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Does Creatine work, can you win without Creatine?, short & long term side effects, current research and positions.
Published: Fall 1998
At our annual BFS Clinic Convention, creatine was discussed at length. A decision was made to stop selling and/or endorsing the use of creatine, especially at the junior high and high school level. We realize many coaches probably allow their athletes to take creatine because BFS has endorsed its use in the past. We feel a deep responsibility for that trust. We also would never consider corporate profits to influence our decision. We have always put the welfare of the athlete first and will always make this our first and primary priority. The following is our position statement on the use of creatine: Does Creatine work? Yes. It does have some benefits in strength, endurance, muscle growth and recovery power. However, dramatic effects may occur because some athletes may be starved for proper nutrition. Our Big Gulp Society is creating havoc on both our youth and adults. Too many athletes drink a soda and eat a donut for breakfast while taking creatine. Short Term Side Effects: There have been reports of muscle cramps and/or muscle pulls in which some put the blame on creatine. However, our feeling is that if you stretch properly and drink plenty of water, especially Tiger Water that this side effect would be eliminated. Some athletes are more susceptible than others to cramps if they drink sodas or other drinks high in carbohydrates. Long Term Effects: No one can positively say that creatine would never have any long term adverse side effects. The odds are fairly great that nothing would happen in the years to come but the fact is that no one, absolutely no one, can say for sure. We would be devastated if, down the road, some bad side effects were found. Therefore, until we know absolutely for sure, we will not sell or endorse creatine. We will present research, pro or con, as it becomes available. Current Research and Positions: More and more research is coming down on the side of creatine and we understand the NSCA's position is pro creatine. The Creatine Attitude Danger: We fear that some athletes will take two or three times the recommended dosage to try to get a greater effect. We fear that some athletes will get caught up into supplement dependency and their use could spiral out of control; spending more and more and experimenting more and more, first with legal supplements and then with illegal ones. We fear that the whole idea of supplementation will take priority over training hard and smart. Supplementation is, at best, only a very small piece to a very large puzzle. Can You Win Without Creatine? Every coach at our convention believes without question that winning state championships have nothing to do with creatine. And they have won a bunch of them. What About Nutrition? We believe that teaching about nutrition is more important now than in any time in history. When kids miss breakfast or have a bad one, they cannot have their best workout. When kids make the five lethal foods, as outlined in Tiger Nutrition, their primary dietary focus, they will never reach their full potential. Eating eggs, protein foods with vegetables and water will make dramatic differences in an athlete who is used to eating bad carbohydrates. Winning The BFS Way: The physical requirements of winning include: agility, stretching, lifting, sprinting, jumping, proper rest and nutrition. Mental requirements include: writing goals down, work ethic, intensity, accurate recording, watching and analyzing technique, always making your workouts and practice and always attending class. Team requirements include: helping others and simply doing everything you can on a daily basis to help your team accomplish its goal. Creatine, at this time, does not fit into this BFS equation.