Creatine is a very short-term energy system supplier (less than 30 seconds). It is found naturally in meats and other foods. It is not a banned substance, and I do not consider taking it as cheating. However, while it provides the short term energy boost that can be helpful to weight lifters, sprinters, football and baseball players, this type of energy boost provides no benefit to a marathoner. In fact, the hydration issues associated with creatine should be a concern to a marathoner. It has been mentioned in other posts that creatine draws fluid, therefore increasing hydration. It in fact does draw fluid - which increases your weight. Furthermore, as the fluid is sweated off, there can be significant problems with cramping. This has been reported in the literature and I have also found this out the hard way - by supplementing for a marathon only to find for the first time in my career that I was cramping terribly by 13 miles (in 50 degree temperatures) - a DNF.
I would not recommend creatine to a marathoner. If you are only taking it as a hydration aid, look into glycerol instead.
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