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There is tons of speculation regarding the usage of creatine for baseball pitchers. Since its development, pitchers at all levels have actively used creatine to build muscle, strength, endurance, and possibly increase pitching velocity or hitting power.
Many skeptics criticize creatine because of its comparisons to steroids. The purpose of this article is clear up any misconceptions about baseball pitchers using creatine, and how to properly supplement it, if you decide to.
What is creatine?
Creatine can be defined as a protein made from amino acids. It is naturally formed in the kidey and liver, and transported into the muscles through the blood stream. The supplement is found naturally in meats such as beef, chicken, and fish. On average, the human body produces one gram of creatine from the consumption of protein.
Creatine is often considered to be the most popular training supplement on the planet. At this point, research regarding this supplement and athletic performance is not fully developed.
Since creatine is a fairly new supplement, scientists and athletic specialists have been unable to discover the long-term effects of creatine. However, several studies have determined that creatine can provide significant short-term results in athletic performance.
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In 2000, Dr. Inigo and his colleagues from Spain conducted a study about the effects of creatine on athletic performance. The article appeared in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
Dr. Inigo and his researchers tested several soccer players at a university, and made each test subject run repeated 5-meter and 15-meter sprints. They players consumed 20 grams of creatine monohydrate for five days before performing the sprints. On the 5-meter sprints, the soccer players saw a 0.02 decrease in seconds off their time, and 0.03 second decrease at 15 meters.
In addition to Dr. Inigo's results, USA Baseball subsequently had similar findings. In their research they found that sprint activities may improve by 1 — 5%, repeated sprints by up to 15%, one repetition maximum weight lifting by 5%-10%, and one repetition vertical jump by 5%-10%.
According to the Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Performance and Training Adaptations by Richard B. Kreider, from Baylor University, short-term creatine supplementation can improve maximal power and strength by 5%-15%, improve work performed during repetitive sprint performance 5%-15%, and improve work performed during sets of maximal effort muscle contractions by 5%-15%.
While the majority of research about creatine has been positive, there are still some possible side effects of using the supplement.
Creatine side effects
There is still not a consensus on whether or not creatine can have adverse affects on the human body. However, some creatine users have experienced stomach aches, diarrhea, increased urination and muscle cramps. To elaborate, the results are usually due to an over-consumption of the supplement, and because of people being irresponsible.
There are certain parameters that every baseball pitcher should take if they decide to use creatine. If you properly supplement creatine, it is very unlikely that you will witness ANY of the previously mentioned side effects.
Most common questions about creatine
Here are some of the most connon questions that pitchers have about taking creatine.
- Is creatine is a steroid?
- Will I damage my liver by taking creatine?
- Is creatine a banned substance?
- Will creatine disrupt my natural hormones?
- Can I drink caffeinated drinks and alcohol while I'm cycling creatine?
- Is creatine safe?
It is composed of amino acids, and does not increase your testosterone levels.
This is only possible if the appropriate amount of water is not consumed. In fact, liver damage is a possible scenario with any supplement when the consumer does not drink enough water.
It is 100 percent legal for consumption and distribution. In addition, creatine is an NCAA approved supplement, and according to NuCare Nutrition, players on all eight NCAA baseball College World Series teams were documented to have taken creatine.
Unlike steroids, creatine is not a hormone. There is no known effect on hormonal levels with creatine supplementation.
If you decide to supplement creatine, you must be willing to decrease your consumption of caffeine and alcohol. Both substances dehydrate the human body, and should be avoided. Creatine pulls a large amount of water from your body in the first place, so be smart!
Follow the subsequent advice, and the only thing that you will have to worry about is how much stronger you are getting.
How pitchers can supplement creatine
If a baseball pitcher decides to supplement creatine, he must understand how to do it safely. The safest way to take creatine is by cycling it.
Typically, experienced users will take the supplement for two weeks straight, and then stop taking it for at least two weeks before beginning again. In my experience, I have typically cycled on for two weeks, and took at least a month off before starting again.
It is very important that you cycle creatine for only two to four weeks.
By taking creatine for longer than a month, the body will build a tolerance to the supplement, and it will no longer be effective or productive.
During what's often referred to as the loading phase, you will consume 15 to 20 grams of creatine everyday for a week. Following the first week, a consumer will transition into what is labeled as the maintenance phase. At this stage you will only need to take five to ten grams a day until the end of the cycle.
Remember, creatine supplementation requires a significant amount of water consumption. If you are not willing to drink nearly a gallon of water a day, then creatine is probably not right for you.
Follow the prescribed routine to ensure that you stay healthy, and you see maximum results while using creatine.
To conclude, pitchers may see positive results from supplementing creatine. When it kicks in, you will feel energized, stronger, and much more motivated to finish your strength training regime.
Baseball pitchers who use creatine are also delightfully satisfied with their increases in muscle mass, definition, and overall explosive strength.
Supplement creatine the way it is recommended, and it is very likely that you will witness great results.
Keep working hard. No off days. No excuses.
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To get to the next level, preparation is everything. Big league pitchers spend far more time preparing to pitch than actually pitching.
If you believe adding velocity could be critical to your success, check out my latest strength training, conditioning and throwing programs for baseball pitchers of all ages.
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