn useless ADP back into the useful energy source: ATP. More ATP in your body means more fuel for your muscles to use.
The second most popular reason people use creatine is volumization of their muscles. Volumizaton is the process of pulling fluid into the muscle cells and thus increasing the volume of the muscles. Creatine has been shown to pull water into your muscle cells, which increases the size of your muscles. There is also some data that indicates that creatine helps put the body in a more anabolic state where protein synthesis can occur. The more protein synthesis, the greater the muscle gain. When you take creatine in the powder form, it s in your blood stream for about one to one and a half hours. For muscle growth, the creatine must be absorbed into the muscles. So, if you are working out and deplete the supply in your muscles, and you have creatine available in the blood stream, your muscles can replenish their creatine supply from the creatine in your blood. If your muscles are fully saturated with creatine and you are not working out, then after one and a half hours, the creatine in your blood will be converted into creatinine and excreted. Creatine is not a wonder drug. It provides your muscles with more short-term energy, but that is wasted if you do not exercise your muscles. If you take creatine you should push yourself even harder at the gym. The idea is that with more energy you should be able to workout harder. A harder workout leads to increased muscle mass.
There have been hundreds of studies done on creatine that all show that it is a safe supplement if used by recommendations. There are really very few side effects reported with creatine use but some that have been reported are upset stomach, muscle cramping, diarrhea and dehydration. Drinking plenty of water while taking creatine can minimize most of these side effects. Creatine is still being studied for long-term side effects, but many scientists agree that when taken within normal recommendations, creatine should pose no long-term health risks. In fact, there are clinical situations for which low doses of creatine have been used over a period of years. For example, Gyrate Atrophy is a disease of the eye that is characterized by progressive narrowing of the visual fields. A secondary component of the disease is a deficiency in creatine synthesis. Consequently, this disease is also characterized by a reduction in the size of fast muscle fibers. Creatine supplementation has even shown to alleviate the muscular symptoms associated with this disease. Other than mild weight gain, low doses of creatine (one and a half grams a day) when administered for the duration of a year produce no obvious adverse effects.
When using creatine, it is recommended to cycle its use. Almost any sports supplement should be used with a cycling period. Cycling is a procedure where you use a supplement for a while, then stop, then go back to using it. You go through a cycle of use. Cycling first started with steroid use. The idea is that if you give your body a constant source of a certain substance, it may eventually get lazy and stop making the substance itself. In effect, your body just relies on you to feed it the supplement, rather than making it itself. So, if you take a few weeks off from using the supplement, you ensure that your body will continue to produce that substance. Even though cycling has not been determined necessary, it is better to be safe than sorry. Creatine can be an effective dietary supplement if used the way it was intended. This is an important distinction to make, because anything can become dangerous if you take too much of it. Vitamin C can have very harmful effects if you take too much of it, but that doesn t mean it is unsafe. Creatine abuse can be a problem. Any creatine your body does not use is excreted as a waste product called creatinine. If you take twenty grams a day of creatine, your body will not be able to use most of it and will have to excrete the excess. Over time this constant excretion of creatinine can put a lot of work on your kidneys and liver. If you force them to work too hard, that can lead to serious problems. This is the same with creatine, if not used by the recommended dosage it can be harmful.
Creatine is a natural substance, but when used as a dietary supplement, you can get the most out of your workout. With the help of the extra creatine, you can increase the amount of ATP in your body, which will lead to a longer, harder workout, which in turn helps you gain more muscle mass. Creatine not only has many pros, but also doesn t have any proven cons. In addition to the help creatine gives us, it also doesn t have any long-term side effects. Along with all the pros of creatine supplementation, it hasn t been banned from any major sports. It would be very hard to ban creatine use because it is found in so many foods, therefore making it very hard to do lab tests on, without coming back with false positives. So all in all, creatine is a useful supplement that can be used in order to become a better athlete.