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My husband is training hard. What are the best carb/protein meal replacements to take and what are your views on creatine ?

Creatine is a substance in the body made of three amino acids - arginine, methionine and glycine. Not surprisingly, meat is naturally rich in it. Creatine is also sold as a supplement, and it is a top seller among sports people because it promotes muscle regeneration and recovery after exercise, as well as improving energy during intensive exercise.

Normally, muscle cells derive energy by breaking down adenosine triphosphate or ATP to ADP. When supplies of ATP are exhausted, for example during a sprint, creatine can quickly replace the phosphate needed to 'reload' the cell. Because muscle can work harder with extra creatine, and also increase their water concentration, the extra activity also results in more muscle growth as well as muscle size. So here is a caution. If your husband takes creatine, it is vital that he drinks plenty of water, as some people experience high blood pressure if they don't. Others also get diarrhoe. While there is good evidence that creatine gives you the edge, it is ideally suited for sports where every second counts. Your husband would need 2-5 grams a day, although some recommed 'loading up' for five days before an event with 20 grams.

In terms of carb/protein meal replacements, ideally your husband should just eat more of what he normally does, with a focus on white meat and fish, limited red meat, lots of fresh organic vegetables and fruits and wholegrains (brown rice, wholemeal pasta, quinoa and so on).

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