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September 22, 2008

Just Not Write

I've been offline for a few weeks.  Nothing wrong, I just haven't really been in the mood to write.  For a while there, I could crank out a blog every week or so, but I'm just not feeling it lately.  So don't be surprised if you see a few weeks go by without hearing from Token Fat Guy.


<Picture of me at a birthday party, pigging out on some cake>

The other reason that I haven't been inclined to write is that my weight remains at a standstill.  Seems like I hit 199 and that is a hard wall for me.  I've hit it a couple times but just can't get past it.  But I know it will eventually come.  It might help if I'd stop eating cake.  But this one was pretty good.

The main reason my weight loss hasn't picked up late is creatine.  How's that for a setup on today's subject?


If you are an athlete of any caliber, you've probably heard of the supplement called creatine.  It has a few functions in the body, the most noteworthy are...

  • Production of energy
  • Muscle growth
  • Muscle repair
  • Muscle hydration

The science behind it is pretty basic.  Energy in the body is created by popping a phosphate molecule off a adenosine triphosphate (ATP).  The resultant byproduct is a adenosine diphosphate (ADP) which must be paired with another phosphate molecule to again form a adenosine triphosphate (ATP). 

This is where creatine steps in.  In the body it is stored as creatine phosphate.  Which gives you a ready source of phosphate so you can replenish your supply of ATP.

Not sounding that simple?  Look at it like this....

  • ATP - P = ADP and ENERGY
  • ADP + P = ATP
  • Creatine = supply of P 


So that covers how creatine supplies you with additional energy.  Let's look at what it does to increase muscle size.

When the body has an a surplus of creatine phosphate, it stores this excess in the muscle.  This causes the muscle to take on more water to allow for this process.  The muscle becomes super-hydrated.  Some added benefits of this is that it facilitates muscle repair and helps to prevent muscle breakdown.

Sound too good to be true?  Well, if you haven't seen the problem yet I'll point it out in two simple words....weight gain.

This has caused my weight to increase for two reasons.  First, my muscles are getting stronger and bigger.  Second, my muscles are retaining additional water and again are bigger. 

Now don't start thinking I've turned into some muscle-bound meat head.  No.  If it were that easy to put on THAT kind of muscle, more people would do it.  But it does make a difference.  Which is why I've stayed away from this supplement.  However, I promised myself that if I ever hit 199 pounds, I'd give it a try and just deal with any weight gain.

So yes, my weight has been bouncing between 209 and 199 for a while now as my body sorts out what it wants to do.  I have to admit, I've noticed a difference in performance...and my arms seem to be growing in size.  But I'm going to wait a bit longer before I measure to see if it is true or if I'm just imagining things.

Side Effects

I'm not going to tout the wonders of this supplement without a warning on its side effects.

As already stated, it WILL make you gain weight.  But it really isn't that bad.  My weight shot up about 10 pounds but I expect that when my fat loss catches up to this, I'll get back down under where I started.  If you aren't in a place where a 10 pound gain is something you can ignore, I'd hold off on this for a while.

Ah...how can I put this next one?  Your first week on creatine, you might want to make sure you aren't very far from a bathroom.  Some people (myself included) have reported some easy flow bowel movements when they first start taking creatine.  In fact that's why some people stop taking it.  But those that stick with it seem to agree that this is temporary.  For me, after my first week, I haven't had a problem since.  And even when I did, it wasn't that bad. 

This one is pretty serious....so I'll use all caps....DEHYDRATION!  By its nature, using creatine causes the body to store more water in the muscles than normal.  So if you aren't drinking suffient amounts of water, it will rob water from other parts of the body....leaving you in a dehydrated state.  So make sure you are drinking at least 1-2 ounces of water for every kilogram of body weight you have. 

There have been other side effects reported like kidney and liver problems but these are usually due to lack of water intake.  So again, make sure you are drinking enough.

Some sports have banned the use of creatine, such as boxing and wrestling (at the professional levels). 

As always, check with your doctor before embarking on any change to your supplement plan.  And make sure it is a doctor that does his homework.

Well, that's about all I have to report this week.  So here's a dog with an important message.     


Bald dog says, "Never lose a fight with a weed eater!"

NOTE:  Friends visiting from Spark People be sure to check out the home page to get your humor fix.  And those of you that are hitting the site from elsewhere, check out my page on Spark People.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear from you again.. I was beginning to wonder!

October 1, 2008 at 9:56 AM  

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