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Creatine Benefits
Effects of Creatine

Powerlifting Bench Press

Effect of Oral Creatine Supplementation on Muscle [PCr] and Short-term Maximum Power Output

In a double blind study, Odland et al (1)  examined the effects of oral creatine supplementation on  power output on a Monarch cycle ergometer.  Nine  male subjects participated in 3 randomly ordered exercise  sessions.  In one session, subjects were  supplemented with 20 g of creatine monohydrate for 3 days.   In another session, subjects were given a placebo.   Another session served as a conrol.  Cycling  tests were performed 14 days apart.  The cycling  test consisted of a single 30-second Wingate anaerobic  test.  Power output was computed for each second of  exercise.  Peak power, mean 10 second power, mean 30  second power, and percent fatigue were also calculated.   Muscle total creatine (TCr), phosphocreatine (PCr),  and ATP were measured via muscle biopsy.  Capillary  samples were measured for blood lactate.

FINDINGS:  No significant  differences in power output or blood lactate existed  across all tests.  The creatine condition resulted  in a significant increase in the TCr/ATP ratio, but no  significant increase in the PCr/ATP ratio.

IMPLICATIONS:  The findings of this  study are consistent with other research demonstrating no  performance-enhancing benefit of creatine supplementation  in single bouts of high-intensity exercise.  This is  likely due to the lack of a significant effect of  creatine supplementation on the PCr/ATP ratio.  Research  that has shown an ergogenic benefit has mainly involved  repetitive bouts of high-intensity exercise.  This  is likely due to an enhanced recovery between bouts of  exercise, caused by an enhancement of PCr resynthesis due  to higher concentrations of free creatine within muscle  tissue (this study supports the increased concentration  of free creatine in muscle tissue due to supplementation,  since a significant increase in the TCr/ATP ratio was  observed).  This would delay fatigue and allow an  individual to train harder, thus achieving better gains  from an exercise program.

1.  Odland, L.M., J.D. MacDougall, M.A.  Tarnopolsky, A. Elorriaga, and A. Borgmann.  Effect  of oral creatine supplementation on muscle [PCr] and  short-term maximum power output.   Med. Sci.  Sports Exerc.  29(2):216-219.  1997.

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