When you lift weights, you contract your muscles. Before you started lifting, I bet you're muscles were Jell-O, right? Why do you think so? Because you never worked on them, contracted them. When you contract something, you pack it together. When you pack something together, you make it hard. That is where you build muscles. In order to contract your muscles, you need energy. Guess what the main source of energy is that lets you contract your muscles? If you guessed creatine, well, congratulations! You see, your body breaks down adenosine triphosphate (ATP), in order to contract your muscles. Creatine is the main source of fuel in that process. Creatine is converted into phosphocreatine, which is vital fo bursts of energy, like sprinting, etc. If you don't have enough, your muscles get tired. So creatine is an important part of supplementing.
So you're thinking, "How can people get sick from a natural supplement that helps our muscles?", and "Why Do people say it harms teens?" The answer is measuring. Now, you've heard a million times from a parent, etc., about how irresponsible teens are. Well, we're giving them an excuse to keep it going. I've seen a kid just dump a load of creatine into a can of Sobe, and just drink it. He didn't even measure it, or even realize that Sobe has phosphoric acid in it. Creatine can't be taken with anything with acid in it. No one says the effects, but obviously, they can't be good. On the other hand, you have to measure your creatine. If you dump half a pound into your drink, you're gonna feel it later on. Creatine gives muscles energy. You can only use that energy with exercise. If you pack on the creatine so much, you can only use so much energy. What do your muscles do with that extra energy? Well, it probably distributes it throughout your body, messing up your entire system. This isn't like an O.D. on drugs, where you can kill yourself, but you can get sick and mess yourself up. That's when physicians come in.
Physicians, or any company that wants to be halfway respectable, are going to go to extremes with putting cautions on their products. Notice creatine products don't say, "Harmful to teens." Notice no kids are going to a physician to say, "I don't know what's wrong, I'm just feeling so good now that I'm taking creatine." Kids get carried away, and the physicians only hear about the problems, not the good things. Problems that can be avoided.
One thing is, kids take creatine every day, not even measuring how much. Needless to say, I don't think kids exercise EVERY DAY, or at least enough to use up the energy the pack into themselves. So, that is how the buildup problems start. You pack on so much creatine, you get sick. Just stop! You should take it a few times a week. Or, here's another idea: Get a few more supplements! So many people just take creatine. Not healthy. You need to have some protein, glutamine, etc. That way you can take creatine one week, protein the next, Glutamine after that, Methoxy, etc. Don't just take creatine. Think a little.
Here are a few tips to take it easy but still have a lot of creatine (and save some money).
Take Creatine Fuel, made by Twinlab. The creatine is already put in capsules, pre-measured (and you do get enough), and they are by far the least expensive company I've seen.
Don't take it on the days you workout. You'll just be adding things you'll never use.
On the days you do workout, take it according to how hard you do work out. If you just sort of half-heartedly did a few presses, take less, if you beat the snot out of yourself for two hours straight, take a tad more. Just don't overdue it.
Buy other supplements. There are plenty of supplements that do things creatine can't. My favorite would be glutamine, which helps you look lean (rhyme intended).
Read the warnings and directions. Take the necessary precautions!
And most important, MEASURE! If you still want to take the powder, measure it. If they by any chance don't give you a scoop, use a tablespoon to measure them. Look at the supplement facts and find the serving size. Just don't plop a load of it in any old drink and guzzle it down.
This is Ryan,
Complex is better!