Creatine


Creatine is a compound found within the muscles and normally synthesized in the kidney and liver. Certain foods are also found to be rich sources such as meat and fish. It was discovered in the 1800s and thought to be present in the meat. In 1970s, it was reported by the Soviet Scientists that oral supplements of creatine may be used to enhance the athletic performance during short intense activities. In the 1990s, creatine became popular to enhance the athletic performance naturally. Intake of oral supplements varies and depends on many factors such as the amount of physical activity, type of muscle fibre, carbohydrate intake and age. Amateur athletes such as Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, and John Elway acknowledge creatine as a popular chemical to enhance the athletic performance. 

Adolescent adults are crazy to take creatine supplements to enhance their performance. Reports suggest that about 25% of professional baseball players and up to 50% of professional football players take creatine supplements. A survey was conducted for athletes of high school, and it was discovered creatine is commonly used by football and hockey players, wrestlers, gymnasts and lacrosse players. 

Reggie Johal, a former international American football player of Great Britain gave some information on different types of creatine as under:

Creatine monohydrate: It is the most widely researched creatine and first type suggested for the players. Users reported that they did not find much improvement. It is recommended that creatine monohydrate should be combined with simple sugars to enhance its effectiveness. 

Creatine Ethyl Ester: This form is believed to be a changed version that is required in fewer amounts and there is no need to combine it with simple sugars to be effective. However, research was done that showed creatine monohydrate to be more effective as compared to creatine ethyl ester. 

Tricreatine Orotate: It is a combination of creatine and Orotic acid. It is found that creatine works well when combined with orotic acid. 

Kre- Alkalyn: It is a buffered product and was introduced to overcome the problem of creatine monohydrate that when it comes in contact of the liquid, it breaks into a waste product called creatinine. In this product, creatine is buffered with an alkaline salt to avoid the conversion of creatine to creatinine. It helped in better absorption by the muscles. 

Liquid creatine: This type is not much popular because as mentioned earlier that liquid creatine gets converted into a waste product called creatinine. 

International Olympic Committee professional sports and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has allowed the use of creatine. Now- a-days, NCAA does not allow colleges and universities to provide creatine to the students using funds from school. Students are allowed to buy creatine on their own, and the NCAA will not ban creatine unless any harmful effects are reported. 

Athletic Performance
Research suggests that creatine help in improving strength during short duration and high intensity activities. Creatine helps by increasing ATP molecules that are the source of energy to the body cells. It also helps in reducing muscle fatigue by reducing the amount of productions of a waste product called lactic acid that accumulates in muscles to cause cramps. Investigations at the University of Nottingham showed that if creatine supplements are taken for five days, it helps to enhance muscle power and performance during intense strength training.

Muscle Conditions
As creatine helps to enhance muscular strength, it has been used in the treatment of muscular disorders such as myasthenia gravis, muscular dystrophy, Huntington's disease, McArdle's disease (also called glycogen storage disease type V), congestive heart failure, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and after injury or surgery. 
Many studies are published by the Cochrane Collaboration on use of creatine for muscular conditions. During studies, it was discovered that creatine is effective in improving the muscular strength in people having muscular dystrophies. 

Heart disease
A preliminary clinical study suggests that creatine supplements help to lower down the levels of triglycerides. Few clinical studies done on people with heart failure suggested that people with the heart failure feel better when take took creatine supplements along with regular heart medications. 

Parkinson's disease
Parkinson’s disease leads to decreased muscular strength. A clinical study suggested that when people with Parkinson’s disease took creatine, it helped in improving the muscle strength and exercise ability. 

Sources:
About 95% of creatine is synthesized in our body from other amino acids present in the liver and kidney. Food sources rich in creatine include lean meat and fish such as salmon, tuna, and herring. 

Interactions
People with kidney disease should avoid taking creatine supplements as it is found that kidney disease may get worse when taken with creatine supplements. 

Always consult your health care provider before starting a supplement therapy