Creatine, a legal dietary supplement that is not banned by MLB, NFL, NBA or NCAA, is an amino acid that boosts lean muscle mass and strength. Studies show it's effective for sports like baseball, tennis and golf, activities that require intense but brief bursts of energy, and not so effective for sports that require endurance, such as running and soccer.
Creatine, according to Maharam, adds water molecules to muscle fibers, which causes the fibers to separate.
"This makes for easier muscle tears and slows the repair process, leaving them on injured reserve longer," Maharam says. "It is because of these side effects that professionals for a long time went away from creatine when they could use anabolics and HGH. Now that testing is stronger, I have seen a trend back toward the safer creatine."
Migdoel Miranda, a personal trainer whose clients include Phillies reliever J.C. Romero, says players should limit their use of creatine because it taxes bodies that are already stressed by long baseball seasons.
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