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Creatine: Health or Hazard

Creatine is the biggest thing to hit the supplement market and the field of nutritional science in years, though it is not a new supplement by any means.It has actually been around for decades, with scientific reports on creatine and muscle dating as far back as the 1920's.Creatine was originally used by athletes in Europe (it wasfirst notably used by elite British track athletes who competed in the '92 Olympic Games) before it hit the United States in the early 1990's ("Creatine", 1999).
Creatine is an amino acid derivative that is formed in the liver, kidneys and pancreas from the amino acids arginine, glycine and methionine.Once synthesized, creatine is transported to the muscles, heart and brain, where it is used as an energy supplier.Creatine works remarkably similar to glycogen loading, which is commonly used by runners to boost performance.Both methods pack energy stores into skeletal muscle.Runners use glycogen to power aerobic energy production.Strength athletes, on the other hand, require a different type of energy, called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).Creatine enters the muscles and is converted to creatine phosphate where it can regenerate ATP.Since ATP is the energy compound that is used during high-intensity exercise and is not stored in large amounts in the muscle, it is depleted very quickly during exercise.Therefore, creatine phosphate is said to help maintain ATP levels and increase strength ("Creatine", 1999).
The average 70-kg male's daily requirement of creatine is approximately 2-g.The body typically meets the daily requirements for creatine through a combination of synthesis and consumption.Small quantities of creatine can be obtained from the consumption of meat, fish, and other animals.A half-pound of raw meat contains approximately 1-g of creatine.Since creatine comes from animal products, the average vegetarian or individual who eats…

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