T Nation

Creatine For A Football Player?

This is my first post, although I’ve been reading for a couple of months now, and I bet you guys could help me out.

I’m a 17 year old high school football who has been lifting since freshman year. In the past two years, I’ve really developed a passion for the weights, and I’m finally starting to see my results. At 5’10 180lbs I’m making steady progress in building mass and strenghth.

My question is on a topic that you guys probably are tired of eharing about, but I’ll throw it out there anyway. This off-season, I’ve been using creatine, and it really helped me get through inevitable loss of strength during the previous football season.

However, I am told that the cramping often assosciated with creatine might be dangerous, especially with the hot weather during August preseason, so my plan is to stop supplementing at that time. My question to you is:

Will I lose all of my gained size and strength once I get off the creatine, even if I am lifting? Will I become dependent on the supplement? Or will I only lose the retained water weight and still for the most part remain the football body I spent all those hours in the weightroom creating?

If you could help me out, I would greatly appreciate it.


[quote]PBJ25 wrote:
Will I lose all of my gained size and strength once I get off the creatine, even if I am lifting?

No. It isn’t like anabolics in this regard; you may lose just a little bit of strength as creatine stores in your muscle will be lower after a few weeks, though.

No, your body goes back to normal endogenous production just a little bit after you stop taking it.

Yup. You won’t lose everything, you’ll just lose a little bit of the performance increase you saw while taking it. Here’s my take on how to look at it:

Creatine use -> increased strength (for most) -> more weight lifted while using it -> greater adaptation than would have happened if lesser loads were used -> greater strength and adaptation after training than if you hadn’t used creatine

So, when you stop using it for whatever reason, you’re at a little bit bigger/stronger level than if you hadn’t used it.

Hope that made sense.

Have a good one,


Thanks a lot, Dan.

Dan pretty much explained your q’s, but as a side note, I wouldn’t really worry about the cramping as long as you remain hydrated. The cramps are mostly due to dehydration, as creatine ends up acting like a mild diuretic due to the metabolite creatinine.

Remain well hydrated and you should have no problems, even in heat. If hydration during your practices is a worry (I know some coaches like to deprive the team of some water “cuz it makes 'em tough” or whatever other stupid reason), then going off momentarily may help out, although in all honesty I just don’t see a problem with staying on.

Just don’t do the Steve Bechler thing, ok?