The Performance Enhancing Effects of Creatine

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The Performance Enhancing Effects of Creatine
Everybody in youth has dreamt about that final deciding moment is sports whether it was the bottom of the ninth, bases loaded in game seven of the World Series, or if it was draining a three pointer at the buzzer of an NBA finals game, or even a game winning diving catch during the Superbowl. These moments are what athletes live for. This is what an athlete puts their blood sweat and tears into. They train like there is no tomorrow, working to become the best they can be. They study the game, practice, workout, and strive to reach their full potential. What if there was a way to increase ones performance by taking a pill? Ergogenic aids are “work producing” substances that athletes take to increase performance (Wilmore, Costill, & Kenney, 2008). While there may not be a magic pill that can transform a non-athlete into a superstar. However, there may be some ergogenic aids that can help an average athlete outcompete his opponent.

This study will be looking into the effects of creatine on athletic ability. As a former college baseball player and current college coach, I want to find a supplement that can help an already athletic individual increase their athletic potential. If creatine is an effective substance, it would be beneficial for my baseball team to begin supplementing creatine into their diets. During my college baseball days, I took several pre-workout supplements and several post-workout supplements. I changed supplements due to flavor, recommendation, NCAA requirements, and personal preference. I never once took creatine because of some of the negative things I had heard about dehydration in connection to taking the supplement. Several of my teammates took it but not regularly. Everything I learned about creatine was through the rumor mill rather through scientific fact. Does creatine efficiently increase athletic performance and is it a worthwhile substance for baseball players to take? Review

Many athletes are considered superstitious and when they perform well on the field, they try to recreate what they were doing earlier to continue to produce similar performances (Wilmore, Costill, & Kenney, 2008). If the athlete takes creatine during the off season to increase strength and endurance, and they perform extremely well during the season, they will most likely continue the same pattern during the next year. While the increase in performance may not directly be related to the substance, it may receive credit. Likewise the athlete could take the ergogenic and their performance could decrease. This does not mean the ergogenic does not work, but it may receive the blame.

Before we look at the effects of creatine, it is important to gain an understanding of what creatine is. Creatine is one of the most widely researched and studied natural supplements (No Author, 2012). Creatine is naturally found in the human body in the skeletal muscles (Wilmore, Costill, & Kenney, 2008). Creatine is used by athletes to increase strength, power, and anaerobic capacity (Lamontagne-Lacasse, Nadon, & Goulet, 2011). Supplementing with creatine is believed to increase phosphocreatine (PCr) which produces energy by sustaining the levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) (Wilmore, Costill, & Kenney, 2008). By increasing ATP, it is theorized that this increases power during exercise and that it may help with recovery.

When determining the effects creatine has on performance, there are many previous studies that have researched its influence on other sports. In 2000, as the use of creatine had become extremely popular, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) looked at the physiological and health effects on creatine. The ACSM found that creatine supplementation could cause an increase of muscle phosphocreatine content in most individuals (Wilmore, Costill, & Kenney, 2008). They also showed that taken with a high dosage of carbohydrates, they could...
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