Creatine should be allowed for use by teenagers because it is a natural substance in the body. Research has shown no side affects in taking creatine. Creatine may improve your performance in athletics. In the paragraphs that follow I will try to show you why I believe creatine is a safe substance to take.
What is Creatine? Creatine is a simple amino acid molecule we all have in our body. “Creatine is made up of the three amino acids: arginine, glycine, and methionine. Our body produces creatine (it is made in the liver) and we also can get creatine from our diet. At any given time the average person has about 120 grams of creatine stored in their body.”(creatine-only.com) “Our body makes one gram each day from protein. We also eat about one gram of creatine each day from meats such as beef, chicken, or fish.”(Nucare) So by taking a creatine supplement you can put more creatine in your body that you can use as energy.
So what does creatine do for you? This is only in theory because we know little about what actually goes on inside the body.
1) Creatine provides additional energy for your muscles: In your body you have a compound called ATP. Think of ATP as an energy containing compound. The body can very quickly get energy from an ATP containing compound. The body has other sources of energy but they take longer to convert into a useable energy source. When you are doing an intense quick burst activity, your muscles need a quick source of energy. That immediate energy comes from ATP. Unfortunately, we do not have an endless supply of ATP. In fact, our muscles only contain enough ATP to last about 10-15 seconds of maximum exertion. When ATP is used, it becomes ADP a useless product. Where creatine comes in is that the majority of creatine that is stored in the muscles bonds with abundant phosphorus stores in the muscles and is converted into Creatine Phosphate. The CP is able to react with the ADP in your body and turn “useless” ADP back into the “super useful” energy source - ATP. More ATP in your body means more fuel for your muscles.
2) Volumization of your muscles: It is the process of pulling fluid into the muscle cells and thus increasing the volume of the muscles. Creatine has shown to pull water into your muscle cells, which increases the size of your muscles. So taking creatine in theory will make your muscles look bigger.
3) Buffer’s Lactic Acid build-up: New research has shown that creatine can help buffer lactic acid that builds-up in the muscles during exercise. Lactic Acid leads to that nasty burning feeling you get in your muscles. Basically the creatine bonds with a Hydrogen ion and that helps delay the build-up of lactic acid. This could be a major benefit for someone that was participating in sports where you would need to perform for long periods at a time.
4) Enhance Protein Synthesis: Creatine helps put the body in a more anabolic state where protein synthesis can occur. The more protein synthesis - the greater the muscle gain.
These are the four major things that creatine does. Of all the four, providing additional energy is the most important use of the creatine in the body. (Absolute Creatine)
Creatine is the best-selling sports supplement of all time. Creatine will provide you with more energy when you work your muscles to fatigue. You do however still have to work out when you take creatine. Creatine is not a wonder drug, but creatine will not make you bigger just by taking it. If you do not work out, the creatine will just go to waste. If anything your workouts should be harder. The idea is with more energy you should be able to workout harder. A harder workout leads to increased muscle mass.
Creatine can come in different forms: powder, liquid (serum), pill, gum, or effervescent powder. The powder is the most popular form but the one that seems to have the most side effects and is not as affective. Liquid serum is a more effective delivery system. Which means you have to take less because it absorbs well. Pills work the same was as powder. Effervescent powder works kind of like an alka-seltzer tablet. The serum seems to be the best from but the powder is the cheapest.
Creatine has never been proven to interfere with growth. It is unfair to hold creatine to a higher standard than any other food or supplement. There are no guarantees on taking creatine but then there are no guarantees in life. And it is important to understand that we take risks everyday when we eat or drink certain foods.(Absolute Creatine)
Creatine is not banned in the NFL, NBA, MLB, or the 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. It is legal to take for high school athletes and college athletics as well. “A recent survey showed that 48% of male division 1 athletes use or have used creatine.” (Clin. J.) Another study done with a group of cyclist showed a 23% improvement in stamina for the cyclists who were given creatine as opposed to the group given a placebo. The athletes taking creatine also showed a dramatic speed improvement over those of the placebo group. (Nucare) This is one of the many studies that have been done on creatine that have shown positive outcomes for the athlete.
Endurance athletes have been reluctant to use creatine to boost their times and training. There were once good reasons for that, but not any longer. Creatine has been shown to boost performance in endurance athletes. Creatine Serum does not cause any of the side effects that powdered creatine does. For years scientist believed that developing the body’s oxygen system was the primary way to achieve better performance in endurance sports. The more oxygen delivered into the muscles would deliver more oxygen to the muscles would deliver the most dramatic improvements. However, research has shown us that the road to maximum improvement in endurance sports is far more complicated than that. One of the five main areas to maximize potential is muscle power. Creatine can help with gaining strength. A recent study at Louisiana State University found that creatine supplements could help endurance athletes by boosting their lactate threshold. In theory, as strength is upgraded, fewer muscle fibers need to be recruited to maintain running tempo, including the athlete’s lactate threshold speed. If creatine ingestion can be linked with improvements in lactate threshold, it’s safe to say that creatine will help you perform better in your races. The problem for endurance athletes in the past in using creatine has been the issue of side effects. Powder creatine can cause dehydration, bloating, and cramping. This occurs because of the large amount of powder takes water away from the body. That’s why it’s important to understand that Creatine Serum is a stable and highly soluble liquid. It is easily absorbed and will not contribute in any way to dehydration or cramping. Endurance athletes all over the world are starting to use Creatine Serum to improve their strength and running times.
What are the side effects of creatine? There have been hundreds of studies done on creatine that all show that it is a safe supplement. There are really very few side effects reported with creatine use but they include: upset stomach, muscle cramping, diarrhea and dehydration. Most of these side effects can be minimized by drinking plenty of water when taking creatine. In addition, people tend to have more side effects when taking the powder as opposed to a more direct delivery method like serum or effervescent powder. It is also important to understand that creatine does not effect your hormone levels. This means you do not get side effects like bad skin and mood swings. Many scientist agree that when taken within normal dosage, creatine in theory should pose no long term health risks.(Absolute Creatine)
Creatine research has shown a lot of health benefits as well. These are some of the things studies have shown creatine to help and is being used for: Huntington’s Disease- to slow the progression of this nervous system disease. Muscular Dystrophy- to strengthen muscle. Heart Failure Patients- to increase strength for better mobility. ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)-to slow the progression of the nerve loss and to increase strength in remaining muscle. Weight Loss- Creatine increases lean muscle mass. More muscle means that you use more calories per day even at rest. More muscle and exercise is the key to fat loss and weight control. Studies also have shown that creatine increases quickness and endurance. (Nucare) “Speed and endurance are critical for any athlete in a power sport.....Based on this study and my own experience I believe most athletes can get a significant performance boost during practice and competition by adding creatine to their diet,” notes Dr. Myers. Parkinson’s disease is another illness that could be helped with the use of creatine. One idea is that creatine increases the available energy for brain nerve cells. The second idea is that creatine may have a direct effect on mitochondria which are necessary for the health and survival of the nerve cell. The more energy a cell has, the more it can protect itself from injury and premature death. Creatine has also been tested on the affects in preventing concussions. Dr. Steven Scheff at the University of Kentucky found in a recent test that the group that took creatine brain damage was reduced by 50% compared to the group fed on a regular diet.
A lot of research has been done on this topic. Creatine hasn’t proven itself to everyone yet, because there has not been a substantial amount of long-term research done as of now. But creatine does help build muscle and improve athletic performance. Creatine is a safe and a product that could benefit someone. The research that has been done shows no major side affects in taking creatine. Studies have shown it safe for teenagers to use creatine. Creatine should be a major benefit to people of all ages in the future.