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Creatine and Pre Workout Drinks
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Brandon

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June 10, 2012 – 9:42 pm
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Brent,

What are your thoughts on creatine? I had taken it in the past and definitely got stronger and bigger, but I don’t know whether it is actually good for you. Can you share some good creatine supplements if it is something you would recommend? I know you highly recommend whey and casein, but wanted to know what you think about creatine too.

Brandon

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Nathan.G
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June 15, 2012 – 2:12 am
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A large amount of college baseball players and pitchers implement creatine into their off-season program. In fact, creatine consumption is NCAA-legal. I wouldn’t worry too much, unless Brent has some unique perspective on this topic. Otherwise, creatine can provide some pretty good benefits with limited health risks involved.

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Brandon

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June 15, 2012 – 9:54 am
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The reason why I was debating getting creatine was because in the past I has success as far as making fast strength gains. I am a college player so making sure it is legal is always a concern too. I was just curious as to what brand may be safest, legal, and most effective.

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Brandon

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June 15, 2012 – 9:58 am
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Brent,

I’m also curious of your thoughts on pre-workout drinks, such as NO explode, super pump, c4, assault, etc? A lot of my teammates take pre workout drinks and it seems like they benefit from them.

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DP

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June 15, 2012 – 3:07 pm
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Hello friends. Just thought I’d chime in here. I’m an avid baseball player and have also done powerlifting and am proud to say I’ve always been drug free.  I have taken creatine for years as it is not banned in any professional or nonprofessional sport (to my knowledge). Its even allowed in drug free powerlifting (which bans a lot of legal supplements as well) and drug free bodybuilding. No study that I have ever found inferred that it had harmful side effects except for maybe dehydration. Yes you will have to drink more water and you’re muscles will retain it more so you will probably gain some weight, but at the same time you’ll be stronger so it was always worth it for me. Not only does it help strength and endurance, but its been shown to improve brain function among other things. There’s even theories that it will help slow the aging process and help people live longer as one of the contemporary theories of aging involves cells not being able to replenish their fuels source, ATP. Creatine of course replenishes ATP giving cells more energy.  Suffice it to say, its the only supplement that I’ve ever found that causes a profound performance enhancement, as far as strength goes, without any negative side effects.  Even if studies did find any harmful effects it would be almost impossible to enforce a ban on creatine as a large amount of foods have it in them (beef, salmon, tuna, etc). Now as far as pitching velocity goes, I’ve never come across a study that tested creatine in terms of its effects on explosive strength (maybe Top Velocity should step into the academic world and perform one?) but it should definitely help endurance to help you go extra innings if nothing else. That’s my two cents anyways. Hope it helps. 

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Brent Pourciau USAW Certified
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June 15, 2012 – 10:33 pm
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DP, thanks for the in depth description on creatine. I used it in my career when it was just getting big. I did experience a performance gain but at the same time it caused me to dehydrate quickly. I already had dehydration issues and creatine just made it worse. It got so bad I couldn’t use it again. If anyone struggles to stay hydrated during hot summer games I would be careful with creatine.

As for the pre-workout drinks, I believe it is just marketing hype like when energy drinks first came out. It is a lot better for you to focus on a good diet of whole foods, supplementing with all natural products then continuing to dump chemicals in your body. It may have a short term effect but in the long term it will not help. If you want an all natural pre and post-workout supplement then use unsweetened dark chocolate that is not processed. Studies prove this is the most effective way to enhance your own Nitric Oxide levels. Check out the study below.

Effect of dark chocolate on nitric oxide serum levels and blood pressure in prehypertension subjects.

RESULTS:

after 15 days treatment, NO serum level between treatment and control groups were significantly different 7.70 ± 3.84 vs 1.92(-0.79 ± 17.78) (p=0.001). Both groups had decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure was different significantly between groups after treatment 120.64 ± 8.47 vs 131.19 ± 7.45 (p=0.001), while diastolic blood pressure was not significant 74.14 ± 6.30 vs 77.44 ± 10.29 (p=0.308).

CONCLUSION:

in prehypertension subjects, dark chocolate 30 g/day increased NOx serum levels and decreased systolic blood pressure after 15 days of treatment.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu…..d/22156352

Here is some great info on pre and post-workout drinks. A well respect dietitian Ori Hofmekler who developed the Warrior Diet warns against Nitric Oxide supplementation in an interview on this site below.

Here is an excerpt from the interview.

CW: Are there any side effects from boosting NO too high?

Ori: Yes, NO may act in your body like a double-edge sword. Nitric oxide’s metabolism yields some of the most deleterious free radicals in the form of oxidized nitrites and peroxynitrites. These are highly reactive molecules that, when in excess, lead to accumulated oxidative stress, inflammatory disorders, mitochondrial and DNA damage, lipid per oxidation, insulin resistance, and impaired energy production.

CW: That sounds pretty bad, indeed.

Ori: Unfortunately, the story gets even worse with excessive or chronically elevated NO: it can inhibit testosterone production. Accumulated excess of its free radical metabolites have been shown to cause damage and destruction of the Leydig cells that produce testosterone. This, by the way, is one of the reasons why testosterone production is shattered during chronic inflammatory disease, or after steroid abuse.

http://chadwaterbury.com/how-t…..nutrition/

This is the unsweetened Chocolate I take pre and post workout with protein.

Ghirardelli Chocolate Cocoa Powder – Unsweetened

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Brandon

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June 15, 2012 – 11:04 pm
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Thanks Brent. I always thought the energy drinks had to be bad for you. I am going to be getting some supplements soon so I thought I’d ask. I think I am going to get optimum nutrition whey and casein, some sort of creatine, and I’ll give that chocolate a try as well. I have never had a problem with dehydration so I think I will be okay with creatine as long as I drink lots of water. Anybody have any suggestions on what type/brand of creatine would be best for building strength/ power?

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Nathan.G
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June 15, 2012 – 11:38 pm
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Great information Brent. Just wondering, what’s the nutritional value of supplementing the cocoa powder? 

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