• MLB PED Policy Pushing Players Towards Creatine?

    Posted by on April 24th, 2011 · Comments (7)

    Via the Daily News

    Hamstring pulls and ACL tears suddenly seem so old-fashioned, so outdated, as irrelevant as carbon paper, eight-track tapes and Friendster. Nearly one month into the 2011 season, oblique muscle injuries have emerged as Major League Baseball’s trendiest ailment.

    More than a dozen players have been sidelined with oblique injuries this season. Yankee star Alex Rodriguez sat out two games last week with a minor oblique injury. His teammate, Curtis Granderson, injured his oblique during spring training. Jason Bay finally returned to the Mets on Thursday after spending the first three weeks of the season on the disabled list with a strained left rib cage. That same day Angel Pagan left the Mets’ game against Houston in the fifth inning after tweaking his oblique while facing Astros pitcher J.A. Happ – who has also missed part of this season with an oblique problem.

    “It’s never a career-ending injury but it can be really debilitating,” says former professional baseball player Dan Rootenberg, president of New York-based SPEAR Physical Therapy. “You can’t sneeze, cough, laugh or move without extreme pain.”

    So why the sudden surge in injuries to obliques, those broad, flat muscles that attach the rib cage and the pelvis? Why are so many ballplayers sitting out with sharp pains in their sides?

    Sports physician Lewis Maharam, the former president of the New York chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine, says the rise in oblique injuries may be a byproduct of the drug-testing program that MLB and the Players Association first agreed to implement in 2002.

    “My theory is that drug testing in Major League Baseball is working and people are getting away from using illegal steroids,” Maharam says. “They are moving to legal products such as creatine, but they don’t know how to use it in conjunction with their workouts.”

    Creatine, a legal dietary supplement that is not banned by MLB, NFL, NBA or NCAA, is an amino acid that boosts lean muscle mass and strength. Studies show it’s effective for sports like baseball, tennis and golf, activities that require intense but brief bursts of energy, and not so effective for sports that require endurance, such as running and soccer.

    Creatine, according to Maharam, adds water molecules to muscle fibers, which causes the fibers to separate.

    “This makes for easier muscle tears and slows the repair process, leaving them on injured reserve longer,” Maharam says. “It is because of these side effects that professionals for a long time went away from creatine when they could use anabolics and HGH. Now that testing is stronger, I have seen a trend back toward the safer creatine.”

    Hey, if it’s legal, there’s nothing that can be done about it. And, if players are using it, then they should make sure that they drink lots of water with it.

    Comments on MLB PED Policy Pushing Players Towards Creatine?

    1. redbug
      April 24th, 2011 | 8:18 am

      So, should we assume players who are using creatine used steroids?

    2. Corey Italiano
      April 24th, 2011 | 10:35 am

      redbug wrote:

      So, should we assume players who are using creatine used steroids?

      I don’t think so. A lot of people use creatine, even those who are not athletes.

    3. Raf
      April 24th, 2011 | 4:36 pm

      redbug wrote:

      So, should we assume players who are using creatine used steroids?

      It wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Creatine, ephedrine, and a host of other stuff have been used by players. This is why I didn’t bat an eye when JC Romero failed a test after taking an OTC supplement.

    4. April 25th, 2011 | 7:22 am

      They’ll never test for creatine. All the player has to do is claim he’s on a heavy herring, salmon, tuna, sushi, and sashimi diet. What are they going to do, ban fish eating for MLB players?

    5. Raf
      April 25th, 2011 | 8:02 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      What are they going to do, ban fish eating for MLB players?

      I wouldn’t put it past them.

    6. Corey Italiano
      April 25th, 2011 | 11:11 am

      From what I understand, creatine only gives muscles volume (by adding water to it) so that they look bigger…I don’t think it actually makes you stronger in any way.

    7. April 25th, 2011 | 11:24 am

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      From what I understand, creatine only gives muscles volume (by adding water to it) so that they look bigger…I don’t think it actually makes you stronger in any way.

      Not true.

      Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid (protein building block) that’s found in meat and fish, and also made by the human body in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It is converted into creatine phosphate or phosphocreatine and stored in the muscles, where it is used for energy. During high-intensity, short-duration exercise, such as lifting weights or sprinting, phosphocreatine is converted into ATP, a major source of energy within the human body.

      Although not all clinical studies agree, some conducted in both animals and people have shown that creatine supplements improve strength and lean muscle mass during high-intensity, short-duration exercises (such as weight lifting). In these studies, the positive results were seen mainly in young people (roughly 20 years of age). Most human studies have taken place in laboratories, not in people actually playing sports. Creatine does not seem to improve performance in exercises that requires endurance (like running) or in exercise that isn’t repeated, although study results are mixed.

      A preliminary clinical study suggests that creatine supplements may help lower levels of triglycerides (fats in the blood) in men and women with abnormally high concentrations of triglycerides. In a few clinical studies of people with congestive heart failure, those who took creatine (in addition to standard medical care) saw improvement in the amount of exercise they could do before becoming fatigued, compared to those who took placebo. Getting tired easily is one of the major symptoms of congestive heart failure. One clinical study of 20 people with congestive heart failure found that short-term creatine supplementation in addition to standard medication lead to an increase in body weight and an improvement of muscle strength.

      Creatine has also been reported to help lower levels of homocysteine. Homocysteine is a marker of potential heart disease, including heart attack and stroke.

      About half of the creatine in our bodies is made from other amino acids in the liver, kidney and pancreas, while the other half comes from foods we eat. Wild game is considered to be the richest source of creatine, but lean red meat and fish (particularly herring, salmon, and tuna) are also good sources.

      source: University of Maryland Medical Center

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