Creatine Monohydrate also sold in various other forms under the names of Creatine Anhydrous, Creatine Ethyl Ester, Creatine Phosphate and others, is a chemical normally found in the body, mostly in muscles. The body makes Creatine and it can be obtained from certain foods. Fish and meats are good sources of creatine. Creatine can also be made in the laboratory, hence the supplement - Creatine.
Creatine is commonly used for enhancing exercise performance and increasing muscle mass in athletes. There is some science supporting the use of Creatine in improving the athletic performance of young, healthy people during brief high-intensity activity such as anaerobic sports. However it is believed not to be very helpful for older athletes, say in their early 40's or older.
Creatine use is widespread among professional and amateur athletes and has been acknowledged by well-known athletes such as Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, and John Elway.
Creatine has also been used in treatment for congestive heart failure (CHF), depression, bipolar disorder, Parkinson’s disease, diseases of the muscles and nerves, an eye disease called gyrate atrophy, and high cholesterol. It is also used to slow the worsening of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease), rheumatoid arthritis, McArdle’s disease, and for various muscular dystrophies.
Even though Creatine is allowed by the International Olympic Committee, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and professional sports, MyAchingKnees had found some research to support that Creatine does have side effects, some of which can contribute to chronic joint pain.
Some of the on-line Creatine sellers advertise as follows: ” The best part about creatine-no adverse effects have been reported in any studies. NONE! Creatine is totally safe and effective. Creatine has never been shown harmfully toxic. “
To this I say Bull Crap! I have personally relayed information from several body building friends who will longer use Creatine since they experienced pain and in some cases severe pain in their joints, most notably the knees and elbow joints when cycling Creatine through 4 and 6 week supplementation cycles. In most of these personally relayed accounts, the joint pain stayed chronic for several months, but has not appeared to be permament.
Some of the chronic Joint Pain may be associated with tendonitis, as the tendons and ligaments on the joints cannot catch up with the growth in muscle, leading to pain and sometimes tremendous pain in these joints.
I have had other weight room addicts tell me that Creatine supplementation requires much greater amounts of hydration for the muscle cells and the kidneys and that when they cycle on Creatine they stop running as running not only requires more water, but puts a much greater strain on the knee joints.
Although Creatine appears safe for adults to use at the doses recommended by manufacturers, the long term side effects are just not known. I do not think the possible gains outweigh the potential risks.