It's finally here the end of the work week. I hope yours was as productive, enjoyable, and active as mine was (okay maybe not the productive part), but with end of the week comes the beginning of the weekend. For me this means more free time to do other things beside study, such as play a little call of duty, cook some healthy food, and get a lift in. The weekends are also a great time to catch up on some reading. Last weekend I read this great review about Creatine Supplementation and I wanted to share it with you all for this week's study of the week. I encourage you as well to read the entire paper if you have the desire.

Time to present the study of the week.

In sickness and in health: the widespread application of creatine supplementation.

by Gualano, Roschel, Lancha Jr., Brightbill and Rawson

This review was published in the journal Amino Acids. Now anyone who has been around the gym for a bit has probably heard about Creatine. Creatine is a nitrogenous organic compound that occurs naturally within the body and in food. Creatine's primary function within the body is to store high-energy phosphate groups in the form of phosphocreatine. During periods of high stress the phosphocreatine releases this energy to aid cellular function. Creatine is one of the most researched supplements on the market and only a couple negative side effects have ever been observed.

In recent years though it has emerged as having useful clinical applications for the treatment of a broad spectrum of diseases. This is what the reviewers were interested in investigating. Reviewers present several hundred studies assessing the ergogenic effects of creatine which include increased performance in events lasting less than 30 seconds in duration, added body mass, increased running speed, and a host of other benefits.

The reviewers looked at therapeutic effects of creatine supplementation as well. Many studies have shown positive results from supplementing creatine for various disorders. Evidence exists to support the use of creatine in reducing damage caused by neurodegenerative diseases. It improves cognitive function, memory, and mental fatigue resistance.

The next question to be answered was if creatine usage is safe among all populations. The reviewers state that longitudinal studies have consistently demonstrated no side effects on kidney function after creatine supplementation. In addition studies looking at already impaired kidney function show no further impairment when using creatine.

The reviewers concluded that creatine is an effective, inexpensive and safe dietary supplement and can benefit a range of populations.

References

Amino Acids. 2012 Aug;43(2):519-29. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-1132-7. Epub 2011 Nov 19.

In sickness and in health: the widespread application of creatine supplementation.

Gualano BRoschel HLancha-Jr AHBrightbill CERawson ES.