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Thread: Creatine

  1. #1
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    Creatine

    Hi, i know there have been other threads about this in the past on mtbr that i have been looking at, but i would like to know what peoples opinions are of creatine for endurance racing. No beating around the bush, just a simple "good" or "bad" answer will do.

    Some of the things i've read into about it is that it can dehydrate you which of course would be bad for racing, but some of the good points seem to outway the bad ones in some ways, giving you extra power for short steep climbs when the going gets tough at the ten hour mark in a race could be useful. I read somewhere that it could help endurance athletes if taken in small doses, about half of what weight lifters would take.. that was in a magazine though.

    Thoughts??

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  2. #2
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    Here's the lowdown on creatine:

    -The "dangerous" side effects are unfounded by any available peer-reviewed research
    -When you store extra creatine in your muscles, you will store water with it. This can make you gain weight, which, depending on the amount of creatine you begin with (everyone's "normal" level is different) and how much muscle mass you have, can be in the neighborhood of 3-10 pounds.
    -The is likely a small benefit to short, steep bursts of climbing power, but if you're talking about an endurance race where you are riding for many hours at a time, I personally don't think it'd make much of a difference. Carrying an extra 5 pounds of body weight might, though.
    -As for dose, the goal of taking creatine as a supplement is to "top off" what is already in the muscle. Unlike something like caffeine, it's not a "dose-response" type of supplement. If you take a very small dose, you may not get the full benefit. Most lifters take a little too much and end up passing the excess in the urine, but that also assures that they are more likely to achieve the highest potential of creatine storage at the muscle.
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    from all the reports i have read, you need higher doses to make any difference. and the problem as stated above is that you water gain on your whole body, not just where you need it.

    for endurance the 3-7% sprint gain is short lived and not a good trade off. also its hard on the liver. we punish our bodies enough by exercising such long periods and expect the body to react normal with water and liquid food. doesn't make sense for our use. and you can't take it constantly, so any good effect will fade quickly.


    i have tried it three separate times for six weeks at a time in lower doses and found no ill or beneficial effects.other than spending money on it.
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    It's not hard on the liver. The liver makes some of the creatine that's in your body. If you search peer-reviewed research, you'll find a bunch of articles like this one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12500988
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    I was really into "weight training" about a year ago and I started using creatine by suggestion of the trainer and I immediately gained about 10 lbs of "water weight" so I think it is a bad thing..... and it also made me very "sluggish"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea138
    It's not hard on the liver. The liver makes some of the creatine that's in your body. If you search peer-reviewed research, you'll find a bunch of articles like this one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12500988
    that report says"daily consumption of 5 to 20 g". which is nothing. certainly not enough to make even water weight gains. many reports are written to sell products. ya gotta read them carefully. most are taken out of context.


    your right i don't know what i must have been thinking.....

    http://www.nutritionalsupplements.com/creatineR119.html
    http://www.thefactsaboutfitness.com/...tinesafety.htm
    http://www.menshealth.co.uk/chatroom/topic/316475
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12500988


    google search for creatine liver. About 11,000,000 results.

    those are just the first four. it goes on for a while......
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    I took creatine when I played football and it was great for that sport - short bursts (sprints) on every play that I felt the creatine helped with 5-10% and it helped in the gym too as you gained muscle via water of course. Doesn't seem to make sense to me for endurance racing though. Like Andrea and oilcan said, the extra weight gain in water would far outweigh the benefits.

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    For whatever is worth after studying and reading for years...
    You have a "loading phase" where you take 1 tbsp 4-5 times a day. make sure you do it while eating carbohydrates since you need insulin to get creatine into the muscle...
    Then you go into the "maintenance phase" where you get just 1 tbsp /day for 30 days.
    This protocol minimize the weight gain at around 2 pounds (water)
    So far literature (scientific peer review journals, PUBMED, ETC) show no ill effect in short term or long other that dehydration because of osmotic diuresis (so drink more fluids) and some have reported gastrointestinal upset and cramps (stomach)
    The downside is that there are "responders" and "non respondres" so maybe it will have abosulute NO effect in you... vegetarians tend to respond in a better way since their creatine intake (poultry, meat) is very low. The other downside or risk is the lack of regulation on nutritional supplements and contamination with "other stuff"
    Hope it helps

    http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrit...ments/creatine

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    BBW-what he said. I have used creatine in the past, using loading phase and not using a loading phase. I used in the building stages of training, when I am heavy in the gym. Creatine gives a good muscle pump and gives you an extra push in the last couple of sets, allowing you to push an extra set. It was also help when doing sprint work or hill repeats. I would phase it out towards the end of training, dropping the extra water weight gained.

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    I experienced bad head aches when I took it so stopped before seeing any benefits.

    JMHE....

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    I think everybodies chemistry is different so it will have different results for all. As stated already, it's not so important when you take it as long as you get enough just about everyday so that you have a surplus. It's been my experience that it is very helpful for recovery, and endorance when I took enough, but if I did't take enough it was like I wasn't taking any.. If you've never tried it it's worth a shot, but give it a full 6 weeks to see what effects it truely has for you. Creatine is also found in many foods with red meat having the most. Most people do 6 weeks on 2 weeks off or something along those lines but many take it all the time with no ill effects.
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    Quote Originally Posted by theMeat
    Creatine is also found in many foods with red meat having the most. .
    the thing is that unless you are eating 5+ pounds of beef per day you wont get the amount as in the supplement

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBW
    the thing is that unless you are eating 5+ pounds of beef per day you wont get the amount as in the supplement

    which is quite easy to do........one a day........


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    holy crap!! that is one big burger!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBW
    the thing is that unless you are eating 5+ pounds of beef per day you wont get the amount as in the supplement
    True, but I didn't say it was enough, just putting it out there as accurate info that some do not realize. Seems that some think it's some kind of un natural man made miracle suppliment that's no good for ya.
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  16. #16
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    Creatine adds too much water weight. A superior endurance racing supplement would be L-Arginine...which works wonders with blood flow, muscle contractions and overall anaerobic endurance - not mention it's also the main ingredient for male enhancement!
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    creatine and cramps

    I used to use creatine as one of my base supplements for years, when weight lifting. In the past year I've gone back to creatine to see how it would impact XC racing and training. First go round resulted in quite a bit of cramping during the one race I attempted. I don't usually tend to have cramping problems. I put the creatine up for a while.

    This spring I tried the creatine stack again. Same results when racing. Insane cramping. Unless I quit riding and go back to mostly lifting, I think I'm done with creatine. It didn't seem to have any positive performance impact for my riding anyway.

    After a little recall and reading, I was reminded that creatine is mainly used to create ATP. ATP is a short term energy source (burst).

    Here's a good read on muscle energy sources:
    http://www.brianmac.co.uk/energy.htm

    Here's a good read on creatine:
    http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/creatine.html

    I'm not an expert in supplements and others may have different results, but creatine supplementation doesn't seem to be a fit for me in endurance activity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kstine71
    I used to use creatine as one of my base supplements for years, when weight lifting. In the past year I've gone back to creatine to see how it would impact XC racing and training. First go round resulted in quite a bit of cramping during the one race I attempted. I don't usually tend to have cramping problems. I put the creatine up for a while.

    This spring I tried the creatine stack again. Same results when racing. Insane cramping. Unless I quit riding and go back to mostly lifting, I think I'm done with creatine. It didn't seem to have any positive performance impact for my riding anyway.

    Do you know how many grams a day you were taking when using it for training and XC? I think the amount you take a day can have a dramatic impact on the results you get.

    When i read stuff like this (scroll down to the endurance paragraph)... it makes me think it could be worth a go.

    http://www.menshealth.co.uk/chatroom/topic/336635
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    interesting

    Quote Originally Posted by Damitletsride!
    Do you know how many grams a day you were taking when using it for training and XC? I think the amount you take a day can have a dramatic impact on the results you get.

    When i read stuff like this (scroll down to the endurance paragraph)... it makes me think it could be worth a go.

    http://www.menshealth.co.uk/chatroom/topic/336635
    That is an interesting paragraph. They just don't outline what dosage should be used for endurance athletes. I guess somewhere between the 2-3g a day range since that's the only dosage recommendation I saw.

    I was using 5g a day (180-190lbs), skip a day here and there and a week every month or so. Not exactly a good set schedule, but the dosage was consistent when I was taking it. I never had problems with this approach when lifting, but it sure sounds like its higher than what the article recommends.

    I may have to go back to the well for a 3rd attempt at a 2.5g dose with no loading.

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    This may explain the cramp problems:

    "Also, recall that creatine induces muscle to take up fluids from their surroundings, a process known as cell volumizing. If compensated for with adequate fluid intake, however, cell volumization is relatively harmless. On the other hand, large uncompensated shifts in body water might result in dehydration, hypertension and faulty thermoregulation, particularly if exercising in hot and humid conditions."

    Source = http://www.creatinemonohydrate.net/e..._exercise.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by kstine71
    This may explain the cramp problems:

    "Also, recall that creatine induces muscle to take up fluids from their surroundings, a process known as cell volumizing. If compensated for with adequate fluid intake, however, cell volumization is relatively harmless. On the other hand, large uncompensated shifts in body water might result in dehydration, hypertension and faulty thermoregulation, particularly if exercising in hot and humid conditions."

    Source = http://www.creatinemonohydrate.net/e..._exercise.html
    I corrected the highlight. Since Cr (creatine) is absorbed inside the muscle, the solute concentration will increase (more particles inside the muscle) and will draw water inside (water moves in favor of a concentration gradient). IF you don't drink the extra water need, the extracellular space will "lack" water and that's what would be an UNCOMPENSATED shift in body water resulting in dehydration and falty thermoregulation (since blood volume will decrease with decrease in extracellular water)
    I also think headaches happen for this reason; people not hydrating properly and MANY people don't hydrate well, let alone drink more when they need to like in this case

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kstine71

    Here's a good read on creatine:
    http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/creatine.html

    I'm not an expert in supplements and others may have different results, but creatine supplementation doesn't seem to be a fit for me in endurance activity.

    Pitty they don't state how many grams a day the runners took before that test.
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    of all the things one could do to enhance endurance mtb performance, I'd think that creatine would be so low on the list that I'm shocked it's even being talked about. Ask anyone who's ever used it for track cycling (the antithesis of endurance mtb) and even they'll tell you that it puts on water weight, causes crazy cramps, and even though it should be best suited for super short, super intense efforts (e.g. track racing), it doesn't work well enough to make it worth the bother/expense, even if you can get past the cramping issue.

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    The dosage for creatine is best given by g/kg of bodyweight. The way it works is that you have your own "normal" levels of creatine that's stored in the muscle. Some people have a lot, some people have a little- it's very individual. The "loading" phase of taking creatine (recommended .3g/kg of body weight) is designed to help the muscle store as much creatine as it's physically able to store, whereas the "maintenance" dose (recommended .03 g/kg of body weight) should keep the muscles "topped off." If you take in more creatine than what the muscles can store, then the excess excreted through the urine. There is no reason to cycle on/off of it, because the body does not have any sort of tolerance buildup to it like it would for a steroid hormone or stimulant.
    The reason why you don't see the g/kg recommendation on labels is because A) Americans are too lazy to learn what a kilo is, and B) most people wouldn't take anywhere near to the 5g/day that the creatine makers recommend for maintenance, so they wouldn't sell nearly as much.

    (my major professor in grad school wrote his dissertation on creatine, so I had to learn a lot about it for his classes)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea138

    (my major professor in grad school wrote his dissertation on creatine, so I had to learn a lot about it for his classes)
    I greatly appreciate your insight into the matter. Do you happen to have a link to any papers your professor wrote on the subject?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by kstine71
    I greatly appreciate your insight into the matter. Do you happen to have a link to any papers your professor wrote on the subject?
    BK Schilling: Here's one- I'll find more in the morning... http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Ab...bles__a.2.aspx
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