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Actions And Effects Of Creatine Essay

1915 words - 8 pages

Actions and Effects of Creatine

Throughout time, humans have had a fascination with being excellent at
what they do, and athletics have been no exception. Many substances
exist, and many have been criticized and analyzed for their safety,
legality, and morality for athletes. With the banning of steroids from
competitive sports, and the implementation of random drug testing in
most sports, most athletes, professional, recreational, and would-be
professionals are hoping to gain an edge. More recently, one such edge
has been discovered, and it has found itself in locker rooms across
the country, in the hands of these athletes, and all the while, and
probably more importantly, in the media's direct line of fire.
Although legal, creatine has it's proponents and it's opponents,
through this paper, I'll discuss some of the factors that make
creatine such a hot topic in sports and the health industry. To
understand why people use creatine, we must first understand what it
is. Creatine is a naturally occurring nutrient that is found in the
body (Sahelian, 2000). It is also found in meat and fish, usually at a
concentration of about 4 grams of creatine per kilogram (Sahelian,
2000). As a general fact, we consume around 1 gram per day from out
daily diet. Vegetarians have a much lower intake of creatine than most
meat eaters, and will usually have a noted reaction to creatine
supplementation due to this fact (Sahelian, 2000). To apply creatine
to the muscle building process, we must understand what it does. When
we use our muscle everyday for any activity, we use oxygen to make
energy. This energy is created by breaking down a chemical that exists
in our body known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP), into another
chemical, adenosine diphosphate (ADP), but using oxygen to make energy
is a very slow process (Sahelian, 2000). This is the part 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 exercise such as sprinting, and allowing for more
strenuous workouts (Gutfeld, 1997). All of these factors are crucial
to athletes who are searching for their legal "magic bullet". Creatine
was first discovered by a French scientist in 1832 (Bamberger, 1998).
This scientist discovered a naturally occurring organic compound that
could be produced by the kidneys, liver, and pancreas. The compound
was named "creatine", the Greek word for flesh (Bamberger, 1998). It
has been found that most people consume 1 gram per day, along with
naturally producing 1 gram (Bamberger, 1998). In 1981, the potential
medical benefits of creatine were published in the New England Journal
of...

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