Sunday, 29 November 2015

What's YOUR creatine level.

So, what's the level of creatine in your blood?
Don't know?

Let me put it like this.
British Cycling, the organization that is in charge of cycling in the UK (and, incidentally, issued the racing licences held by Mr Wiggins' and Mr Froome) say they have been using it on their cyclists for a decade (their words).
Apparently, creatine increases endurance, and that extra endurance allows harder training, which is why it is associated with extra muscles. It is not the creatine as such that gives you the muscles, it is the extra training it allows.

I took creatine supplements of about 9mg a day for 3 weeks in the Summer (along with some BCAA supplements and some multi-vitamins). Whether it helped me, I don't know, because I have no control to compare it to. The three weeks, I am assured by my body-building friends (body-builders tend to be creatine fanatics!) wouldn't have added much muscle, but I "probably" got the endurance benefits. Summer over, and I stopped taking it again. Within a month or so it would have all been pee'd out of my body.

So, do I know MY creatine levels?
Well, actually, I kind of do.
It has been measured during several of the other sets of tests I have had over the years.
Here are my numbers (no supplements involved - these are my "natural" numbers)
1st April 2008 (age 43) = 68 umol/L
16th June 2009 = 63 umol/L
23rd June 2009 = 68 umol/L
30th June 2009 = 69 umol/L
7th July 2009 = 69 umol/L
28th July 2009 = 64 umol/L
9th December 2009 = 57 umol/L
18th February 2013 = 61 umol/L
13th October 2015 = 62 umol/L

Apparently, "normal" is between 63 and 111 umol/L.
It is safe to conclude, therefore, that I have pretty low levels of creatine, and I sometimes fall below the "low" end of the "normal" range.
Extra creatine, therefore, could well be expected to have a significant effect on me, which is why I took it.

Do you take sports supplementation?
Do you know your "natural" levels, or are you just taking them because everyone else does?
For serious sport, there is always the medical exemption. A guy like me, with the various long-term health issues I have piled up over the years, could get an exemption from loads of stuff that would get other people banned :-)
(As a side issue, what makes you think that some of the KOMs on Strava weren't set by blatantly doping athletes!).

Creatine turns out to be "legal" for sport. I suppose it is because you can get a lot of it just from eating a weird diet!

So what do YOU think about "legal" sports supplementation? Should only dietary-induced creatine be OK?
What about the most popular supplementation - caffeine.
Good bad or ugly?
Let me know what you think.

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