May 28, 2002

Another Look At Creatine

May 29 "The combination of creatine supplementation, high heat, and high humidity could be deadly!" -Iowa High School Athletic Association

Welcome back...

Another Look At Creatine

Since we first published our April 12 article on creatine we have found some additional resources which coaches may find helpful. We feel that the coach has a responsibility beyond "legalities" to ensure the safety of their athletes. It is our stance at StrongerAthletes.com that a coach should strongly deter athletes from using creatine due to 1) dehydration which combined with sport practices can be fatal and 2) unknown long term effects.

Here is what others are saying on the subject and we encourage you to look further into Creatine safety for yourself.


"In order to minimize health and safety risks to student-athletes, maintain ethical standards and reduce liability risks, school personnel and coaches should never supply, recommend or permit the use of any drug, medication or food supplement solely for performance-enhancing purposes." -National Federation of State High School Associations


"Further, the committee reaffirmed its position not to include creatine on the NCAA list of banned drug classes. A substance is added to the list of banned drug classes if it provides a performance-enhancing effect AND is harmful to the health of the user. Current evidence indicates that performance enhancement after the use of creatine will occur in certain situations and in certain individuals. Evidence does exist that some individuals have experienced harmful health effects from creatine use. However, health-risk data are preliminary and the committee affirmed its position that until such time that sufficient medical evidence exists that creatine use is harmful, it will not recommend a ban." -Report of the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports

Despite it not being labeled a drug that should be banned the NCAA Committee feels, "that the provision of weight-gain and muscle/strength building supplement products to student-athletes by member institutions and their personnel be nonpermissible at all times."


"The Association of Professional Team Physicians is comprised of team physicians who provide service to professional sports teams. In a recent survey, 85% of professional team physicians indicated they believe professional athletes should not be using creatine until more research has been conducted regarding its safety." -Iowa High School Athletic Association


"As with anything that is not subject to a certification process such as conducted by the Food and Drug Administration, purity and safety are not assured. Terjung, [Ronald Terjung, professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri, Columbia], also said the report, in addition to providing a scientific analysis of the effects of creatine on athletics performance, expressed some ethical concerns related to the use of creatine in the athletics arena. He said the report challenged any attempt to enhance sports performance by external means when athletics skill, dedicated training and personal effort remain the stellar quality of the true athletics competition. "Any view that ergogenic agents are essential to achieve that competitive edge in sports events undermines the spirit of athletics competition," Terjung said. "Such a view may even foster a misguided drive that more is better and/or external dependence is essential." -NCAA's News & Features


"If creatine use is in any way related to dehydration, and it seems there is a connection, there are two areas of serious concern. Those areas are the use of creatine by athletes who are, or will be, competing in the "dog days of summer" and the use of creatine by wrestlers who are trying to lose weight. The combination of creatine supplementation, high heat, and high humidity could be deadly! Conditions creating high heat and humidity can be found naturally in the environment or created through the use of artificial weight loss methods such as rubber or plastic suits, saunas, or superheated wrestling rooms. Regardless of how the conditions are created, there is great concern for athletes who use creatine and work out in high heat and high humidity." -Iowa High School Athletic Association

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