Creatine in Professional Sports

Scott Vocoun
Heath & Hygiene 35
Creatine in Professional Sports

Should a professional athletes be allowed to utilize creatine monohydrate to enhance the quality of their athletic ability? As of lately, this has been a very frequently asked question. The media was all over Mark McGuire about using andrestene after beginning supplemental intake with creatine. This media attention is what brought controversy to the name creatine. As a result of this controversy, the usage of creatine in professional athletics has been an interesting topic. As a creatine user, I would like to know how, and what it does to people, and how this is viewed morally by the public eye.
What is creatine? Creatine Monohydrate is a natural compound found in mostly meat products and synthesized in the body. The body’s natural daily requirement is only two grams. So you can see why when taking twenty grams for five days, and then taking seven to ten grams every day after, strength, speed and muscle mass come on fast. Creatine improves performance for short term and intense exercise. It increases lean body mass and muscular performance by twenty to thirty percent. there are so many benefits from using this supplement, but is it safe? So far all of the studies on creatine have proved it to be safe. The only side effects seem to be weight gain (up to three pounds per week). The benefits seem to be great.

Statistically, there are many mixed feelings about creatine in the professional world. For example, out of all thirty NFL teams who were inquired about creatine, only twenty considered answering. They were asked three questions. The first was asked if they approve or disapprove of the substance. Out of the twenty teams, two did not answer, five had no position, five approved, and eight disapproved of the use of creatine. only five teams made it available to their players. Four teams had fifty-one to seventy-five percent of their team using creatine. Only one sixth of the NFL admit to approving of the usage of creatine.

Pretty much all major sports have such mixed results as the NFL did. Seventy-one teams in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League participated in the survey. Overall, only sixteen pro teams had approved. Twenty-one teams disapproved, and the rest either had no position, or answer. They were asked if they made creatine available to their athletes. Only twenty-four said yes. Forty-five of the seventy-one teams surveyed said that the did not supply their team members with creatine. The other two did not answer. According to these stats, the pro teams in the four most popular sports seem to be more anti than they are pro creatine.
These are boggling results, because all of the other information that I have gathered has been for the use of creatine. On Dateline NBC four athletes interviewed were strong supporters of creatine. When questioned, one of the bodybuilders was quoted as saying “...If you want to at least be competitive, than you have to take every advantage you can that’s legal, healthy, and safe. And creatine fits the bill!” The Dateline segment said that the formula for creatine was simple. Increased creatine in the body equals increased strength which equals increased muscle mass. This formula will benefit anyone, though the most results were seen in the sprint and power category, than in the aerobic and stamina area. Creatine was also found to be a great aid in the healing process. When Brett Butler returned from throat cancer, he used creatine to gain strength and increase his weight from 143 to 160 pounds.

Should a professional athletes be allowed to utilize creatine monohydrate to enhance the quality of their athletic ability? There should be no debate about the use of creatine in professional athletics. Creatine should be allowed until there is proof that there are long term health risks, or people are dying. There are too many benefits to outweigh the harmfulness of creatine, which right now is zero. The final assessment of creatine is, creatine is good.
1. USA Today. Creatine Responses Mixed Among Pro Teams. On-line. Gannet Co. Inc. Available: 4 June 1998.

2. Swell, D.A. No Health Risks for