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Creatine Benefits: Is creatine effective for athletes?

Creatine is one of the most well-known supplements within the sporting world, although just how useful it is has always been a great source of debate.

Having been used rather famously by Arsene Wenger at Arsenal in the 1990s, the supplement has been considered to create energy by storing molecules in muscles, although it wasn't outlawed in football at that time.

With the focus on supplements being a lot more stringent in 2022, many wonder whether creatine's status under the anti-doping rules should be reconsidered, but is it really effective for athletes?

What exactly does creatine do?

It is a molecule stored in muscles that can help create energy, although it is also made naturally in the body from amino acids.

Phosphocreatine is the key component of the body's immediate energy system and provides enough energy for around 10 seconds of high intensity activity.

Why do athletes use it?

Once the aforementioned phosphocreatine within the body's muscles has been used up, the body must then switch to a different energy system whilst more phosphocreatine is formed.

Athletes perform repeated high-intensity efforts in a way that regular people and bodybuilders don't, therefore their immediate demand for phosphocreatine is greater than the available supply.

This, therefore, limits the potential of the body with regards to physical performance. However, increasing the amount of creatine in your muscles artificially will increase the speed at which phosphocreatine is formed between exertions and this will improve an athletes overall performance.

Why isn't it prohibited?

Creatine can have a small effect on performance, but the effects are not guaranteed and training programs remain the most influential source of work to gain a competitive edge.

Furthermore, not all athletes benefit from creatine use, it can only improve an athlete's dimensions for working hard, if they aren't willing to put the hard work in then the supplement is actually worthless.

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