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Nailing Nutrition- Creatine

Khris Ramdeen

     Creatine is the most popular performance enhancing supplement on the market. It’s naturally found in muscles and its made up of three amino acids, Arginine, glycine and methionine. About 95% of Creatine is going to be found in the skeletal muscle, of that roughly 65% is found in the form of phosphocreatine. Phosphocreatine is the structure that provides that phosphorus to the ADP to transform it to an ATP with the help of an enzyme called 

     Creatine Kinase. Now this ATP is the main fuel source for the muscle for short duration high intensity exercise. When you take creatine you increase the rate of resynthesis of that phosphocreatine, which not only improves your performance but your recovery as well. Also when you take Creatine you draw water up into the muscle cell to give it that more full appearance. Now how do you dose Creatine, well first you have to do a load and then you do maintenance dosing.The load can be done in one of two ways. 

     You can do an acute load that takes five days or you can do a chronic load that takes 28 days. If you were to do an acute load, I’ll give you an example of how it’s done. Let’s say you’re a 70 kilogram individual. The dose here would be 0.3 grams per kilogram per day of Creatine. So the daily dose for that person would be 21 grams of Creatine. Now you divide that up into four doses, which is 5.25 grams. So the regime for that patient would be 5.25 per dose, four times a day for five days. Alternatively, you can do the chronic load which is just three grams per day for 28 days. 

     Then once you’ve done that load, maintenance dosing is done with a dose of Creatine of two to three grams per day. If you’re taking Creatine you should be aware of a few potential side effects. One is weight gain as a result of water retention. You can have reduced joint mobility, muscle cramps and there has been some concern about kidney damage but the evidence does not bare that out. 

     There is no solid evidence that kidney damage will occur if you take Creatine. So there are many types of Creatine available on the market. The oldest, most affordable and well studied form of Creatine is Creatine Monohydrate. It’s important to note as well that the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that adolescence or anyone under the age of 18 avoid Creatine, because the safety profile in that age group is just not well established.