According to the well-known circular of the Ministry of Health, creatine, after the branched amino acids, of the category of products aimed at the integration of amino acids and derivatives, is defined as “an amino acid derivative with a function of energy phosphate reserve at the muscle level”.
Our body consumes and transforms approximately 30 mg of creatine daily for each kg of body weight, equal to about 2 grams per day for a 70 kg man with a total creatine content of about 120 grams, which is eliminated in the urine under the form of creatinine.
It is important to note that skeletal muscle has a capacity to store creatine at no more than 150-160 mmol/kg, which makes integration with high doses of creatine unnecessary, as the muscle would not be able to accumulate larger quantities and the excess would be lost in the urine.
The daily requirement of creatine can, therefore, be estimated at around 2 grams, half of which derives from the endogenous synthesis (above all at the level of the liver) and a half from the share taken with the meat. The creatine present in a normal food ration (exogenous portion), together with that produced by our body (endogenous portion), is therefore largely sufficient to cover the daily needs, replacing the portion of creatine metabolized and lost in the urine, while the only endogenous portion is able to cover the needs even in the case of vegetarian diets, which, being devoid of meat foods, are unable to supply the substance already constituted: 200-250 grams of meat contains about 1 gram of creatine.
It is no coincidence that the Ministerial Guidelines specify that “The use of creatine can be configured, as for other substances synthesized by the body, for dietary purposes in relation to particular needs linked, for example, to an increased need or a reduced synthesis. ” If the recommended dose is 4-6 grams per day, this cannot exceed a thirty-day intake period. Beyond this period, the dose must not exceed 3g / day.
In this sense, the use of creatine, like any other type of supplement, not justified by real nutritional or medical needs, is likely to represent a first step towards the enticements of doping.
If already for athletes who undergo significant training and competition loads, the advice to take creatine or amino acids is unjustified from a nutritional and medical point of view, it is even reprehensible if referred to young athletes of the first age groups.