It amazes me what passes itself off as expert advice on the web, and yes before you point it out, I see the irony of saying this on a blog. While I was surfing around I came across this bit of junk: http://bit.ly/4ERj5. It’s a perfect example of half truths, misinformation and downright ignorance, and what’s even worse, it’s coming from someone who should apparently know better, a supposed Navy Seal. First let’s see what this “expert” is saying:
“The whole thing behind "creatine" (the secret bodybuilding fix) is that you have to drink constantly to keep it moving through your system. These bodybuilders are dopey. They've been lifting dehydrated for so long that when the prescription for creatine calls for drinking 10 large glasses of water per day, they assume that it's the creatine that makes them able to lift longer and heavier. That, my friends, is the gimmick behind this whole creatine fixation! During these big weightlifting competitions, competitors are supposed to quit drinking liquids of any kind 24 hours before a show. So we can all just push these huge steroid monsters over with one hand tied to a scuba tank!”
Now let’s break it down:
“…you have to drink constantly to keep it (creatine) moving through your system.”
This in a way is true, creatine fundamentally uses water. It increases the intracellular (in the cell) water volume. Therefore it’s important to increase your water intake when taking creatine. However this increase in intracellular water volume is not creatine’s primary function.
“These bodybuilders are dopey. They've been lifting dehydrated for so long that when the prescription for creatine calls for drinking 10 large glasses of water per day, they assume that it's the creatine that makes them able to lift longer and heavier.”
Unless you a complete noob every bodybuilder knows you need to be well hydrated to lift your best. In fact, there isn’t any group that I can think of more aware of what their bodies need – be it protein, carbs and yes even water. And I’m not just talking the pros here. I’m thinking the guys in my gym. Maybe this “Navy Seal” is saying this because he only sees the bodybuilders at his gym just taking little sips of water while they work out. Of course we all know that’s because you start hydrating long before the gym, not while you’re there.
“That, my friends, is the gimmick behind this whole creatine fixation!”
No, the “gimmick” behind creatine that has made it one of the fundamental supplements is its scientifically proven ability to increase the muscle’s available energy. Creatine achieves this by increasing the availability of Adenosine TriPhosphate (ATP), which is used by the cells as fuel. While creatine doesn’t increase the amount of ATP stored in the cell, it “revitalizes” it.
Here’s how the process works. (You can skip this if you don’t want to wade through the quick and dirty science.) To become physiologically active creatine needs to bond with a phosphate group to form PhosphoCreatine (PCr). When you lift weights your muscles needs energy quickly and get it by breaking down ATP by removing one of its phosphate molecules. The result is the ATP is converted into ADP(Adenosine DiPhosphate). This is where PhosphoCreatine goes to work. In the seconds following an intense muscular effort PhosphoCreatine donates its phosphate to the ADP which renews the ATP molecule and it can now produce energy. Whew!
“During these big weightlifting competitions, competitors are supposed to quit drinking liquids of any kind 24 hours before a show. So we can all just push these huge steroid monsters over with one hand tied to a scuba tank!”
What does competing have to do with training? The off season is about building muscles, competitions are about showing off those muscles. Bodybuilders cut water before a competition to reduced the volume of subcutaneous water (water below the skin) to cause the skin to wrap tightly around underlying muscularity. Correctly done this gives a bodybuilder a shredded look that shows off their muscle striations. I feel confident in saying that no bodybuilder ever has tried to build muscle while cutting water. Water reduction is only done for the stage, and even then if overdone it can be very dangerous as it could potentially cause grave injury or even death. As for having this guy push one of us over he should give it a try, I’ll bet he might be surprised.
Bottom line folks, don’t blindly believe everything you read on the web. Whether it’s supposed experts like this, sites like Wikipedia or even guys like me, do a little research and draw your own conclusions. And yes before anyone points it out I might appear bias as FUSION has its own completely wicked, awesome, mind-blowing creatine product PURPLE-K, but at FUSION we don’t ever ask you to blindly accept supplement hype, we always want you to make up your own minds. So get out there and lift! Oh, and go have a big glass of water on me.