Fatigue Resistance with Creatine Supplementation

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Fatigue resistance looked at in conjunction with creatine supplementation

Fatigue Resistance with Creatine Supplementation

Background

  • Creatine has been found in many studies to increase fatigue resistance in high intensity exercises. Recovery period in between sprint sets is associated with phosphocreatine regeneration rate which is highly associated with actual physical performance. Supplementation increases muscular creatine stores and promotes a faster regeneration of adenosine triphosphate between high intensity exercises.1-2
  • Volitional fatigue decreases in consequence of reduced lactate production within 6 days after starting supplementation allowing athletes to maintain a higher training intensity and improving performance quality along the entire training period.1-3
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Studies on Creatine supplementation and fatigue resistance

No or little effects
  • In 2005, a study was done to discover the effects of creatine supplementation (6 g creatine monohydrate per day for 6 days) on physically active men. They were tested before and after the 6 days. Each testing session was three 15-second Wingate anaerobic power tests. The study found that the change in the rate of fatigue was significantly lower in the creatine supplementation group than in the placebo group.4
  • A 2007 study was performed on elderly men and women to examine the effects of creatine supplementation (20 g/day in the 1st week decreasing to 10 g/day in the 2nd week for 14 days) on physical working capacity at fatigue threshold. They were tested by discontinuous cycle ergometry test before starting and after a 4 to 6 week-washout period. This study discovered that maximal isometric grip strength and physical working capacity at fatigue threshold increased after supplementation which maintains health and independent living in elderly people.5
  • A 2008 study was made on highly trained males after dividing the participants into responders and nonresponders. Individuals vary greatly in their responses to creatine supplementation as this depends on their muscular creatine levels. This study was made to discover the effects of creatine supplementation (20 g/day for 7 days) on brain serotonin and dopamine functions. The tests were done before and after the 7 days. The study found that creatine influences brain serotonin and dopamine functions leading to decreasing fatigue perception. Creatine supplementation improves performance in responders only.6
  • Another study in 2008 was performed on college-age men to study the effects of di-creatine supplementation (20 g/day for 5 days) on the electromyographic fatigue threshold. Participants performed a discontinuous cycle ergometer test before and after loading to determine their electromyographic fatigue threshold. This study found a minimal influence of creatine loading on electromyographic fatigue threshold.7
  • In 2010, a study on healthy men and women was done to discover the effects of 6 weeks of creatine supplementation (0.03 g/kg/day) on body composition, muscle function, and body creatine retention. It found that plasma creatine increased significantly in the creatine group after supplementation and the participants showed more fatigue resistance than the placebo group.8
  • A study was performed in 2011 to evaluate the effects of di-creatine citrate supplementation (20 g/day for 5 days) on aerobic running performance on randomly assigned men and women (age 21 ± 2 years). Aerobic power was assessed before and after supplementation by 4 high-speed runs to exhaustion. The results indicated that creatine loading did not have positive or negative effects on fatigue resistance.9
  • A study was performed in 2013 on players under age 20 years to evaluate the effects of creatine supplementation (0.3 g/kg/day for 7 days) on oxidative stress and inflammatory markers after acute repeated sprint exercise. Participants were tested before and after supplementation. The athletes performed two consecutive Running-based Anaerobic Sprint Tests (RAST). RAST consisted of six 35-m sprint runs at maximum speed with 10 s rest between them. This study found that power values were greater in the creatine supplementation group compared with placebo. Creatine supplementation reversed the increase in TNF-α and CRP induced by acute exercise.10

Conclusion

  • Supplementation promotes faster regeneration of adenosine triphosphate between high intensity exercises. These improved outcomes increase performance and promote greater training adaptations.
  • Creatine role in fatigue resistance decreases as exercise duration increases. However, creatine may still play a role in fatigue resistance during long duration exercises that includes bouts of short duration high intensity work such as team games.
  • Activities that involve jumping, sprinting or cycling generally show improved sport performance following creatine ingestion.
  • However, some contradicting studies have reported no effects of creatine supplementation. These conflicting results can be explained by the possibility that the supplemented groups were mainly non-responders or because creatine supplementation was administered on the training days only or because of the use of other creatine forms such as di-creatine citrate.
  • Muscle mass decreases with age, so creatine can be used to help elderly people maintain their muscle power.
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REFERENCES

  1. Creatine.Examine.com. http://examine.com/supplements/creatine. Accessed February 20, 2016.
  2. Mendez-Villanueva A, Edge J, Suriano R, Hamer P, Bishop D. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23284836. Accessed February 20, 2016.
  3. Robert Cooper, Fernando Naclerio, Judith Allgrove, Alfonso Jimenez. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3407788/. Accessed February 20, 2016.
  4. Hoffman JR, Stout JR, Falvo MJ, Kang J, Ratamess NA. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2005. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15903359. Accessed February 20, 2016.
  5. Stout JR, Sue Graves B, Cramer JT, et al. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2007. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17985060. Accessed February 20, 2016.
  6. Hadjicharalambous M, Kilduff LP, Pitsiladis YP. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2008. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18826587. Accessed February 20, 2016.
  7. Walter AA, Smith AE, Herda TJ, Ryan ED, Moon JR, Cramer JT, Stout JR. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2008. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18458358. Accessed February 20, 2016.
  8. Rawson ES, Stec MJ, Frederickson SJ, Miles MP. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2010. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20591625. Accessed February 20, 2016.
  9. Smith AE, Fukuda DH, Ryan ED, Kendall KL, Cramer JT, Stout J. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2011. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22131203. Accessed February 20, 2016.
  10. Deminice R, Rosa FT, Franco GS, Jordao AA, de Freitas EC. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23800565. Accessed February 20, 2016.
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