Since creatine is found naturally in your body's skeletal muscles, and is produced through lean red meats and fish, it shows up on any test. For this reason, it will most likely never be a banned substance.
Having a large amount of creatine in your system is typically not a problem. It is considered legal by professional sports associations and testing laboratories. However, a very low level of creatine may be a cause for concern!
A higher level of creatine can signify anything from too much red meat at meals to an increase in exercise. To be extremely safe, it is probably best for you to not load up on creatine supplements in the few days prior to your drug test.
These days everyone is being extra careful, from employers to sports authorities, which may lead you to ask if your use of creatine can cause you to fail a drug test. This is a very important question, with everything from a job to a medal riding on the answer.
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What should I do if I’m taking creatine and am required to take a drug test?
Creatine has been everywhere lately. Everyone from professional ball players to weekend athletes sing its praises as a wonder supplement. It would be difficult not to feel left out if you were not taking it.
There are several products on the market that are designed to hide certain substances or help you flush them from your system. These items can often prove unreliable.
Some people tout the benefits of drinking lots of water to dilute your urine sample. It is then recommended that you take supplements of creatine, vitamins and amino acids so you get the levels of these substances back to normal. You can find products that promise to do all the supplement work for you.
Overall, creatine is safe and completely legal. In the absence of any questionable substances in your drug test sample, you can rest easy that you will pass. If you are given a form or other questionnaire to complete before your drug test, be sure to list anything you are currently taking including creatine supplements.
Are there any dangers in using creatine?
Using creatine is no more harmful than using nitric oxide or protein. There have been some reports of people experiencing diarrhea while taking creatine supplements. This is usually the result of taking more than the recommended dosage.
If you take high dosages of creatine for extended periods of time, it will have a negative effect on your health.
How does creatine help build muscle?
Creatine helps your muscles retain water. It also assists your body in the production of ATP, or adenosine triphosphate. ATP is the substance that is basically responsible for all your body's energy, everything from walking around to an intense workout session.
When your muscles are more hydrated, it results in a more bulked-up appearance. In addition, when your muscles have more energy, it gives you the ability to work out longer to increase muscle size. You can find more fitness information at the Mayo Clinic website.
How are drug tests performed?
Drug tests are performed primarily in three different ways: a urine test, a blood test and a sweat or saliva test.
For a urine test, you simply urinate into a cup. A blood test is more invasive in that they use a needle to extract blood. Sweat and saliva tests are becoming increasingly prevalent because of the relative ease in collecting a sample.
A urinalysis is the most common type of drug test. In addition to testing for the presence of drugs in your urine, labs also examine the color, temperature, gravity, electrolytes and pH levels. These factors are considered to prevent tampering with the sample.
In some instances, if your urine sample contains an insufficient amount of a substance or if something unusual is found, the drug test may be ruled inconclusive and you would be asked to take it again. Other times, if anything foreign is found in your system, such as bleach or any common product that should not be there, it will result in instant failure.
Remember that everyone is different and many things come into play during a drug test. Your weight, diet and metabolism can affect the test. Also, the amount of time elapsed between when you last used creatine supplements and the day of the test can make a difference as well.
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