Creatine: Good or Bad, and Why?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 16, 2007 9:33 AM GMT
    My workout partner got a case of one shot packets containing 2.5g of Creatine. From working at a gym, I have heard only a few pro's and con's.

    I wanted to reach out to the larger community on what you think? Anything from water retension, to how much to use, if to use it at all.

    Please, before we make a mistake.
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    May 16, 2007 1:41 PM GMT
    There is a good article on creatine at http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/DSH/creatine.html. To summarize, an average person eats 1-2 grams of creatine a day. Your body can also manufacture creatine, and can store 0.3 grams per kilogram of weight. For me, weighing about 150, I can store about 20 grams. 95% of that is stored in muscle.

    When you consume more creatine than your body can use, process and store, the rest is excreted by your kidneys, and there is some danger to them if you take too much.

    Most studies show that creatine produces a moderate increase in strength, and moderate weight gain (something like 10%). These gains go away when you stop taking it.

    My personal experience is that when I take it, I gain about 10 pounds in 2 weeks, and most of it seems to be water stored in my muscles. Some muscles are noticable larger when I take it (people actually comment). I also notice a slight improvement in the number of repetitions I can do before exhaustion (something like 10 instead of 8).

    I have been a vegetarian for 20 years, so it is likely that I consume less creatine than an average person, and less of the amino acids needed for my body to make it. I take 5 grams a day, which I feel is a safe amount, since I could easily eat that much from animal sources, and every four days, I have taken as much as my body can store (assuming my match is right). Taking more would just riase the risk of overburdening my system.

    That's just my personal experience, hope you find it useful.
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    May 16, 2007 2:11 PM GMT
    From my experience too much Creatine (powder form mixed with liquid) would make me really nauseous.
    I realized that since I was smaller than most guys and the people the recommended dose was for; it would probably do me some good to cut the dose in half. Once I felt comfortable w/ that dose, I could up it a little.
    Also, a lot of times the recommended dose of supplements are way more than you actually need because the manufacturer wants you to go through the product quicker so that you go out and buy more of it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 16, 2007 2:11 PM GMT
    Thank you very much, now I just have to relay the information to him.
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    May 16, 2007 9:37 PM GMT
    Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that acts as a phosphate transport molecue. It works very well for strength training by providing fast twitch muscle fibers with phosphate groups for making ADP into ATP, and ATP is energy. Fast twitch fibers, as many of you already know, does not go through the complete Krebs Cycle and does not use oxygen for energy. It uses glycogen (sugar) and creatine phosphate locally stored in muscle fibers for energy. Creatine is natrually produced by the liver and stored in the fast twitch muscle fibers. Some small amounts are stored in the brain, heart, and testes for sperm cells.

    BUT if you do not train with heavy weights to stimulate ONLY the fast twitchy fibers, you are not going to see much gains at all. SO for those who do the regular 10 reps, that is not heavy and intense enough for full recruitment of fast twtich fiber, but rather shared with slow twitch fibers, and creatine does NOT increase any endurance. Slow twitch fibers rely on locally stored myoglobin for energy.

    HOWEVER, incorrect supplimentation of creatine can be a problem... Creatine is a compound made from various amino acids binded with rather weak ionic bonds, therefore can be altered easily with changes in temperature and PH. So if creatine is mixed in a solution that is hot, acidic, carbonated (CO2 H2O = H2CO3 or carbonic acid), caffinated, it turns into CREATININE, a waste product for the kidneys... That is why creatinine is a measure of healthy kidney fucntion.

    Creatine is NOT creatinine. Please do not get the 2 confused.

    So the research studies on creatine showing limited effectiveness need to be critcally evaluated if the study subjects were training with heavy and intense weight training, preferably under 10 reps.

    Some research also show prolonged supplimentation of exogenous creatine can decrease your body's own production of endogenous creatine...

    One very important note: Since creatine is eventually broken down into creatinine to be excreated by the kidneys, if you already have a high level of blood creatinine level, that is an indication of impaired kidney function. Then DO NOT take creatine...

    But if you have no kidney issues and wish to take creatine, it would do you no good with muscle strength building if you change creatine into creatinine right there in your drink... You just gave your kidneys more work to do without getting any benefit to your muscles..

    AND there is a common misconception about creatine causing dehydration because more water is displaced in the muscle tissue locally. Yes, there is more water in the muscle tissue locally but this is NOT a displacement. Yes, there is more water in the tissue to reach osmotic equilibrium and possibly do add a bit more mass to tissues and space for contractile activity, but the dehydration is caused by the flushing of creatinine byt the kidneys. Anything you need to flush out from the kidneys, you need water to do that...

    But creatine DOES work quite well if your GI track can tolerate it, and that you take it in a correct form, AND you train for the appropriate muscle fibers to take advantage of it, and drink lots of water.

    It does not work well if you do not do any of the above correctly..
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    Jun 20, 2007 10:18 AM GMT
    that last post is simply the best and most concise post I have ever seen on creatine.

    So many sites are so hooked on the stuff it is crazy.

    Its great to see that this site is not buying into fashion.

    As with all supplements when starting out save yuor pennies and invest them in a personal training session once a month you will get ten times the results than any pill packet or potion can ever offer you
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    Jun 20, 2007 11:18 AM GMT
    A common error when taking creatine is failing to get it into solution before drinking it. Creatine has a high affinity for water (as previously noted), so if you do not put it fully into solution, it can draw water from your intestines, causing discomfort or cramping.

    Mix your creatine thoroughly, then let it sit a minute and see if any settles out. If it does, stir again and wait. When none settles out, it's in solution and ready to drink.

    I find lukewarm tap water helpful for this.

    Some authorities suggest a carbohydrate solution for creatine, but simple carbs are not in my eating plan, so I can't comment on any additional effectiveness from that approach.
  • EddieT

    Posts: 93

    Feb 01, 2012 3:20 PM GMT
    So, for people new to Creatine, what would be a recommendation to start taking it? Would it be a good option to do post-workout in addition to protein?
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    Feb 01, 2012 3:26 PM GMT
    I used to cycle it regularly but it eventually trashed my digestive system. Will spare you the gory details. I figured if it was ruining my bowel function it was impairing my ability to absorb nutrients, which could not possibly be good for muscle growth.
  • squally

    Posts: 180

    Nov 17, 2012 4:43 PM GMT
    It's been a month since I used creatine + Whey protein.
    Is it okay to repeat the loading period at the start of every month? Would that improve workouts?
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    Nov 18, 2012 1:10 AM GMT
    I used both creatine and whey for years during my heavy workout phase, and even did research on both...i found the research to be divided but took it anyway. i found the creatine, if used too long, caused loose bowels and the whey gave me gas.....long story short.....i really can't say either did anything noticeable.....what i did notice is a LOT of fitness stores making money off of everything and anything that would sell.....that is my personal experience.....
  • Montague

    Posts: 5205

    Nov 18, 2012 1:26 AM GMT
    I've been cycling creatine and I think it has been a good placebo for me even if it does nothing since when I'm on it I feel like I can bench 300lbs hah
  • squally

    Posts: 180

    Nov 18, 2012 5:14 AM GMT
    I guess there goes my $40~
    What about "pre-workout energy drink"? Do I dare ask that question?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 19, 2012 1:18 PM GMT
    There are a lot of scientific research on creatine, I tried it for a month, didn't do much... too short? .... if you have the time to read them and make your own decision:
    http://gogenes.org/p3fe_test.php?g=Creatine&c=17463&d=45