There are a lot of dietary supplements on the market at the moment, these are being promoted as an aid to help you enhance your performance thus enabling you to lift more and run faster. There has been a boom in the dietary supplement market over the last few years with 36% of all nutrition products sold in 2011 contained Creatine. As with all supplements there are pros and cons. Some guys we know use them regularly as part of their training programme. Others say there has been very little research outside of laboratory conditions on the safety and side effects of the product.
For all you fitness buffs who want to do a bench press or go for a sprint, Creatine does not help gain muscle mass, it gives the muscles short bursts of energy. It will give you the power you need for 10 seconds. So this supplement will benefit people who want to do weightlifting, rugby, football, or sports that require those short bursts of energy.
Nutritionists and dieticians believe that if you are an endurance athlete the benefits are minimal. Against this clinical studies from the Nutrition Research Institute Maastricht have shown findings that Creatine increases glucagon levels in the body, providing carbohydrates for longer training sessions which could benefit you marathon runners.
Nutritionist and dieticians recommend that if you want to build muscle mass you should basically stick to a good diet that is high in protein and carbohydrates. This will give you all the nutrients and minerals you need to lift those heavier weights and help get bigger muscles during training. It’s a competitive world but it’s your body – with the jury seemingly still out you need to exercise your own judgement.
So what is this supplement everybody’s talking about? Creatine is an amino acid that the body produces naturally in the liver and kidneys and can be found in foods such as chicken and fish. According to experts the intake from foods is about 1-2g, whereas supplements contain a much higher dose of 3-5g taken as capsules or mixed in to juices, milk or water.
Now for the science bit, the body converts the acids into phosphate which then reacts with Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) the body’s energy currency system, which breaks down the phosphate and the Creatine is then stored in the muscles for when it is needed. One of the side effects from this supplement is that it leads to the body retaining water to balance out the concentration of Creatine in the muscles. Click Here for the Clinic stuff about Creatine.
The uses of these supplements are not promoted by the main gym chains in the UK due to the lack of research on the long term effects of Creatine on the body. Some individuals have reported that the supplement leads to muscle cramps, nausea and stomach upsets in some people.
It is not illegal for these supplements to be sold to individuals though the supplier may refuse to sell it to you if they believe that you are Under 18.
A study by the Journal of Paediatrics in Brazil into the effects of dietary supplements such as Creatine concluded that the product should not be taken by adolescents due to several adverse effects. The reason medical professionals cannot be conclusive is that there is very little research to demonstrate the effects on young people.