Wrestling and Creatine Monohydrate Essay

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Wrestling Practices and Creatine Monohydrate: A Deadly Combination?


On December 9th, 1997 Michigan University wrestler, Jeff Reese, attempted to cut 12 lbs in one day. His goal was to wrestle at the 150 lb weight class for the Wolverines in the team's match against Michigan State. Reese died trying to reach his goal.

Cutting weight is a common practice in the sport of wrestling. In fact, wrestlers have been shedding pounds to qualify for lower weight classes since the NCAA made wrestling a sport in 1928. Prior to any match, disciplined wrestlers will subject themselves to grueling workouts in rubber suits and overheated rooms. The wrestlers try to sweat the weight off, risking severe dehydration all for the
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The sudden deaths of three wrestlers calls into question if something else is causing the deaths. Dr. Wang suspects creatine supplementation might be the culprit. Research studies have shown that the dietary supplement does improve power and strength, apparently with no known side effects. Creatine helps the muscles to retain water. For wrestlers using the supplement, "creatine works as an opposing force" when the wrestler tries to shed weight, causing problems in the body's cooling system (Younge, 1998). Although no direct connections have been made, Jeff Reese was reported as using creatine when he died trying to make weight (Younge, 1998). My investigative report is aimed at uncovering the potential dangers of combining creatine supplementation with the excessive weight loss practices used by competitive wrestlers.

For Younge's full report, titled "Weighing In," go to: http://www.mndaily.com/daily/1998/02/09/news/ then scroll down and click on the article.

How does Creatine Work?

In recent years, oral supplements of creatine monohydrate have become "increasingly popular among different athletes for use as a natural ergogenic aid (Stout et al., 1999). A surge in the use of creatine began in 1992, when "Harris et al showed that oral supplementation with high doses of creatine

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