Ask The Trainer #110 – Creatine and Older Athletes

Ask The Trainer #110 - Creatine and Older Athletes

QUESTION:

Hi. I’m 51 years old, 5’8 and I weigh 210. Should I be taking creatine at my age if my main goal is to reduce body fat and maintain, if not gain, muscle? Also, what do you know about the supplement laxogenin? Worthwhile? Thanks,

Ed


ANSWER:

Hi, Ed. There is significant evidence that suggests older adults may obtain outstanding benefits from creatine supplementation. Physical performance and lean muscle gains aren’t the only benefits either.

Creatine plays an essential role among a plethora of biological mechanisms in the body. So that this makes more sense, I’ll give you a general idea of why creatine is so important to humans… and for older athletes in particular. Not that I consider age 51 “old” by any means. In our modern day, 51 is now barely middle-aged!

What You Need To Know

Here is what you need to know: Our human bodies store creatine in the form of creatine phosphate. It uses creatine to produce energy. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the essential energy-producing chemical in your body. When ATP loses a phosphate molecule, it degrades into adenosine diphosphate (ADP). For ADP to produce energy, it converts back into ATP.

When ATP becomes depleted into ADP, the body restores it back into ATP through a special process. Creatine phosphate donates a phosphate molecule to the ADP, transforming it back into ATP again. Modern-day research has shown that supplementing creatine will increase the amount of creatine phosphate stored in the body. This results in improved energy synthesis which will have a positive effect on forms of anaerobic exercise like weight training and sprinting.

Additional Benefits of Creatine

Additional benefits of creatine supplementation include: increasing protein synthesis to enhance lean muscle gains, increased cellular hydration levels, preventing the decline of ATP synthesis, and preventing mitochondrial damage to DNA caused by reactive oxygen species, or ROS.

In addition, there is substantial evidence that demonstrates maintaining antioxidant and ATP levels are significant aspects to help resist the aging process. Those are all welcome benefits for athletes of all ages!


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If you’re nervous about the safety of creatine, fear not. A 2008 study published in the journal “Nutrition Research” demonstrated the effects of creatine supplementation on elderly people with Parkinson’s disease. Participants in this study supplemented with 4 grams of creatine daily for 2 straight years. A small number of subjects in this study noted mild gastrointestinal distress.

Moreover, a 2007 review of creatine safety studies published in the journal “Subcellular Biochemistry” determined that no significant side-effects regarding creatine supplementation have ever been found.

One last point I want to make about creatine is that I believe any possible side-effects might be avoided by using Kre-Alkalyn instead of your standard creatine monohydrate. The reason is that Kre-Alkalyn has been produced to be compatible with the acidity level of the human body, which means it will remain stable and not convert into waste products such as creatinine, which may lead to bloating or gastric distress. Regardless, I would also advise you to check with your doctor before using Kre-Alkalyn, or any other type of supplement, for that matter.

Laxogenin

Manufacturers claim Laxogenin is derived from brassinosteroids. They make up a group of about 40 different steroids synthesized within plants. Allegedly these plant-based steroids can provide powerful anabolic effects in humans. Although that sounds promising, I have yet to see any compelling reviews regarding these types of products. I’m always skeptical when companies hype these new ‘miracle supplements’ I’ve never heard of before. In my 30 years of bodybuilding experience, I’ve seen way too many products similar to this quickly come and go, most of which ended up being marketing gimmicks designed to rip off consumers.

Therefore, wait for some more valid evidence from credible, unbiased sources before you whip out your credit card and order a case.

I wish you all the best with your health and fitness goals!

Prove ‘Em Wrong,
Chad Shaw

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