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Topic: creatine (Read 853 times)
May 30, 2006, 06:51 PM »
Is creatine worth taking for a weightlifter? Do many weightlifters take it?
Chris Ⓐ LeRoux
MS, CSCS, Exempt from USAW bureaucrats
Tread On Me At Dire Risk
Reply #1 on:
May 31, 2006, 09:38 AM »
From my personal experience, it wasn't worth the money. I felt if it did anything at all, it wasn't equal to all the other things I could do with the money to assist my lifting, including massage, good quality food, airfare and expense money for trips to other clubs and coaches for camps, etc, etc. I am obviously biased, but since I was someone whose coach didn't live in the same town (John Thrush wrote my programs via mail), I would have rather spent my money to pay for video analysis services (slow-motion, side-by sides, etc) for me and my coach to examine so that I could get feedback. (And, yes these services and more are available at very reasonable prices if anyone is interested in having video analysis done on their lifting).
If I was going to use creatine or recommend it, I would advise only using it once a year for the most important contest and only for a 2-3 week loading phase right before it. Thus, one could get a little boost, maybe, right when it would help the most, without spending money on it year round and perhaps even causing the body to lower its own production and recycling of creatine as a response to the long term supplementation (I am not sure if this happens or happens all the time but it is a possibility).
Of course, I am sure there are other opinions and perhaps it works better for other people.
"Show me the government that does not infringe upon anyone's rights, and I will no longer call myself an anarchist." ~Jacob Halbrooks
Reply #2 on:
May 31, 2006, 07:23 PM »
Chris and Ryan,
Creatine has a side effect of 5+ lbs. of weight gain within the first week of taking it. This weight gain must be factored in to the equation if a lifter is going to use it before a competition.
Secondly, athletes who use creatine need to drink more fluids. This may explain the weight gain and water retention. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence of muscle pulls, cramps and increased occurances of heat illnesses of athletes on creatine. Most controlled studies also monitor hydration status so these injuries may not occur during research.
Personally, I agree with Chris that it is better to spend money on good food (especially recovery snacks immediately after lifting). Spend time educating yourself from credible nutritional journals and books for information on athletic nutrition.
I rarely recommend supplements and I always remind people of what the word supplement means when the topic of supplements come up. Supplements means to aid. The implication is that a supplement is to aid an already good diet to get realistic results you can't get from your diet. The point is start with developing a good nutritional lifestyle and then supplement only if you are not seeing the results you should from your diet. This method is cheaper and much healthier.
Paul LaDuke, MSS, CSCS, ATC, USAW Club Coach
Lower Dauphin School District
Reply #3 on:
May 31, 2006, 09:39 PM »
Thanks Chris and Paul. I will take that into consideration
Reply #4 on:
Jun 07, 2006, 05:14 AM »
creatine is most effective/beneficial during high intensity, intermittant exercise, where rest intervals are low. The practical application of this is that creatine will benefit weightlifters most when they are in a phase of training where reps are high, rest intervals are low and where serious fatigue is induced. Perhaps this type of training is indicative of the general physical preparation weightlifters at the beginning of a training cycle.
Creatine supplementation will be less beneficial during training which involves phases where reps are very low (1-3) and rest intervals are very high (2 minutes+)
As already mentioned, creatine causes weight gain through water retention. It is an osmotically active substance. One should, IMO, taper off creatine one month out from competition so muscular creatine content will return to basal levels and the athletes will lose the excess water weight. (studies have shown muscle creatine content can take up to one month to return to normal following supplementation). However this tapering could coincide with the competition preparation phase of training which as I already mentioned will not greatly benefit from creatine supplemenation anyway (if it is low rep, high rest interval).
Also, many individuals will recommend taking creatine with large amounts of sugar to increase uptake. Such an amount of sugar will be detrimental for maintenance of body composition and weight of a weightlifter. Research has shown that high levels of uptake can be acheived without taking creatine in conjunction with simple CHO.
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