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Creatine: Positive Effects Vs. Negative Effects

1980 words - 8 pages

Creatine is currently one of the most popular supplements among athletes today. Since creatine has only been around for a short time there has been much speculation about the long-term safety of the product. In this paper I will tell about the positive and negative effects of creatine, and why I feel the positive effects out weigh the possible negative affects. Along with this I will also provide information on how creatine works and its history.Creatine is a natural substance that is found in the muscles of humans and animals. It's composed of three amino acids called arginine, glycine and methionine. The average person needs to consume an average of 2 grams of creatine a day. Most people will eat about 1 gram a day from meats and dairy products. The rest is produced in the body. (Natural Power Builders)When creatine is in the body it produces Adenosine Triphosphate, or ATP. ATP creates the energy that is used in muscle contractions. The bonds between the phosphates and the Adenosine are very strong. When they are broken, energy is released for the muscle cells to use. When ATP has been broken down it becomes Adenosine Diphosphate, or ADP. ADP alone can not produce the energy for muscle contractions. This is where creatine helps. Creatine donates its phosphate to the ADP causing it to change into ATP. The more creatine phosphate that's stored in the muscle the more rapidly the ADP converts to ATP. When the ATP supply in the body has been depleted, fatigue sets in. Since creatine helps recycle ADP to ATP quicker, one will have increased energy in their muscles and will be able to train for longer periods of time. The presence of creatine in the body is not what causes the muscles to grow and get stronger. Instead it is the energy that it helps create the longer training sessions that causes the increase in strength and muscle growth. (Creatine and Other Natural Muscle Boosters)Though it has only recently become popular, creatine was first discovered in 1832, by a French organic chemist named Michel-Eugene Chevreul. It was first discovered in meats, and in 1847 scientists noticed that the muscle tissue of foxes killed in the wild contained higher levels of creatine than that of the muscle tissue of domesticated foxes. From this they concluded that the more activity a muscle has the higher amounts of creatine it will contain. From then until about 1950, scientists found out a few things about creatine, including that it helps gain weight, the average person contains about 100 grams in their body, and that eating creatine rich foods can add to the amount in the body. The first synthetic creatine was developed in the late 1950s by Pfanstiehl Labratories. By the 80's scientist had found that the use of creatine supplements could increase the amount in the body by as much as 30 percent. Creatine first gained media attention after the 1992 Summer Olympics when it was discovered that many medallists had used creatine in their training. In 1993 Creatine...

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