Hey Everyone. Found this article and looking for opinions. It's a bit of a read, but might be worth it. Dr D if you have time would be appreciated. I'm always a little skeptical when adds and plugs come up at the end, so I've deleted them from the original article.
Creatine+steroids: Wasting your money, or wasting your steroids? Find out now!
There is no doubt that creatine is one of the biggest supplement breakthroughs to hit the market since the invention of protein powder. The effects of creatine use can no longer even be questioned. In fact creatine works so well that some sports leagues have banned its use. Why creatine is so well known for promoting muscle mass, and is so effective at doing so. That many of us have a friend or two who have made the comment “dude you're taking creatine? That's the same thing as taking steroids, its cheating!!!” Of course you and I know better, and anyone who has spent enough time on a steroid/bodybuilding forum also knows better. OR DO THEY???
If you have spent time one any steroid/bodybuilding forum you may have seen this questioned asked more than a few times. Is creatine worth taking well on a steroid cycle?
Often no real good answer for either side of the argument is given. Half truths, guesses, and at best a semi explained reason for one side or the other. Today I am not only going to give the the answer but cover the topic in great detail. If you're not taking creatine with your steroid cycles now, you will be after today. If you are taking creatine during your steroid cycles you will double or triple your intake after today. Today you will not only learn why creatine is worth taking during a steroid cycle but that is detrimental to your gains. Today you will learn that creatine can be the difference in good gains and Massive gains!!!!
Normally I would like to have put everything in my own words. However the following quote covers the fundamental foundations of the topic so thoroughly that it’s imposable not to use his work. So I will simple build on the foundation in which Mr. Michael Gunddill has set in place for us.
“Michael Gundill (a.k.a. Dharkam)....Although creatine does have testosterone-like effects, it doesn't act as a steroid hormone. Instead, it's a mediator of some of the androgens' anabolic effects. In fact, steroid users get far more out of their cycles if they take in massive amounts of creatine along with the drugs. Androgens are among the hormones that can force the entry of creatine into muscle cells. While there's a clear relationship between muscle strength gains and increases in muscle creatine stores, unfortunately, the relationship is not as obvious when it comes to increases in muscle mass. Animal-based studies have shown that the muscles of untrained rats take up as much creatine as the muscles of trained rats, but the ANABOLIC effects of creatine are only obvious in trained rats. Therefore, training increases the muscles sensitivity to the anabolic actions of creatine. (Although it's not related to this article,the study also demonstrated that the anabolic effects of creatine are DIRECT, and not mediated by water retention. In fact, in the 1970s American and Russian studies pointed out a DIRECT anabolic effect of creatine on muscle cells). Testosterone increases the muscles' sensitivity to the anabolic properties of creatine in addition to enhancing the creatine buildup in muscle fibers. It's also obvious that part of the strength gains people experience while on steroids are mediated by an increase in muscle creatine stores. An interesting discovery A/S users have made is that they should dramatically increase their creatine intake during a cycle to boost the potency of the steroids. Thanks to creatine, people can build more muscle mass with fewer drugs. Anecdotal evidence from A/S users points out that it takes at least 10-15 grams(maintenance)of creatine a day to visibly enhance the the anabolic potency of a steroid stack. There are probably good reasons for the increased creatine requirement when androgen levels are high. As mentioned above, steroids increase the muscle uptake of creatine, and if the muscles are ready to accept more creatine, why not give it to them? I also think that even though steroids enhance creatine synthesis, they may increase creatine degradation as well-so more creatine is used up every day. That could be due to an increase in muscle creatine turnover and also the fact that an elevated muscle Protein synthesis rate will likely consume creatine at a faster rate. Other reasons for a higher creatine requirement may be indirect. Because the muscles of drug users are stronger and receive more training, they may waste greater amounts of creatine during training. Once inside the muscle, creatine provides not only an anabolic effect, but also a rapidly mobilized source of fuel. Muscle Protein synthesis is a process that wastes great amounts of energy. Anabolism is an ATP-dependent process, which means that it's essential for Protein synthesis. If the cellular level of ATP is reduced even a little, IT STOPS ANABOLISM. So even if you can increase the testosterone content of your muscles, nothing will happen if your ATP level is low. Creatine supports anabolism by providing energy to the muscle"
Now I will expand on this subject and shed light as to why this guy was pretty much spot on with what he said. People always promote creatine off cycle, but I like our good friend "Michael Gundill" Feel the steroid world must know the truth, and we must change the way people think!!
Recent research has shown that both creatine and AAS work through the same mechanisms within the body. The most notable mechanism in which they work through to create their anabolic effects is GLUT-4. Glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) belongs to the assisted glucose transporter family and is mainly expressed in insulin-sensitive tissues, muscle and fat. In response to insulin, and other stimuli such as exercise, GLUT4 undergoes a rapid redistribution within the cell that results in a gain in surface of GLUT4 levels, and this mechanism predominantly accounts for changes in glucose transport in muscle and adipocytes (liver cells). This mechanism involves a complex interplay between signal transduction and vesicular transport pathways. As we all know insulin plays a huge role in controlling blood glucose. This also explains why bodybuilders are willing to gamble and inject insulin even though they know there is a chance of dying after each injection. After this research was released doctors told their diabetic patients to sway from creatine usage due to its similarity to insulin in which it works within the body! While creatine may not be as potent as Slin it still holds its own benefits not only through Glut-4 but through other prime examples you will read.
What is Creatine:
Creatine is an nitrogen based organic amino acid that supplies ATP to the muscles. In humans, about half of the daily creatine is biosynthesized from three different amino acidsarginine, glycine, and methionine. The rest is taken in by alimentary sources. Ninety-five percent of creatine is later stored in the skeletal muscles. About 50% of our creatine is obtained from our diet (mainly meats) and the balance is created/manufactured by our own liver, pancreas and kidneys through endogenous synthesis aka our own protein synthesis without the help of Gear. Vegetarians have creatine in their muscles, but at a lower level than meat eaters. The respectable average external daily dietary requirement is about 2 grams obtained from meat and meat products. Demanded muscle energy comes from the ATP-PC (adenosine triphosphate-phosphacreatine) system. ATP is basically a source of readily available muscular energy source. ATP is the compound muscles use to do work. It's the "PC" part of the the ATP-PC system that regenerates ATP levels. The body only makes about 1 to 3 grams of creatine per day. Creatine uptake is augmented by combining creatine supplementation with exercise and with carbohydrate ingestion. There is one way creatine works. One way is through anaerobic glycolysis also known as anaerobic exercise. When we're exercising hard; ATP is released to the muscular system in order to give us continuing muscular energy. And, of course, we know what happens. Waste products like lactic acid build up in the muscles as a result of anaerobic activity and we get tired! Creatine of course delays the lactic acid build factor by providing the much needed ATP to the muscle. This is where creatine steps in. While no one fully understands the way creatine supplements work, a 1994 study demonstrated that creatine phosphate stored in muscles lead to a lesser dependence on the anaerobic process for the replenishing of muscular ATP! This means less muscular waste products like lactic acid and enables a longer cycle of muscular activity before fatigue and muscular exhaustion.
French scientist Michel Eugene Chevreul discovered creatine in 1835. Chevreul isolated a component of skeletal muscle - the voluntary muscle we use in exercise - and named it after the Greek work for flesh -Kreas. He found the presence of muscular creatine was ten times more concentrated in wild animal muscle than in zoo animal muscles. This observation linked creatine with effective muscular activity - the thought being that a wild tiger, for instance, could be expected to run and jump better than a captive tiger.
Creatine is primarily found in skeletal muscle and early 1900's research indicated that the presence of creatine in skeletal muscle could be increased by eating more meat. This leads us to the early historical use of creatine and creatine sources. Creatine benefits have been recognized for a long time. A Wrestler by the name of Milo of Croton is one of the first documented competing strong men. He lived in the late 6th century B.C. and was a five time wrestling champion at the 62nd through 66th Olympiads. Milo's daily diet included 20 pounds of meat daily! Milo incongruously died while attempting to split a tree trunk by hand without using wedges. Milo became stuck in the tree and was subsequently eaten by wolves. This shows why meat is clearly a great source of creatine, reason why I ALWAYS suggest meat to be eaten instead of an only whey diet. A 1928 study showed that creatine increased muscular body mass and weight and opened the door to creatine as a possible source of athletic performance improvement. Eastern Bloc countries in fact have used creatine benefits as athletic performance enhancer since the 1922 Olympics. Some sports historians feel that it was creatine that gave cold war era athletes their Olympic edge over other competitors. In the 1990's researchers brought creatine to the public as an ergogenic aid, and muscular strength enhancer. The rumors of creatine benefits entered the sports performance markets, which allowed this dietary supplement sales to soar. In, 1997 sales of creatine in the United States alone topped $100 million US dollars and have continued to grow well past 400 million in the US alone as of 2001. Today creatine makes up a whopping 10% of the sports supplement market!!
More interestingly, a 1998 survey conducted by a British newspaper on 360 elite athletes showed 44% were using creatine regularly (daily basis), including 100% of rugby league players and 100% of weightlifters. To no surprises it was these types of athletes, since the creatine benefits are primarily associated with explosive athletic movements or explosive output.
About 50% of our creatine is obtained from our diet (meats) and the balance is created by our own liver, pancreas and kidneys through endogenous synthesis. This is why vegetarians have creatine in their muscles, although at a lower level than meat eaters. The recognized average external daily dietary requirement is about 2 grams obtained from meat and meat products. To understand the role of creatine in muscular activity we need a little background in muscular physiology 101. On-demand muscle energy comes from the ATP-PC (adenosine triphosphate-phosphacreatine) system. Think of ATP as a readily available muscular energy source. ATP is the compound muscles use to do work. It's the "PC" part of the ATP-PC system that refreshes ATP levels. The body only makes about 1 to 3 grams of creatine per day. Creatine uptake is augmented by combining creatine supplementation with exercise and with carbohydrate ingestion.
There's a couple of ways this works. One way is through "anaerobic glycolysis" - anaerobic exercise. When we're exercising hard this is the muscular system that is giving us continuing muscular energy. And, of course, we know what happens. Waste products like lactic acid build up in the muscles as a result of anaerobic activity and we get tired!
This is where creatine steps in. While no one fully understands the way creatine supplements work, a 1994 study demonstrated that creatine phosphate stored in muscles lead to a lesser dependence on the anaerobic process for the replenishing of muscular ATP! This means less muscular waste products like lactic acid and enables a longer cycle of muscular activity before fatigue and muscular exhaustion.