Creatinine, a substance produced by the body that can help generate brief surges of muscle energy during certain types of athletic performance. Many others who use creatine monohydrate, a supplement used as a derivative, can gain up to 15 pounds and gain muscle mass. However, it is mostly water retention. After you stop taking the supplement, you will lose the weight and feel less strong. Again, nothing lasts a lifetime. Another negative side is that you can’t constantly use creatine since this would cause your body to permanently stop producing creatinine (body produces it naturally). You can be on it for just a couple of month and then take it again a year later.

“All you have to do to get these products is walk into a food-supplement store,” says Gary Wadler, M.D., a New York sports-medicine specialist and adviser to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. That’s because a federal law, the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Java burn supplement Education Act, allows supplements to be sold to consumers of any age without rigorous safety testing and without meaningful oversight of product quality.

“Sports nutrition isn’t just for hard-core athletes any more,” Anthony Almada, president of a California supplement company, told an industry journal. “It’s for anyone seeking energy improvement,” he said, or “a woman who wants to tone her body and lose a few pounds, or a person who rides a bike and wants to perform like an athlete.”

Adolescents are using sports supplements at least as enthusiastically as adults are, according to a national survey conducted in 1999 for Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The survey found that 6 percent of youths ages 15 to 16 and 8 percent of 17- and 18-year-olds had taken a sports supplement; the vast majority of users were male. About one in four respondents said they knew someone who took the products.

For many young adults making a good impression is very important, especially when it comes to impressing the opposite sex. For boys, building big muscles and having the “Arnold Schwarzenegger” or “Incredible Hulk” look is, to some extent, essential to their survival. Going to the gym every single day and pumping iron feeds their obsession with their bodies. Only a small percentage of these young men are genetically predisposed to building huge muscles without the help of any sports supplements. For others, using products such as creatine is becoming increasingly popular.

To Marc, creatine “seems like a magical way to gain muscle effortlessly, to look good, impress girls and guys, etc.” (Children quoted here responded to a Consumer Reports questionnaire and are identified by first name and age only to protect their privacy.) Marc said he was tempted to try creatine because a friend, who “seemed unnaturally muscular for his age”, said it was from taking the supplement. However, sometimes the adults push youngsters to take the pills. “My football coaches suggested I take creatine to bulk up for this year’s season,” said Cyrus, 17.
The second motivation for using such supplements is to have extra energy to burn, either to improve athletic performance or as an aid to losing weight.

Any dietary supplement can be marketed without advance testing under current federal law. The only restriction: The label can’t claim the product will treat, prevent, or cure a disease. However, the label can traffic in vague claims like “enhances energy” or “supports testosterone production”. If serious problems are reported, it’s up to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prove they’re real before it can order a supplement off the market or impose other restrictions. To date, that has not happened; however, a few manufacturers have voluntarily recalled their supplements after the FDA warned them of possible dangers.

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