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Creatine Question for Morey...and Others(16 posts)

Creatine Question for Morey...and OthersJon
Oct 16, 2001 12:32 PM
I just had a heated discussion with the owner of my LBS, who is an ex-racer, and his partner
who is a competitive triathlete. They both swear to the endurance performance benefits
of creatine supplementation. According to my reading of the literature creatine enhances
repeatability of short,maximal efforts but does nothing for endurance performance, such as road
racing or time trialling. What is your view?
re: Creatine Question for Morey...and Otherscioccman
Oct 16, 2001 12:52 PM
I'm not an expert on these things, but I've been there. Bottom line, creatine will not enhance speed or your efforts. Risk is similar to most anabolic steroids. Creatine saturation is simply for increased pace of muscle volume building. To gain benefit from creatine which is more or less a combination of three aminos, you must be on quite a vigorous workout routine and you must oversaturate your body with the substance. The amounts will vary, but you'll need quite a bit of it and you'll need to take it daily and constantly, typically more than once per day.

In my opinion, small bang in relation the the large buck.
Risk is similar to most anabolic steroids?Spokeman
Oct 16, 2001 2:39 PM
Can you point me in the direction of the science to support this statement? So you are saying that creatine can lead to hair loss, bitch tits, acne, testicular shrinkage, masculinization in women? Funny, I've yet to see that data.

The only risks that I'm aware of related to creatine use is some cramping and muscle strains, most of which was related to dehydration. Creatine sucks up a lot of water in the cell and many athletes are chronically dehydrated anyway, creatine just makes it a bit worse.

But saying the risks are the same as 'roids? I don't think so.

As far as it being beneficial to endurance athletes, the science tends to not support it for use in endurance sports.
Risk is similar to most anabolic steroids?WJudd
Oct 16, 2001 4:58 PM
I'd strongly recommend against it for an endurance sport such as cycling. The added muscle bulk will not compensate for the increased risk of dehydration. At the extreme this dehydration can be fatal. A few years back a college wrestler who had been a multi- state champ in FLA (I saw his final championship since I was at the tournament as a coach) allowed himself to get overweight and tried to cut weight. Between the methods he used and the creatine he died.

If you weightlift in your offseason it can be of benefit as you'll keep some of that new strength even after you discontinue the creatine but once you get on the bike and start sweating--get off it. Even in the gym you'll need to increase your water intake if you want to avoid some extremely painful cramps. Not just the infamous PM calf cramp but I've had some tricep cramps that made my eyes water.
ooooh... the "evils of supplements"filtersweep
Oct 16, 2001 5:15 PM
I think bottom line is that creatine mostly causes increased water retention and has a psychological effect (since so many people swear by it, and it is banned in some circles)- I do think it "works" to a degree, but it is more for strength than endurance, although some research seems to suggest that it shortens recovery time- BUT - it has NOTHING to do with "anabolic steroids"- it doesn't even attempt to mimic steroids- as already been stated...

"Risks" ?? - I do think steroids have undeservedly received a very bad reputation... now understand that I don't take steroids (and if you saw me, you'd definitely believe that)- but I believe that within the decade, with all these aging "baby boomers" we will start seeing "male hormone replacement therapy" as guys get a shot every month from their gerontologist (OK- their physician).

Most of the men that end up being poster boys for the evils of "steroids" are mixing them with growth hormones, diuretics, insulin, amphetamine, etc. in a completely unsupervised environment using substances of dubious origin, in doses that greatly exceed anything beneficial. One might even argue that the mentality of the typical suburban "gym rat" probably already had predisposing factors (whatever issues that drew him into using) that are later attributed to 'roid rage, etc... I could go on and on... but I also understand it is a hot button for many people- I just don't see it as a black and white issue... sorry for getting off topic.
re: Creatine Question for Morey...and OthersBigLeadOutGuy
Oct 16, 2001 4:49 PM
Your muscles store ATP (adenosine tri-phospahte) for engery which is a usable form of engery for them. when they use the ATP is it broken down into ADP (adenosine Bi-phosphate)which is an unuasble form of engery. Your body than takes the ADP and converts it back to ATP so you muscles have engery. This process happens quite rapidly. What creatine does is speed up the process of turning ADP back to ATP. One of the problems with creatine is that it takes a lot of water from other parts of your body and stores them in your muscles so you need to double your intake of water or you will dehydrate rapidly. As far as it helping with endurace exercises...everybodys body responds differently so you would have to try it our for yourself. I doubt it would help your cycling dramatically
Has anyone tried HMB yet? It works!Highgear
Oct 16, 2001 4:54 PM
Try it for yourself. It aids oxygen intake at high efforts. I read about this some time ago and ended up trying it in the off season while doing my Stairmaster/ bike routine at the gym. I had already been at it for a while and new what I level could hold onto and for how long. After a week of being on the HMB I found that I could stay at a higher heart rate longer and not be as winded. Now this is not a cheep supplement, $27 for about two weeks but it really works. This would be ideal for gearing up for a "A" race. As for creatine I think it helps but it's more for building strength in the gym than it is for helping in cycling. It could help in sprint workouts.
re: Creatine Question for Morey...and OthersDavid
Oct 16, 2001 5:38 PM
If you have high blood pressure you have to be careful with your using of creatine. Since it has the effect of fluid retention in muscle it has some of the same effects of increasing blood pressure that high sodium levels do.
re: Creatine Question for Morey...and Othersmorey
Oct 17, 2001 3:15 AM
1. Creatine does absolutely nothing for cycling ability. Unless you are very weak, and have very poor musculature.
2. Creatine is an amine structure, very different than anabolic steroids that have a structure similar to cholesterol (Fat). It does not have the same side effects as steroids. However, it can cause high-blood pressure.
3. Creatine is broken down easily in the stomach by Hydrochloric acid.
4. The quality of creatine varies a lot.
Creatine comprises a lot of muscle tissue, therefore someone decided if you have extra creatine floating around, ergo muscle. Nothing is ever quite so simplistic. First of all, most meat products have creatine since they are muscle tissue. Second of all, you would rarely need it unless you are really under a severe weight program in the gym. It can cause severe dehydration, leading to cramps in long distance or endurance events. Cycling, generally is an endurance sport. In short, save your money!
re: Creatine Question for Morey...and OthersJon
Oct 17, 2001 5:01 AM
Thanks Morey, and to the rest of the posters. Exactly as I thought. I also e-mailed Joe Friel and
he concurs.
Joe Frielvanzutas
Oct 17, 2001 8:52 AM
I read his book a few months ago and I seem to remember him suggesting loading up on creatine just before a big race. I don't still have the book so I can't look it up. Am I right or am I wrong?

Joe Frielmorey
Oct 17, 2001 9:08 AM
Personally, I would not do it. The preferred fuel under aerobic conditions, which cycling should be if you are fit, is fatty acids. Under anerobic conditions, the body burns the bodies stored form of carbohydrate, glycogen. You cannot do this for very long. Ask any sprinter.
Joe FrielJon
Oct 17, 2001 2:36 PM

I think what you're referring to as an ergogenic aid listed in "The Bible" is sodium phosphate. He
cites some studies that have been done showing improvements in both VO2 max and and
40k TTperformance. However, not all studies have been conclusive. But at least the stuff's
legal and won't hurt you. Some people can experience mild GI discomfort.

BTW Morey, can you be more explicit to dosage, performance effects, etc. of fatty acid supplementation
prior to a race? I presume you're referring to Omega 3s and 6s?
Joe Frielmorey
Oct 18, 2001 8:20 AM
Omega FA are great, however a swig of Olive Oil a monounsaturated fat is much cheaper. Also, did you know that caffeine ingestion prior(1 hr) to an event increases the free fatty acids in the blood stream. It is a good way to lose fat, and to get energy. Fat provides 9 cal/gm, carbs 4 cal/gm, protein 4 cal/gm.
Yup (nm)Jon
Oct 18, 2001 9:21 AM
Creatine ExperienceMazz
Oct 17, 2001 4:56 AM
Just wanted to share my experience with creatine. Being a track athlete (50m, 100m, 400m, PV) weight training, strength and explosive power is very important. I used to lift and work out with creatine. 5g before and 5g after working out. The 5 grams before allows you to lift longer and harder. The 5 grams after helped in recovery. The effects are very noticable (to me anyway).

Little side track. Loading in the first couple of weeks did nothing for me. Loading is when you take double the usual dosage for one to two weeks. I also read articles in magazines and journals (can't remember the specifics) that loadind doesn't help much anyway.

Another thing. While taking creatine, you do gain some water weight immediately. I gain and lose 5 lbs everytime I go on creatine and get off creatine. It's true. Next, if you do a hard work out and you took creatine before the work out, make sure you drink a lot of water cause you will dehydrate very quickly. Muscle cramps due to dehydration does happen, no joke. I learned that leason the hard way, and now I drink tons of water when I'm on creatine.

So if you are a sprinter or track rider creatine will, in my humble opinion (IMHO), give noticable benifits. However, in endurance sports creatine should be taken with caution.

Right now I'm training for a marathon. And this is a method that I use and it seems to work for ME. Way before the marathon, about 4 to 5 months before race day, I work on general strength and some base training. I use creatine as I would normally, despite the weight gain. However, after a couple months, I cut back. Usually using creatine (and a source of protein) as an after-workout supplement for recovery. Works great, cause you can now pack more hard workouts in one week. Anyway if you keep on taking creatine, you will keep the water weight. Depending on your body type and size, it will take a while to get ride of that excess weight. It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks for me to lose the added weight. Anway as race day nears, about a month or more before, I stop using it completely.

So yeah, I use creatine. It works for me, however I'm very careful about how I use it and how my body reacts to it.

Side note that scares me and and may scare you. I have yet to read a creadible article on the long term effects of creatine. So like anything else you may put in your body (Sugar substitutes, caffine, alcohol, etc) I'd careful not to use any supplement to an excess.

My advise (I have no authority to be giving such advise but...)for endurance athletes, use creatine for post workout recovery (3 - 5g). And if you have a goal race or competition, I'd stop using it at least 3 to 4 weeks before the event, so that your body can recover it's optimum weight. Drink a lot of water while using creatine!

Hope this helps.