Share this article on:

Effects of oral creatine supplementation on muscular strength and body composition

BECQUE, M. DANIEL; LOCHMANN, JOHN D.; MELROSE, DONALD R.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: March 2000 - Volume 32 - Issue 3 - p 654-658
APPLIED SCIENCES: Physical Fitness and Performance

BECQUE, M. D., J. D. LOCHMANN, and D. R. MELROSE. Effects of oral creatine supplementation on muscular strength and body composition. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 654–658, 2000.

Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effects of 6 wk of oral creatine supplementation during a periodized program of arm flexor strength training on arm flexor 1RM, upper arm muscle area, and body composition.

Methods: Twenty-three male volunteers with at least 1 yr of weight training experience were assigned in a double blind fashion to two groups (Cr, N = 10; Placebo, N = 13) with no significant mean pretest one repetition maximum (1RM) differences in arm flexor strength. Cr ingested 5 g of creatine monohydrate in a flavored, sucrose drink four times per day for 5 d. After 5 d, supplementation was reduced to 2 g·d−1. Placebo ingested a flavored, sucrose drink. Both drinks were 500 mL and made with 32 g of sucrose. 1RM strength of the arm flexors, body composition, and anthropometric upper arm muscle area (UAMA) were measured before and after a 6-wk resistance training program. Subjects trained twice per week with training loads that began at 6RM and progressed to 2RM.

Results: 1RM for Cr increased (P < 0.01) from (mean ± SD) 42.8 ± 17.7 kg to 54.7 ± 14.1 kg, while 1RM for Placebo increased (P < 0.01) from 42.5 ± 15.9 kg to 49.3 ± 15.7 kg. At post-test 1RM was significantly (P < 0.01) greater for Cr than for Placebo. Body mass for Cr increased (P < 0.01) from 86.7 ± 14.7 kg to 88.7 ± 13.8 kg. Fat-free mass for Cr increased (P < 0.01) from 71.2 ± 10.0 kg to 72.8 ± 10.1 kg. No changes in body mass or fat-free mass were found for Placebo. There were no changes in fat mass and percent body fat for either group. UAMA increased (P < 0.01) 7.9 cm2 for Cr and did not change for Placebo.

Conclusion: Creatine supplementation during arm flexor strength training lead to greater increases in arm flexor muscular strength, upper arm muscle area, and fat-free mass than strength training alone.

Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Department of Physical Education, Carbondale, IL 62901-4310

Submitted for publication December 1997.

Accepted for publication April 1999.

Address for correspondence: M. Daniel Becque, Ph.D., Department of Physical Education, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 2901-4310. E-mail: mdbecque@siu.edu.

©2000The American College of Sports Medicine