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Comphensive Guide to Accessory Nutrients and Essential Oils


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Meschino Health Comprehensive Guide to Accessory Nutrients and Essential Oils
Accessory Nutrients and Essential Oils
Creatine
General Features
It is now widely accepted that Creatine supplementation can increase muscle strength and mass. 1,2,3,4 Creatine is an
amino acid that is stored in muscle in the form of Creatine phosphate. During explosive or intensive exercise, Creatine
phosphate is broken down by a specific enzyme to yield Creatine, plus phosphate, plus free energy. The free energy
released from the breakdown of Creatine phosphate is used to regenerate ATP, which is the fuel that powers muscle
contraction.2
The normal daily requirement for Creatine is about 2 grams for a person weighing 70 kg. Animal protein (especially
meats) normally provides at least half that amount, with approximately one gram per day synthesized by the liver. A
half-pound of raw meat contains about 1 gram of Creatine, but fish is also a good source.
A number of recent studies have demonstrated that short-term Creatine supplementation increases Creatine
phosphate stores in skeletal muscle by 10% to 40%.3 This in turn leads to an increase in muscle mass, which is
thought to occur from increased protein synthesis, as the muscle lays down an increased number of contractile
myofilaments (protein bands that contract and generate force). Increased muscular fluid retention may also participate
in muscle volume gains with Creatine use.5,6,7 Creatine has also been shown to provide antioxidant properties. This
may be of some significance as free radicals generated from exercise can affect muscle fatigue and protein turnover.24
It also appears that Creatine supplementation may allow athletes to train harder (due to increased available energy for
muscle concentration), which promotes strength gains, and increases muscle size due to hypertrophy (larger muscle
fiber size).2,3
The established protocol for Creatine supplementation used by athletes involves a loading dosage of 20 to 25 grams
per day for the first 5 to 7 days. Typically an athlete will mix a heaping teaspoon of Creatine monohydrate crystals into
a glass of juice to obtain about 5 grams of Creatine. During the loading phase the athlete does this on 4 or 5 occasions
throughout the day to attain an intake of 20-25 grams. After the loading phase is completed, the maintenance daily
dosage is usually 5 to 10 grams per day. Recent reports suggest that taking Creatine with glucose (a simple
carbohydrate) may increase the amount of Creatine absorbed by the muscles. As such, some manufacturers combine
Creatine with carbohydrates in a premix product to help improve Creatine delivery to muscles.25
Clinical Application and Mechanism of Action
1. Increased Strength and Performance In Athletes
Several studies have shown that Creatine supplementation improves performance in repeated bouts of high
intensity strength work and repeated sprints, which are requirements for many sports.8,9,10,11,12,13,14,16,17,18 In short,
substantial evidence suggests that Creatine supplementation increases lean body mass, muscular strength, and
sprint power.24
Significant gains in strength and lean mass often occur in the first 6 weeks of Creatine supplementation, when
combined with proper training and diet. In one study, college football players who took Creatine supplements for 28
days during resistance and agility training had significant gains in lean mass when compared to players who took
the placebo.15
Individuals may vary in their response to Creatine supplementation, but it is not uncommon to see a 5 to 10 lb.
increase in weight within the first six weeks.
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