High school athletes are often on the lookout for supplements which will make them bigger, faster, and stronger. Creatine, a substance produced in the body and found in all meats is a cost effective supplement which has gained popularity in high-schools in recent years. People wonder what it does, and whether it is safe.
Creatine has been shown to increase speed, size, strength, and endurance. Over 2/3 of the athletes in the 2000 Olympics used it, and many of them regarded it as one of the most effective supplements on the market. How does creatine effect performance? The first way is by generating ATP (Adenine tri-phosphate), which is the body’s main source of energy during physical activities. By increasing the energy stores, it will greatly improve endurance in anaerobic sports. Creatine also increases water retention in muscles, which results in easier growth/weight gain, more resistance to muscle breakdown, and even less lactic acid (the acid which causes soreness after overusing a muscle).
Although it is a natural substance, supplementing with creatine can have negative side effects. Muscle cramping is common since creatine has been known to cause dehydration. Kidneys can also become strained due to having to process the extra creatine. These may sound like painful side effects, but they can easily be avoided by drinking 1-1.5 gallons of water per day. The other question about creatine is whether the body will stop producing less naturally since it will become used to getting it from outside sources. There is minimal evidence to backup this claim, and if it is true, it can be prevented by cycling creatine on and off each month or two.
If a healthy and active individual supplements with creatine, I believe they can experience all the benefits without any bad side effects by drinking enough water and cycling the use of it. Creatine can safely increase speed, strength, size, and endurance and will continue to do so even more so in the coming years.
This is the first draft. Comment on any errors or additional improvements you think I could make. I'd like to keep it this short if possible. Thanks
Thread: My Creatine Editorial for School