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Creatine for High School Athletes - May 8th 2019

Yesterday, one of my high school athletes asked me about creatine. Some of his friends have been supplementing with creatine and have put on a good amount of muscle. 

The question is, is it safe for high school athletes to supplement with creatine?

Creatine is produced naturally in the body and it helps provide energy for exercise. Supplementing with creatine helps boost energy levels during heavy and explosive exercise. Essentially, creatine helps athletes lift heavier weights for a longer duration of us adding strength and lean muscle mass.

Is creatine dangerous?

Studies shown on younger adults, and older adults for that matter, show no harmful side effects of creatine supplementation. In fact, creatine is actually one of the few supplements available that have proven to be worthwhile for adults. 

If you take more than as directed, you might end up with some unfortunate stomach issues. If you do not drink enough water with supplementation, you might deal with some cramping. Not exactly comfortable side effects, but nothing life altering either. 

The research isn’t exactly clear on the effects creatine supplementation has on pubescent and pre-pubescent athletes.

Should high school athletes use creatine?

Maybe and hell no.

Unless multiple, long term studies can prove that nothing bad will happen if a pubescent athlete uses creatine, why take a chance? Let puberty do its thing before we start messing with it.

Post-pubescent athletes might be another story. If the athlete is doing everything else correctly. This includes the following:

-Following a progressed training program, which places an emphasis on exercise technique and recovery.

-Eating a balanced diet with a focus on consuming the right amounts of calories, protein, carbs and fats for his or her goals.

-Sleeping 8 to 9 hours per night.

-If the athlete follows all directions associated with the supplement.  Do not exceed the recommended dosage.

-If the athletes parents are 100 percent on board.

 A supplement is something that enhances something else when added to it. An athlete, who is clear of puberty, will benefit from the use of creatine as a supplement to a healthy lifestyle and a quality training program. If you aren’t doing the rest of the list correctly, creatine is not going to help you out!

 

As with any supplement, take caution and do your research!

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