Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Creatine Files....

Way back, well at least 12 years ago or so, there was no internet for me. That meant there were fewer distractions. Today every day there are new articles, new books, new routines, new ideas to absorb my attention. Back then I would read Hardgainer magazine, or Ironman or books. That was when I first heard about Creatine in a book by Clarence Bass.

It sounded fantastic - a supplement that gave what we all wanted: more strength, more size and no side effects. Plus it was legal. So the marketing hype started and it became the latest in a long line of supplements that promised the world to desparate young bodybuilders too sensible to try steroids. It was the new Ornithine, the new yohimbe extract, the new aminos.... But apparently it worked.

I tried it and all it did as far as I remember was give me a raging thirst and extreme cramps in my calves. It was also expensive so I did not persevere.

The thing is, creatine is still around. Most such supplements fade into the outer darkness, ignored as a new girl comes on the scene. But creatine is still here.

What about the science?

There were a few articles published about creatine in the last week or so:

Creatine supplementation reduces plasma levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and PGE(2) after a half-ironman competition. - Creatine supplementation before a long distance triathlon competition may reduce the inflammatory response induced by this form of strenuous of exercise.

Creatine monohydrate and conjugated linoleic Acid improve strength and body composition following resistance exercise in older adults. - this data confirms that supervised resistance exercise training is safe and effective for increasing strength in older adults and that a combination of CrM and CLA can enhance some of the beneficial effects of training over a six-month period

International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise - creatine has recently been accepted as a safe and useful ergogenic aid, several myths have been purported about creatine supplementation (full text here)

What do I think?

I am not really in favour of using creatine. Despite the studies it does not fit in with the template I try to apply to fitness. This is not natural. There is no way in nature that you would ever be able from food to ingest the volume of creatine that is taken from supplements. That is the template - is this what you are designed for? I do not believe that we were designed by God or millions of years of chance (depending on your cosmology) to ingest this volume of creatine. It is not the diet that we were meant to eat.

1 comment:

Si Hunt said...

Great discussion, thanks for the work finding the articles, keep it up!!
I will use posts with my athletes. Thanks Simon Hunt