Ephedra Debate - Was Re: Creatine, to take or not to take



Hi i used to take creatine about 4 months ago but stoped because the pill form was causing stomach problems. I have been training harder then ever to become a UFC fighter this means my muscles are swore from working out. I just 500g of Creatine MOnohydrate to get stronger but not sure if i should take it. Thinking of my stomach and prehaps the long term problems that no one will know about intil ten years from now. My doctor said its ok to take it but, Is there any risks and what do you think made my stomach all messed up when i was taking it,
everyone's body reacts differently to different things.

I'd say, if creatine gave you stomach problems in the past, your body was trying to tell you something. Listen to it, and achieve your goals through hard work, proper diet, and exercise instead.

and pleasepleaseplease, don't take anything with ephedra or ma jong. they can kill you.
I think creatine is all hype. I would avoid drugs of all kinds and just eat and train right. The benefits of drugs is short term with the potential harm being long term.

Originally posted by nightingale8472

everyone's body reacts differently to different things.

I'd say, if creatine gave you stomach problems in the past, your body was trying to tell you something. Listen to it, and achieve your goals through hard work, proper diet, and exercise instead.

and pleasepleaseplease, don't take anything with ephedra or ma jong. they can kill you.

Definately avoid the ephedra... I'm known folks who had mood swings, it made me hyper and -very- irritable when I took it. I've beed seeing a growing number of issues with it.

Always do -SERIOUS- research on anything you are going to take. Dont just take your buddys or even your doctors word on it. Do research.
Not sure if i wanna take it at all, afraid that i will get weaker in the long run from taking it.:hammer:
Hit the library and work thru a couple years worth of "Mens Fitness" magazine. Lot of good info in there an suppliments.
to use for three months then stay off for one month.
Your body's creatine levels should be pretty full by that time, so any more than 3 months is pretty useless.
Plus, it gives your system a rest, less of a chance of it causing upset stomach while your body filters out any residue.
The pill form of creatine is not very effective anyway (from what I have heard, never tried it myself). I have had nothing but positive results from creatine monohydrate in powder form. I can say from experience that the serum stuff S-U-C-K-S. But yeah, you have to cycle it every 3 or 4 months, go off it for at least a mo. If you dont cycle it your body becomes dependant on an external source and slows its own natural production, which means your not getting any benefit but still forking out big bucks for something that is there for free......

500 g???? please tell me this is a typo! 5g is normal, 10g is AMPLE...... any more is considered "loading", I have never heard of anyone taking over 30g/day, and Im talking about 200+ pound bodybuilders.
Bagatha is correct.

Even 50 gram of creatine will get you sitting in the restroom for the most part of the day.
Creatine is pretty safe, just three amino acids. There are no studies saying that creatine causes liver or kidney damage, it just does the opposite in saying it's good for your health...

I don't take it as a supplement, but if you do, don't take it in a pill form. Powder is best, and look for high-quality creatine, not the cheap stuff. When you use creatine, YOU HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO CYCLE. The negative effects of creatine, from stomach problems to excessive gas, are from using it improperly. Well, creatine causes gas anyway, but it can be reduced greatly.

Go to bodybuilding.com and check out its forums. They talk a great deal on supplements. Of course, they are bias as a lot of them promote the use of steroids and such, but they have a lot of studies to back up a lot of their claims.
Originally posted by Judo-kid

I have been training harder then ever to become a UFC fighter this means my muscles are swore from working out.

Take glutamine and good whey protien powder. Take 5 grams of glutamine mixed in with your protien shake after working out and before bed. Also take a multivitamin.
Don't take it the only reason to is to gain ego gratification from having larger muscles without earning them. (not say you are egotistcal)

go to musclemag.com and research it.Ephedra won't kill you. The bottle says take four and people take 16 of course they are going to die. I have a bachelors in this sort of thing and don't ask questions like that on a martial arts board. I have supplied my former studio of three hundread students with universal nutrition products for years and never any problems that are death defying. Any MMA artist that is elite takes supplements I know because tito orders straight through me. And ken and frank shamrock supplement a lot as well also randy couture and numerous others. when taking creatine it is a absolute must to drink a gallon or more of water a day. the chinese have been using ephedra for over 2000 years to treat asthma and such. Sorry for rambling, but to many people post as no it alls when they know nothing about the subject.
I'm curious: what is the advantage to using ephedra (and what is it's connection to creatine)? Does it relieve soreness (due to the fact that it is a warm, acrid herb used to release the exterior, according to the Chinese materia medica)?

Ma Huang (ephedra) has been used for centuries by the Chinese to treat the common cold, flu, cough, wheezing, etc. While very effective, Ma Huang is almost always combined with other herbs to facilitate its effect on specific complaints (most, if not all herbal formulas are crafted in this way) or to mitigate it's side-effects. For example, if too much of this herb is used, or for too long, it may cause heavy sweating that weakens the body. This is why smaller amounts of the herb are almost always combined with other herbs to create a synergestic effect.

Ma Huang is a bronchiodilator. It also promotes sweating and urination. In addition, it is a vasoconstrictor, and long term use can lead to increases in blood pressure, anxiety, and tremors. Ingestion of too much ephedra can stimulate both the cerebral contex and subsortical centers, causing insomnia and restlessness.

Traditional Chinese herbal medicine is generally given in the form of decoctions (boiling the herbs in a "tea" for a long period of time). This allows the herb to be combined with other herbs which, as mentioned above, combine to create a synergistic effect in a solution that is pharmocologically much less toxic than if were given by itself in solution.

Perhaps the problem with ephedra is that it is being marketed by Western drug companies and is often sold in a manner that is incompatible with its traditional uses. (This is true of most Chinese herbs that are sold on the mass market today.) Even Chinese patent formulas (pre-made, in pill, powder, or tincture form), which reflect a Western predisposition for convenience vs. effectiveness, are generally based on traditional formulas and have much lower dosages than their Western counterparts. (Chinese patents carry their own problems, however, including addition of toxic herbs and chemicals that are unregulated. That is one of the reasons why decoctions are generally safer.)

This is not to say that Chinese herbal medicine is perfectly safe and easy to prescribe. It takes four years to graduate from an acupuncture/herbal-based college in the United States today; requirements in China were/are more stringent insofar as they required a lengthy apprenticeship in the past, and internships in Chinese medical hospitals today, after college and post-graduate education in herbology.


Steve Lamade
The only suplements I would recomend are whey protein powder and a multivitamin.
lets let the news speak for itself. this is an associated press article on NBC news.


EPHEDRA, the experts told a Senate subcommittee, has been linked to heart attacks and strokes and has not been proven to have any valid medical purpose. They urged the Food and Drug Administration to remove the products from the market.
It is beyond dispute that ephedra has triggered heart attacks and death, said Bill Jeffery of the Centre for Science in Public Interest in Ottawa, Canada. He said supplements with ephedra are banned in Canada, which classifies the herb as a class 1 health risk.

Ephedra supplements are promoted as useful in losing weight and increasing athletic performance, but Dr. Ronald M. Davis of the American Medical Association said his organization believes the claimed benefits do not outweigh the risks.
The weight of the available clinical evidence supports the removal of dietary supplement products containing (ephedra) from the market, Davis told the Senate Government Operations oversight panel.
But a lawyer representing Metabolife International Inc., an ephedra supplement maker, disputed the criticism, saying that product is safe and effective when used as directed by adults.

Testimony indicated the U.S. armed services have already banned ephedra products from being sold on military posts. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has banned its use by student athletes and the National Football League has banned its use by the pros. Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany all prohibit sales of the drug.
And, yet, said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., ephedra-laced supplements continue to be readily available in the United States and are frequently used by young people.
Durbin, who chaired the hearings, said one of his constituents, 16-year-old Sean Riggins, a football player in Lincoln, Ill., died of a heart attack last month after taking an ephedra-laced supplement called Yellow Jackets.
He said there have been thousands of other adverse health reports linked to ephedra, along with studies in the New England Journal of Medicine and at the Mayo Clinic connecting ephedra with heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure.

Durbin said Metabolife claimed it had received no reports of adverse health effects from its products, but last month the company gave the FDA copies of more than 13,000 adverse event reports, including three deaths, 20 heart attacks and 24 strokes.
But Lenny Davis, a Washington lawyer representing Metabolife, said conclusions about the adverse health events from the company product are based on unverified telephone calls. Scientific studies show that when used as directed by adults, the Metabolife ephedra supplement is safe and effective, he said.
Davis said Metabolife favors FDA regulations that would ban promoting ephedra products as street drug alternatives, limit the sales to adults, mandate warning labels and require reporting of adverse health events...
Young people, particularly athletes, buy the supplements because they are promoted to improve performance or to control weight. Ephedra is known to constrict blood vessels, raising blood pressure and pulse rates. Among some young people, the drug is used to stay alert after long study sessions or to sharpen reflexes on the ball field, witnesses said.
We have mountains of evidence that this drug is not safe and these manufacturers are being irresponsible about their marketing practices, said Durbin. Ephedra is not safe and should be taken off the market.
He said the FDA and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson should use their authority to suspend sales of the product in the U.S. until we can ensure that it is safe.
Durbin said he suggested that in a letter to Thompson in August.
When I sent that letter, Sean Riggins was still alive, Durbin told Lester M. Crawford, FDAs deputy commissioner. Why hasnt there been a good faith effort to order suspension (of sales of the supplement)? The clear and prudent thing is to take this off the shelf. This is a killer.
The burden is on us, replied Crawford. Once we take an action, we have to be able to sustain it.
He said the agency has stepped up our efforts, but it needs to complete a study before it can take action that might lead to a suspension...
Under a 1994 federal law, the FDA cannot regulate dietary supplements the same way as it does pharmaceuticals. The agency requires drug manufacturers to prove their products are safe and effective. But the burden of proof is reversed for dietary supplements. Before a dietary supplement can removed from the market, the FDA must prove it is not safe.
Crawford said the FDA is still working on rules that would regulate the diet supplement industry, but it could take four more years before they are in force.
The ingredients are not properly put together in metabolife,which is part of the problem. In over seven years of working for a reputable nutrition company we never had any of the sort. These are experts that could come in to your dojo or dojang and say it looks too violent we should shut it down. Martial arts makes kids violent right?! The FDA wants to ban stuff like that, but cigarettes and alchohol kill how many people every year. Oh yeah that's right the companys are to rich and powerful to battle. Just because it is the federal government means nothing. Our federal agencies know so much they can stop the war on drugs, predict terrorism plots and everything right? Go to ast-ss.com and research the positives before trashing it. I would bet all of my money that the people trying to pass it don't workout on a regular basis and couldn't tell you the name of any supplements. Since some pit bulls bite we should kill them all. Was the sixrteen year old properly hydrated? I doubt it. Did he take what the bottle said to take? I doubt it . Does he have any pre-existing conditions? Oh my goodness yes he does,I saw the story on TV and he was not a healthy kid. Not to mention the fact that it is not for use under the age of 18. How would he get it you ask ,the same way kids get smokes,drugs and alchohol . Anyone can pull up newspaper articles ,few know what they are actually talking about.
Here in Europe, ephedrine and steroids are ban and regarded as not safe to use under strict medical care. And completely banned for use in sport activities. May even cause problems if you're taking ephedrine for a flu under medical prescripcion.
Creatine is regarded safe, though is in a much lower dosage than those written here. 4g/day at most. More than that is considered not effective. It's used to help recovering of the natural creatine occuring in the body after exhausting aerobic exercise.
It has not shown benefits with anaerobic training.

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