Creatine supplementation does not reduce muscle damage or enhance recovery from resistance exercise
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Previous studies have shown that creatine supplementation reduces muscle damage and inﬂammation following running but not following high-force, eccentric exercise. Although the mechanical strain placed on muscle ﬁbers during high-force, eccentric exercise may be too overwhelming for creatine to exert any protective effect, creatine supplementation may protect skeletal muscle stressed by a resistance training challenge that is more hypoxic in nature. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of short-term creatine supplementation on markers of muscle damage (i.e., strength, range of motion, muscle soreness, muscle serum protein activity, C-reactive protein) to determine whether creatine supplementation offers protective effects on skeletal muscle following a hypoxic resistance exercise test. Twenty-two healthy, weight-trained men (19–27 years) ingested either creatine or a placebo for 10 days. Following 5 days of supplementation, subjects performed a squat exercise protocol (5 sets of 15–20 repetitions at 50% of 1 repetition maximum [1RM]). Assessments of creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase activity, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, maximal strength, range of motion (ROM), and muscle soreness (SOR) with movement and palpation were conducted pre-exercise and during a 5-day follow up. Following the exercise test, maximal strength and ROM decreased, whereas SOR and CK increased. Creatine and placebo-supplemented subjects experienced signiﬁcant decreases in maximal strength (creatine: 13.4 kg, placebo: 17.5 kg) and ROM (creatine: 2.4°, placebo: 3.0°) immediately postexercise, with no difference be-tween groups. Following the exercise test, there were signiﬁcant increases in SOR with movement and palpation (p < 0.05 at 24, 48, and 72 hours postexercise), and CK activity (p < 0.05 at 24 and 48 hours postexercise), with no differences between groups at any time. These data suggest that oral creatine supplementation does not reduce skeletal muscle damage or enhance recovery following a hypoxic resistance exercise challenge.
Rawson, ES, MP Conti, and MP Miles. Creatine supplementation does not reduce muscle damage or enhance recovery from resistance exercise. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 21(4):1208-1213, 2007.