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The Effects of Creatine on Athletes' Bodies Essay

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The Effects of Creatine on Athletes' Bodies


From a very early age sports are introduced upon both young boys and girls. Although it begins with sportsmanship and teamwork, it begins to evolve into new objectives when these young athletes enter high school. In fact, high school sports are vastly different. Your mind is trained to obliterate the opponent and win at all costs. This mentality can often lead many young athletes to turn to supplements to assist in muscle building. The most common supplement in use currently is Creatine. While athletic departments and sports nutrition stores claim that it is harmless, why do so many high school athletes end up with severe muscular and pulmonary damage? The answer has yet to be clearly defined, but we do know of some side effects which can lead to both positive and negative results in the continued use of this supplement.

In order to understand what effects could result of creatine use, we must first explore what exactly creatine does in our body. Creatine is an amino acid which acts as a building block in the construction of proteins in the body. Muscle cells take the creatine and store it as energy for future use in the body. During intense exercise, phosphocreatine is broken down to creatine and phosphate, which is used to regenerate ATP. The remaining creatine in storage in the muscle cells may also increase the regeneration rate of energy after intense exercise. This serves as an extra boost of energy for young athletes. Currently, scientific studies indicate that creatine will boost an athletes maximum performance level by 5-8%. There is also evidence that leads sports nutritionists to believe that creatine can boost total energy output by 5-15%. At this point, it seems...


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...ct, but I have yet to hear of any drug that can add almost forty pounds of muscle in a month without posing severe health risks.

Currently, there are not any proven clinical studies that show side effects as drastic as what I have personally witnessed. According to the American College Of Sports Science, the only proven side effect of creatine is future weight gain of a substantial amount after an athlete has stopped using the supplement. Unfortunately, the true negative effects will not be fully understood until many years on down the road. In the meantime, parents and athletes alike need to take a stance against the use of dietary supplements at the high school level.


Sources

1. Kreider, Richard P. (PhD), Creatine, the next ergogenic supplement? www.sportsci.org

2. American College Of Sports Medicine, Summary on Creatine supplement. www.iahsaa.org


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