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Creatine: The Facts and The Fiction

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Essay title: Creatine: The Facts and The Fiction

Creatine: The Facts and the Fiction

There are many different opinions people have when a conversation about creatine comes up. If one doesn’t know what creatine is, it is a popular dietary supplement taken mostly by many athletes around the world. The main problem people have with creatine is its safety. Some people say that it is very harmful to the body, while others will say that it is completely stable. The truth is that it is both; one just has to be smart about buying and taking it. There are many different forms and many different uses for creatine and it is the focus of this paper to reveal these facts.

Creatine is naturally occurring in our bodies. The combination of three amino acids arginine, glycine and methionine are what make up creatine. Creatine’s main function is to supply energy to our muscles for movement. More specifically creatine aids our muscles in times of quick and explosive movement which explains why so many athletes have become interested in creatine. Often the downfall people have when they take creatine is that they don’t find out how it works.

Generating energy is basically how creatine works. In the process of cellular respiration, cellular energy or Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), loses a phosphate molecule. In order for the ATP to be affective again, it needs to regain that lost phosphate molecule. In our body, creatine is stored as creatine phosphate (CP). When ATP needs that extra phosphate molecule, it is creatine that aids in the donation. The more creatine present in the body means faster and stronger recharging of ATP. This means that more work can be performed. ATP is the body’s choice for short-term activities like sprinting and weight lifting, so having creatine in the body might help with better performance. As there is creatine in your body, there are many other types of creatine that occur in our world (Pearlman 81).

Creatine is a part of our daily intake of food. Red meat and poultry are a source of creatine in terms of food intake (Pearlman 80). The main source of creatine in dietary supplement industry is the synthetic form. There are many types of synthetic creatine, but there are three main types, creatine monohydrate, creatine ethyl ester and kre-alkalyn. Creatine monohydrate is the most popular. This creatine however is where many of the uncertainties of creatine lie. For creatine monohydrate to be effective, one needs to take upwards of thirty grams. This is a lot of creatine for the body to take as the regular intake with food is around two to four grams. The concern is with the liver and kidney’s ability to break down all the creatine completely. Creatine ethyl ester is a slightly safer form of creatine because it requires less solid to give the same results. According to Muscle & Fitness,

Creatine ethyl ester (CEE) is also known simply as creatine ester. It's formed by the addition of an alcohol and an acid to the creatine molecule. Adding the ester group enhances creatine molecules' ability to pass across cell membranes in the intestine (resulting in easier absorption) as well as muscle cells. CEE lets you take less creatine and skip all the carbs.” (Stoppani 210)

The third and final type of creatine is kre-alkalyn. I won’t say that this type is the best but it definitely more stable. The dosage is the same as the CEE, taking four grams for effectiveness. Kre-alkalyn is more stable than the other types because the molecules of the creatine itself are buffered. This means that it has a pH value of twelve, making it strong enough for the actual creatine molecules to withstand the acidity of digestion. The creatine is then more abundant and a higher concentration will make it to the muscles. The substance the makers behind kre-alkalyn were looking to get out of creatine was creatinine.

Creatinine is what normal creatine turns into once it has been processed by the body. This is the unstable part of creatine monohydrate and also the reason behind why there can be kidney and liver problems. The more pure creatine one can absorb the less harmful creatine is (Pearlman 83).

In creatine, purity is the most important aspect pertaining to safety. This is what determines whether one will have negative or no side effects or health problems. Another point in safety is the correct dosage. One must follow the instruction on the label, often most of the health problems people have had with creatine have been because of an overdose (Berg 16). In Creatine the health problems people have is usually renal failure. Blood will show up in urine which shows that the creatine is too much for the kidneys to handle cleaning from the bodies system. Liver problems also show up as the potential toxins will stay there. Another problem creatine can have in the body is the failure to produce creatine in our body. Our body has creatine

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