The question on many an athlete’s mind when it comes to whether or not they should use creatine supplements has been raised. While there is still no real evidence linking the use of this supplement with a myriad of ailments that plague professional athletes, the question still exists as to whether or not it should be illegal for athletes to use. The short answer is: No.
Creatine is a natural substance that is produced by the kidneys and pancreas. It helps provide energy to push the body into movement. Creatine is produced in high concentrations in the human body when the heart is pumping blood fast-melt. This occurs during high levels of physical activity such as marathon running or cycling. While the untrained individual may not experience the same benefits from such exercise as the body produces more creatine, body builders can produce faster-than-normal amounts of the substance through diet and supplementation.
While it is unclear how much creatine should be taken, a doctor will typically recommend that an athlete start with a low dose to start out with and slowly raise the dosage while monitoring exercise performance. Some doctors feel that long-term use of the substance can lead to the formation of kidney stones. Others argue that the benefits are simply due to the increased energy levels that come with taking in extra Creatine. These doctors do agree that there is no clear cut answer on whether or not supplementation should be banned.
Bodybuilders should always be kept current on their exercise performance and supplementation programs. It is important that an athlete does not become dependent on the substance for peak performance. This is why it is so important to talk with a doctor before starting a Creatine supplement regimen. The doctor can help determine what safe levels would be for you based on your current weight and height/age. They can also discuss any potential side effects associated with Creatine supplementation.
Of course, no one knows for sure what the long term effect of long-term Creatine supplementation could have on an athlete’s health. The untrained person may not exhibit the same dangers of the professional bodybuilder when they first begin. There are many cases of athletes using the substance and still living active lives to this day. But, as always, it is best to err on the side of caution. Even though Creatine has been proven to enhance athletic performance, there is much research that indicates that untrained or even slightly trained individuals can suffer detrimental effects from it.
So, the question “Should Creatine supplements be banned?” remains highly relevant in today’s social media driven environment. It is also something that should be considered by parents, schools and athletes alike.