This white powder improves performance

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Creatine is a natural amino acid commonly found in meat products and, also, produced in small amounts inside the human body. Nearly all (95%) of body creatine is stored in muscle cells where it is used to fuel short duration, high-intensity activities like sprinting, jumping, and weight training [1-3, 7, 11-15, 40, 41]. There have been numerous studies reporting beneficial effects of creatine supplementation, particularly when resistance training is included during supplementation.

Benefits include: Increased, muscle strength, size (hypertrophy), and endurance [4,6,7, 10, 12-15, 23-26, 40, 41], enhanced exercise recovery [8, 9, 27, 28, 41] and various indicators of athletic performance like jumping, sprinting, and repeated bouts of intense activity [5-7, 11, 12-22, 26, 41]. In 2003, it was reported that nearly 85% of all studies performed on creatine supplementation reported performance benefits, and no study disclosed a negative effect [15].

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There have been multiple reports showing athletic performance enhancements in short-duration activities (< 3 minutes) and in activities requiring repeated high-intensity bouts of activity, whereas mixed results have been observed in longer-duration, endurance activities [5, 14, 29-34]. The authors analyzed 53 high-quality papers regarding the effects of creatine supplementation on upper body performance [13] and 60 high-quality papers on lower body performance [12]. The authors determined that creatine supplementation is effective at enhancing both upper limb and lower limb strength-related performance, regardless of population characteristics, training protocols, and the dose or duration of creatine usage [12, 13, 40]. However, it must be noted that responses to creatine supplementation vary; some individuals may respond well whereas others may not gain any performance benefit [35-39]. Although creatine is generally regarded as safe, do not begin creatine supplementation without first consulting with a qualified healthcare professional.


ShakeBot Bottom Line

  • Creatine is a natural amino acid, primarily stored in muscle, that is produced by the body and found in meat products that fuels short-duration activity.
  • Creatine supplementation increases lean body mass and athletic performance in activities that are short-duration and activities that include repeated high-intensity bouts.
  • Recent in-depth reviews suggest that supplementation with creatine can improve both lower body and upper body performance, regardless of population, type of training, or dose / duration of creatine supplementation.
  • Creatine supplementation probably does not enhance performance in long-duration, endurance activities (i.e. distance running, cycling, or swimming).
  • Individual responses can vary. Consult with a qualified healthcare professional prior to beginning creatine supplementation.

Want to know more about creatine safety and how to implement creatine supplementation in your life? Check out our in-depth review to get started!


 Reference

  1. Balsom, P.D., Söderlund, K. and Ekblom, B., 1994. Creatine in humans with special reference to creatine supplementation. Sports Medicine18(4), pp.268-280.

  2. Juhn, M.S. and Tarnopolsky, M., 1998. Oral creatine supplementation and athletic performance: a critical review. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine8(4), pp.286-297.

  3. Wallimann, T. and Hemmer, W., 1994. Creatine kinase in non-muscle tissues and cells. Molecular and cellular biochemistry133(1), pp.193-220.

  4. Rawson, E.S. and Volek, J.S., 2003. Effects of creatine supplementation and resistance training on muscle strength and weightlifting performance. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research17(4), pp.822-831.

  5. Branch, J.D., 2003. Effect of creatine supplementation on body composition and performance: a meta-analysis. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism13(2), pp.198-226.

  6. Cooper, R., Naclerio, F., Allgrove, J. and Jimenez, A., 2012. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition9(1), p.33.

  7. Bemben, M.G. and Lamont, H.S., 2005. Creatine supplementation and exercise performance. Sports Medicine35(2), pp.107-125.

  8. Bassit, R.A., da Justa Pinheiro, C.H., Vitzel, K.F., Sproesser, A.J., Silveira, L.R. and Curi, R., 2010. Effect of short-term creatine supplementation on markers of skeletal muscle damage after strenuous contractile activity. European journal of applied physiology108(5), pp.945-955.

  9. Rahimi, R., 2011. Creatine supplementation decreases oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation induced by a single bout of resistance exercise. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research25(12), pp.3448-3455.

  10. de Salles Painelli, V., Alves, V.T., Ugrinowitsch, C., Benatti, F.B., Artioli, G.G., Lancha, A.H., Gualano, B. and Roschel, H., 2014. Creatine supplementation prevents acute strength loss induced by concurrent exercise. European journal of applied physiology114(8), pp.1749-1755.

  11. Claudino, J.G., Mezêncio, B., Amaral, S., Zanetti, V., Benatti, F., Roschel, H., Gualano, B., Amadio, A.C. and Serrão, J.C., 2014. Creatine monohydrate supplementation on lower-limb muscle power in Brazilian elite soccer players. Journal of the international society of sports nutrition11(1), p.32.

  12. Lanhers, C., Pereira, B., Naughton, G., Trousselard, M., Lesage, F.X. and Dutheil, F., 2015. Creatine supplementation and lower limb strength performance: a systematic review and meta-analyses. Sports Medicine45(9), pp.1285-1294.

  13. Lanhers, C., Pereira, B., Naughton, G., Trousselard, M., Lesage, F.X. and Dutheil, F., 2017. Creatine Supplementation and Upper Limb Strength Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Medicine47(1), pp.163-173.

  14. Ramírez-Campillo, R., González-Jurado, J.A., Martínez, C., Nakamura, F.Y., Peñailillo, L., Meylan, C.M., Caniuqueo, A., Cañas-Jamet, R., Moran, J., Alonso-Martínez, A.M. and Izquierdo, M., 2016. Effects of plyometric training and creatine supplementation on maximal-intensity exercise and endurance in female soccer players. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport19(8), pp.682-687.

  15. Kreider, R.B., 2003. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Molecular and cellular biochemistry244(1-2), pp.89-94.

  16. Kreider, R.B., Ferreira, M., Wilson, M., Grindstaff, P., Plisk, S., Reinardy, J., Cantler, E. and Almada, A.L., 1998. Effects of creatine supplementation on body composition, strength, and sprint performance. Medicine and science in sports and exercise30, pp.73-82.

  17. Buford, T.W., Kreider, R.B., Stout, J.R., Greenwood, M., Campbell, B., Spano, M., Ziegenfuss, T., Lopez, H., Landis, J. and Antonio, J., 2007. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition4(1), p.6.

  18. Mujika, I., Padilla, S.A.B.I.N.O., Ibanez, J.A.V.I.E.R., Izquierdo, M. and Gorostiaga, E.S.T.E.B.A.N., 2000. Creatine supplementation and sprint performance in soccer players. Medicine and science in sports and exercise32(2), pp.518-525.

  19. Skare, O.C., Skadberg, Ø. and Wisnes, A.R., 2001. Creatine supplementation improves sprint performance in male sprinters. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports11(2), pp.96-102.

  20. Tarnopolsky, M.A. and D.P. MacLennan, Creatine monohydrate supplementation enhances high-intensity exercise performance in males and females. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, 2000. 10(4): p. 452-63.

  21. Volek, J.S., Kraemer, W.J., Bush, J.A., Boetes, M., Incledon, T., Clark, K.L. and Lynch, J.M., 1997. Creatine supplementation enhances muscular performance during high-intensity resistance exercise. Journal of the american dietetic association97(7), pp.765-770.

  22. Jones, A.M., Atter, T. and Georg, K.P., 1999. Oral creatine supplementation improves multiple sprint performance in elite ice-hockey players. Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness39(3), p.189.

  23. Stone, M.H., Sanborn, K., Smith, L.L., O’Bryant, H.S., Hoke, T., Utter, A.C., Johnson, R.L., Boros, R., Hruby, J., Pierce, K.C. and Stone, M.E., 1999. Effects of in-season (5 weeks) creatine and pyruvate supplementation on anaerobic performance and body composition in American football players. International journal of sport nutrition9(2), pp.146-165.

  24. Noonan, D., Berg, K., Latin, R.W., Wagner, J.C. and Reimers, K., 1998. Effects of varying dosages of oral creatine relative to fat free body mass on strength and body composition. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research12(2), pp.104-108.

  25. Kirksey, B., Stone, M.H., Warren, B.J., Johnson, R.L., Stone, M., Haff, G.G., Williams, F.E. and Proulx, C., 1999. The Effects of 6 Weeks of Creatine Monohydrate Supplementation on Performance Measures and Body Composition in Collegiate Track and Field Athletes. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research13(2), pp.148-156.

  26. OOSTERLAAR, A.M., HARTGENS, F., HESSELINK, M.K. and WAGENMAKERS, A.J., 2003. Effects of creatine loading and prolonged creatine supplementation on body composition, fuel selection, sprint and endurance performance in humans. Clinical science104(2), pp.153-162.

  27. Kim, J., Lee, J., Kim, S., Yoon, D., Kim, J. and Sung, D.J., 2015. Role of creatine supplementation in exercise-induced muscle damage: A mini review. Journal of exercise rehabilitation11(5), pp.244-250.

  28. Barbieri, E., Guescini, M., Calcabrini, C., Vallorani, L., Diaz, A.R., Fimognari, C., Canonico, B., Luchetti, F., Papa, S., Battistelli, M. and Falcieri, E., 2016. Creatine Prevents the Structural and Functional Damage to Mitochondria in Myogenic, Oxidatively Stressed C2C12 Cells and Restores Their Differentiation Capacity. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity2016.

  29. Jones, A.M., Carter, H., Pringle, J.S. and Campbell, I.T., 2002. Effect of creatine supplementation on oxygen uptake kinetics during submaximal cycle exercise. Journal of applied physiology92(6), pp.2571-2577.

  30. Syrotuik, D.G., Game, A.B., Gillies, E.M. and Bell, G.J., 2001. Effects of creatine monohydrate supplementation during combined strength and high intensity rowing training on performance. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology26(6), pp.527-542.

  31. Thompson, C.H., Kemp, G.J., Sanderson, A.L., Dixon, R.M., Styles, P., Taylor, D.J. and Radda, G.K., 1996. Effect of creatine on aerobic and anaerobic metabolism in skeletal muscle in swimmers. British journal of sports medicine30(3), pp.222-225.

  32. Chwalbiñska-Moneta, J., 2003. Effect of creatine supplementation on aerobic performance and anaerobic capacity in elite rowers in the course of endurance training. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism13(2), pp.173-183.

  33. Terjung, R.L., Clarkson, P., Eichner, E.R., Greenhaff, P.L., Hespel, P.J., Israel, R.G., Kraemer, W.J., Meyer, R.A., Spriet, L.L., Tarnopolsky, M.A. and Wagenmakers, A.J., 2000. American College of Sports Medicine roundtable. The physiological and health effects of oral creatine supplementation. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise32(3), pp.706-717.

  34. Oliver, J.M., Joubert, D.P., Martin, S.E. and Crouse, S.F., 2013. Oral creatine supplementation’s decrease of blood lactate during exhaustive, incremental cycling. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism23(3), pp.252-258.

  35. Syrotuik, D.G. and Bell, G.J., 2004. ACUTE CREATINE MONOHYDRATE SUPPLEMENTATION: A DESCRIPTIVE PHYSIOLOGICAL PROFILE OF RESPONDERS VS. NONRESPONDERS. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research18(3), pp.610-617.

  36. Greenhaff, P.L., Bodin, K., Soderlund, K. and Hultman, E., 1994. Effect of oral creatine supplementation on skeletal muscle phosphocreatine resynthesis. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology And Metabolism266(5), pp.E725-E730.

  37. Casey, A. and Greenhaff, P.L., 2000. Does dietary creatine supplementation play a role in skeletal muscle metabolism and performance?. The American journal of clinical nutrition72(2), pp.607s-617s.

  38. Candow, D.G., Chilibeck, P.D., Burke, D.G., Mueller, K.D. and Lewis, J.D., 2011. Effect of different frequencies of creatine supplementation on muscle size and strength in young adults. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research25(7), pp.1831-1838.

  39. Wilkinson, T.J., Lemmey, A.B., Jones, J.G., Sheikh, F., Ahmad, Y.A., Chitale, S., Maddison, P.J. and O’brien, T.D., 2016. Can Creatine Supplementation Improve Body Composition and Objective Physical Function in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients? A Randomized Controlled Trial. Arthritis care & research68(6), pp.729-737.

  40. Devries, M.C. and Phillips, S.M., 2014. Creatine supplementation during resistance training in older adults-a meta-analysis. Med Sci Sports Exerc46(6), pp.1194-203.

  41. Arciero, P.J., Miller, V.J. and Ward, E., 2015. Performance enhancing diets and the prise protocol to optimize athletic performance. Journal of nutrition and metabolism2015.

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