Dear Mark: Should Teens Take Creatine?
One of the most common supplement questions I receive is about creatine. Namely, is it good for you? Is it safe? And, today, should teens be using it? You should run any new supplement or practice by your doctor, but my quick and short answer is yes. In general, teens can safely take it with some medical exceptions. Teens can greatly benefit from it. Teens, especially those who don’t eat any animal products, should consider taking creatine. But I don’t only do quick and short answers here. Let’s dig into the science of teen creatine use to determine exactly why it’s so beneficial and safe. First, the question: Hi Mark, I have 2 sons who are athletes and asking me about Creatine. One is 21 and plays college football… and the other is 15 and plays football and baseball. My youngest one is hitting me up to start taking Creatine. Do you have feedback on this? Or an article you can pint me to that you have written. I have always been against it, only because I don’t know enough about it. Thanks for your help, Alicia Murray Now the details. To begin with, let’s dispel some popular myths about creatine. Creatine Myths Destroyed Creatine isn’t some synthetic compound created in a lab and never before seen by human biology — it exists in muscle tissue, including both human and animal. The best dietary source of creatine is in fish and red meat. In other words, if you’re eating animal products, you’re taking creatine. Creatine isn’t the same as anabolic steroids, even though many scare stories in the media over the years have likened the two. Taking creatine isn’t a shortcut to muscle growth. You still have to do the work. In fact, without doing the work creatine won’t help you build any muscle at all. Creatine helps you do more work than you otherwise would. That’s why it’s effective. What Does Creatine Do? Whether it’s biosynthesized from constituent amino acids arginine, glycine, and methionine, part of a natural meaty diet, or taken as a supplement, creatine helps provide a very specific type of energy for your muscles: ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, the fuel we use for short, intense bursts of speed or strength. It also plays a critical role in cell maintenance by regulating the assembly and disassembly of the cytoskeleton, but that’s usually not why people take creatine. They do it because it assists in ATP production. When we’re putting up large amounts of weight or going for 1 rep maximums or lifting cars off of accident victims, we are engaging our ATP energy. Our ATP is usually only good for a few moments of maximum output: fifteen seconds of all out sprinting; a few squats at 80% of our 1 rep max; or one good 100% 1 rep max overhead press. This is the stuff Grok would have engaged when making the killing blow on the mastodon. It’s survival fuel, and it depletes rather quickly, but it replenishes just as … Continue reading Dear Mark: Should Teens Take Creatine?The post Dear Mark: Should Teens Take Creatine? appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple