Creatine for Rugby

Creatine for Rugby Players – Seniors not Juniors or youth players      

Before we start – This information with regard to creatine is not for the use pot players under the age of 18 – players need to understand the benefits and pitfalls when using creatine in its purest form – To often it is used incorrectly .

Creatine is a not-protein amino acid and is manufactured by the body in the liver, kidneys and pancreas using the amino acids arginine, glycine and methionine.

Creatine is then carried to the heart, brain and skeletal muscle, where it assists in the production and regeneration of ATP  ( adenosine triphosphate), the major source of energy at the cellular level. When more ATP is available, more cellular energy is available, hence creatine’s well-known benefit of increasing the work capacity of muscles.

Since creatine’s introduction as sports nutrition supplement, it has been the subject of more inaccurate media stories and uninformed reporting than just about any other type of  dietary supplement.

It has been shown that creatine is an entirely natural  and safe compound for healthy people. However when used over long periods there can be pitfalls.

Creatine Forms

Creatine comes in two main forms.  Aproximately 1-2g of creatine is synthesized by your body daily, and another 1-2g is supplied by diet.  Dietary creatine is found mainly in meat and fish.

When we consider adding additional creatine to our  body we must understand that creatine  supplements themselves are not made from food ingredients.

Creatine monohydrate powder is by far the most popular form of supplemental creatine in use.  It is inexpensive, tasteless and very easy to use.

Whether from food or supplements, dietary creatine is absorbed in the small intestine and dispersed via the bloodstream to all the musculature in the body.

Creatine is then either used or stored by muscles to regenerate ATP, especially during short bouts of intense exercise such as in weightlifting or rugby when there is a sudden demand for large quantities of energy.  Although popular with athletes and bodybuilders creatine is widely used by many other types of athletes and even non-athletes as well .

Creatine Benefits All Types of Muscle

Taking creatine supplements has been shown to help boost exercise performance in certain activities involving   short bursts of intense exertion such as sprinting, jumping, basketball and weight lifting.

Creatine  has also been shown to help recovery from exercise , both speeding muscle repair and easing the pain and soreness. (D.O.M.S.)  Other types of muscle benefit from creatine, too.

Congestive heart failure involves a gradual loss of function involving primarily the heart muscle but also other structures. One study of congestive heart failure treatments used creatine in addition to traditional medical therapy and showed major improvement in symptoms as compared to its placebo group.

Using Creatine Supplements

A typical recommended dosage of creatine supplements for purposes of exercise enhancement is as follows:

•The initial  “loading phase” of one week consisting of 5 grams of creatine taken 4 times daily,

•Followed by a dose of 2-5 grams daily to maintain ceatine levels in the muscles.

Consult your physician before beginning  the use of creatine supplements, and do not take more than the recommended dose.

Taking creatine supplements typically causes weight gain and increases muscle volume , but it is important to note that most of this is attributed to water retention.  Additionally, there is no benefit to consuming more than the recommended amount, as the body can only absorb so much creatine . Once the body has absorbed the maximum amount of creatine, any excess is excreted in the urine unused.  Some people do not receive any benefit from creatine supplements, although it is unclear as to why.

Creatine is best absorbed when taken with a food containing carbohydrates, such as fruit or oatmeal.  Creatine Supplements are available in liquid, powder and pill form .  Micronized creatine is simply processed into a very fine powder for more efficient absorption. Choose  creatine monohydrate, as the majority of creatine research has been conducted on this form of creatine.

Creatine Side – effects:

There have been reports of dehydration, stomach  cramping, muscle cramping and diarrhea associated with the use of creatine supplements. < any with creatine  combining medications, may interact  check with your doctor to be sure.

References:

1.Sports Med,.2002;32 (14): 903-44

2.Can J Appl Physiol.2002 Dec; 27(6);663-81.

3.Pharmazie 2006 Mar; 61(3):218-22.

Looking at the findings and based on the amount of benefits it would appear that using creatine certainly outweigh the ramifications or rather side effects of Creatine supplements.

In such a stressful environment that we are placed under be it the perpetual pressure from stress related school work . lack of sleep, physical education along with the amount of energy being expended for rugby training where training may be for an intense 3 times a week.

In addition to the various energy  benefits and the added training without pain creatine helps in the recovery of the body at a much quicker rate and allows us to continue training for longer periods of times as well as returning to training without the need to worry about muscle aches etc.

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