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Creatine Essay

1547 words - 6 pages

Citius, Altius, Fortius; Swifter, Higher, Stronger; this is the Olympic motto and the attitude of many highly competitive athletes in today's world. When their ability has peaked and a performance plateau is reached unfortunately many turn to supplements to help them reach the next level. 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, most athletes, professional, recreational, and would-be professionals are hoping to gain an edge. More recently, one such edge has been discovered, creatine. 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.Creatine is a naturally occurring nutrient that is found in the body. It is also found in meat and fish, usually at a concentration of about four grams of creatine per kilogram. As a general fact, we consume around one 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. Supplementation for a month or two during training has been reported to promote further gains in sprint performance (5-8%), as well as gains in strength (5-15%) and lean body mass (1-3%). To apply creatine to the muscle building process, you must understand what it does.Creatine is an amino acid .Creatine is also used as an energy source in our bodies and is an important store of energy in muscle cells. Although the human body produces creatine and it is found in many foods that we eat, many athletes still feel the desire for this supplement. The biggest reason for this may be that animal muscle seems to be the richest source of creatine, to get the type of results that one can get from using a supplement of creatine, a diet would have to consist of ten pounds of raw steak a day for five days (Phillips).To understand why supplementing creatine may improve strength and ability then it is important to understand the role it plays in the body.Creatine exists in two forms in the muscle. It exists as creatine and as creatine phosphate. The latter of these makes up two-thirds of the creatine supply. When muscles contract, they use a sort of fuel call adenosine triphosphate or ATP, which provides energy by releasing one of its phosphate molecules. Since there is only enough ATP in the muscle to provide energy for about ten seconds, more must be produced and this is where creatine plays a role. Creatine gives up one of its phosphate molecules to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) which in turn creates ATP to be burned as fuel. The more creatine there is in the body, the better the systems ability to create ATP and the better the ability to train muscles to their maximum potential (Sahelian).Creatine is a compound that is made in the human body and...

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