Creatine Essay, Research Paper
Athletes today will do almost anything to get an edge. 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 your body in order to increase a persons endurance). However, these procedures have many drawbacks. Mainly, they are illegal. An athlete may be suspended from playing their perspective sport for using them. They have many long terms and short term side effects. But now there is a new drug that can give an athlete the edge that they desire. Creatine has exploded onto the supplement market. ?Last year alone Creatine sales topped 100,000,000 dollars.? (McDonald 78) 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 has not been, or is it likely to be banned from use in athletic competition.? (Brody 84)
What is Creatine? 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?. (McDonald 78) Your body also produces Creatine in very small amounts. Creatine is necessary for proper cell functions and reproduction and is one of the main energy stores for muscle.
How does Creatine work? 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 dephosphate (ADP).
ADP causes your muscles to fatigue. Creatine Phosphate helps to convert ATP into ADP when the ATP is all gone. In doing this, the athlete has better endurance during his of her workout.
Creatine claims to have many advantages, such as increased endurance, increased overall work potential, increased speed of muscular action, and the potential to further increase muscle mass. Creatine also accelerates protein synthesis. (Applegate 52) If all this were true, it would be easy to see why athletes are turning to Creatine for an edge on the 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 extensively. ?Recent research in human sports science indicates that if you supplement a normal diet with Creatine it will increase the Creatine content in the muscles?. (Clark 4) In this study, the Creatine concentration in muscles went up 35%. Athletes in Britain were tested while using Creatine and it was found that there was a 20-30% increase of Creatine in the muscle. In another study 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. Plus, since the FDA does not regulate Creatine, a person may no be getting pure Creatine. ?In an experiment, researchers tested three brands of Creatine which claimed to be 100% Creatine, the findings were that all expect one were well under 100% Creatine, and one was only42% Creatine?. (McDonald 79) That is a financial drawback to Creatine. Furthermore, several small short- term side effects include dehydration, diarrhea, and muscle cramping. Also, Creatine might not be able to help a person in their sport. For example, ?Creatine does not benefit an athlete who participates in an aerobic sport such as swimming?. (Appletgate 52) From a long distance runner?s point of view, Creatine would be bad to take. ?Creatine causes an athlete to retain water, causing them to gain weight?. (Applegate53)
Creatine use can best summed up like this, ?A person can take all the Creatine in the world, but if the proper biological and physiological factors aren?t in place, it won?t be of even the slightest benefit.?(Kaplan 15) Creatine is a true athletes supplement. It 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 downfall is the unknown. Since Creatine is relatively new on the market, little is known about the long-term side effects. Who knows, maybe 15 years down the road athletes who took Creatine will all suffer some serious side effects? For know creatine is a safe way to get ahead in athletics.