Ergolytic Agents: Substances and Other Agents that Impair Performance

Ergolytic is the opposite of ergogenic. It is derived from the Greek word ergon, meaning "work" and -lytic, which is the adjective form of the Greek word lysos, meaning "loosing, dissolving, or dissolution." The term ergolytic is used to refer to an agent, device, or factor that impairs athletic performance rather than enhances it. This impairment can be the result of physiological or psychological factors. Some common ergolytic agents are alcohol, tobacco (including smokeless), and marijuana.

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Creatinine: (C4H7ON3) The nitrogenous waste product of phosphocreatine metabolism. It is a normal constituent of urine and blood. About .02 g/kg of body-weight of creatinine is excreted by the kidneys each day. Creatinine production is proportional to muscle mass and fairly consistent over time. Those who engage in vigorous exercise and those with higher muscle mass may have more creatinine appear in the urine. Increased quantities of creatinine are found in the urine during advanced stages of renal (kidney) disease.

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Creatine (C4H9O2N3) is a colorless, crystalline, nitrogenous organic acid contained in various animal organs and body fluids. Creatine combines with phosphate to form phosphocreatine (creatine phosphate or PCr) which is used in the phosphagen system to form adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which can only be stored in very small amounts.

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Can Creatine Supplementation Help Older Adults?

Sarcopenia is an age-dependent loss of skeletal muscle mass resulting in reduced strength, limited mobility and increased injury risk[1]. Nearly 50% of older adults (= 60 yr) in the United States have been estimated to be sarcopenic, with approximately 20% classified as functionally disabled[2]. In 2000, direct health care costs of sarcopenia were estimated to be $18.5 billion. Interestingly, a 10% reduction in the prevalence of sarcopenia could save the United States $1.1 billion per year in health care costs[2]. The best treatments for reducing the effects of sarcopenia include resistance training[3,4] and testosterone administration[3]; however testosterone is often widely unavailable and may be associated with adverse effects in older adults[5].

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