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Power Up Your Workout With Creatine Supplements

By John Fleming

Creatine was first discovered in 1832 by a French scientist named Michel Eugne Chevreul who identified it as a component of skeletal muscle. The muscle building benefits of creatine were unknown for almost one hundred years with the first known use of it to enhance performance during the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona, Spain.

A colorless, crystalline amino acid, creatine is created naturally in the body by the kidneys and liver. Taken as a supplement, it assists muscle tissue to create ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is used as a source of energy in muscle contraction.

Whether created naturally in the body or ingested as a supplement, creatine is metabolized by the body into phophocreatine, a storage reservoir for quick energy. Both voluntary muscle contractions and the nervous system rely on creatine when quick energy is needed.

So why do athletes take creatine? Studies have shown that creatine can increase the performance of athletes in activities that require quick bursts of energy, such as sprinting, and can help athletes to recover faster after expending bursts of energy. Creatine helps increase muscle mass, rather than muscle endurance, so it’s not well suited for athletes participating in endurance activities. However, the increase in muscle mass may be due to water retention and not an increase in muscle tissue.

Studies performed at the Cornell University Medical Center and at the McMaster University Medical Center found that creatine can cause an increase in strength in patients with a wide variety of muscular disorders and can be of help in extending the lives of those with the neural disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Athletes generally start off with 20 grams of creatine a day for a week, then continue with a smaller dose of 2 to 5 grams of creatine each day after that. Very few adverse side effects are generally reported with dehydration being the most common.

Most of the studies of the long term effects of taking creatine show that diarrhea is the most common side effect with some muscle cramping. There was no reports of serious side effects to any of the major organs or circulatory system. Creatine has been shown to be an effective and safe performance enhancing muscle development supplement.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Fleming, John "Power Up Your Workout With Creatine Supplements." Power Up Your Workout With Creatine Supplements. 11 Jul. 2010. 5 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Fleming, J (2010, July 11). Power Up Your Workout With Creatine Supplements. Retrieved September 5, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Fleming, John "Power Up Your Workout With Creatine Supplements"

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