Creatine good for Vegetarians?

15 11 2011

Although it appears that vegetarian diets can provide adequate overall nutrient intake for endurance activity, specific components of the diet may have special importance in strength sports.

Many weightlifters think a vegan diet might be detrimental to their efforts because of the lower protein content of a typical vegan diet. Other weightlifters feel that a vegan diet enhances their training regimen by reducing fatigue and improving general health. Unfortunately, there are no studies looking directly at vegan weightlifters, but there is a fair amount of research that can be used to extrapolate to vegans.

You must supplement with some sort of creatine source in order to put fuel into your hard-working machine. Creatine (also known as creatine monohydrate) is the only nutritional supplement that has been consistently shown to improve strength and muscle mass.

The main benefit of creatine is thought to be due to its effect on reducing fatigue during repeated, short bursts of intense exercise (such as weightlifting, sprinting, soccer, rugby, and hockey. Lower fatigue during sprinting and weightlifting means increased training and greater results.
Research has shown that people following a vegetarian lifestyle have a greater response to creatine which has shown to be of a great help for they physical endurance and over-all performance.
In a 2000 Swedish study, vegetarians and meat-eaters took 7 g of creatine three times a day for six days. The vegetarians’ power output over three bouts of exercise improved significantly after the six days of supplementation, while it did not change for the meat-eater.

The loading phase for vegetarians and non-vegetarians is probably similar, because their dietary intake is negligible compared to the amounts supplemented. However, because the average meat-eater consumes 1-2 g of creatine a day, 30 percent of which is destroyed by cooking, the maintenance phase for vegetarians may need to be as high as 3.4 g/day.

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