Creatine: Advantages Versus Disadvantages Essay

1601 words - 7 pages

The highly competitive attitude of athletes today motivates many athletes to work hard to improve their ability. When their ability has peaked and a performance plateau is reached many turn to supplements to help them reach the next level.In recent years creatine seems to have become the supplement of choice. Creatine is a compound that is made in the human body and supplies energy to our muscles. Chemically it is called methylguanid-acetic acid and it is formed from the amino acids methoinine and glycine when they are combined through a chemical process (Phillips 49). It is found in abundance in foods such as meat and fish. In 1993 a creatine supplement especially designed for strength and ...view middle of the document...

The more creatine there is in the body then the better the systems ability to create ATP and the better the ability to train muscles to their maximum potential (Sahelian).Although athletes are experimenting with many different supplements, creatine seems to have become the most popular. It is believed to achieve the best results by many users. Despite the fact that little is known about the long term effects that supplementing with large doses of creatine may have on the body (Sahelian) a great many athletes seem to have few concerns about this.Creatine supplementation might be compared to Steroids which were widely used in the 1980?s to increase body mass and strength. However, users were unaware at the time that these drugs would later be found to have numerous psychological and physiological effects, such as increased aggressive behavior and cancer of the liver (Microsoft). The discovery of the health risks associated with steroids brought about laws to make these drugs illegal and significantly reduced the number of athletes utilizing them. With steroids no longer being a safe option for performance enhancement, athletes began to look elsewhere for substances that might bring about similar results.In recent years creatine has become more popular among body builders, high school and college athletes, and even Olympic competitors. According to Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Mr. Universe, creatine has come to be regarded as a necessity by most bodybuilders (Schwarzenegger 765).Despite the opinion of various experts some athletes still swear by the supplement. Take Mark McGuire for example who, in 1998, broke the home run record previously held by Roger Maris (Verducci 30). He uses creatine in addition to other supplements. Although he has been criticized by many sports writers for this he continues to utilize the supplement.The first documented use of creatine by athletes was in 1992 at the Olympics in Barcelona. British track and field competitors were monitored with their supplements and creatine was given credit for powering several of the British athletes who were successful in winning gold medals. Shortly after this many Unites States Champion athletes started using creatine (Phillips).Though this was the first study involving athletes, the history of creatine has been documented for nearly 80 years. Since the first studies, which were conducted in the 1920?s, there has been other documentation that seems to concur with and elaborate on those findings.A 1993 study published in the Scandinavians Journal of Medicine demonstrated that creatine supplementation can significantly increase body mass, in less than one week, and that it was responsible for improved performance in high intensity intermittent exercise (Phillips 51).Many studies found creatine to be effective. One such study showed that athletes who utilized the creatine supplement were able to continue improving stamina in various exercises from thirty minutes to about thirty-seven...

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