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Creatine for runners - no, it is not doping !
Creatine is the most researched compound in the entire supplement industry. I mean in the last like 2 decades or more. However most of these scientific studies look at muscle sports. Activities last sub 10seconds and 10 to 150seconds. There is no long term research for instance on run performance and day to day recovery changes throughout a year with suboptimal, optimal or lightly over-dosed creatine levels.What I want to say here is, what if we missed a small chance of a couple of percent increase in case of health and performance if we took this supplement for longer periods, not necessarily to increase performance, but not to decrease it. The complete role of creatine in the body is still kind of misunderstood. This is why new researches come out every single month. In the last couple of years, because of the ability of creatine to step through blood-brain barrier to get into the energy cycle, it is studied for cognitive enhancement as an example. Effects and benefits:Helps muscle cells produce energyHelps the brain too in the energy cycleBody water maintenance There is no research yet on the opposite. Increased creatine levels, increase total body water. So probably suboptimal creatine levels decrease total body water. The first two points are kind of non-interesting for body builders. Total body water increase however is. The increase in TBW, changes the body's cells osmolality, and due to that, they can take up more nutrients. Can we say the opposite, I don't know. "Would suboptimal creatine levels decrease the cells ability to uptake nutrients ? " If that was the case, it would greatly effect hydrations status, recovery time, but even fat burning ability. Distance Running There are of course a lot of other possibilities here, but our subject is run and endurance performance in general. The obvious are power-endurance sports and in those cases creatine supplementation is obviously positive. Rowing, track cycling, crossfit and more. In case of running, if our final hypothesis is right, it would open a whole other chapter in targeted research on creatine and total body water, not just creatine and energy. Basically suboptimal levels of creatine intake can mean dehydration. It can mean that the cells can take up less protein post workout, increasing recovery time. It can mean that liver glycogen or exogenous glucose, mobilised and ingested fatty acids, maybe even ketones have less of a chance to get absorbed by muscle cells to be used as fuel. It can mean that minerals in general cannot be taken up by the cell, as the water content would not allow it. This will all effect distance events. Especially over the 1hour mark ! Health Most endurance athletes don't eat enough meat. It is due to digestion time and because of fad trends. If you do double or triple training days, you don't want anything hindering your workouts, nor want to experience stomach upset. A ham and cheese sandwich is not what I am talking about, but an entire chicken, steak or even a large fish. Omelette with 6-7 eggs and a big can of Tuna ! After a meal like that, even if we talk about a "dinner to 10am" run set, for sure a light sweet potato-avocado dinner would act differently than a 500gram steak with sauerkraut. Maybe for a high level endurance athlete, to maintain optimal creatine levels, it should not even be advised to eat the necessary quantities of animal produce to do that, but to supplement. To much charred meat, altered heated proteins, lead filled fish...we might be better off with a 2 to 5grams of high quality pharmaceutical grade pure powder. I hope that my thoughts came clear on the subject. 2 to 5grams of daily creatine supplementation can really insure optimal levels. It will not change your game short term, but most probably will have very positive effects on the long haul. Season after season. Kenyans don't train much. However their intensity levels are brutal. 10 to 15hours of running with other auxiliary stuff weekly. Triathletes have lower intensities, but longer weekly cycles. Up to the 60hours in some cases. An easy bike ride can go up to 10hours and most AM swim sessions are at least 2hours long. So just brake it down for a week. It creeps up very fast ! I would definitely recommend taking in around 5grams of quality creatine daily. For recreational athletes going out with an 80/20 run routine 10hours a week 2-3grams would be sufficient. In off periods a 2g maintenance is enough. The goal is not to directly increase performance, but to stay optimal, to maintain constant homeostatic levels. The dosage is about 2 to 3 grams max, as we cannot really absorb more in the same time. If you are in an extremely heavy training period and somehow decide to take in 10grams a day, 5 x 2grams or 3 x 3.3grams would work the best. The quality and the purity is very important. Use pure white powders with no colouring, taste or any additives. I use a french brand what is encapsulated in bovine gelatine caps. The trademark Creapure from https://www.creapure.com/ is one of the purest, cleanest and most widely available. You can get batch tested Cr supplements now from many brands, what is great for olympic athletes ! Side effects Normally from this light health practice, in case you were in perfect shape, there will be non ! However if you are often severely dehydrated, anorexic, have high blood pressure or on a low salt diet, yes you must be taking precautions Who uses it in case of professional athletes ? Everybody ! Yes, every cyclist, every runner, rower and so. No, not Kenyans. They run fast, but they are unhealthy ! Look at their eyes. Loads of yellow and red shades. Bad kidney and liver function. Short longevity in sports ! We meant to live for 100years. You stop running at the age of 40, that is not a career ! Triathletes are more present in the supplement scene as they look for all possible marginal gains. This is not a doctors advice. This is not something obligatory. This is something to consider. Cover your basis first, then think about the extra. My mother is getting into her 70s and yes she is using creatine. 1 to 2g a day. She drinks though a lot of herbal infusions, lot of water, eats healthfully, engages in intermittent fasting and practicing endurance and weight lifting. Yes, walking like 40 to 50km a week, cycling daily and doing gardening. It adds to her health. She cycles through CR in 3months, then takes 2 weeks off. She says she feels the difference !https://www.researchgate.net/publication/10599501_Creatine_Supplementation_Increases_Total_Body_Water_Without_Altering_Fluid_Distributionhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9662683https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22432429https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23851411https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3407788/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15707376(...)