A SAFE ALTERNATIVE TO STEROIDS? "How can I build muscle, boost my performance and lose fat?' This question has generated hundred of books and magazine titles. Many people even risk their health in a chance to look "buff. ' If you spend the time reading these articles you will certainly find no shortage of proposed answers, complete with picture documentation of the results with the use sport supplements.

Even recreational athletes who might play softball on the weekend or shoot a game of hoops on occasion find it hard to resist the messages that promise the bigger muscles, and thinner body, and all from a bottle or pill. Creatine is perhaps the best supplement ever to hit the sports nutrition market. Creatine is a compound produced by the body that help release energy in muscles, giving users steroid-like results without the side effects. Creatine is an effective sports supplement. Many people feel that proper nutrition and exercise will give you the same results that creatine will, and that creatine is all hype. Creatine offers more that just nutrition and exercise alone can offer.

Creatine helps muscles make and circulate more adeosinetriphosphate (ATP), the fuels that the body uses for quick, explosive activity like lifting weights or sprinting. A number of studies have examined the effect of creatine supplementation on performance. The consensus appears to be that creatine can increase the amount of work done by 8% in the first few short duration, maximal effort trials. Creatine also helped reduce energy waste. As a result, creatine enhances performance and decreases you muscle fatigue. Opposition to the supplement says that creatine is unnatural.

If fact a normal liver makes about 2 grams of creatine each day. Creatine is also found available from the red meat in your diet. Creatine can be a great benefit to those with bodies that don't produce enough of the substance naturally. Some opponents to creatine want to classify creatine as a steroid. Creatine is classified as a supplement under the Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act of 1994 and is available over the counter to anyone. Creatine has proven to enhance the performance of athletes of many sports.

The opinion of Shannon Sharpe, the Denver Broncos tight end, will not be swayed. He said definitely, "I believe that it works. ' He has plenty of company. No one knows exactly how many athletes us creatine, but, as Outside the Lines reported in a television special, and estimated 75 percent of Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos favor the use of creatine. Creatine also received a huge boost when reporters revealed that St. Louis Cardinal Mark McGwire used the muscle-building substance during his successful attempt to break Roger Maris's home run record.

Many cited Mark McGwire's monster swing and huge biceps as proof that creatine as a performance-enhancing substance works. McGwire claims creatine is a natural substance and says he plans to keep using it. Many try to explain the significant weight gain while using creatine as simply water retention providing no specific benefit. Creatine does not just hydrate, it may "superhydrate' or volum ize your muscle cells to further stimulate protein synthesis and decrease protein breakdown. Make no mistake; volumizing isn't about just water retention, which happens outside the cell.

Your muscles really are getting bigger, fuller, and rounder from the inside out. This could enhance muscularity and create an improved environment for muscle growth. A volum ized cell is more resistant to breakdown. After a loading dose of 5 grams four times a day for a week, a maintenance dose of five grams per day will give the desired result.