Creatine

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Schermerhorn, Apr 16, 2002.

  1. Mark Schermerhorn

    Mark Schermerhorn Second Unit

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    There has been quite a few weightlifting/fitness threads as of late so I thought this might be a good time.

    First some quick backround: I've been lifting weights regularly for about 3 months and have seen a lot of improvement. I'm not trying to lose weight, I've already finished that part. For supplements I've only been taking a multivitamin and after workouts I usually have a protein shake (and snack on some carbs).

    So I've read in a number of places that a 4:1 carbs to protein ratio is best after working out. I've looked for powder supplements that fit this and the only ones I can find have creatine in them. So for anyone that's used creatine, how was the overall experience? I've read a fair amount on it but I really curious as to people's individual experiences. I'm not looking to get huge, but I wouldn't mind the boost that creatine seems to give.

    So I'm also wondering if people have recommendations on powder supplements I've mentioned above, with and without creatine.
     
  2. Greg Rowe

    Greg Rowe Stunt Coordinator

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    My creatine experience has been amazing. I have been lifting for about 9 years (since I was 13 or 14). When I started creatine I had been on a plataue (sp?) for a long time. In one month my bench increased by 20 pounds. Over approximately a 6 month period of time (using creatine) my bench increased 55 pounds. After 6 months I stopped seeing increases.

    When I stopped taking creatine I lost a lot of strength, but I never quite got back to my pre creatine performance levels. I stayed off for 6 months.

    Now I am back on it again but it has only been for 2 weeks.

    I recommend just eating properly. I believe the vitamins and protein shakes and all of that stuff are just high priced gimics. So, if I were you, I would eat properly and continue working out. When you reach the point where you just aren't going anywhere anymore, try creatine. Until then just enjoy the increases you'll see with out it (and the extra money in your pocket!).

    Greg
     
  3. DennisHP

    DennisHP Second Unit

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    I took 10-15 grams of creatine a day for about 5 years. As was mentioned, the strength gains were respectable and an increase of muscle fullness accompanied the gains. You could get the same results eating red meat but you would have to consume many pounds a day to get 10 grams of creatine. It's the best legal supplement buck spent today in my opinion.
     
  4. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    I cycle creatine 6 weeks on/off...5 grams/day, no loading. It works well, i.e. after you stop taking creatine, there should be enough left in your body to last over a month until you start up again. Drink lots of water.
     
  5. Mark Schermerhorn

    Mark Schermerhorn Second Unit

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    Dennis: Did your muscle strength/size decrease after you went off of it?

    Greg: I don't see supplement products as miracles, the powder shakes are just really convenient. I don't usually have the time to plan out and make food that fits with what I need before and after working out. Proper nutrition at the right time has definately helped me make faster gains than I have in the past.
     
  6. Luc

    Luc Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm a nutritionist who currently do human nutrition research. I started in this field because the weight bug bit me in high school. Since then, I've lift weights over 10yrs reading all the books and magazines out there.

    To try and keep the response simple. Here's what you should ask yourself with any supplements. Will you be planning to take this the rest of your life? If so, did you consider the cost of these supplements. If you're not taking it for the rest of your life, why start now? Creatine will give you the burst of energy you need but long term effects have not been studied and when you're not using it, you feel worst than before. High amino acids supplement can do harm to your kidneys and liver later on in life. There's a lot of supplements out there these days and most professionals I've spoken (real life PhD nutritionists and not your GNC clerk) to agree that in moderate use, none can harm you but they're a waste of money. There's nothing magical about them. Everything including creatine can be found in food. Eat a well balance diet is a practice that you can carry for the rest of your bodybuilding lifestyle. Taking supplements isn't, even if money is not an issue, health might be.

    Take it from someone who started lifting weights in high school and still doing it. At first, I went into all sort of supplements. Money became an issue. I went nuts over not getting protein or carb after a workout. Thinking back, it all seems like a waste of energy and money. The only thing I could stick with was a good nutritional diet and a moderate weight lifting program (as oppose to a double split routine, ect). I don't remember having any bigger muscles just because I had protein drinks, amino acids, carb drink, ect. However, it did made me feel like Im getting the most out of my workout and served their purpose. However, I don't think I would still be lifting weights regularly after 10yrs if I stuck with all the crazy supplements.

    For some people, if it gives you the confidence you need and the mental energy to push you through a work out, and have the extra cash, go for it. We pay for shrink don't we?
     
  7. Gregory E

    Gregory E Second Unit

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    Yes, I've used Creatine in the past. And honestly, it helped me a lot. It gave me some strength increase, but mainly it gave me more endurance and I felt like my muscles healed faster after working out. Therefore I could workout longer and more often. You gotta drink a ton of water. And like somebody mentioned earlier, don't take it for more than a couple months at a time. Otherwise, go for it.

    And if you want to gain lean muscle, you could also take a whey protein supplement with it.
     
  8. Drew Bethel

    Drew Bethel Screenwriter

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    I also continue to use creatine. I just like the extra energy to have a solid workout. Like some of the folks said, you should also cycle it...as with any supplement except maybe protein.

    I too used to be caught up in supplement craze: HMB, amino acids, glutamine, chromium, vanadyl..etc. I find that I'm making my best gains by just using creatine and whey protein...and a good multi-vitamin source like Twin Lab's Daily Caps. I don't care about getting stronger and stronger and stronger...what exactly is the purpose of that??? I laugh at people who brag about benching 300 pounds. I've been lifting for over 10 years and I don't keep track. I just want to maintain a decent level of strength with good musculature.

    PS.

    >>Everything including creatine can be found in food.
     
  9. Brad_V

    Brad_V Second Unit

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    The serious lifters I know, (lifting an hour a day), say creatine works, just as everyone knows it does, but they say most people shouldn't bother with it until they are maxed-out at their current level. Others in the thread have already mentioned the same.

    Curious... how much meat would someone have to eat to equal the standard amount of creatine? Is that just considering protein intake, or some other nutrients as well?
     
  10. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Interesting. One learns every day, I didn't know creatine was now used as a food supplement by athletes. See how ignorant someone can get?
    A few remarks: (1) ATP (and therefore creatine) would especially be useful to provide the instant energy necessary for short-term muscular energy "explosions". Long term energy is a different story.
    (2) Creatine "sucks" water into the muscles. This increases your need for water (important) and may make your muscles look a bit more impressive (but, eh.. is sort of like silicones at other places).
    (3) there's about 3.5-5 grams of creatine in 1 kilogram of meat (muscle). I don't know how much of that your body can utilize if you swallow a steak. [​IMG]
    Cees
     
  11. Drew Bethel

    Drew Bethel Screenwriter

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    I did a quick search at about.com:

    "In order to receive the 20 g of creatine recommended as a loading dose by manufacturers, one would have to consume 10 pounds of raw steak."
     
  12. Mark Schermerhorn

    Mark Schermerhorn Second Unit

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    Thanks for all the replies, guys. I think I'll stay away from it now. Part of my goal is to look better but my primary goal is better health, so the risks don't really seem worth it, especially since I'm making gains without it.
     
  13. Luc

    Luc Stunt Coordinator

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    Drew, I'll answer your question. No, you'll have a difficult time eating enough meat to match the creatine supplement you're taking. However, the creatine in your muscle isn't the same as the one you ingest. The one ingested go through your stomach and guts and get transported through blood and become an energy source.

    Amino acids are more likely to become energy source when ingested than say a piece of chicken because our body knows that it suppose to breakdown the protein to amino acid level for absorption. This slow pathway allow the body to slowly build muscles from amino acids. We have the necessary tools in our body for this process. So what happens when you dump amino acids in your body in unnatural quantity? Energy! I mean what else is the body going to do with so much amino acids at one time? Cirulates in your blood stream or get in line for the muscle building process? No way, they're not allow to stay in the blood for long like glucose. They'll get converted to energy or go through a pathway that'll convert it into a safe form to pass out in your urines.

    Here's another thing. When you're all burned out from your workouts, push yourself and you'll be converting the lipids in your body to fatty acids for energy source. So you'll losing out on this by providing so much amino acids, creatine, glucose for energy source. No way your body is going to breakdown those fat if you give it so much energy. And what happens to the excess energy that are left over in your blood, you guessed it, go into the lipid pathway and get stored away: glycogen in your muscle and liver and if that fills up, goes into for most of us, tummy. As said before with any of these supplements you take, drink plenty of water. I mean enough to make you pee every 15minutes otherwise a decade from now, you'll run into liver and kidney problems. But again, if this is not a practice you'll carry for the rest of your life, you'll be fine.

    So that being said, if creatine is your energy source and a lasting source as some of you have said (only because you're taking in huge concentration), why pay for expensive energy when there are simple and complex carbohydrates that do the same thing. The $ cheap guy would probably eat some fruits or pasta to store the excess energy in your liver and muscle. If endurance is your problem, take along a fruit drink and drink it along a long workout.

    Having said all that. I'll stick to what I said before, if money is not a issue and if it gives you the mentality you need to workout, go for it. I just don't think it could be a permanent practice. Just too expensive for me and too many trips to the bathroom.
     
  14. Drew Bethel

    Drew Bethel Screenwriter

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    Good points, Luc. Actually I'm just taking about 3-5 grams per day after my workouts. I've read that the muscles are more apt to absorb creatine right after a rigourous workout. I'll be approaching 3 months on creatine in a few weeks so I plan to cycle off it for at least a month.

    One think you said hit home with me...WATER. I drink milk, powerade, juice...but the only time I drink water is when I'm mixing it with a glass of creatine. I definitely need to improve in this area. Do you think this other liquids can provide enough insurance for my lack of actual water intake?
     
  15. Luc

    Luc Stunt Coordinator

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    Drew,

    I wouldn't consider milk a source of fluid. It has enough solutes in there to be considered a food. Babies grow on it.

    I always get more thirsty after drinking milk.

    As for juice, stuffs like nectar aren't a source either. The key is the ratio of solutes to water (solutes would be like sucrose, glucose, protein, ect). I used to take these energy drink before a workout. That can't replace water either. I mean those drinks are like 300-600 calories even though it goes down like water.

    The reason for the water is to help you flush out the excess nutrients you're body can't use fast enough. This help clear your system. The more diluted, the easier it is for your kidneys. The kidneys filter your blood and allow excess water and nutrients to pass. Problem arises when your kidneys deal with high solute:solvent ratio and can lead to infection, kidney disease and damage. Drink plenty of plain water will ease your kidney.

    Most of you who takes supplements will see interesting colors in your urine. I've gone to public toilet and find unflushed urine to be dark yellow to almost reddish. That's scary to me. I know that this guy is a heavy protein eater, take supplements (perhaps had vitamins 1/2-1hr earlier) and definitely don't drink enough water. Watch your urine. Try to keep it as clear as possible. Take plenty of water with vitamins and minerals supplement as well as amino acids, creatine, ect. and continue to drink plenty of water afterward, 1-2hrs.

    One of the major problems with weightlifters or long term bodybuilders who supplements are: liver and kidney damage, diabetes and heart attack. People always shocked by the heart attack whereas the other areas are more understandable. How could these muscled guys with a strong heart have heart attacks. Well, when you have loads of nutrients in your blood, faster than your liver and kidney can handle, faster than your cells can pick them up, your heart is working extra hard. It's like trying to pump oil consistency.
     
  16. Dan Keefe

    Dan Keefe Second Unit

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    I use creatine on and off. First I recommend drinking water. I drink a gallon a day when I am on the stuff. Some reports say it dehydrates you, I'm not sure, because I drank so much water. I would definitely cycle creatine. To my knowledge there are no short term side effects(negative),

    but also no long term studies. Asn far as the powders, I would go to GNC and get straight creatine. As opposed to in a powder mix or another supplement, using creatine by itself ensures you are getting the 5 grams you need. On the powdered meals, I have found myoplex and metaform to be the best on the market. Metaform is GNC's brand of myoplex, but when I compared the ingredients and the amounts they were identical. Metaform was about 50 bucks cheaper for a months supply.

    hope this helps,

    dan
     
  17. Tom Johnson

    Tom Johnson Stunt Coordinator

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  18. Luc

    Luc Stunt Coordinator

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    Tom,

    Let's leave steriods out of this because we know how many people suffers or die from this.

    You mean to tell me if you take loads of supplements offered at store such as GNC (I obviously didn't mean creatine alone) over decades, you're not risking overworking your kidneys and liver? Keep in mind the amount most bodybuilders pop in per day. Your organs aren't designed to process such heavy load for too long. Let's be clear that my comment wasn't about taking creatine alone but about bodybuilders practice. Yes, I realize the use of steroids and other drugs can cloud the problem. Even if you eat too high a protein diet (without supplements) with low in everything else, don't drink even water, you still can get kidney damage over a long period of time. Whatever is unnatural for your body will put it at risk. It's all a matter of degree.

    Anyway, this whole supplement business is very controverial and the debate goes on. It's off subject because the original poster asked about creatine. Sorry about that.
     
  19. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

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    Ok, so I read this thread and am wondering hmmm... I take GNC Mega-men are they a waste of money too? I only pop one a day (instead of two) as a supplement. Is that a waste? And yes my urine isn't clear, but that's due to the vitamins which aren't getting processed, right? I am sure I processed some of them.

    Basically which supplements aren't a waste?
     
  20. Mark Schermerhorn

    Mark Schermerhorn Second Unit

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    I don't mind the discussion drifting, because I am interested in the saftey of supplements, although creatine is the most "exotic" I would ever get.

    Adil: I take the same vitamin and only take on a day as well. Looking at the label the only things you get an excessive amount of looks like the B vitamins, which are water soluable. So just make sure you drink enough water, would be my opinion. Thats what I try to do.
     

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