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Findings conclude sustained caffeine intake negates the benefits of creatine supplements

(March 12, 2002) Bethesda, MD -- The serious athlete knows better than to rely just on a famous cereal to provide additional energy in preparation of a sporting event. Supplements have assumed an important role in today's training regimen. Some such as anabolic steroids -- have been deemed illegal by most sports authorities. Others such as caffeine and creatine -- are controversial yet presently allowed.

Background
Caffeine, the primary ingredient of coffee, is used as a central nervous system stimulant, diuretic, circulatory and respiratory stimulant, and as an adjunct in the treatment of headaches. Evidence shows that caffeine intensifies muscle contractions, masks the discomfort of physical exertion, and even speeds up the use of the muscles' short-term fuel stores. Some exercise physiologists believe that caffeine might improve performance by increasing fat oxidation and conserving muscle glycogen.

Creatine is used by athletes to increase lean body mass and improve performance in single and repetitive high-intensity, short-duration exercise tasks such as weightlifting, sprinting, and cycling. It is a popular nutritional supplement that is used by physically active people - from recreational exercisers to Olympic and professional athletes. According to a recent survey, 28 percent of athletes in an NCAA Division IA program reported using creatine. The creatine that is normally present in human muscle may come from two potential sources: dietary (animal flesh) and internally manufactured.

The purpose of creatine supplementation is to increase either total creatine stores or phosphocreatine (PCr) stores within muscle. Supplementation increases the rate of resynthesis of creatine phosphate following exercise. Various studies have shown increased muscle PCr levels after supplementing with 20-30 grams of creatine monohydrate daily.

Creatine supplementation has also been known to shorten relaxation time during intermitten
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Contact: Donna Krupa
djkrupa1@aol.com
703-527-7357
American Physiological Society
14-Mar-2002


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