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Posted in..: Research & Development
By Jeff Volek - Chat with Doug on the ProSource Fitness Forum
Jun 2, 2011
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The evidence supporting a positive effect of creatine supplementation on high intensity performance can be described as nothing short of overwhelming. Creatine supplementation
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augments the muscle size and strength gains consequent to resistance training. Creatine is also legal, relatively inexpensive, and easy to implement into a training and nutrition program. If you are a serious strength/power athlete and not taking creatine, the question is why? Some athletes may steer clear of creatine because of allegations of adverse effects. The media has in many cases overstated concerns about safety.  The most common anecdotal reports associated with creatine use include muscle cramps, dehydration, gastrointestinal complaints, liver problems, and kidney impairment. A recent review paper by a group of international authors addressed the experimental evidence linking creatine supplementation to these complaints. A comprehensive review of the literature revealed no solid evidence connecting creatine supplementation to any side effects. Considering the several hundred studies conducted on creatine over the last two decades, the safety record is actually very impressive. Since the kidneys have to excrete excess waste from the body, the concern that creatine supplementation may impair renal function is of particular importance. A recent study from France specifically addressed the effects of creatine supplementation on glomerular filtration rate and found no effect. If you are thinking about using creatine but are concerned about side effects, the evidence shows this ergogenic aid is both safe and effective. 
.   Kim HJ, Kim CK, Carpentier A, Poortmans JR. Studies on the safety of creatine supplementation. Amino Acids. 2011 May;40(5):1409-18. Epub 2011 Mar 12.
.    Neves M, Gualano B, Roschel H, Lima FR, Lúcia de Sá-Pinto A, Seguro AC, Shimizu MH, Sapienza MT, Fuller R, Lancha AH, Bonfá E. Effect of creatine supplementation on measured glomerular filtration rate in postmenopausal women. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2011 Jun;36(3):419-22.

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