Sport and physical activity play an important role in the lives of many people around the world. While many exhibit casual interest in various physical practices, some choose to dedicate their time to professional sport. Having a variety of health risks and benefits, the field is heavily contested on a variety of topics, ranging from safety practices, training regimes, dietary choices, as well as the effect professional sport has on athletes. In such a climate, discussions about the use of various stimulants and food supplements are also widespread, with opposing and contrasting views on the issue. The use of supplements is usually looked down upon, with people considering it to be unprofessional or disingenuous. In some cases, the use of supplements can even put the health and well-being of an athlete at risk. Concerns about the physical and mental effects of consumable supplements continue to be raised constantly. Due to the potential harm some of the dietary choices present, organizations conduct testing on particular drugs and determine the safety of their usage. In a particular example of a 2017 article, the effectiveness and safety of using creatine were tested. This paper aims to analyze and summarise the findings of the article for the purposes of delivering its message to a larger audience.
Summary of the article
The authors note that creatine is one of the most popular and widely-used ergogenic aids used by athletes. Having properties that enhance one’s physical performance, the drug has a large potential benefit for its users. Shown to consistently increase intramuscular creatine concentrations, the supplement improves an individual’s performance in high-intensity exercise. This effect leads to better training adaptation in users (Kreider, et al, 2017). Additionally, researches have found that the use of creatine quickens post-exercise recovery, improves thermoregulation, provides more protection from concussions, and prevents injury. The authors have also studied creatine’s effect on treating neurodegenerative diseases, such as muscular dystrophy, Huntington, and Parkinson’s disease as well as other types of conditions (Kreider, et al, 2017). Creatine can play a substantial role in disease prevention and the decrease in severity, which primarily aids rehabilitation efforts. Beyond athletic use, the researchers also found creatine to be useful in clinical settings. Long-term use of creatine supplementation (at least 5 years) does not present any danger to the general public (Kreider, et al, 2017). The systematic consumption of creatine as a part of a diet is even associated with certain health benefits.
Structure of the Paper and the Safety of Creatine
The paper presents its findings in an organized manner. First, the authors discuss the drug’s role in the body’s metabolism, noting that creatine naturally occurs in the human body, being a non-protein amino acid. It is primarily stationed in the skeletal muscle, and to a smaller extent, in the brain (Kreider, et al, 2017). Creatine needs to be replenished daily in small amounts to retain normal human muscle function. Such need is met primarily through diet, although food choices alone are unable to fully replenish the creatine supply. The rest of the creatine is synthesized in the body, specifically the liver and kidneys. The next point the authors discuss is the proper supplement protocols, noting that the most efficient way of supplementing one’s creatine intake is to consume “5 g of creatine monohydrate” (Kreider, et al, 2017). Adjustments can be made depending on the needed result and the state of the body. Bioavailability is the next section on the list, detailing the process of the supplement’s absorption into the body. Creatine is absorbed through the blood, finding its way into the muscle or brain tissue. Ergogenic value creatine or its effectiveness at enhancing physical performance in humans is also discussed, stating that its use can result in an acute “exercise capacity and training adaptations in adolescents, younger adults, and older individuals” (Kreider, et al, 2017).
The effects allow athletes to more easily complete successive physical exercises and gain more in muscle mass. After analyzing creatine’s effects on performance, the authors choose to discuss its use in the sports field. Primarily used by males, the supplement is largely prohibited to use, as it is largely found in common food items. Creatine stands as one of the most popular supplement choices in a number of athlete groups (Kreider, et al, 2017). Although mostly used in the athletic field, the supplement can also be effective in general sport activity. The authors continue by discussing the supplement’s potential in the medical field. Speculating that creatine can be used as a therapeutic assistant, researchers highlight some of its benefits. Creatine supplements may be used in cases of inherent creatine deficiencies caused by the body’s inability to synthesize a sufficient amount. Neurodegenerative diseases can also be treated by this supplement, in both children and adults (Kreider, et al, 2017). The use of creatine was shown to correlate with better health outcomes in patients. Such problems as ischemic heart disease, pregnancy complications, and the process of aging can also be mitigated by using creatine, researchers propose (Kreider, et al, 2017). The article concludes by addressing the safety concerns associated with supplement usage. They state that the available studies on the subject, both long- and short-term consistently show no adverse health risks associated with creatine usage.
Kreider, R.B., Kalman, D.S., Antonio, J. et al. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 14, 18 (2017). Web.