When you’re training for military duty, you want supplements that will give you the results you want, right? So when something like Creatine comes onto the market and is advertised as the “greatest muscle building formula known to man”…it’s tempting to believe all the hype and load up on the stuff.
However, as with everything you put into your body for a competitive edge, you still want it to be safe. And you don’t want to be ripped off.
Did you know the military actually spends a lot of time and money researching dietary supplements? They want to know what works and what’s safe too.
Soldiers, especially those that train for special operations, have the same mental and physical requirements as an elite athlete. However, there is an added concern for safety. You must be able to operate in various climates, often under extreme conditions with environmental risks. If any supplement a soldier is taking interferes with their health then a mission can be compromised and people can die. It’s that simple.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is naturally found in the body (produced by the liver). It’s primarily made up of the essential amino acids methionine, arginine, and glycine. Half of the creatine in your body comes from the foods you consume, like meat, fish, and chicken. Its job is storage of energy that can be tapped into without the requirement for oxidative metabolism.
So what does this mean taken in context with a military diet and nutrition?
Short term creatine intake primarily benefits anaerobic performance while longer term use helps develop lean muscle mass and increase strength. There have been over 100 trials, mostly in men, of creatine supplementation that have resulted in increased muscle mass from 2–5 pounds and a 5–15 percent increase in power and strength.
The most common creatine supplementation programs have an initial loading phase of 20 grams per day for about a week, followed by a maintenance phase of up to 6 months at 3–5 grams per day.
Are there Any Side Effects of Creatine?
Sport specific benefits for creatine have not been documented. In other words, taking creatine won’t improve how you throw a baseball or how well you swim. However, there is a side effect that seems to be related to creatine intake: enhanced cognitive and psychomotor performance. This is that mind-body connection that we often hear about. In the military study, intakes of creatine following 24 hours of sleep deprivation resulted in greater brain function.
In terms of safety, studies have shown no reason for concern when taking creatine as an added supplement to your military diet. A few men had some mild gastrointestinal side effects. There were a couple of cases of renal failure; however, the direct cause could not be linked to the creatine. In those cases of renal failure one person was a bodybuilder who was taking additional supplements, and the other person had an underlying medical history of renal disease.
There is very little concern for cramping, dehydration, diarrhea, or thermal stress associated with creatine. As you can imagine, those types of discomforts would affect your military training.
Should Creatine Be A Part of a Military Diet?
As with any decision for dietary supplements, each person must assess their own needs and decide what to take. If you’re looking for lean muscle mass and strength, then evidence points to creatine as a safe option when taken as directed. Research shows that there are performance benefits and possibly less risk of injury.
In a study of marathon runners, blood samples were taken before and after a race among a group where half of the participants were taking a creatine supplement and the other half were not. This study revealed that those taking creatine as part of their nutrition and dietary supplementation routine experienced a lower level of cell injury, inflammation and muscle soreness. Muscle integrity benefited from the use of creatine.
Resources for Nutrition in your Military Diet:
Discover what’s in your Dietary Supplements: http://www.MilitaryGradeNutrition.com
Creatine Supplementation and Exercise Performance: Recent Finding by Michael G. Bemben and Hugh S. Lamont: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/adis/smd/2005/00000035/00000002/art00002
Creatine supplementation enhances muscle force recovery after eccentrically-induced muscle damage in healthy individual by Matthew B. Cooke, Emma Tybalks, Andrew D. Williams, Paul J. Cribb and Alan Hayes: http://www.springerlink.com/content/h56u7x402137065n/
Did you know diet and nutritional fortification is important to your Military Training Success?
Discover how science can give you the competitive edge…just when you need it most. Are you taking “generic” Dietary Supplements? Or are you fueling your body with the best there is?
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