Page 106 - Athletic Health Handbook
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History of Use gain within the first six weeks of Risks © AMERICAN ORTHOPAEDIC SOCIETY FOR SPORTS MEDICINE, 2008, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
use. Lean body mass increase has
Chevreul is credited with discovering averaged about 2 to 5 kgs. Since no long-term studies on the
creatine within muscle tissue in 1832. Athletic events requiring frequent effect of creatine supplementation
Many studies followed about the short acting muscle contraction of exist, it is difficult to advise young
function of creatine, but it wasn’t six to 20 seconds, (anaerobic exer- athletes to use this form of nutritional
until reports in 1990, that the use of cise) at a time seem to maintain supplement until such studies have
creatine as a nutritional supplement speed and recover more readily been done proving its safety.
became known. Reports of the British than controls.
Olympic sprinters creatine use before Activities requiring aerobic exercise Classification of creatine as a
the 1992 Olympics and their successes are not positively effected by the nutritional supplement and not a
further added to its credibility. Shortly use of creatine supplementation. drug is also problematic in that FDA
thereafter, creatine use became popular After reviewing available litera- control and regulation is limited,
among many weight-training coaches ture, it becomes obvious that more and the purity of marketed creatine
at major universities, leading to the well-conducted clinical studies are supplements is often poor and not
development of major marketing necessary in order to arrive at any well controlled.
campaigns by manufacturers and specific recommendations.
retailers. Today, professional athletes, Further Research
including NFL’s John Elway and Dosing Issues
Troy Aikman, and MLB’s Mark Information about the risks of creatine
McGuire’s purported use of creatine The daily requirement for creatine supplementation for more than one
have fostered great debate on the is 1 gram/day, half of which is year is not available at this time, and
safety and appropriateness for provided in the diet contained in there appears to be no well-controlled
student athlete consumption. foods such as red meat, fish, and trials of this length. Optimal dosing
dairy products. The other half is is poorly understood and cycling
Mechanism of Action converted from the amino acids versus prolonged use and the effects
arginine, glycine, and methionine of each are not well known.
Creatine is responsible for the conver- by the kidneys, liver, and pancreas.
sion of adenosine diphosphate (ADP) The use of creatine supplementa-
to adenosine triphosphate (ATP). As Currently, there are two commonly tion will continue to be common
muscle contracts, ATP loses a phos- utilized dosing techniques for creatine among our athletic population. It is
phate and becomes ADP. To provide supplementation. The first is a loading the responsibility of the sports medi-
energy for muscle contraction to dose of 20 grams (5 grams four cine physician to be able to educate
occur, the ADP must be converted times-a-day) for three to five days, patients, coaches, and parents as to
back to ATP. Creatine, when bonded followed by 5 grams daily for five the risks and concerns regarding the
with phosphate as a phosphocreatine, to six weeks; alternatively, to try use of creatine. With further study and
is responsible for this conversion. to minimize abdominal cramping follow-up it is hopeful that we will
Researchers have thought that an commonly seen with a loading be able to provide this information.
abundance of creatine would allow dose, a dose of 3 to 5 grams daily
the process of ATP formation to is often utilized. Suggested Reading
proceed more rapidly — thus allow-
ing for more frequent and rapid Researchers have found that Smith, J, Dahm, DL: Creatine use
muscle contractions. creatine not taken up by the muscle among a select population of high
is simply excreted by the kidneys, school athletes. Mayo Clinic Proceedings
Clinical Studies making it necessary for those using 75:1257, 2000.
creatine to markedly increase water Volek, JS: Creatine Supplementation:
Since 1990, many studies have been intake. This becomes a grave problem Possible role in improving exercise
performed on the effect of creatine for athletes during the conditioning performance. American College of Sports
supplementation on athletic perform- phase of sport when dehydration is Medicine Health & Fitness Journal.
ance, resulting in contradictory find- already difficult to prevent, and also 1:23-29, 1997.
ings. Several finding have, however during activities involving weight loss Elkblom, Björn: Effects of Creatine on
been fairly consistent. (e.g. wrestling and boxing.) Failure to Performance. American Journal of Sports
overhydrate can lead to renal failure. Medicine. v:24-6, S-30-39, 1996.
Most athletes taking creatine
supplementation have noted weight

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