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All you need to know about Creatine.
A compound the body synthesizes (makes) and then utilizes to store energy. The storage of energy occurs when phosphate molecules are attached to creatine to create creatine phosphate. Creatine phosphate is capable of donating phosphate to ADP in order to make ATP. ATP can then be converted into ADP with release of energy.
Creatine Ethyl Ester
Magnesium Creatine Chelate
Before we get into what form is best, let’s take a look at a few key points.
Most creatine manufacturers say to start with a loading phase of 20 grams a day, and then take 5 grams a day, regardless whether you workout or not. They also say to cycle the product every couple of weeks. Let’s see what we can find out about creatine, shall we?
Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):95-104.
Long-term creatine supplementation does not significantly affect clinical markers of health in athletes.
Kreider RB, Melton C, Rasmussen CJ, Greenwood M, Lancaster S, Cantler EC, Milnor P, Almada AL.
Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory, Department of Human Movement Sciences and Education, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA. Richard_Kreider@baylor.edu
Source:Creatine has been reported to be an effective ergogenic aid for athletes. However, concerns have been raised regarding the long-term safety of creatine supplementation. This study examined the effects of long-term creatine supplementation on a 69-item panel of serum, whole blood, and urinary markers of clinical health status in athletes. Over a 21-month period, 98 Division IA college football players were administered in an open label manner creatine or non-creatine containing supplements following training sessions. Subjects who ingested creatine were administered 15.75 g/day of creatine monohydrate for 5 days and an average of 5 g/day thereafter in 5-10 g/day doses. Fasting blood and 24-h urine samples were collected at 0, 1, 1.5, 4, 6, 10, 12, 17, and 21 months of training. A comprehensive quantitative clinical chemistry panel was determined on serum and whole blood samples (metabolic markers, muscle and liver enzymes, electrolytes, lipid profiles, hematological markers, and lymphocytes). In addition, urine samples were quantitatively and qualitative analyzed to assess clinical status and renal function. At the end of the study, subjects were categorized into groups that did not take creatine (n = 44) and subjects who took creatine for 0-6 months (mean 4.4 +/- 1.8 months, n = 12), 7-12 months (mean 9.3 +/- 2.0 months, n = 25), and 12-21 months (mean 19.3 +/- 2.4 months, n = 17). Baseline and the subjects' final blood and urine samples were analyzed by MANOVA and 2 x 2 repeated measures ANOVA univariate tests. MANOVA revealed no significant differences (p = 0.51) among groups in the 54-item panel of quantitative blood and urine markers assessed. Univariate analysis revealed no clinically significant interactions among groups in markers of clinical status. In addition, no apparent differences were observed among groups in the 15-item panel of qualitative urine markers. Results indicate that long-term creatine supplementation (up to 21-months) does not appear to adversely effect markers of health status in athletes undergoing intense training in comparison to athletes who do not take creatine.
You may also hear creatine is bad for your liver. Let’s take another look.
Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2002 Dec;12(4):453-60.
Effects of long-term creatine supplementation on liver and kidney functions in American college football players.
Mayhew DL, Mayhew JL, Ware JS.
Exercise Science Program, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO 63501, USA.
Source:The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of long-term Cr supplementation on blood parameters reflecting liver and kidney function. Twenty-three members of an NCAA Division II American football team (ages = 19-24 years) with at least 2 years of strength training experience were divided into a Cr monohydrate group (CrM, n = 10) in which they voluntarily and spontaneously ingested creatine, and a control group (n = 13) in which they took no supplements. Individuals in the CrM group averaged regular daily consumption of 5 to 20 g (mean SD = 13.9 5.8 g) for 0.25 to 5.6 years (2.9 1.8 years). Venous blood analysis for serum albumin, alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, bilirubin, urea, and creatinine produced no significant differences between groups. Creatinine clearance was estimated from serum creatinine and was not significantly different between groups. Within the CrM group, correlations between all blood parameters and either daily dosage or duration of supplementation were nonsignificant. Therefore, it appears that oral supplementation with CrM has no long-term detrimental effects on kidney or liver functions in highly trained college athletes in the absence of other nutritional supplements.
Simply put, drink enough water, since creatine causes water retention. If you drink enough water(you should be if you are working out or living an active lifestyle) and there will be no problems in regards to your liver. Remember, you NATURALLY find creatine in meat.
What about taking creatine on off days?
Source:There is absolutely no need to take creatine on the off days [unless you like pissing money down the toilet]. Research has demonstrated the fact that intramuscular PCr concentrations will remain at near maximal saturation for extended periods of time.
Additionally [aside from dietary intake], one has to take into consideration, the sufficient amount of [endogenous] creatine that is synthesized on a daily basis. Excluding dietary and/or supplemental intake, the daily synthesis of creatine via the methylation of guanadinoacetic acid within the liver is sufficient enough to maintain the body pool at 120-160 grams. Additionally, an average of 2 grams of creatine per-day can be obtained from meat and fish.
ISBN: 978-1-4051-1909-2 February 2006, Wiley-Blackwell
Dietary Supplements and Functional Foods