Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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The past ten years there has been an extensive use of an amino acid supplement called creatine. Even though a French scientist discovered creatine in 1832, it has only recently become well know and widespread in its use. The results of creatine supplementation were first published in 1990, followed in 1992 by the study of the effects of creatine supplementation in humans. Creatine was first made available to the public to purchase in 1993.

What exactly is creatine? Creatine is an amino acid that the body produces naturally in your muscles, heart, brain, liver, and kidneys, and in foods such as fish and meat. The amino acids are organic molecules that constitute a most important part of biological structure and body chemistry that would be considered the building blocks that form protein into muscle. People would be surprised to know that creatine is also located in some sport drinks, and is sold as pills, powders, chewing gum, and some toothpaste-like gels.

Different types of creatine are available on the market. There is creatine kinase, creatine monohydrate, as well as many cheaper and less pure versions of the supplement. Creatines come in pills, serum and powder form. Powders take a 1 to 4 day loading phase before creatine actually even starts working. The loading phase is required if using the powered formula because it will take several days for your body to absorb it. Liquid creatine is absorbed by the body almost immediately. Creatine is stored in the muscles and works to power explosive bursts of anaerobic activity. During daily usage, the normal body levels of creatine fall between 121 and 150 grams. The idea behind creatine supplementation is to increase creatine levels in the muscles so that there is a greater store of Adenosine Triphosphate, ATP. This molecule has...