Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Wunderous Effects Of Creatine - Good for the Heart, but Strength Improvements are Restricted to Large Muscle Groups

Molecular structure of creatine
(HMDB v2.5)

Recent research confirms: If you had to pick a single supplement, you'd better choose creatine. Two recent studies by Sanchez-Gonzales et.al. (Sanchez-Gonzales. 2010) and Urbanski et.al. (Urbanski. 2010) confirmed and expanded the already well-established ergogenic effects of creatine supplementation on performance, as well as on general health.

In the latter context, the study by Sanchez-Gonzales may be of particular interest, as it found a significant reduction in, both, in brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity, as well as in blood pressure after an acute bout of isokinetic exercises:

Resting measurements were not altered after Cr. Compared to placebo, Cr significantly (p < 0.05) attenuated the increase in systolic BP at PE5 (Pl: 14 ± 2.5 vs. Cr: 5.6 ± 2.3 mmHg) and PE15 (Pl: 10.6 ± 2.8 vs. Cr: 2.1 ± 2.6 mmHg), the increase in baPWV at PE5 (Pl: 1.6 ± 0.4 vs. Cr: -0.9 ± 0.4 m/s), and the increase in HR at PE15 (Pl: 23 ± 4 vs. Cr: 11 ± 3 beats/min). (Sanchez-Gonzales. 2010)
Apart from being good for your heart, you may already know that supplementation of 5 g creatine monohydrate + 3 g dextrose, as it was done by Urbanski et.al. "can increase maximal strength and time to fatigue during isometric exercise" (Urbanski. 2010). What might yet be of greater interest is that it appears to work only in larger muscle groups, as opposed to the leg muscles, hand grip strength was not improved in the subjects from the Urbanski-study.