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Creatine: Too Good to be True?(8 posts)

Creatine: Too Good to be True?fbg111
Aug 20, 2002 11:48 AM
Don't know if anyone supplements with Creatine, but recently it seems that the effectiveness and safety of this substance is being criticized. Here are two articles I've found that basically say it does nothing for endurance athletes, and over the long term is very harmful to your liver and kidneys. Anyone know anything more about this? Especially anyone in the medical field who might post here?
re: Creatine: Too Good to be True?ClydeTri
Aug 20, 2002 12:06 PM
A year or so ago..ESPN reported that the French version of our FDA had listed creatine as a suspected carcinogen...
re: Creatine: Too Good to be True?brider
Aug 20, 2002 2:04 PM
No evidence to support the claim of damage to liver or kidneys (though dehydration is a possibility).

But, yes, creatine is of dubious value to the endurance athlete. Why? Creatine helps with ATP recycling, which becomes important at highly anaerobic levels (sprints, basically). Also, the strength-building effects are a partial result of the cell-volumizing properties within the muscle tissue -- meaning the muscle gets bigger because it's carrying more water. More water = more weight. Not good for hills.

It IS effective for short-term strength building. It's a temporary effect.
Aug 20, 2002 4:59 PM
Creatine was de-bunked as an endurance aid, and really as an aid to any kind of road riding, at least three years ago. It is of questionable value for any sport, but certainly useless for cycling. It's failings are well reported, though the scammers continue to tout it like it was gold.
re: Creatine: Too Good to be True?jcheyney
Aug 20, 2002 5:06 PM
I don't remember all of the details but I have read that there is a link between Creatine use and renal (kidney) failure. The stories I saw were about high school wrestlers. What they tried to do was use the creatine to gain muscle mass then dehydrate themselves (usually with a sauna or something similar) to get down to the next lower weight category for a match. I seem to remember there were a small number of deaths attributed to this in the recent past.
oh not this again...daneil
Aug 21, 2002 5:35 AM
Ok the deal with the HS wrestlers is this. They took creatine, then put on what we used to call "body bags" at my old HS, basically a heavy plastic suit that was supposed to help people "Lose Pounds Fast!!!". Then they donned their sweats and began to lift weights. And people were surprised when these kids dropped dead from renal failure! As wrestlers, and thus putting them in a class of around 8% bodyfat and less this program probably would have killed them, regardless of whether or not there was creatine in their system.

As to creatine use by cyclists, it's probably not the best supplement. Creatine basically increases water absorption by the muscles, drawing the H2O from the rest of the body. It makes you gain weight, although with heavy weight lifting it will also bring about amazing muscle gains. This might be beneficial to a cyclist in the off season when trying to put on a bit of muscle, but it is not meant to be an endurance supplement.

The most important thing about creatine is to strictly follow the cycles. You should not be ingesting this stuff for months on end. A on-off-on program of supplementation should be followed very closely. But once again, creatine is probably one of the worst cycling supplements there is. You don't really see cyclists shoot D-Bol either now do you? Same type of thing, just not nearly as severe. I would never say that creatine is dangerous, I took it for 2 years and put on about 40 lbs of muscle. Unfortunately the body was not meant to gain so much so quickly, and it put a large amount of stress on my heart. So be careful if you use creatine, not because the supplement is dnagerous, but because the body can't deal with so much of a mass increase in so short a time. So be careful during your gym trips, yeah the gym is fun and nobody loves it more than me, but have your doctor or coach set up a plan for you. Or at least get a consult with a trainer. It will be well worth the time and $.
Geez, not again!!!!chazman
Aug 20, 2002 8:12 PM
Creatine is known to cause/aggravate exercise induced asthma. It also causes the feeling and need to frequently urinate. I do not see how those can be benefits to an endurance athlete? Do a web search with those key words (asthma, urination)

I am not against the use of supplements. Man was not designed to lift 400 pounds or ride hard for six hours. Therefore you will need some nutritional and recovery support. I just think creatine is something that everyone should avoid. Let's put this issue to rest.
re: Creatine: Too Good to be True?netso
Aug 21, 2002 5:06 AM
First of all the quality varies so much in the product, that this tends to be a problem. There is also cold vs. heat formed. Cold formed being best. But basically, save your money! If you eat meat you get as much Creatine as you do from supplements.