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Food Athletic Enhancers / In this research paper I will be discussing the ever-popular athletic supplements: Creatine, Androstenedione, and HMB. It has been proven that these supplements when taken in the proper doses will produce phenomenal results in athletic performance. They are taken by athletes of all fields of play in order too give them that extra edge over competition. Creatine monohydrate, which is the number one supplement preferred by athletes, is not a mineral, herb, or steroid. Creatine is a natural nutrient found in the human body and the bodies of most animals. Creatine is also consumed in certain foods, particularly meats and fish, 2.4lbs of uncooked steak contains about four to five grams of Creatine (2). However, some of the Creatine is degraded during the cooking process.

The average person consumes about one gram of Creatine a day from a regular diet. (3) Creatine is also produced endogenously by the liver, pancreas and kidneys. The body of a 70-kg individual produces about two grams of Creatine a day consisting a turnover rate of about 1.6% a day. The body of a 70-kg individual would contain a total of about 120 grams of Creatine. Approximately 60% of the Creatine is stored in its phosphorylated form, phosphocreatine also known as Creatine phosphate(1). Approximately 95% of the bodys Creatine supply are found in the skeletal muscles. The remaining 5% are scattered throughout the rest of the body, with the highest concentrations in the heart, brains, and testes.

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A skeletal muscle itself does not produce Creatine, but utilizes the Creatine originating in the liver and kidneys. The human body gets most of the Creatine; it needs from food or dietary supplements. Creatine is easily absorbed from the intestinal tract into the blood stream. When dietary consumption is inadequate to meet the bodys needs, a limited supply can be synthesized from the amino acids arginine, glycine, and methionine. This Creatine production occurs in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys.

Creatine monohydrate is an essential part of the primary energy source used for muscle contraction. It exists in two different forms, one as a free (chemically unbound) Creatine and the other a Creatine phosphate, which makes up 2/3s of the bodys total Creatine supply. When your muscles contract, the initial fuel for this movement is a compound called ATP (andenosine triphosphat). As the muscles keep contracting the ATP release one of its molecules, thus becoming a different compound called ADP. ATP provides energy for about ten seconds, so for muscle contraction to continue, more ATP must be produced.

ADP causes your muscles to fatigue. Creatine phosphate comes to the rescue by giving up its phosphate molecule to ADP, recreating ATP. This ATP can then be burned again as fuel for more muscle contraction. The primary purpose of phosphocreatine is to re-supply ADP with high-energy phosphates to buffer levels of ATP when ATP levels are falling rapidly as in intense exercise. ATP is the only direct source of energy that can be used by the cells. Glucose and free fatty acids are metabolized to eventually produce ATP, which the cell utilizes to do work such as muscular contraction.

Skeletal muscle fatigues if ATP levels fall below 25-30% (ATP levels can not fall below 70%)(3). Creatine phosphate then acts as a reserve of high-energy phosphates. It transfers its phosphates to ADP to regenerate ATP while the glycolytic pathway is still warming-up. Indeed it has been shown in studies that phosphocreatine usage peaks within a third of the time it takes for glycolysis to peak (which takes three seconds)(2). There is also a 3-to-1 ratio of phosphocreatine to ATP this allows ATP to be regenerated from ADP at a faster rate than the ATP is depleted (3).

The bottom line is that your ability to regenerate ATP depends on your supply of Creatine. The more Creatine monohydrate available, the more ATP synthesis occurs, which allows you to train your muscles to their maximum potential. This greater ATP synthesis also keeps your body form relying on the other energy system called glycolysis, which has lactic acid as a by product. This lactic acid creates the burning sensation you feel during intense exercise. If the amount of acid becomes to great, muscle movement stops.

But if you keep on using ATP because of all the Creatine you have, you can minimize the amount of lactic acid produced and actually exercise longer and harder. This helps you gain strength, power, and muscle size, and you wont get fatigued as easily. Creatine has also been thought to enhance your bodys ability to make proteins. Creatine is also thought to help absorb intracellular water into muscle cells by bloating the muscles with Creatine rich fluid, thus resulting in higher muscle volume. This allows for greater leverage and requires the muscles to move less and lift more weight. Creatine pulls water from other parts of the body to perform its work in cell volumization of the muscle.

Creatine helps athletes in many fields of play. Creatine users claim it to have many advantages, such as increased endurance, increased overall work potential, increased speed of muscular action, and potential to further increase muscle mass. Many tests subjects participating in Creatine supplementation experiments were reported to gain as much as 2 to 5lbs within one to four weeks of supplementation. Many researchers believe that some of this can be attributed to increase levels of water retention within cells caused by osmotic pressure resulting from the Creatine uptake. The belief is that the water retention causes the cell to become enlarged, and so the cell is able to synthesized more contractile protein particularly in the type II fibers (fast twitch)(4).

The phosphorylation reaction of ADP by phosphocreatine consumes hydrogen ion; thus it may reduce acid content in the muscles. Furthermore, the improved turnover rate of ATP caused by an increase level of Creatine reduces the cells reliance on glycolysis. Therefore, less lactate is formed(3). This has been indicated in studies that observed lower muscle lactate levels after exercise (4). An increase ratio of ATP to ADP in skeletal muscle cells (fiber) causes the cells to be more relaxed during the resting state. Therefore, they have greater contractile potential for high-powered movements(1).

Such as throwing a shot put or performing a high jump. Creatine is a true athletes supplement. It allows an athlete to become bigger, faster, and stronger. Creatine almost works like magic and gives the athlete an extra boost when it is really needed, and the athlete is struggling. The side effects of Creatine monohydrate are were minimal so far and are nausea, upset stomach, dizziness, or weakness, loose stools or diarrhea; and generally occur with dosages greater than 5 grams a day.

Muscle cramping is also commonly reported, the cause of this, many scientist believe, is because the users doesnt drink enough water while working out, and with Creatine the athlete can dehydrate much quicker because water gets a …