The Health Care Dilemma

Flawed ways of life, chiefly smoking, absence of physical action and gorging, represent over 40% of unexpected losses in the US. They without a doubt represent substantially more than 40% of the therapeutic cost related with flawed ways of life. Consolidate this with the inclination of Americans to rushed to the specialist for minor issues not requiring care, for example, basic colds or minor tension, and the readiness of the framework to suit these requests, you have composed the content for a medicinal services framework that is bound to insolvency. Be that as it may, there’s another perspective to ways of life, not totally the blame of every individual independently.

A significant part of the blame for our moderately weakness lies with industry, particularly the sustenance business. It isn’t my expectation to compose a treatise about it here, yet get the job done it to state that over the most recent couple of decades Americans have been presented to dynamically expanding measures of prepared sustenances without wholesome esteem, or by and large perilous, particularly corn-inferred sugar, salty canned nourishments, and packaged beverages (the plastic ones are for the most part more terrible).

So what’s the appropriate response? Indeed, there’s a great deal to be adjusted with the present medicinal services framework. Open rivalry for HMOs and business back up plans, taking without end restrains on HMO installments (now confined to close to 65 pennies on the superior dollar), diminishing the huge snags the FDA puts in new medication endorsements, and numerous different measures will help. In any case, the majority of this will be of restricted esteem.

The greatest exertion needs to come in instructing people in general to change its ways of life, and ensure that these progressions are received by the youthful kids. It’s could be anything but difficult to roll out improvements in the way nourishment is handled in the US. On the off chance that the interest for prepared nourishment is reduced, at that point the makers will react to showcase requests and make more adequate sustenances accessible. On the off chance that you offer motivators to individuals who keep satisfactory way of life (for instance, diminish their protection premium), the general population will react.

We can each add to the arrangement of the medicinal services issue by making the correct strides and enhancing our ways of life. With our activities, industry will react, and we’ll help the economy, medicinal services, and, most importantlyPsychology Articles, ourselves.

Anti Aging Skin Care Treatments and Products

Anti aging skin care products are designed with an aim of addressing the problem of preventing, slowing or reversing the effects that are linked with aging among a majority of people. There are some renowned treatments that have been in use for a long period of time while others have just had their introduction in the market recently. This is simply because a lot of people have had that desire of looking younger which has in return boosted anti aging products in the market industry. Anti aging skin care products are used in the reduction of physical appearance of aging e.g. wrinkles, spots as well as skin damage. On the other hand, others are geared for middle aged people as a way of reversing the effects brought about by aging. Oddly enough, others are sold in the market niche as preventatives to stop prior to its occurrence. No one can avoid getting older, but can find ways that can be used to diminish effects of looking older. Skin care treatments have been used today as modern fountains of youth. This is simply because more and more people are flocking in the market to buy innovations in the skin care field. Read on to learn how you can choose the best treatments and products as well.

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• Types: Since there are hundreds of anti aging products in the market niche today, it is important to make your selection wisely. For instance, there are categorized into three groups i.e. hormones, antioxidants and herbal – natural artifacts. Others may be in form of cell injections, plastic surgery, skin creams, magnets, special diets as well as vitamin supplements.• Benefits: Most of the benefits that come with these artifacts are physical in that there is reduction of wrinkles as well as age spots that in turn can make an individual look ten years younger or even more. However, these physical skin care benefits can result to other psychological benefits. This simply means that an individual who has used these artifacts may look and feel younger and at the same time his or her confidence and esteem can be boosted. Oddly enough, they are tailored to the particular requirements and problem areas of the individual. It is imperative to check out the benefits that come with these artifacts before making your purchases.• Considerations: There are so many artifacts on the market today which can be quite daunting when it comes to the correct formula for you. For instance, if you are prone to any kind of allergies, it is highly advisable to keep off skin care artifacts that have chemicals in them. Natural artifacts that are used to maintain a radiant skin perform their treatment holistically through nurturing the cells with different sets of oils as well as extracts that can be easily absorbed and are non-irritants. You can look for natural treatments that contain ingredients such as chamomile, soy oil, and essential oils, green or white tea. Keep off any chemical preservatives, fragrances as well as other synthetic additives if you don’t want to suffer from side effects.• Diet: A diet that is well balanced is very crucial when it comes to anti aging treatment. This simply means that you should include some quantities of fresh fruits as well as vegetables alongside plenty of water and herbal teas. This is a well combined recipe of ensuring you have an elastic and youthful skin. Oddly enough, in your diet you can incorporate spices such as curcumin (mostly found in turmeric) which are best known for slowing down the aging process. This type of spice has an ingredient in curry which helps in the reduction of free radicals, sun damaged and even inflammation.

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• Expert Insight: When choosing anti aging skin care treatments and products, it is worthwhile for you to develop a daily regimen of how to take care of your skin. For instance, you can choose to wear sun block on daily basis and on the other hand when the sun is very bright, you can opt to wear sunglasses. This in turn will help in protecting your delicate skin that is located around the eyes. Make sure your skin is very well cleansed to remove any dirt and dead skin as well. However, don’t do it too often as this may strip away the moisture that helps in giving your skin its glow. When going to sleep, remove your entire make up and use a moisturizer as a way of keeping plump and young look. You skin artifacts should include UVA as well as UVB protection. Avoid smoking and have plenty of sleep and regular exercise.

Changing Your Eating Habits

Because all of us have been brought up eating junk food, well most of us, it is not easy to change our eating habits. Your eating habits have developed since childhood based on what your mothers or fathers cooked and what your psychological make-up was during that time.

The foods you eat and crave help keep pass trauma and present anxiety in check. Food helps make you feel good when you start to feel bad. Eating is a natural defense mechanism that the brain-body uses to keep you from going crazy.

So, you see, it is very difficult to change our eating habits. When we do, we start to feel bad. We start to feel uncomfortable, we feel pain, we have withdrawal symptoms, and we may feel sick. Is it any wonder that any of us ever succeed in changing our eating habits?

I consider every thing that has been packaged to be junk food. There are a few exception and you need to read ingredient labels carefully. Very few food manufacturers and even restaurants prepare food with your health in mind. Of course, they want to satisfy you, but they don’t use foods that are in your best interest.

Most people eat junk food 85% of the time and then eat good food the other 15%. It should be the reverse of this – eat good food 85% and junk food 15% of the time.
To have better health, here are some foods to stop eating. Eliminate these foods over the next two to three weeks.

· Milk (non-fat or no-fat also) – is a mucus and acid forming food. Milk creates mucus in the body and makes the lymph liquid (we will talk about lymph later) in your body acidic, which attracts parasites and other pathogens. (In the place of milk almond milk or goats milk)
Cancer thrives in a body that is acidic.

o Bread – white bread is also acid and mucus forming. It is also more difficult to pass through the colon and gives rise to constipation.
Sugar the #1 food additive. Sugar is in most of all the products that you buy.

· Sodas (regular or diet)- are extremely high in sugar or artificial sugar – 7 teaspoons per can. Most people drink over 35 gallons per year. Sugar is a body poison and leads to many disease – diabetes, obesity, tooth decay and osteoarthritis and so on.
o Sugar, also, depletes your B-vitamins and calcium and magnesium from your bones and teeth.

o In addition, since sodas are in aluminum cans, aluminum can go into the soda because most sodas contain phosphoric acid. Aluminum has been associated with senility and Alzheimer disease.

o Calcium is also leached from your body to neutralize the phosphoric acid. (Its healthier to drink juices of all kinds)

There is just no way around it. Sodas suck health right out of your body.

· Regular salt (NaCl) – excessive salt intake is related to high blood pressure, edema, and imbalances in the minerals in your lymph liquid. Sodium, Na, in salt attracts water so the more sodium you eat that more water your body will hold. (Use sea salt, it has 25% less sodium, use low salt soy sauce, and herbs to flavor your food)

o Most people eat too much salt – over 10,000 milligrams per day. We only need around 200-300 mg per day.

o Excess salt is also in involved with kidney problems, cardiovascular disease, stomach cancer, and excess sensitive to stress.

o Get your Sodium from eating vegetables that are high in sodium. When you get your salt from vegetables it is organic salt, which does not have the same effect in your body as inorganic salt from a shaker. You need a lot of organic salt or Na in your body. Your stomach is a Na organ. It needs organic salt, Na, to keep its lining from being eaten by the hydrochloric acid in your stomach – an ulcer.

o Foods high in organic sodium are apples, apricots, asparagus, greens, red cabbage, carrots, celery, dulse, egg yolks, figs, fish, raisins, prunes, and lentils.

For the next two weeks try adding the following foods to your eating habits.

· lecithin – is 30-40% choline, which is used throughout your body. This is why you want to include it in your diet.
o choline is one of the main chemicals in our cell membrane.
o It is used in our brains to create the neurotransmitter acytlcholine, which is required for thinking and memory. Consider lecithin brain food.
o It is used by the liver, which helps to prevent a fatty liver. A fatty liver prevents you from losing weight around your belly.
o it helps to break up fats into tiny goblets so that they are easily digestible and will reduce your cholesterol.
o it helps to keep cholesterol from clinging to your artery walls.

· flax seed oil – is an essential oil, omega 3. This means your body does not make it and it is necessary for you to eat it so that you can live without illness or pain.
o it helps to detoxify the liver
o it stimulates the production of bile. Remember that bile helps to breakdown fat so that the liver can better metabolize it.
o stimulates the body to burn fat.

o apple juice and apples – are high in vitamin A, in Potassium and have other minerals that strengthen the blood. They contain malic and tartaric acids, which keep the liver healthy and promote good digestion. Apples help you to lose weight by providing fiber and keeping you regular.

o fiber – you need 30-35 grams of fiber every day. Most people only get up to 10-15 grams. Fiber is one foods that reduce your transient time in the colon. Fiber helps to keep your colon clean, reduce cholesterol, remove toxins from your body and eliminate constipation.

There you have it. If you can accomplish these changes in one year, you will notice a big difference in the way you feel and the health that you have.

Drinking Water Scams Revealed

(free to publish)

Read this article before you consider paying for your drinking
water.

Wouldn’t it be nice to stop poisoning ourselves with polluted or unhealthy drinking water? I, for one, felt that I would love to find a source of safe inexpensive drinking water. (Ideally, I’d love to turn on the tap, and out it would flow!)

Whether it’s curing cancer with magnets or herbal wonder-remedies or Vioxx, we’ve all seen the fantastic claims people make about their health products AND about how your whole life will be changed! I can tell you right now that 90% are frauds. You may even have fallen prey to some of these scams, selling you the latest fad. Me too. I’ve bought so many kinds of drinking
water, I can’t recall. (If a lie is repeated often enough, it becomes “the truth”).

Finally, after many disappointments I got FED UP. I decided to get to the bottom of this desire we all have to make sure that our most basic nutrient — water — will keep us healthy, not make us sick.

I checked out endless commercial websites and a number of university and government sites; and I was dismayed at what I repeatedly found:

–Outdated information or info repeated from other websites
–Wild and sensational claims
–No research
–No refunds, etc.

I already knew that we can’t trust our tap water because of the presence of up to 2000 contaminants.

Specifically, I found:

a) Bottled Water: a real mish-mash of quality, often no more than filtered tap water sold at outrageous mark-ups and at quite an environmental cost.

b) Reverse-osmosis and distilled water: completely ignored the medical evidence of the dangers in the ongoing drinking of water that is void of minerals, acid in nature and oxidizing.

I quickly realized that these products were either useless, overpriced or potentially harmful long-term. And the companies were smiling all the way to the bank.

Nevertheless I was able to find products that were well-researched and legitimate: water ionizers and certain filters. I found two websites providing comparisons of reliable water purifiers: www.waterfiltercomparisons.net and
www.waterpurifier101.com. (While the first of these sites does not address the problem of acidity in drinking water, it is straightforward in its assessment of what various water filters do.)

I hope that you’re not misled by false claims, and take a look at these resources, for the sake of your health.

Dieters Need More Calcium

Women on diets need more calcium than normal to avoid bone loss, say Rutgers University researchers.

Studies showed a weight loss diet of 1.5 pounds a week for 6 weeks cuts absorption of calcium. In 57 postmenopausal dieters it was discovered that those women who took 1,800 mg of calcium a day absorbed 78 percent more calcium than those who took only 1,000 mg a day. To prevent bone loss, women dieting after menopause should get 1,700 mg of calcium a day, the experts say.

For people on low-fat, high fiber diets calcium requirements are also higher. Studies show that 19 percent less calcium is absorbed. It is theorized that the healthier diet moves food faster through the gastrointestinal tract.

While it is common knowledge that calcium is necessary for bone-growth research shows that calcium also fights fat absorption. Studies reveal that calcium blocks fat storage in fat cells. A minimum of 1,000 mg. of calcium daily improves total cholesterol and good HDL, but lowers bad LDL.

Despite the publicity of the importance of calcium for healthy bones research shows that consumption has gone down over the past 30 years.

Experts recommend 1,000 mg of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D daily for people under 50, and 1,500 mg of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D for those over 50. The safe upper limit for calcium intake has been set at 2,500 mg a day. Experts think going above that on a daily basis may invite kidney stone formation.

Once started, never stop taking calcium/vitamin D supplements daily. USDA researchers found that after a 3- year study over one-third of participants stopped taking the supplements. Within one year women lost all bone-density gains and men lost their gains in two years.

For those who are lactose intolerant calcium and vitamin D supplementation is even more important because it will be difficult to get the daily requirement through diet alone.

For those allergic to cow’s milk. Drink enough soy milk to give you 500 mg of calcium per glass as compared to 300 mg in cows milk. Studies at Creighton University in Omaha, NE, showed that 25 percent less calcium is absorbed from soy milk as cows milk.

For more information on calcium and coral calcium:

Want To Build Big Muscles? Here Is How To Gain Muscles Fast

Want to build Big Huge Muscles? Then you must Squat! The Squat will build big muscles on your entire body frame.

There are 3 types of people in this world.

First, there are those that make things happen. They calculated and know very sure what they want, then they take action and get it no matter what happens. They single mindedly pursue their ambition and they will ultimately succeed. In bodybuilding, they want to grow big and strong with big huge muscles. They SQUAT and squat and squat again. Have you ever seen anyone who is big, have huge muscles and have a well proportioned body like a Greek god who does not squat? Never.

Then there are those who watch things happen. They will savor the world around them. Then say, we will see what happens next. If it works, well we will decide if we are gonna do it.

These are the majority of the average Joes. They want to grow big muscles and be strong and muscular but are reluctant to make the effort to include the squat in their workout routine. Even if they do, they will do it haphazardly and will give up before they achieve their objectives. Then the excuses will flow. “Squats are too hard on my knees” or “Doing squat will stunt your growth” or “Squats are for my back” or “I just want a well toned body.” Excuses from sour grapes. That is why average joes just remain well… average. We will debunk those excuses later in this article.

Finally there are those that are always saying “Omigosh! What happened?” Needless to say, these people are the ones oblivious to what is happening around them. They will walk leisurely on a treadmill reading a book at the same time when others are raising their heart rates to improve endurance and burn fats.

They are the ones doing dumbbell curls after dumbbell curls when others are doing bench presses, dead lifts and squats. They are the ones who ask the champions why the champs are growing biiger muscles and getting fitter all the time whereas they are at the gym longer, more regular and yet not achieving any result. They will take note of the advises and the next time you see them, they are back to what they were doing. Reading that confounded book on the treadmill. They actually expect changes to take place by doing the same things. How is that possible? Then they will say, “Ah… but you are just lucky to have good genes!” What nonsense!

To build muscles fast and big, you must SQUAT! The squat is often touted as the king of exercise and is grouped together with the dead lift and bench press, collectively called the Big Three for power and muscle mass building.

If you want to build big muscles and enjoy a symmetrical physique, you must squat. Period.

In most gym, the squat rack is there collecting dust. Why? Because most people think that their legs will be hidden by their pants. Why bother? How dead wrong they are. Wait till you see them in their shorts or swim wear. You will see Spiderman ..er ..I mean spider legs.

Another reason why people avoid squatting exercises is because the squat work on many major muscles and is grueling work. When you perform squats correctly, you will huff and pant, wheeze, head spinning woozily, see stars, sweat profusely and your entire body will be screaming for you to stop.

Of course the exercise is brutal! You are working out about 75% of your entire muscular structure including your shoulders, traps, back, gluteus, hams, calf, abs and many other synergistic muscles in a single exercise, isn’t that supposed taxed your strength, endurance and your cardio health? Isn’t that the best exercise? Isn’t that why the results from squats will be astounding?

As an added bonus to building big muscles , you will be burning fats like crazy since the squat, given the intensity placed on your body, your metabolism zooms straight up! If your body fat ratio is high, it will help you lose body fat.

And because of the degree of difficulty, squats also force your body to release higher amounts of growth hormone , resulting in new muscle growth in all areas of your body. In addition, squats will cause a spillover effect, enabling you to gain strength in all of your other lifts. Awesome! It just befuddles me why, with all these benefits, people are avoiding squats like a bubonic plague. As for the hard gainers, squat will pack on pounds after pounds of muscle on your entire body! So hard gainers, you must squat to grow big!

If you squat with the correct form, heavy weight and sheer intensity, you will see good results in just weeks. Not just your lower body. Your entire frame will take on a different form. A total body transformation. Guaranteed!

You must know that since squats are performed with heavy weight, so correct form and techniques are critical and cannot be compromised. Anything less, you may sustain serious injury. However, when you adhere to the proper technique, you will be very safe and will enjoy all the benefits that come with the squat. Don’t cheat yourself and substitute squats with leg presses. They are of a different class!

Debunking Excuses!

It’s bad for the knees – In fact, it’s on the contrary. Just like the muscle tissue in your body strengthens when exposed to stress, the tendons, ligaments and other connective tissues in your body will also thicken in response to weightlifting. That means, it actually improve knee health when you squat. It also strengthens all the muscles around your knee and thus providing your knees with support when the muscles are strong and less stress is placed on the knees on your day to day activities. I know. I used to suffer from knee pain until I started squatting and now, my knees are in perfect health that I can even play competitive soccer. Knee problems only occur when you squat improperly like resting at the bottom of the movement or letting your knee protrude over your toes.

It’s bad for my back – For the same reasons about strengthening your tissues, squats also exercises your lower back. When done in correct form, it actually builds strong muscles on your lower back and not only correcting you from bad posture that results in a bad back, it may even give you a healthy strong back. Again, it will only hurt your back if done in poor form like bending forward or doing it with a rounded back instead of arching it during the movement.

It will give you high blood pressure and bad for the heart –
Sure, your blood pressure will rise as your heart will beat faster from the exercise. That is only temporary and not dangerous unless you already have those problems in the first place. Other than that you are actually exercising your heart and cardio vascular system to strengthen it. How can that be dangerous? Don’t most exercises elevate heart rate and increase blood flow? Then they should ban the treadmills and close all swimming pools! Do you buy that nonsense?

So, now that you know that squat is the king of bodybuilding exercises, are you the type that makes things happen or are still contend to be wondering what the heck happened?

Are Liquid Supplements Right For Your Healthy Diet

Liquid nutrition products like Ensure ™ and Boost ™ have been used almost exclusively in nursing homes and hoispitals, until recently. Lately we have seen nutritional companies marketing these drinks to people of all ages and all stages of health.

Liquid supplements are supposed to be the answer for busy moms running around with the kids, business people running out the door out without time for a sit-down breakfast, and older adults wanting to insure that they will be able to enjoy their grandchildren. But what do these liquid nutrion product really offer?

In general, these supplements are composed of water, sugar, milk and soy proteins, oils, vitamins, and minerals. An 8-ounce can generally has 250 calories, and the deluxe version may have as many as 355 calories. Most are lactose free, some have added fiber, and some are specifically designed for children or adults with certain health problems.

These companies are also selling supplements in the form of pudding cups and candy bar type products, with varous nutrientional content.

What nutritional need are companies trying to help consumers answer? Below are some of the reasons companies give for buying their products.

These companies ad campaigns are using fear tactics to make you worry that you are not getting proper nutrition from your ordinary meals. True, some people are consuming less than the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for some nutrients, this doesn’t mean they will develop a deficiency disease. If you truly feel you are not getting enough nutrients from your food, you should contact a registered dietitian or a KSU Extension Specialist in nutrition. They can help you determine your needs for additional supplements.

These “Eat on The run” Liquid supplements may be a quick way to get vitamins, minerals and protein, but there is more needed for good health! Scientists continue to discover new ingredienets in foods that provide health benefits. Consider this; the canned supplements have a severe lack of fiber and other healthy components but are really high in sugars and calories. Although this was ideal for the original intent of the products, most healthy consumers don’t want or need all the extra calories that the supplement provides.

In summary, while there is a need for liquid nutritional supplements in some medical conditions, these products are unnecessary for the average, healthy person. In addition, one must consider the cost of an 8 once can of these liquid supplements to determine if they should be included in their dietary regimen.

Body Building Supplements

Introduction:

Bodybuilding supplements consists of various substances including proteins and amino acids, metal replacement products, prohormones, testosterone boosters and are taken by boy builders and sports persons to help building muscle or supplement fat loss. These bodybuilding supplements are also suitable for improving sports performance.

Amino acids, Branched chain amino acids, glutamine and protein:

Protein consumed by our body metabolizes into amino acids. The bodybuilders prefer most commonly three branched chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. Muscles metabolize these branched chain amino acids. Additionally these branched chain amino acids are assumed to have resistance towards muscle breakdown.

Although soy protein, a naturally occurring complete protein may sometime exhibit estrogenic activity and is therefore avoided by many of the bodybuilders, however egg protein is preferred as it is also a complete protein. Casein, another richest protein source of amino acid glutamine is preferred as it contains casomorphine additionally, which releases amino acids at regular intervals.

Bodybuilders prefer to take protein just after exercise or as a replacement of meal. Protein powders are available in the market and right quantity of these at recommended helps in making muscles, as muscles are primarily made of protein and protein also helps us in repairing and growth of muscles.

Whenever you purchase a protein packet, you must look for total serving in the pocket and gram protein, gram carbs, gram sugar and gram fat per servings. If you are lactose intolerant, you should select a protein packet, which does not contain lactose. On the basis of all these information you must select the right product suitable for you.

Metal Replacement Products:

The metal replacement products are either available in powder form or in bar form. Powder form can be mixed with water, milk or juice and can be taken thereafter, however bars can be consumed straight away.

These are made available for complete meal replacement and contains high amount of proteins, moderate amount of carbohydrates and also contains various vitamins and minerals.

Various manufacturers of metal replacement products claim to have added soy protein, egg albumin, whey protein or micellar casein as source of protein. For replacement of carbohydrates ingredients derived from oat fiber, wheat flour or maltodextrin have been added. Some may contain essential fatty acids substitute and other mineral substitutes. Some other products such as glutamine peptide and additional amino acids are also added by some of the manufacturers.

Creatine Monohydrate:

Creatine monohydrate is one of the essential organic acids. It is one of the few products suitable for making healthy muscles. Creatine monohydrate is useful for sports persons engaged in weight lifting and short-range sprinters. Creatine monohydrate works in our body and plays a vital role in making and replenishing of ATP. It is also occurs naturally in beef, pork, and salmon.

If you are on creatine, you may notice a weight gain as creatine has a volumizing effect and draws water and various other nutrients to muscle cells.

Some of the common and minor side effects associated with intake of creatine include stomach upset and gastrointestinal distress. Although, some of the recent studies on creatine shows that it has a positive influence on our heart health and it lowers our lipid profile.

Prohormone Supplements:

Prohormones are precursors to both male and female hormones. Body builders are only interested in the supplements capable to increase male hormone testosterone as at elevated level testosterone will lead to improved muscle growth. Studies carried out on various prohormone have not given the desired results. Some of the horhormone are not significant and effective and may have side effects.

Benefits of Supplementing With Creatine

What is creatine?
Creatine is an amino acid (amino acids are the building blocks of protein) which is made in the body by the liver and kidneys, and is derived from the diet through meat and animal products. Creatine (creatine monohydrate) is a colorless, crystalline substance used in muscle tissue for the production of phosphocreatine, an important factor in the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the source of energy for muscle contraction and many other functions in the body.

What does creatine normally do in the body?
In the body, creatine is changed into a molecule called “phosphocreatine” which serves as a storage reservoir for quick energy. Phosphocreatine is especially important in tissues such as the voluntary muscles and the nervous system which periodically require large amounts of energy.

Why do athletes take creatine?
Studies have shown that creatine can increase the performance of athletes in activities that require quick bursts of energy, such as sprinting, and can help athletes to recover faster after expending bursts of energy. Creatine is best for the serious bodybuilder. It helps increase muscle mass, rather than muscle endurance, so it’s not well suited for athletes participating in endurance activities. However, the increase in muscle mass may be due to water retention and not an increase in muscle tissue.

Why have I been hearing so much about creatine and neuromuscular disorders?
Two scientific studies have indicated that creatine may be beneficial for neuromuscular disorders. First, a study by MDA-funded researcher M. Flint Beal of Cornell University Medical Center demonstrated that creatine was twice as effective as the prescription drug riluzole in extending the lives of mice with the degenerative neural disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease). Second, a study by Canadian researchers Mark Tarnopolsky and Joan Martin of McMaster University Medical Center in Ontario found that creatine can cause modest increases in strength in people with a variety of neuromuscular disorders. Beal’s work was published in the March 1999 issue of Nature Neuroscience and the second paper was published in the March 1999 issue of Neurology.

I want to start taking creatine — is it safe?
For the most part, athletes haven’t experienced adverse side-effects from taking creatine, although recently there have been a few reports of kidney damage linked to creatine usage. No consistent toxicity has been reported in studies of creatine supplementation. Dehydration has also been reported to be a problem while taking creatine.

Athletes generally take a “loading dose” of 20 grams of creatine a day for five or six days, then continue with a “maintenance dose” of 2 to 5 grams of creatine a day thereafter.

What are the side effects?
Little is known about long-term side effects of creatine, but no consistent toxicity has been reported in studies of creatine supplementation. In a study of side effects of creatine, diarrhea was the most commonly reported adverse effect of creatine supplementation, followed by muscle cramping.18 Some reports showed that kidney, liver, and blood functions were not affected by short-term higher amounts or long-term lower amounts of creatine supplementation in healthy young adults. In a small study of people taking 5–30 grams per day, no change in kidney function appeared after up to five years of supplementation. Muscle cramping after creatine supplementation has been anecdotally reported in some studies.

Benefits
• increases athletic performance
• increases muscle mass
• beneficial for muscular disorders