Can swimmers benefit from creatine monohydrate?

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Creatine Monohydrate might benefit swimming athletes

Can swimmers benefit from creatine monohydrate?

INTRODUCTION TO CREATINE

  • Creatine is a physiological compound created in the cell for rapid energy production. It enhances performance and protects the nervous and cardiovascular systems. There are no major side effects of creatine supplementation.1
  • Creatine stores high-energy phosphate groups in the form of phosphocreatine. When the cell needs high amounts of energy, phosphocreatine releases the needed energy, so this increases muscle strength after creatine supplementation.2
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Natural Creatine Sources

  • Bovine animals’ meat contains the highest amount of creatine (4.74-5.51 g/kg) compared with other animals’ meat especially the heart, the kidneys and the liver. 3
  • Dairy products have minimal creatine content, but they are the second major source of dietary creatine after meat products.4
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DOSAGE AND SIDE EFFECTS

  • Creatine monohydrate is the cheapest and most effective form.
  • Stomach cramping occurs if creatine is taken without sufficient water.
  • Gastrointestinal upsets like diarrhea and nausea may occur if high amounts of creatine are taken at once, so doses should be spread out over the day and taken with meals.5
  • Water retention usually seen with higher loading doses. This can exceed two kilograms. But with prolonged creatine supplementation muscle bulk increases.
  • Dosage: loading dose: 0.3 g/kg of bodyweight per day for 5–7 days, then maintain with at least 0.03 g/kg/day for three weeks (if cycling) or indefinitely.
  • If you stopped creatine supplementation, there would be no loss in strength or muscle mass.6
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CREATINE EFFECTS ON MUSCLES

  • Creatine increases muscle creatine levels.7
  • Creatine increases muscle power. muscle strength shows 12-20% increase and the power shows 12-26% increase.8
  • Creatine increases total body weight because of water retention.9-13
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RESULTS OF STUDIES RELATED TO SWIMMING PERFORMANCE AND CREATINE SUPPLEMENTATION

No or little effects
  • Studies done in 1996 showed that elite swimmers loaded with creatine failed to improve sprint times, power output and work volume.14
  • Another study in 1996 failed to find any increase in muscular creatine levels and power output in female swimmers.15
  • Another study in 1996 failed to show any influence on exercise performance or lactate concentration in elite swimmers subject to 25-100-m sprints.16
  • A study in 2002 found no beneficial effects for creatine on junior swimmers’ sprint, but it improved their swim-bench.17
  • Studies done in 2004 and 2005 did not find any performance-enhancing effects after long-term maintenance EXCEPT for elite swimmers.18-19
Significant positive effects
  • Studies done in 1999 proved that creatine supplementation improves swimming performance, BUT this benefit was short term only and did not benefit the creatine group over the placebo group in the long term.20
  • Studies in 2003 on elite swimmers discovered that creatine loading with (0.3 g/kg/day) for one week then maintenance with (2.25 g/day) for nine days, improved the 50-m and 100-m sprint tests.21
  • A 2004 study found that creatine supplementation enhances swimming performance in 400-m sprint with increased anerobic capacity and power output.22
  • Studies done in 2011 indicated that creatine supplementation improves 50-m sprint performance.23
  • Studies done in 2013 proved that creatine supplementation improves intermittent sprint performance (50 m conducted six times with a 2-minute break in between). It also slowed speed decrease on the third sprint from 5% to 2%.24

Conclusion

  • A daily supplementation of creatine may mark the difference for swimmers of short course swimming pool sprints (such as in 50-m and 100-m) ESPECIALLY for elite swimmers.
  • Positive effects of creatine were only identified on male swimmers.
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REFERENCES

  1. Shao A, Hathcock JN. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2006. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16814437. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  2. Creatine.Examine.com. http://examine.com/supplements/creatine.Accessed February 14, 2016.
  3. Dahl O. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 1965. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5841078. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  4. Harris RC, Söderlund K, Hultman E. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 1992. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1327657. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  5. Groeneveld GJ, Beijer C, Veldink JH, Kalmijn S, Wokke JH, van den Berg LH. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2005. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15795816. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  6. Candow DG, Chilibeck PD, Chad KE, Chrusch MJ, Davison KS, Burke DG. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2004. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15263100. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  7. del Favero S, Roschel H, Artioli G, et al. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21744011. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  8. Candow DG, Chilibeck PD, Burke DG, Mueller KD, Lewis JD. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2011. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14636103. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  9. Eckerson JM, Bull AA, Moore GA. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2008. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18438234. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  10. Kilduff LP, Lewis S, Kingsley MI, Owen NJ, Dietzig RE. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2003. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17530953. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  11. Eckerson JM, Stout JR, Moore GA, Stone NJ, Iwan KA, Gebauer AN, Ginsberg R. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2005. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16287344. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  12. Mendes RR, Pires I, Oliveira A, Tirapegui J. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2004. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15302082. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  13. Kutz MR, Gunter MJ. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2003. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14636103. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  14. Burke LM, Pyne DB, Telford RD. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 1996. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8876342 . Accessed February 14, 2016.
  15. Thompson CH, Kemp GJ, Sanderson AL, et al. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 1996. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8889115. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  16. Mujika I, Chatard JC, Lacoste L, Barale F, Geyssant A. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 1996. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8933496. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  17. Dawson B, Vladich T, Blanksby BA. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2002. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12423175. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  18. Mendes RR, Pires I, Oliveira A, Tirapegui J. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2004. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15302082. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  19. Peyrebrune MC, Stokes K, Hall GM, Nevill ME. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2005. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16331142. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  20. Theodorou AS, Cooke CB, King RF, Hood C, Denison T, Wainwright BG, Havenetidis K. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 1999. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10585165. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  21. Selsby JT, Beckett KD, Kern M, Devor ST. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2003. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12930165. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  22. Anomasiri W, Sanguanrungsirikul S, Saichandee P. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2004. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16083193. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  23. Vatani DS, Faraji H, Soori R, Mogharnasi M. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2011. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0765159711001171. Accessed February 14, 2016.
  24. Dabidi RV, Babaei H, Hosseinzadeh M, Arendt-Nielsen L. PubMed. Bethesda, Maryland: National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23715246. Accessed February 14, 2016.
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