Category: Research Paper
Creatine Research Essay, Research Paper
What is it and where does it come from?
Simply put, creatine monohydrate is the most popular and effective bodybuilding supplement on the market. Everyone consistently using creatine is making gains in lean mass.
There is one good reason why three out of four of the ‘96 summer Olympic medallists used creatine: it works and it works well. A French scientist first discovered creatine in 1832, but it was not until 1923 that scientists discovered that over 95% of creatine is stored in muscle tissue. The first published report of creatine having bodybuilding effects was The Journal of Biological Chemistry in, get this, 1926! Although we?ve known about creatine for quite some time, the first real use of it to enhance performance was the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona, Spain.
So, what is creatine? Our bodies naturally make the compound, which is used to supply energy to our muscles. It is produced in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys, and is transported to the body’s muscles through the bloodstream. Once it reaches the muscles, it is converted into phosphocreatine (creatine phosphate). This high-powered metabolite is used to regenerate the muscles’ ultimate energy source, ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
Unlike steroids or drugs, creatine is 100% natural and occurs naturally in many foods; therefore, it can never be banned from any sports or international competitions (unless they banned eating meat). Many foods especially herring, salmon, tuna, and beef contain some creatine. However, the very best source of creatine by far is creatine monohydrate because it contains more creatine per weight of material than any other source. Bodybuilding.com sells only high quality 99.9% pure pharmaceutical-grade creatine monohydrate.
What does it do and what scientific studies give evidence to support this?
Creatine is bodybuilding’s ultimate supplement, and for good reason. For one thing, creatine can significantly increase lean muscle mass in just two weeks. It is also responsible for improving performance in high-intensity exercise, increasing energy levels, and speeding up recovery rates. It?s no wonder athletes who use it have such of an edge over those who do not. Soon nearly every athlete who competes will use it (if they don’t already). Creatine’s ability to enhance energy reserves in muscles comes from its muscle protein synthesizing action, while minimizing protein breakdown. This occurs because creatine has the awesome effect of super-hydrating muscle cells with water. It enhances muscles’ growth too-making muscle fibers bigger and stronger.
Quite a few studies have been done on creatine to figure out why and how it works so well. There have been over twenty double blind (meaning neither the researchers nor the subjects knew who was getting what), placebo-controlled studies conducted on creatine in the past five years. They proved that creatine increased energy levels, resulting in increased strength, endurance levels, and recovery rates. Another unexpected benefit attributed to creatine was discovered as well: creatine accelerates fat loss, while building lean body mass!
Who needs it and what are some symptoms of deficiency?
First, anyone who is ready to have more energy, build more muscle faster, and have more endurance should try supplementing with creatine monohydrate. Next, anyone who would like to be more toned by increasing lean muscle mass, recuperating faster, and losing that extra little fat roll should supplement with creatine monohydrate. Last, anyone who is involved in intense physical activity, experiencing physical stress and fatigue, and likes incredible results should supplement with creatine monohydrate.
How much should be taken? Are there any side effects?
Excellent results have been observed in taking creatine monohydrate in two different ways. The first way is called loading. This method works very well for anyone who has never taken creatine before. Just as the name implies, it involves loading up or saturating your muscles with creatine. During the first four days to a week, take 20 to 30 grams per day. Mix it with non-acidic juice or water. Grape juice works well. After this loading period, take a regular intake of between five to fifteen grams per day to keep your muscles saturated (no need to over do it). The other method is a more gradual approach to supplementing with creatine monohydrate. Over the course of an extended period, one basically skips the loading phase and just supplements with five to fifteen grams per day, everyday. The best results have been noticed when creatine is combined with a high carbohydrate base, such as dextrose (glucose) and taken about one-half hour before training.
The best part about creatine – no adverse effects have been reported in any studies. Creatine is totally safe and effective. Creatine has never been shown harmfully toxic. Nevertheless, just like with anything, it is not recommended to over-supplement once your muscles are saturated with creatine-there is no reason to. This means, stick to the recommended dosages, and be prepared to experience the very best muscle, strength, energy, and endurance gains possible.
Since the beginning of time, the body has been a sign of dominance. Creatine monohydrate has been around for over a hundred years, but it has been only used as a dietary supplement for the past decade. Over the years creatine has been one of the leading in supplements, and it is used worldwide. Creatine is neither a drug nor a steroid; it is a legal dietary supplement. Athletes use it to get the edge on competition and older people use it to stay healthy. It all depends on who wants to use it.
With everything in the world, there is a positive and a negative creatine is no different. Being a user myself, I want find out problems that may later come up. I am looking to find what creatine can do for me, both positive and negative. Up to this point I love creatine and over a period of three years I have noticed a dramatic change. Creatine has helped me advance my athletic ability and hopefully to fulfill my dreams and goal.
The world has just surpassed the millennium mark, but there is so much we still don't know. Creatine is a supplement that has not been looked at for its long-term effect, but in due time needs to be. With so many people reporting their benefits, creatine has to be doing something right, but who knows what is in store for the future? Until a fact has been stated, and proven that creatine is deadly, one shouldn't listen to myths. To some, creatine may be dangerous drug, but to analyze it, one must know what it actually is, the ways to use it, along with the pros and cons of using creatine.
The year was 1886 a French scientist just happened to stumble upon a substance that would enhance muscle growth. Chevreul, the scientist, found that creatine is stored in the human body naturally. It is mostly stored in lean red muscle tissue in the form of creatine phosphate (Sahelian 49). To users, it is known as creatine, but to advance researchers it is known as methyl guadidine-acetic acid. Creatine is a combination of three substances; glycine, arginine, and methionine. Naturally found in the body, creatine provides the energy our muscles need to move. Creatine is produced in the liver, pancreas, and the kidneys.
The way creatine works is very abstruse, but the first thing one must know is that creatine exists in two different forms.
"Creatine." 123HelpMe.com. 23 Feb 2017
One is "free" creatine which is chemically unbound, and the other is "creatine phosphate." These two creatines make up two thirds of the total supply in the human body (Creatine Information par. 4). For someone's muscles to work, a special fuel must be present. This special fuel is known as ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). ATP releases one of its phosphate molecules and then it turns into ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate)(Creatine Monohydrate par.5 and 6). This cycle is repeated because there is only enough ATP to last about ten to fifteen seconds. Here is the chemical make-up of creatine.
(Creatine, Creatine par.10)
Like mentioned earlier there are three amino acids that make up creatine. Another ways to explain how creatine works is by the formula researchers have developed.
ATPà ADP+ P+ ENERGYà ADP+ CPà ATP+ C (Sahelian 78-79)
When ATP loses its molecule, it is just ADP, so now the ADP goes and finds CP (creatine phosphate) which is found throughout the body. This cycle is repeated as long as there is CP in the body. When the body runs out, the CP has to be restored. This is why some people use creatine to keep the CP level strong in their body (Sahelain 78 79).
Creatine is used all over but is used mostly in sports. It helps athletes get a competitive edge. Right now creatine is not banned in sports, and the reason is that creatine is neither a drug nor a steroid. Creatine is a dietary supplement and is sold in stores like GNC, Vitamin World, and is sold by over 100 different companies. NCAA did a survey and it showed that 13% of athletes used creatine to enhance their athletic ability. The summer of 1998 when Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were racing for the homerun record, both announced publicly that they used creatine. (Conkling 36, 37, 38). Some think it was unfair, but creatine is not illegal and so there was no reason those two men couldn't take it.
Athletes have reported that creatine does give or can result in muscle cramping, muscle strains, dehydration, nausea, seizures (Passwater). These are all possibilities, so it all comes down to what will one do for that "edge". With all the uses of creatine, people have discovered different ways for the user to take creatine. Here are the forms; capsules, powders, tablets, and liquids.
With all these different ways of taking creatine, people are often left with the descion of choosing their own method. That is a very tough question, because it all depends on the person. People react to things differently (Salehian 106). So the form which one takes creatine is all up to that person.
The cost of these products range, to where powders are the cheapest and liquids are the most expensive (Yvonne). Users purchase over 200 millions dollars in creatine each year (Conkling 36).
Conrad P. Earnest is one of the first to seek in-depth information on creatine. With five different studies on creatine and its effects, he is considered an expert in this field. A friend, who said he had great results, first introduced Earnest to creatine. At first, Conrad was unsure but after using creatine he stated in thirteen different articles that creatine is a success. When asked which athletes get better results by using creatine Earnest replied, "Sports that involve short bursts of energy like sprinting get better results." Creatine reduces recovery time and increases the amount of work one can perform. Long distance or endurance sport may get help but not as much. Some studies even show that it may hurt athletes in those competitions. When asked how much is alright to take, Conrad believes that five to ten grams a day is plenty of creatine, and should maintain ones creatine level (Sahelian 98-100 102 104-106).
EAS specialist Richard Passwater has his own perspective on creatine. Passwater is a specialist in the EAS research center and has studied creatine for many years. The pros and cons to him are about the same. With every pro there is a con. Here is a basic example: a pro is promotion of muscle growth and an increase is muscle strength. The down side to those is water retention, which means the body is storing more water. Side effects he stated were muscle-cramping which was due to dehydration and another is stomach distress like nausea and diarrhea (Passwater). Mr. Passwater also said that when too much is consumed the body would start cramping. The excess creatine is put through the waste system, which in fact is a waste of creatine. If one takes an excessive amount of creatine, a drastic problem is that the body will not hydrate properly. Another statement Passwater had was that eighteen is the right age to start creatine, but that's an opinion. One benefits more if he or she is matured more. Will a user of creatine make muscle gains? That is a very popular question. Passwater said" Yes, because creatine promotes growth by reducing muscle fatigue (Passwater)." Long term studies have not been completed, so it can not be determined if there are any. In the long run that means no one knows what is in the future for creatine users (Passwater)
After hearing from two researchers, now on to Bill Phillips. Mr. Phillips is a professional weight trainer and has used creatine himself. He is the author of the 1997 Sports Supplement Review. A major question is always brought up when talking about creatine, and it is, is it safe? To Bill the answer is yes, and that is because there are no studies that show it is not. Yes, people have made allegations, but they have not been proven. Besides asking if it is safe, people ask, "Is creatine legal?" That has the same answer as the question about it being safe, yes it is Creatine has not been banned by any sports association or any government agency. Everyone wants strength and muscle gains, which in fact are what creatine, can do. Creatine helps in three unique ways and they are; it helps build lean body mass, provides energy, and finally speeds up recovery time (Phillips 52 55-56). All of these are essential elements to gain and strength.
Besides general information and an expert's opinion, creatine has its own pros and cons. Creatine never has the same effect on any two people. The people who get the best results are athletes that participate in a sport that involves bursts of energy (Yvonne). Some of these sports are: powerlifting, bodybuilding, sprinting, baseball, wrestling, and boxing, marital arts, football, field events in track. The reason creatine reacts on these movements is because it is energy that is stored and waiting to be used. Other sports like cross-country or any type of endurance sport may not need creatine. In fact creatine may be a mistake for those athletes because creatine can hurt their performance (Conkling 46) With using creatine there comes short term effects. This may happen off and on or continuously, it depends on the user. Some of these effects are water retention, but then there is a pro to that. Water retention helps enhance the promotion of muscle (Passwater). Another is cramping, but again a pro is that it accelerates energy and quick recovery. After time the short-term effects may be gone, but now people are asking about the long-term effects. Studies show that as of now there are no long term, but not enough studies have been conducted (Passwater). The top the things a creatine user needs to know are: (1) Creatine allows muscles to store more energy. (2) Creatine increases strength and power. (3) Creatine boost protein synthesis and lean muscle mass. (4) While one could get creatine from eating lots of meat, the fat and cholesterol content are major drawbacks. (5) A creatine users body can only store so much creatine, it's is very important not to exceed the recommended dosage. (6) Once creatine is in the muscle, it stays there for weeks. (7) Athletes in sports with quick, explosive movements get the most benefit from creatine. (8) Creatine has no major side effects when used properly. (9) There has no scientific evidence that creatine improves performance in long -distance events such as marathons. (10) The amount of creatine one uses with increase muscle mass (Sahelian 112 113 114 115 116 117 118) The AFSSA says that creatine could link to cancer (Monson). It is not proven but when the media hears this, they denigrate creatine. The reason being, creatine is not looked at for long-term effects, so when this came up, people reacted as if they were going to die from creatine. Some people totally abhor creatine because of things they hear. This new allegation of creatine being linked to cancer is the scariest. If creatine leads to cancer, shouldn't it be banned to protect users? No one is forced to use creatine; people are taking it on their own free will, so the outcome in the end is in their hands.
In conclusion, creatine is a successful supplement to myself. I have been using it and yes I do get those annoying short term effects, but they go away in due time. Creatine helps in the sports I participate in and I will not stop taking it. I know in the long run creatine could hurt me. I want to be the best I can in what I do, and creatine is helping me obtain my goals.
With the information and the knowledge I have learned, I know how to use creatine properly and what to watch out for. This allegation about cancer is very serious, and if it is true I will stop taking creatine immediately. Sacrifices have to be made and dreams have to fulfilled. Coming into my senior year, I want to accomplish all my unaccomplished goals, and never have to say I held back. I laid it all and the line and did my best, and had help with creatine.
Performance Enhancing Supplement: Creatine
Performance enhancing supplements are becoming more popular in the sports world today. Some supplements such as glutamine, creatine, and carbohydrate powders are considered to be legal, while other enhancing drugs such as dopamine, anabolic androgenic steroids, and stimulants such as amphetamines and ephedrine are considered to be illegal. Even though supplements have been proven to have an increase on performance and muscle mass, they also come with negative side effects. However, the supplements that tend to be legal are the ones that are naturally occurring in our bodies. An example of this is Creatine, which is a naturally produced substance from amino acids in the human body, and provides energy to all cells, primarily muscles. There are many other naturally occurring substances in our bodies that can be purchased as a supplement, but there are also performance enhancing drugs that are harmful to our bodies and are banned in many programs.
Overview of Creatine
Since creatine is naturally occurring in the human body, the supplement is considered to be a dietary nutrient, not a drug. Creatine is not a banned substance in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAA or the Olympics. This is a supplement that would be hard to test for since it is naturally occurring and found in many foods. Creatine is important because it helps produce energy which is vital in working out. Creatine in the body increases the production of ATP; our bodies use ATP as a source of energy, particularly in the muscles. Creatine has been proven to be beneficial in high-intensity, short duration activities, such as weight lifting. It does not seem to help with performance in activities that require long duration, such as running. Sports that have been commonly known for using creatine supplementation are weight.Citation styles:
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of the process where creatine makes itself known. Current studies show that creatine supplementation can increase the amount of creatine in muscles, which in turn, speeds up the ATP refueling process (Murphy, 2000). This enhances performance by producing more energy for brief, high-intensity.
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Creatine Essay, Research Paper
In today s society, so much of your daily life is influenced on your looks. From teenagers to adults, you want a good-looking body. Not just for yourself to be healthy, but the way people act and want to be around you, attraction, and even jobs are all influenced on looks. For this, the latest craze among athletes, bodybuilders, teenagers, and any other person with the dream to be stronger is a supplement called creatine. Creatine has been proven to give you more energy during short burst activities.
So what exactly is creatine? Creatine is a nitrogenous substance synthesized mainly by the liver and to a much lesser extent by the pancreas and the kidneys. The amino acids arginine, glycine, and methionineare are combined by these vital organs to form creatine. Creatine is found naturally in the body and can also be obtained through food and supplements. It is believed that 95 – 98% of the creatine in our body is stored in our muscles. The remaining about 2- 5% is stored in various other parts of the body including the brain, heart and testes. Creatine formula:
What does creatine do? It does 3 major things; provide additional energy for muscles, volumization for muscles, and buffer lactic acid build-up. In your body you have a compound called ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate). ATP allows your body to get energy very quickly from an ATP reaction. You have other sources of energy, such as carbohydrates and fat, but they take longer to convert into a useable energy source. When you are doing an intense quick burst activity, such as lifting a weight or sprinting, your muscles must contract and need a quick source of energy. This immediate 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 (adenosine di-phosphate) and inorganic phosphate. This process of ATP turning into ADP releases the energy that gives your muscles the ability to contract. Unfortunately, we do not have an endless supply of ATP. Your muscles only contain enough ATP to last about 10-15 seconds at maximum exertion. The amino acids arginine, glycine, and methionineare combined by these vital organs to form creatine. After synthesis, creatine is carried by the bloodstream to the skeletal muscle cells, where specific protein transporter molecules carry it directly into the muscle until it is needed for energy. Most of the creatine that is taken up by the muscle is converted into phosphocreatine. Phosphocreatine is able to react with the ADP in your body and turn “useless” ADP back into the “super useful” energy source. In essence, creatine gives you ATP, which gives you extra energy to build muscles by doing more repetition of bodybuilding exercises.
At the University of Massachusetts, 20 males aged 60-82 were used to test if creatine did in fact increase muscle mass. E. S. Rawson, M. L. Wehnert, and P. M. Clarkson conducted this test. No date was given for the time of the experiment. How this test was designed was they were placed into two groups, creatine (Cr) and placebo (P), (group that didn t use creatine) and supplemented in double blind fashion. Subjects ingested either 20 grams of Cr (5 grams of Cr plus 7 grams of dextrose 4 times per day for 10 days) or an identical looking and tasting dextrose placebo for the same duration. Subjects then took either 4 grams of creatine or the placebo once per day for 20 days. Body Composition was assessed using hydrostatic weighing. Maximal strength (MVC) of the elbow flexors was assessed using a modified preacher bench attached to a strain gauge. Leg fatigue was determined using a Biodex isokinetic dynamometer. Subjects performed 5 sets of 30 maximal voluntary contractions at 1800 per/second with 1 minute of recovery between sets. Although this difference was not statistically significant between groups, the mean increases in body mass were 0.78 x 0.27 and 0.32 x 0.28 kg for the Cr and P groups, respectively, possibly indicating a trend. There were no significant differences in MVC, body density, or fat free mass between groups from pre to post. There was a significant difference between groups over time in leg fatigue following supplementation. This study suggested that 30 days of Creatine supplement may have a beneficial effect on reducing muscle fatigue in men over 60.
In addition to increasing your energy, new research has shown that creatine can help buffer lactic acid that builds-up in the muscles during exercise. When you work out and you feel your muscles cannot work and just want to collapse, creatine prolongs this feeling so you can do extra exercise. Creatine bonds with a Hydrogen ion and that helps delay the build up of lactic acid. (More research needs to be done to see if this point is true)
Creatine increases your muscle size. Creatine can increase water retention in cells and studies have found that people retained water because of a decrease in urine volume. Other studies suggest that there may be some increase in protein synthesis as well as retention of fluid. It has been shown to pull water into your muscle cells, which increases the size of your muscles.
The study by Volek (1999) used 19 healthy intermediate lifters, which were divided into 2 groups. Again, they were placed in the creatine and placebo group. The study was double blind meaning none of the researchers nor subjects knew who was in the creatine and placebo group. The creatine and placebo was taken through pills. This test took 11 weeks of the two groups taking in 25g/7days. The subjects were consistently examined for body mass, composition, lean body mass, and maximum exertion. They went through vigorous training programs that consisted of abdominal crunches, bench press, leg press, deadlifts, leg curl, pull-ups, lateral raise, triceps extensions, and row. These workouts were all done 4 times per week for 12 weeks with 3 sets of 12rm with 60 seconds rest in between. It did not say where this study was done. What the final results indicated were the creatine-training group gained more body mass and could bench and squat more weight. As well, they had a significant greater amount of fiber in their body and the average power output was superior to the placebo group. The creatine exercise group lastly gained more lean body mass (+2.2kg) than the training group further proving creatine increases muscle size.
On September 4, 1999, Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. Further proved creatine could increase muscle size. Led by Jeff S. Volek and his colleagues, they used 19 men, all about 25 years of age and similar in weight, lean body mass and capacity to lift weights to test for muscle increase. Ten were given creatine – 25 grams per day for the first week, followed by 5 grams a day for the rest of the study. The rest were given a fake preparation. No one was told what they were getting. All the men worked out under the guidance of the same trainer. At the end of the training, all the men were bigger than they were at the start. But the men on creatine registered an average 6.3 percent gain in fat-free mass, compared with 3.1 percent in those on the placebo. Cross-sectional samples of muscle fiber showed increases of about 35 percent in fiber size in men on creatine, compared with gains ranging from 6 to 15 percent in the non-creatine group, depending on the type of muscle sampled. And men on creatine showed a 24 percent increase in their bench press, compared with 16 percent for the men not on creatine. Study confirms creatine builds muscle mass and broadens strength.
In recent studies, creatine has been proven to reduce muscle fatigue, increase strength, the size of your muscles, and even body mass. However, nothing is perfect and comes with a price. Overall, creatine is a safe drug without many side effects, considering you don t abuse creatine. Like anything, too much of anything can cause harm to your body. Some bodies react to creatine though, through upset stomach, muscle cramping, diarrhea and dehydration. Although creatine has been proven to be quite safe, creatine is fairly new to do any long-term side effect studies. When steroid were first introduced everyone thought they were all right, as they did with many things. For this, creatine should not be taken for granted for and thought of as a 100% safe drug with no effects on the human body. As well, the body has a big affect on teenagers. Being a teenager, striving for the perfect body is a dream for everyone. You see it on television, movies, and sports stars and think, why can t I have it? So you try the new sport supplement. Little do teenagers know that the body is consistently growing until the age of 18, if that. Although creatine has never been proven to tell if creatine stunts growth, researchers have not studied it long enough to tell.
There are three basic types of creatine supplements, creatine monohydrate, creatine phosphate and creatine citrate. Creatine Monohydrate is basically creatine bound with water. Each molecule of creatine monohydrate is made up of 88% creatine and 12% water. This means that if you take 5 grams of creatine monohydrate you will really be putting 4.40 grams (5 * .88) of creatine in your body. Creatine Monohydrate is by far the most common form for a creatine supplement. The majority of studies and research have been conducted using creatine monohydrate. In order for creatine to be effective it needs to bond with a phosphate group and become Creatine Phosphate. For this reason, you may think that directly taking Creatine Phosphate would be better than just taking Creatine Monohydrate. Taking a creatine phosphate supplement has never been shown to be more effective than just taking creatine monohydrate. Creatine Phosphate has only 62.3% creatine and 37.7% phosphate. (Less than monohydrate) In addition, creatine phosphate is more expensive than creatine monohydrate. Creatine Citrate became popular because it is more water-soluble than other forms of creatine. The problem is that Creatine Citrate has only 400 milligrams of creatine per gram of creatine citrate. In addition, it is more expensive than Creatine Monohydrate. All creatine substances are just as good, it just depends what your preference is. Now creatine can be taken in pill form, liquid form, solid form, and even gum form.
Creatine is classified as a dietary supplement, not a drug. This means that it is basically treated as a food substance and does not have to meet any of the drug requirements of the FDA. You do not need a prescription to buy creatine, because it is a food supplement. As well, creatine is not a banned substance in the any major league sports such as the NFL, NBA, MLB, NFL, NCAA or Olympics. It would be very hard to ban creatine use because it is found in many foods, therefore making it very hard to test for without false positives.
In my opinion, creatine is a very safe sports supplement. However, creatine has not been on the market for very long. Like anything, nothing is completely safe and there could be something wrong with it that we just don t know yet. People often tend to go look at the short-term results. Rather than looking at the long-term results, people jump to conclusions. Researchers should test if there are any long-term effects that could happen, especially to teenagers because creatine targets young and quick-minded people that are in it for the quick result. Even though medical studies show that creatine increases muscle mass etc. they did not test for any side effects. I would not go right in and start taking it without some research on creatine long and short-term effects. While there are many sports supplements out on the market today, creatine has become the most popular and for that it has been studied the most. If you are to decide you want to start using a sports supplement though, creatine is the way to go.