Monday, May 26, 2014

Don't Want to Sacrifice Your Strength on the Altar of Cardio Training? Creatine Monohydrate to the Rescue! Differential Effects on HIIT / Steady State, Legs / Chest

Women can use creatine, too ;-)
It's not too long ago that I'd stuck to the word "creatine" in the headline of today's SuppVersity article. In view of the fact that four years after the publication of Ralf Jäger's study on the inefficiency of all super-innovative novel forms of creatine in 2011 people obviously have forgotten that the only ones who benefits from any of these "advanced" creatines are patent holders and supplement producers, I thought it may be a good idea to make sure nobody abuses this article to pimp his patented "super creatine" ;-) And in case you are worried about the alleged instability of creatine, just take it with some baking soda (learn more).

Now that we've done away with the "advanced creatine" lies, we can get to the actual news... or, well, actually it's not really surprising that Vítor de Salles Painelli and his colleagues from the University of Sao Paulo (hi Lucio ;-) end the abstract to their latest paper in the European Journal of Applied Physiology stating that "the acute interference effect on strength performance observed in concurrent exercise may be counteracted by Cr [creatine] supplementation", is it?
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Certainly not, as a SuppVersity reader you are after all long aware of the fact that this "interference" is hilariously overrated and creatine the #1 non-hormonal strength builder on the market.

If you take a closer look at the effects the 5km pre-workout run (10 min rest before the workout), the subjects had to perform before in a continuous (at 90 % of the anaerobic threshold velocity-Atv) or intermittent (1:1 min running at VO2max vs. walking) fashion, are yet not what you maybe thought the "Altar of Endurance Training" would look like.
Figure 1: Changes in leg press and bench press strength endurance after continuous 5-km continuous (CE) and intermittent (1 min running at VO2max, 1min walking) aerobic exercise (de Salles Painelli. 2014)
And as the data in Figure 1 goes to show you, 5km at a comparatively high intensity do (much in contrast to a 5km run on non-workout days) will significantly reduce the performance on a subsequent 1-RM or strength endurance test on the leg- and bench-press.
Figure 2: Changes in leg press and bench press maximal strength after 5-km continuous endurance running (CE) and intermittent (1 min running at VO2max, 1min walking) aerobic exercise (de Salles Painelli. 2014)
If you compare the effects of the 20g/day of creatine the subjects consumed for 7 days before the first exercise test (preload) and at at dosage of 5g/day for the rest of the study period, on strength endurance (Figure 1) and maximal strength (Figure 2) you will realize that the effects are exercise and muscle part dependent.
  • Your strength endurance on the bench will suffer significantly less from a 5km run to the gym, than your maximal strength - no wonder, it's after all not really used when you're running.
  • The intense intermittent 5km run will reduce your strength endurance on the leg press to a significantly higher degree than the continuous run.
In the end, it does yet not matter what you do. As long as you take your creatine you are on the winning streak. An when all is said and one, there may even be a small increases in 1RM as it was observed in the study at hand after either continuous (bench press and leg press) or intermittent (bench press) aerobic exercise in the creatine group - in other words, as long as you're "on creatine", the 5-km run can actually be ergogenic ... well, okay "non-significantly ergogenic" ;-)
Creatine is not just a performance enhancer, it's also a potent non-ROS reducing antioxidant | more
Bottom line: Aside from the fact that I deem it necessary to repeat that (a) you don't need anything but pure creatine monohydrate and that (b) it's not necessary to flood the system with 20g of creatine everyday for a whole week, if you are not taking part in a study and need your creatine stores to supersaturate within the next 7 days, I have little to add to the results of this study...

Ok, maybe one thing: If you want to take only two supplements, they must be whey protein and creatine. And honestly, you don't really need anything else.
Reference:
  • de Salles Painelli, Vítor, et al. "Creatine supplementation prevents acute strength loss induced by concurrent exercise." European Journal of Applied Physiology (2014): 1-7.
  • Jäger, Ralf, et al. "Analysis of the efficacy, safety, and regulatory status of novel forms of creatine." Amino Acids 40.5 (2011): 1369-1383.