Creatine Dilema

I am considering using a creatine supplement in conjuction with protein recovery to help promote lean body mass and help burn off the remainder of my (once ample) belly. I don't have any problems with losing weight, I just don't want to become too thin. I also don't know how a creatine supplement might affect race performance. Does anyone have relevant experience or advice to help me decide?


  • Your body generates only a certain amount of this substance per day. Should you have a tough workout/run, your muscles will be just to happy to use the extra creatine supplement, since the little that it produced can be used up completely by something as short as a 200m sprint. Creatine does not make you fat/toned/lean or whatever. All it does is pulls more water into your muscles (only if they are being exercised otherwise the creatine will just go down the loo 2 hours later). This is what I have been told. May be wrong, but might also be spot on.
  • They did a piece in RW a month or two back where they said that creatine was predominantly undesirable for distance runners, but maybe OK for track athletes. The moral, I seem, to remember is you risk doing more harm than good.
  • I can assure you creatine is good for distance runners. Where some get this wrong is the want something to help you run more miles. No it wont do that, but it will help you improve by assisting you to be able to perform all you speed and speed endurance work which all distance runners who want to progress must do.

    Maximuscle advertise in runners world. I strongly advise anyone interested to get in touch with them, they are an excellent company and offer great help and advice to runners.

    Yes Creatine is a help. Ron.
  • Hmmm, well it may be a help, but then again, you'll always know that the results you achieve with it will never have been achieved from your hard effort alone. I feel that it's a type of cheating, but then again, perhaps to others it just like taking vitamins?
  • Sorry, Ron - but I'm with Hildegard on this one. feels too much like cheating to me.
  • I can't really see how it can be regarded as cheating.
    Creatine is a natural supplement and is found in foods such as meat and fish.
    In theory you could creatine load by eating pounds upon pounds of steak but this would not be very practical.
    If we class creatine use as cheating,then logically we would also need to look at other supplements such as vitamins,amino acids and even sports drinks.
  • DannyM is totaly right in what he says. I first got involved with the subjects of drugs back in the mid 1970's.
    Mecical Science had produced a number of findings that Sports Scientist had become interested in. This was passed down to Coaches and as I was involved with both coaching and sports science and indeed medical science, I was in an ideal spot to monitor what was going on. It has been an intense subject ever since. One you hardly ever see in runners world magazine or forums. That is because I feel that 99% of road runners like Hildegard and Achilles have no intersest or place for such things.

    However there is a difference between drugs as reported in the press and supplements. Some supplements are on the band list, but than so are certain everyday things. Many medicines, especially cough medicines could get you band. Obviously large quantities of coffee and than there is that well know case when a race horse failed a dope test which was found to be because it had eaten a mars bar. The sale of mars bars shot up for a while!!!!

    The way I look at it is like this. Our bodies produce enough chemicals to support life and daily activities, if we go above those activity levels we will become deficient in them. Although certain training will help the body produce more it cannot do so in every situation, so if our top class elite athletes can not train hard enough to produce them, what chance has the everyday runner.

    I feel that if the chemical is one that is produced normally by our bodies and we are pushing our bodies beyond our normal limits, which in deed we are when we train, than I see no reason why the body cannot have supplements of those chemicals to re-address the balance.

    There are loads of everyday examples that can be given. How about women that take iron supplements, especially during periods.

    Here is one to consider. Everyone hails runners such as Paula, as great champions, yes of course they are. But what about the high altitude training they do, Paula especially, If we consider a suppliment is cheating, why not high altitude training, because this causes considerable changes to help you improve your running. Plus it is quite elitist as it cost so much to be able to do it, as against just buying a simple basic supplement that could help you perform not so much better, but at least help support your crashed out body from a training session.

    I still consider Creatine is a supplement well worth considering and there is no way it is cheating.As got the runs said, If you dont do the training it just gets wasted, I also believe it has a mental stimulation because if you belive it will help you, you may well train that little harder because of it. Thats all for now. Ron.

  • 'fess up Ron - is this an independent opinion, or an advertisement for a supplement manufacturer you have a job/financial connection with?
  • Ron -

    Of course I would never claim to have your in-depth knowledge of medical science.

    The unfortunate average runner, like Hildegard and myself, can only go by what we read in scurrilous publications like Runners World.

    As I say, I read the article and concluded that on balance I wouldn't be taking Creatine, as their seemed to be a significant downside to doing so.

    Perhaps you wouldn't mind laying out the pros and cons for those of us who are less well-informed than you are. Unless of course you think there are no "cons" at all, in which case I'll rush off and order a crate-load of the rather expensive stuff.
  • Snoop Dogg. I think your comments are uncalled for. Everything I write about and make comment on is what I personaly believe to be the case backed by countless years of experience. No I have no connection with maximuscle or any other company or organization,I mention them because I know they give good support and do advertice in Runners World. As this site is connected to Runners World, I really dont think it is that bad to give them a mention.

    Thank god, not everyone on these forums has your attitude.

    ACHILLES. Yes I am quite prepared to post the pros and cons of Creatine as I have found them. It will however be sometime next week before I can get around to doing it. There are several matters I need to clear up on my own thread and all weekend I am off filming.

  • Thanks Ron -

    look forward to your report. have a good w/e.
  • touchy touchy!

    I am relieved to hear you confirm this was an independent opinion, unrelated to any commercial consideration (it still reads like an advert however.)
  • Thanks to everyone for your input. Look forward to reading Rons' pros and cons. I also have been through the argument of cheating on several accasions, and can't find any reason to avoid a training supplement as long as I don't break any rules. I feel very strongly that my race performances ARE the result of hard training, not diet supplementation. If the use of creatine supplements does have any legal implications, please let me know. I still haven't decided.
  • Hi Ron,

    Interesting stuff. Do you have any view on the liquid creatine stuff that's advertised in RW? I've read up on their website and it seems fairly convincing about how much better it is than ordinary powdered creatine, but it's rather expensive. Do you think it's worth it at all?

  • Hi Graeme Heaney. No there are no legal implications or concerns about Creatine.

    Hi venom. I have found no evidence that the liquid creatine is any better than powder.
    If you do use the liquid version you do have to have far more control over how you take it in relation to your training session or race. As against the powder which can be indroduced with a regular routine of daily diet.

    I have also found that athletes perfer to take powder than liquied simply because it is less mucking about to take.

    As I said I will cover this subject sometime next week.

    All the best Ron.
  • I think we should be able to discuss things like this without people taking the moral high ground. If it isn't banned then it isn't cheating.

    For me personally it is too expensive and I don't feel that the chance of finishing 50th instead of 55th is worth the minor health risks - but if I was talking about winning instead of finishing 2nd or 3rd yeah I'd give it a go.

    As Ron says though it's use is for high intensity training - unless you are doing high intensity training you don't need it - and as I understand it some people produce an excess anyway and so will not benefit from taking more (perhaps someone can confirm or deny this?) I suppose what constitutes an excess depends on how hard you are working again though.

    Look forward to your views Ron.

  • I'm reminded of a few years ago, when an American baseball player (whose name I can't remember) broke the home-run record. I believe that he used creatine (he looked like a huge bloke, so I guess it worked!), and that there was also some controversy about it. I think in the end that because the media people found out that creatine is legal, they had to leave the guy alone and let him enjoy his new record in peace.

    Not that this anecdote really adds anything much to the discussion, but it's interesting how the difference between legal and illegal supplements can cause such a fush sometimes.
  • Creatine may also be of use to vegetarians.
    Due to the lack of meat produce in their diet's,veggies are usually found to have a low amount of this substance in their muscles.
    So far from using creatine to load,veggies may need this supplement just to acheive normal levels.
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