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Concept: Creatine supplements


Creatine is one of the most popular and widely researched natural supplements. The majority of studies have focused on the effects of creatine monohydrate on performance and health; however, many other forms of creatine exist and are commercially available in the sports nutrition/supplement market. Regardless of the form, supplementation with creatine has regularly shown to increase strength, fat free mass, and muscle morphology with concurrent heavy resistance training more than resistance training alone. Creatine may be of benefit in other modes of exercise such as high-intensity sprints or endurance training. However, it appears that the effects of creatine diminish as the length of time spent exercising increases. Even though not all individuals respond similarly to creatine supplementation, it is generally accepted that its supplementation increases creatine storage and promotes a faster regeneration of adenosine triphosphate between high intensity exercises. These improved outcomes will increase performance and promote greater training adaptations. More recent research suggests that creatine supplementation in amounts of 0.1 g/kg of body weight combined with resistance training improves training adaptations at a cellular and sub-cellular level. Finally, although presently ingesting creatine as an oral supplement is considered safe and ethical, the perception of safety cannot be guaranteed, especially when administered for long period of time to different populations (athletes, sedentary, patient, active, young or elderly).

Concepts: Time, Adenosine triphosphate, Obesity, Physical exercise, Exercise, Strength training, Creatine, Creatine supplements


To determine the effects of a low dose, short-term Creatine monohydrate (Cr) supplementation (0.03 during 14 d) on muscle power output in elite youth soccer players.

Concepts: Effect, Effectiveness, Effects unit, Creatine, Creatine supplements


Barber, JJ, McDermott, AY, McGaughey, KJ, Olmstead, JD, and Hagobian, TA. Effects of combined creatine and sodium bicarbonate supplementation on repeated sprint performance in trained men. J Strength Cond Res 27(1): 252-258, 2013-Creatine and sodium bicarbonate supplementation independently increase exercise performance, but it remains unclear whether combining these 2 supplements is more beneficial on exercise performance. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of combining creatine monohydrate and sodium bicarbonate supplementation on exercise performance. Thirteen healthy, trained men (21.1 ± 0.6 years, 23.5 ± 0.5 kg·m, 66.7 ± 5.7 ml·(kg·m)) completed 3 conditions in a double-blinded, crossover fashion: (a) Placebo (Pl; 20 g maltodextrin + 0.5 g·kg maltodextrin), (b) Creatine (Cr; 20 g + 0.5 g·kg maltodextrin), and © Creatine plus sodium bicarbonate (Cr + Sb; 20 g + 0.5 g·kg sodium bicarbonate). Each condition consisted of supplementation for 2 days followed by a 3-week washout. Peak power, mean power, relative peak power, and bicarbonate concentrations were assessed during six 10-second repeated Wingate sprint tests on a cycle ergometer with a 60-second rest period between each sprint. Compared with Pl, relative peak power was significantly higher in Cr (4%) and Cr + Sb (7%). Relative peak power was significantly lower in sprints 4-6, compared with that in sprint 1, in both Pl and Cr. However, in Cr + Sb, sprint 6 was the only sprint significantly lower compared with sprint 1. Pre-Wingate bicarbonate concentrations were significantly higher in Cr + Sb (10%), compared with in Pl and Cr, and mean concentrations remained higher after sprint 6, although not significantly. Combining creatine and sodium bicarbonate supplementation increased peak and mean power and had the greatest attenuation of decline in relative peak power over the 6 repeated sprints. These data suggest that combining these 2 supplements may be advantageous for athletes participating in high-intensity, intermittent exercise.

Concepts: Strength training, Sodium bicarbonate, Sprint Nextel, Creatine, Creatine supplements


Elevated serum creatine and higher handgrip strength are individually associated with better health profiles yet the link between two variables remains unknown. In this cross-sectional study, we evaluated serum creatine levels in relation to handgrip strength in a cohort of 130 young healthy adults (61 women and 69 men; age 23.3 ± 2.6 years), while controlling for age, gender, fat-free mass and biomarkers of creatine metabolism as effect modifiers.

Concepts: Health care, Health, Epidemiology, Nutrition, Cross-sectional study, Creatinine, The Link REIT, Creatine supplements


Creatine is pivotal in energy metabolism of the brain. In primary creatine deficiency syndromes, creatine is missing from the brain. Two of them (AGAT and GAMT deficiency) are due to impaired creatine synthesis, and can be treated by creatine supplementation. By contrast, creatine transporter deficiency cannot be treated by such supplementation, since creatine crossing of biological membranes (plasma membrane and blood-brain barrier) is dependent on its transporter. This problem might be overcome by modifying the creatine molecule to allow it to cross biological membranes independently of its transporter. Thus, we designed and synthesized di-acetyl creatine ethyl ester (DAC), a compound that should cross biological membranes independently of the transporter due to its very high lipophilicity. We investigated its ability to increase intracellular creatine levels even after block of creatine transporter, and to counter cell damage induced by transporter block. In our experiments after block of the creatine transporter, DAC was able both to prevent electrophysiological failure and to increase intracellular creatine. Interestingly, it did so in micromolar concentrations, at variance with all the other creatine derivatives that we know of.

Concepts: DNA, Brain, Cell membrane, Cell biology, Chemistry, Cerebrospinal fluid, Creatine, Creatine supplements


The creatine/phosphocreatine system is essential for cellular phosphate coupled energy storage and production. We investigated the utility of creatine monohydrate supplementation in two different creatine deficient knockout mouse models. Following weaning, female Arginine: Glycine Amidinotransferase (AGAT) and Guanidinoacetate: methyltransferase (GAMT) knockouts and wild type mice were studied based on their genotypes and dietary supplementation (creatine free or 2% creatine monohydrate supplemented diet) for 10 weeks, using a series of behavioral tests and biochemical analyzes. An improved Rota rod performance was observed in both AGAT (p = 0.02) and GAMT knockout mice (p < 0.001) supplemented with 2% creatine. During Morris water maze probe trial, creatine supplemented AGAT knockout mice took less time to reach virtual platform (p = 0.03) and more frequently crossed this area (p = 0.001) than mice on creatine free diet. Similar observations were recorded for GAMT knockout mice. Urinary creatinine concentrations for AGAT (p = 0.001) and GAMT (p = 0.05) knockout mice were increased following creatine supplementation. Creatine supplementation has a potential to improve neuro-muscular coordination, spatial learning in both AGAT and GAMT knockout mice. Long term Creatine supplementation results in increased urine creatinine concentrations indicating improved creatine metabolism in knockout mice.

Concepts: Gene, Amino acid, Term, Gene knockout, Arginine, Mice, Creatine, Creatine supplements


Supplementing the diet with creatine (Cr) to manage chemotherapy-induced skeletal muscle weakness and fatigue has potential, but little has been done exploring it as an intervention. This study examined the effects of Cr on skeletal muscle dysfunction induced by the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin (Dox). Soleus and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) from male Sprague-Dawley rats maintained in an organ bath were incubated in Krebs-Henseleit (KH) buffer with or without creatine monohydrate (25 mM) for 30 min. Skeletal muscle was then incubated in KH buffer with or without Dox (24 μM) for an additional 30 min. Baths were then refreshed with KH buffer, and a 100-s fatigue protocol was administered. At baseline (0 s time point), no significant differences in force production were observed in the slow, type I soleus, but the Dox-treated soleus fatigued quicker than the non-Dox-treated soleus; however, pretreatment with Cr extended the time to fatigue in the Dox-treated soleus. In the fast, type II EDL, Dox treatment decreased force production at baseline and increased fatigue, and Cr treatment prior to Dox attenuated this dysfunction. Creatine pretreatment mitigated Dox-induced skeletal muscle dysfunction ex vivo suggesting that Cr may play a role in managing Dox-induced skeletal muscle side effects.

Concepts: Chemotherapy, Muscular system, Extensor digitorum muscle, Doxorubicin, Typeface, Creatine, Creatine supplements, Descender


Exertional (exercise-induced) rhabdomyolysis is a potentially life threatening condition that has been the subject of research, intense discussion, and media attention. The causes of rhabdomyolysis are numerous and can include direct muscle injury, unaccustomed exercise, ischemia, extreme temperatures, electrolyte abnormalities, endocrinologic conditions, genetic disorders, autoimmune disorders, infections, drugs, toxins, and venoms. The objective of this article is to review the literature on exertional rhabdomyolysis, identify precipitating factors, and examine the role of the dietary supplement creatine monohydrate. PubMed and SPORTDiscus databases were searched using the terms rhabdomyolysis, muscle damage, creatine, creatine supplementation, creatine monohydrate, and phosphocreatine. Additionally, the references of papers identified through this search were examined for relevant studies. A meta-analysis was not performed. Although the prevalence of rhabdomyolysis is low, instances still occur where exercise is improperly prescribed or used as punishment, or incomplete medical history is taken, and exertional rhabdomyolysis occurs. Creatine monohydrate does not appear to be a precipitating factor for exertional rhabdomyolysis. Healthcare professionals should be able to recognize the basic signs of exertional rhabdomyolysis so prompt treatment can be administered. For the risk of rhabdomyolysis to remain low, exercise testing and prescription must be properly conducted based on professional standards.

Concepts: Physical exercise, Dietary supplement, Creatine kinase, Rhabdomyolysis, Myoglobin, Creatine, Creatine supplements


Creatine monohydrate represents one of the largest sports supplement markets. Enhancing creatine (CRE) stability in aqueous solutions, such as with microencapsulation, represents innovation potential. Ten physically active male volunteers were randomly assigned in a double-blind design to either placebo (PLA) (3-g maltodextrin; n = 5) or microencapsulated CRE (3-g creatine monohydrate; n = 5) conditions. Experimental conditions involved ingestion of the samples in a 70-mL ready-to-drink format. CRE was delivered in a novel microencapsulation matrix material consisting entirely of hydrolyzed milk protein. Three hours after ingestion, plasma creatine concentrations were unchanged during PLA, and averaged ∼45 μM. During CRE, plasma creatine concentration peaked after 30 min at 101.6 ± 14.9 μM (p < 0.05), representing a 2.3-fold increase over PLA. Thereafter, plasma creatine concentration gradually trended downwards but remained significantly elevated (∼50% above resting levels) 3 hr after ingestion. These results demonstrate that the microencapsulated form of creatine monohydrate reported herein remains bioavailable when delivered in aqueous conditions, and has potential utility in ready-to-drink formulations for creatine supplementation.

Concepts: Concentration, Chemical properties, Chemistry, Solutions, Aqueous solution, Solution, Creatine, Creatine supplements


Creatine is a popular ergogenic supplement in sports nutrition. Yet, supplementation of creatine occasionally caused adverse effects such as gastrointestinal complaints, muscle cramps and an increase in body weight. Creatine monohydrate has already been evaluated by different competent authorities and several have come to the conclusion that a daily intake of 3 g creatine per person is unlikely to pose safety concerns, focusing on healthy adults with exclusion of pregnant and breastfeeding women. Possible vulnerable subgroups were also discussed in relation to the safety of creatine. The present review provides an up-to-date overview of the relevant information with special focus on human studies regarding the safety of creatine monohydrate and other marketed creatine forms, in particular creatine pyruvate, creatine citrate, creatine malate, creatine taurinate, creatine phosphate, creatine orotate, creatine ethyl ester, creatine pyroglutamate, creatine gluconate and magnesium creatine chelate. Limited data are available with regard to the safety of the latter creatine forms. Considering an acceptable creatine intake of 3 g per day, most of the evaluated creatine forms are unlikely to pose safety concerns, however some safety concerns regarding a supplementary intake of creatine orotate, creatine phosphate and magnesium creatine chelate are discussed here. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Copyright, Dietary supplements, Guanidines, Creatine, Creatine supplements, Bodybuilding supplements