In recent headlines, nineteen high school football players in Oregon suffered severe cramping/swelling. These kids were taken to a hospital for tests and hydration, via fluids. The media, once again, points a finger at supplements, in this case, creatine for the cause of the athlete’s hospitalization.
What the media failed to do was get thorough facts on what had actually happened. According to ABC news, the athletes who suffered the heat exhaustion and dehydration hadn’t taken any supplements, including creatine which was addressed in the original reports. In fact, only a few of the players mentioned they used protein shakes. That didn’t stop ABC from making the allegation and showing footage of creatine used in 1997 with an athlete showing these similar symptoms; the athlete had reported he had cramps and dehydration after a long intense practice in extremely high temp. In comparison, the athletes in both cases are dealing with non qualified, improper tactics of coaching. These coaches pushed their athletes in what they call “immersion camp” where these athletes are subdue to highly intense practices and staying overnight at the school. Also, some of the practices were in 115 degree rooms and water was not readily available. This raises a personal thought of my own that if these students were staying at the schools overnight, how much rest are the kids getting and what are their diets like? Besides the other added variables of what could have added to the incident, lets see what creatine really is and how is supposed to be used.
Creatine is found naturally in our bodies. It is made up of three amino acids: arginine, glycine, and methionine. The combinations of the three are the building blocks of what develops muscle. We also consume creatine in foods such as meat and fish.
An average person expends about 2g of creatine a day, whereas an athlete expends a greater amount. That is why athlete’s are recommended to take a creatine supplement. The supplement allows them to get the proper amount needed without the excess calories one would gain if they only consumed creatine through food.
If you’d like to learn more on this topic or any other supplement, ask your trainer at Emerge. We will be happy to give you more in-depth information, as well as if its safe and beneficial, of this supplement or any other. So before we quickly blame supplements, I suggest that you look at all the variables. I think everyone can agree that practicing in high temperature rooms with little water, limited rest, and malnourished isn’t the safest way to get athletes in shape.