Creatine Monohydrate

     Everyday a new nutrition supplement or a new diet is introduced to the public.

In recent years and months, many people have started to take a larger interest
in their personal health and exercise. Creatine Monohydrate is still the most
popular and controversial nutrition supplement on the market today. This paper
will include a background for creatine monohydrate because not everyone knows
what it is. The paper will also include information and criticisms from a recent
nutritional article on creatine monohydrate that was researched for this paper.

Creatine monohydrate was introduced to the public approximately two years ago.

When it first came out on the market it made a name for itself, because it
allegedly caused bodybuilders who consumed it to pack on ten pounds of muscle in
two weeks and add twenty-five pounds of weight to their bench press. It also
helps people who take it to run faster, jump higher, and recover from exercising
faster than normal. Now creatine monohydrate is the most popular supplement in
bodybuilding, and its catching on like wildfire in other sports like; football,
hockey, and basketball. One source recently reported that three out of four
medal winners at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games were using creatine monohydrate.

A French scientist named Chevreul in 1832 discovered creatine. He named it after
the Greek word for flesh. In 1923, a scientist discovered that the average human
body contains over 100 grams of creatine and over 95% of that creatine is stored
in the bodyís muscle tissue. Creatine is a compound that is naturally made in
our bodies to supply energy to our muscles. The chemical term for creatine is"methylguaindo-acetic acid. "Creatine is formed from the amino acids
argentine, methionine, and glycine through a chemical process. It is
manufactured in the pancreas and kidneys. It is transported in the blood and
taken by muscle cells, where it is converted to creatine phosphate (Bill

Phillips, p. 49)." Now you should have a basic overview of what creatine and
creatine monohydrate is. The article that will be examined for this paper was
written by Richard B. Kreider who has numerous credentials. He is an Associate

Professor and Assistant Department Chair in the Exercise and Nutrition

Laboratory within the Department of Human Movement Sciences and Education at The

University of Memphis. Mr. Kreiderís article originally came from The Journal

Of Exercise Physiology Online. The article was full of good statistics and
information, but left out important details that a reader should know. The main
point of this article was to encourage supplement users to choose creatine over
other supplements. The article included many statistics that could persuade a
user to buy creatine. For example, Mr. Kreider included information that"short-term creatine supplementation has been reported to improve maximal
power/strength by 5 to 15 percent, work performed during sets of maximal effort
muscle contractions by 5 to 15 percent, single-effort sprint performance by 1 to

5 percent, and work performed during repetitive sprint performance by 5 to 15
percent." He also included information about the long-term supplementation.

This information is overwhelming and very persuasive. For a person who is
looking to enhance their body, seeing this will encourage creatine usage. There
is impressive information in this article, but it lacks many key details. The
article included only positive information on creatine monohydrate. The author
included possibilities that creatine monohydrate might have long-term side
effects, but did not specify what they might be. Mr. Kreider said that it is
possible they may exist and left it at that. For a person who is considering
using creatine monohydrate, it is important to not leave it at that. The author
also did not include how he got his information or statistics. The reader is
supposed to take his word for it. He is credible by means of his profession and
associations, but he did not say where these studies came from. It is obvious
that the results came from human subjects, but it should have included how the
product was tested with the subjects. The article also lacks testimonials from
current users. Testimonials would help for the credibility of the research. In
general, the author based all of his research on other studies, but once again
did not go into detail on those studies. For example, Mr. Kreider says, "most
studies indicate that creatine is an effective and safe nutritional
supplement." This brings about some questions. What studies indicate this and
what about the studies that have evidence that creatine monohydrate is not an
effective and safe supplement? To effectively inform a reader, the author should
have answered these questions and given more detail on certain issues such as
side effects for example. This article was not intended for people who have no
idea what creatine is. The author writes this article for people who already
know about the creatine in the body and also uses large and confusing words. You
need some sort of scientific background to understand all of the information
included. For example, Richard B. Kreider is quoted in saying, "Short-term
creatine supplementation has been reported to increase total creatine content by

15 to 30 percent which is 127 to 149 mmol/kg dry mass." For a person without a
scientific background, this information is confusing and unhelpful. The article
is somewhat misleading because the author says that creatine monohydrate is
basically safe. He states that not all studies prove this, but the way that he
words the article makes it seem as though taking creatine monohydrate is
harmless. For the author to be more helpful, he should have stated that a
prospective user should do research to find out all of the possible side effects
and to make sure that it is right for them. There have been studies that
conflict with the information that Richard B. Kreider used. Other studies say
that some creatine monohydrate users experience muscle cramps, muscle spasms,
and pulled muscles. Some organizations like the NCAA Committee on Competitive

Safeguard and Medical Aspect of sports wants research to be done to determine
whether long-term use is safe and do certain individuals have negative side
affects. It also is not known whether people with an inadequate dietary intake
run the greatest risk of trouble with the supplements. (Nutrition 98/99 p.206)

Richard B. Kreider could have included information such as this in his article.

The only side effect documented in clinical studies is weight gain. However,
some athletes have complained of muscle cramping, muscle strain, temporary
nausea, and loose stools. Some questions that are out there is about safety of
large doses and long-term use of creatine monohydrate. Clinical studies have
limited the intake to 25 mg per day, so it is unclear whether higher daily doses
are safe. (Alison Morantz, p149) Since clinical research has focused only on the
short-term side effects of creatine monohydrate, the possibility of side effects
from long-term use such as liver or kidney damage, have not been studied. All of
this information shows that Mr. Kreider obviously is misleading readers. With
all of these questions left unanswered, it is hard to believe that he can say
that creatine monohydrate is "safe." These possible problems would have to
be proven wrong before one could say that creatine monohydrate is safe. In
conclusion, this short article written by Richard B. Kreider was informative yet
lacking in many areas. It is obvious that creatine monohydrate cannot be
considered to be 100 percent safe because not all questions have been answered.

Creatine monohydrate is the most popular and readily available nutritional
supplement for enhancing performance on the market today. The main question that
needs to be answered is whether or not creatine monohydrate is safe or if it is
going to do more harm than good in the long run.