First I have to say I am in no way supporting or disagreeing with taking creatine, I am here to state the real facts on the supplement.
I have ton hours upon HOURS of research trying to find every possible document I could find on creatine. Honestly I have not seen one that is scientific and shows negative effects.
Creatine is possibly the most researched supplement outside of steroids in history. The problems is that it has only been popular since about the early 90's and thus there is no proof that it couldn't have a negative in an individuals later years after years of supplementation.
WhiteSox101: I think you really missed the whole point of creatine. Let me clear this up some
What you alluded to with water is somewhat true, but only the drinking a lot of water, not forcing water into your muscles. Really all individuals should be drinking a lot of water.
As for the rest, I'm not exactly sure where your coming from?
I'll take an excerpt from: "The creatine report"
In a nutshell, creatine works to help generate energy. When ATP loses a phosphate molecule and becomes adenosine diphosphate (ADP), it must be converted back to ATP to produce energy. Creatine is stored in the human body as creatine phosphate (CP) also called phosphocreatine. When ATP is depleted, it can be recharged by CP. That is, CP donates a phosphate molecule to the ADP, making it ATP again.
An increased pool of CP means faster and greater recharging of ATP, which means more work can be performed. This is why creatine has been so successful for athletes. For short-duration explosive sports, such as sprinting, weight lifting and other anaerobic endeavors, ATP is the energy system used.
(End of Excerpt)
If you've had high school level biology it is easier to understand.
Basically when you do an anaerobic activity the energy breakdown is quite poor compared to aerobic. An ATP is essentially a unit of energy. Anaerobic produced around 6 I believe, and aerobic is around 34. Thus you want as much ATP as possible. By adding creatine you add ATP which basically allows more repeated bursts of activity because recharge of ATP is shortened. I have heard on a health radio show that all 3 of the olympic medalists in 96 for the 100 meter were taking creatine.
Nebraska Huskers football (supposedly first to supply team with creatine) began supplying there athletes with creatine in '92 and won 3 National Championships in the 90's
As far as water you need to drink a lot, but muscular hydration is really only a bi-product, and not necessarily even an effect, I haven't seen a study reporting ANY cramping or dehydration, and neither has "The Creatine Report"
There is also heavy research on the positive effects of creatine on diseases and brain function.
Now all this sounds great, but....
The long term effects haven't been proven good or bad, so that's one if.
Another is unless you have been lifting for quite some time you will not need creatine, as creatine is most notable for helping break through the dreaded lifting plateau when one cannot add weight. This will not happen to the beginning lifter.
Finally when your young, you have so much testosterone flowing already. Studies have been on adults, so one could question how much benefit a teen age athlete will receive.
(Although, I think the athlete does benefit...)
So, sullivanpitcher, tell why you necessarily think you need creatine?
Questions to know are:
How long have you been lifting?
Is your diet in order?
Have you plateaued?
Does you lifting involve high weight so as that you will need greater atp?
How old are you?
I really don't necessarily have problem with kids taking creatine.
I DO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH:
Kids taking creatine that do not understand it, this is the worst possible decision, you might as well just not take it.
You must understand, there are some truly brilliant sports supplements out there that really do work, but there's tons of bad eggs...
Supplements and there companies are not regulated by the FDA so they can say whatever they want.
I know all to many high school guys that have purchased stuff at GNC without understanding anything on a science level about what they just bought.