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Creatine will make your arms EXPOLDE! (sarcasm, no they will not)

August 30, 2010 1 comment

  

McMinnville High in Oregon became famous last week. 24 McMinnville football players were seen by a doctor last week with 13 being admitted to the hospital for at least one night all with symptoms of  compartment syndrome. 21 of the 24 had elevated creatine kinase levels and 3 actually had the condition and needed surgery to alleviate the pressure. Read the whole story here and here

This case is very unusual and has made a lot of headlines last week. Mostly it’s been used to demonize creatine supplementation (although none of the boys admitted to supplementing with creatine) and creatine hasn’t been linked to an increased chance of developing compartment syndrome. Though, for a while, it was thought that creatine may increase the  possibility of developing compartment syndrome because of some early papers which were usually based on a single case or one subject within a study lead to these two: 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC155408/ 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC164339/ 

…who’s findings haven’t been replicated……and have been discredited as having faulty methodology. So, as often science does, someone had a thought looked into it, got some data, presented it, others thought it was interesting enough to look into it, got some more data and we found out it doesn’t really appear to be the case as we first thought….thats what science does…that’s why it exists….to find truth. 

 

So I guess what happened was a lot of doctors and even researchers took this to be the reality and when the news came a calling they came had to say something, anything….and of course the “journalists” which work for these esteemed outlets went back and fact checked the statements, right? Obviously…So now everyone “knows” creatine is bad and will turn you into a zombie and you’ll eat your family like it’s all you can eat steak and lobster night at the Golden Corral…and not just any zombie but one of these new age fast, smart, strong zombies… 

 

…or we could actually look at the freaking mountains of research that have been done on creatine and realize that this stuff is both really safe and works really well….but that would leave out the zombie part……. 

See the whole problem with trying to demonize what I’ve heard (but I don’t know for 100% fact) is the most studied sports performance supplement ever, is that it’s really easy to look stupid when you pass off un-informed dogmatic crap as knowledge. 

Creatine is generally considered to be extremely safe. Don’t think so? 

Creatine and Creatine Kinase in Health and Disease- Gajja S. Salomons and Markus Wyss 

The available data suggests that there are few adverse effects associated with creatine supplementation when ingested at recommended doses. Anecdotelly, muscle dysfunction appears to be commonly associated with creatine supplementation, but data do not support this.” – Salomons and Wyss (emphasis mine) 

International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise 

“Despite lingering myths concerning creatine supplementation in conjunction with exercise, CM remains one of the most extensively studied, as well as effective, nutritional aids available to athletes. Hundreds of studies have shown the effectiveness of CM supplementation in improving anaerobic capacity, strength, and lean body mass in conjunction with training. In addition, CM has repeatedly been reported to be safe, as well as possibly beneficial in preventing injury.“- ISSN (emphasis added) 

Ohh…. but they just READ and INTERPRETED the DATA….they didn’t talk to Gym Bro who gets angry and “on edge” when he “does creatine”…..especially if he’s “doing” protein at the same time.. 

"Dude, me, on creatine? You have no idea.....NO IDEA!"

I actually know this kid, we played hockey in college together…(this was for a spoof article that ran in  free daily)… 

Right now I’m on a pretty hard cycle of green beans, squash and ground turkey..Ya know, I’m “on” veggies and poultry…idiots….

Recently the ISSN released a statement trying to refute the erroneous claims that have come from this incident. Mostly it reiterated the positions of the earlier statement but also stated: 

“Specific to the alleged association of creatine to development of rhabdomyolysis and ACS; a number of studies have evaluated the effects of creatine supplementation on dehydration, cramping, fluid retention, muscle injury, CK levels, and health status in athletes engaged in intense exercise (including football players engaged in intense training in hot and humid environments).  These studies have consistently indicated that creatine supplementation does not promote cramping, muscle injury, elevations in CK, and/or heat related injuries.  Conversely, studies report that creatine may improve the athlete’s ability to tolerate intense exercise in hot and humid environments and lessen the incidence of injury.  Athletes have been using creatine on a widespread basis as a dietary supplement since the early 1990′s.  No clinically significant side effects have been reported and a number of potentially beneficial medical uses are being studied.   It is the opinion of the ISSN that suggestions that creatine caused this incident is inconsistent with the scientific literature and implausible.”   

So it looks like creatine wasn’t the culprit in this debacle….they I guess we’ll have to look somewhere else…like….maybe ……the “training” (for what I can’t tell you cause it sure wasn’t to prepare for a football game) for the season: 

 “the practices were roughly two hours long each afternoon, with a skills portion of the camp – running drills, pass routes – conducted in “95-degree” heat. The players would then do a series of dip exercises to work on triceps. Christian Red, NY Daily News (emphasis min…again) 

Ohh snap!……you mean, what most people would have looked at first might be the problem? Really? That’s crazy..Like training for hours in extreme heat, doing a “series of dip exercises to work on the triceps” might just maybe have something to do with EXCESSIVE SWELLING IN THE UPPER ARM…..or not……cause excessive training in the heat can’t cause this condition..or maybe? 

In the same statement as earlier from the ISSN Dr. Richard Kreider states, ” It is unfortunate that individuals unfamiliar with the creatine literature are speculating that creatine caused this problem when the athletes indicated they did not take creatine and they ignore the obvious precursors: excessive and inappropriate training in a hot and humid environment.” 

Dr. Robert Salis echoed this, “I have to believe this rash of cases was related to a very inappropriate training routine,” said Sallis. “The athletes must have been doing very excessive exercise involving the affected extremities.”-  ABC news 

and some more: “This is a textbook case of overexertion in insufficiently conditioned athletes,” said Dr. Stephen G. Rice 

Sooooooo, it looks like this whole thing was maybe…just maybe  NOT because of the evil creatine…and instead was a coach who didn’t really know what he was doing.. 

So why again was creatine supplementation even brought up in the first place?

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Categories: Uncategorized

Not So Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaat Albert and the Stupid Football Test

August 3, 2010 2 comments

Say what you want...he's a Bad man!

 

Once again, for the sixth time, Albert Haynesworth has either failed to complete or opted not to take the Washington Redskins fitness test. The test is simple…… it’s 6 back and forth 50 yard sprints (for a total of 300 yards) completed in 70 seconds followed by a three and a half-minute rest and then another set of six 50 yard sprints completed in 73 seconds.Apparently this test, must be completed before a player can practice at training camp although it was administered to no NO OTHER PLAYERS (that should be a big red flag that it might not have anything to do with being physically ready to play football). 

“Haynesworth is the only player required to take the test, having boycotted the team’s offseason conditioning program.”- ESPN.com newsservice 

Sounds like punishment to me. But evidently, and must I say, erroneously, Shanahan continues to justify the use of the test as a measure of “football shape” because Haynesworth is having problems with his left knee and is attributing that to the failed or non-attempted tests. 

For Shanahan, the knee problem helps vindicate the coach’s decision not to have him practice. ……”Hopefully with treatment it gets better and he gets in football shape,” Shanahan said. “And he’s out there ready to play with his teammates.” 

“It’s like someone sprained an ankle,” the coach added. “If you sprain an ankle, you can’t run. If you can’t run, you can’t practice. He’s got to get in football shape.”-ESPN.com new service 

Shanahan is correct, an injury must, must, be healed before an athlete begins training. If Haynesworth has a knee injury the SPORTS MEDICINE staff should be REHABBING it. Maybe I’m the idiot, but I don’t see how having a 315- 330 pound man who runs like a gazelle…… 

Coming out of Tennessee after his junior season, there was little doubt Haynesworth was a rare athlete. He was immensely strong and ran 4.78 seconds in the 40-yard dash – an amazing time for a player his size.“- Greg A. Bedard, The Journal Sentinel 

… run a bunch of 50 yard wind sprints in a minute plus, rehabilitates a knee injury. I would assume the acceleration and deceleration (yes, I know it’s actually negative acceleration…thanks) ie. stopping and starting, forcefully, while under fatigue would do more to injure Haynesworth than rehabilitate any injury. 

Oh wait it does: 

Effect of Fatigue on Knee Kinetics and Kinematics in Stop-Jump Tasks – Jonathan D. Chappell, MD 

Clinic Relevance: Fatigued athletes may have an increased risk of noncontact anterior cruciate ligament injury. 

Does Endurance Fatigue Increase the Risk of Injury When Performing Drop Jumps Kieran A. Moran 

From the abstract, “The neuromuscular system was affected negatively by endurance fatigue at 15 and 30 cm, indicating that coaches should be aware of a potential increased risk of injury in performing drop jumps when fatigued. 

Short Duration fatigue alters neuromuscular coordination of trunk musculature: Implications for injury– M.Gorelick 

Conclusions: “Short-duration (<2 min) maximal back extension prompts significant changes in muscle activation and deordering of the Erector Spinae in healthy individuals. Intense, short-duration lifting tasks, commonly found in manual-handling activities, may leave the spine susceptible to increased risk of injury although workers may not perceive the activity to be particularly strenuous.” 

So it seems fatigue has been shown, in a number of various cases, to affect the body and increase the chance for injury even in short duration activities. So lets follow the Redskins line of thought here: 

  • Our best player (or at least biggest investment) has an injury…
  • instead of using the sports med. and  strength and cond. teams to rehabilitate the injury we have him…..
  •  run…….No SPRINT…. repeatedly, fatigued, 50 yard wind sprints….in 70 seconds.. on multiple consecutive days…
  • because that will rehabilitate his injury
  • and he’ll be in “football shape”
  • because football or more specifically (injured) Defensive Lineman must run repeated 50 yard sprints many times within a minute during a FOOTBALL GAME….
  • because most plays, in said FOOTBALL GAME,  last about 70 seconds each.
  • Ohhh, wait ….I mean….damn, NFL plays last about 3- 7 seconds..
  • why is he doing this test again?
  • “football shape”…you must be in “football shape”

Logic wins…again….. “Football Shape” Dogma BUSTED: 

 

 This test has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with getting Haynesworth on the field and physically prepared to play. It has everything to do with punishing him for not participating in offseason workouts this past offseason. Which is fine…but don’t act like it’s a “conditioning” test…call it what it is..PUNISHMENT

The longer things like this are passed off as “conditioning” the worse the problem gets. Think about how many area youth and high school coaches will use this “test” now and think that it has validity. News stations are even having anchors do the test as if having them complete it actually means something. Never even taking into account; THE TEST IS WORTHLESS, it showcases no physical qualities that are necessary to play NFL football. 

In fact because these news anchors are more like normal people (50/50 distribution of fast and slow twitch fibers) and less like Albert Haynesworth, who I would guess, like most elite athletes, has a far greater distribution of fast twitch fibers than the average joe does. (That’s why they are so much faster/ stronger/ more powerful than the rest of us).  It stands to reason then that average joe’s would perform more favorably on any “conditioning” test as the length of the test increases and the aerobic system and slow twitch muscle fibers become increasingly involved in the test. 

Lets see them beat BIG Albert in the 225 bench test, the 40 yard dash, the max squat, powerclean, max strength/ speed whatever….I’m putting everything on Al…or we could just have Al train to play football for a couple of weeks and let them get their 300 yard shuttle time down a couple seconds…then strap the pads on and see what happens. I’m thinking Terry Tate….

Categories: Uncategorized