|Ok, I have to admit, eating, socializing, and sleeping may be more important, but I guess creatine monohydrate supplementation ranks 5th in the "things you got to do to get stronger and more muscular" algorithm ;-)|
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of 3, 5 and 7 days of creatine loading coupled with resistance exercise on resting testosterone and cortisol concentrations, systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate and rate pressure product (RPP).
Twenty physical active males volunteered with informed consent to participate in this study, which had been approved by the ethic committee of the Center of Sport and Health Sciences at the University. Volunteers were free from musculoskeletal injury and had not taken any dietary supple ment within the past 12 months. The volunteers were randomly assigned in a double-blind manner to
- a control or placebo group (Pl, n = 10; age 20 ± 1.1 y; weight 74.2 ± 4.8 kg; height 1.81 ± 0.07 m) where the subjects received a fake loading dose of 4x5g/day dextrose in pill form and
- a creatine investigation group (Cr, n = 10; age 21.5 ± 1.1 y; weight 74.6 ± 4.2 kg; height 1.78 ± 0.08 m) where the subjects were given identically looking pills with 4x5g/day of creatine in them.
During the seven days supplementation period, participants were prescribed a 4 × 5 g.d−1 dose of dextrose (placebo; Pl) or creatine (Cr) (Creatine Fuel, Twin Laboratories, Inc., Hauppauge, NY). Each supplement was measured using elec tronically calibrated scales and placed in identical coded airtight bags. Participants were instructed to consume the supplements, dissolved in approximately 300 mL of grape juice for better dissolution of creatine and ingested the solution with morning, mid-day, afternoon, and before sleep. Self-reported compliance to supplementation across the group was 100%. All participants were encouraged to adhere to their normal and similar dietary patterns through out the study. Volunteers were also asked to maintain their normal level of daily activity during the investigation.
"One week prior to initiation of study, each participant was familiarized with the testing and resistance exercise pro cedures. Researchers clearly explained the purpose and procedures of the study to the participants who volunteered for the study. During this session, age (yr), height (m) and weight (kg) were determined. One week later, each par ticipant was required to attend the laboratory on eight separate occasions, with the first visit for measurement of blood pressure and heart rate, testosterone and cortisol con centrations, respectively, and then six visits for completion of the main experimental conditions; 3 sessions resistance exercises (day 3, 5 and 7) and 3 sessions testing (day 4, 6 and 8).
Double Your Gains With Plain Creatine Monohydrate: Up to 2.6x Greater Strength Gains on the Bench With 5g of Plain Creatine Monohydrate per Day in Trained Rookies | read more
At the first visit, all participants given 4 × 5 g.d−1 dose of creatine or dextrose and maintained for seven days. All testing or exercise sessions began after approximately 12 hours overnight fast and 8 hours sleep. The temperature the laboratory was maintained at 21 C°."
|Overview of the relevant study results from the creatines tested by Moret et al. (2011).|
Rather than being concerned about the type of creatine you buy (it should always be creatine monohydrate) you should rather be concerned about the quality of your creatine products.
A 2011 study from Italy (Moret. 2011), for example, many of the samples they acquired randomly from the Italian market contained high amounts of the worthless creatine breakdown product creatinine. In 44% the level was significantly higher than the desirable 100mg/kg you get as a guarantee with Creapure for example. About 15% of the samples also contained dihydro-1,3,5-triazine concentrations exceeding the detection limit of 4.5 mg/kg (maximum 8.0 mg/kg) and a dicyandiamide concentration over 50 mg/kg. Just like the elevated creatinine content the occurrence of these agents is a sign unwanted impurity and a potential threat to your kidney (in high(er) doses | the doses Moret et al. found won't fry your kidneys). The same goes for the mercury that was detected at albeit very low levels in some samples.
In conclusion: Instead of paying extra for worthless and sometimes inferior forms of creatine you should rather pay extra for well-controlled creatine products like Creapure from reputable sources.
|Figure 1: Relative changes in testosterone and cortisol at rest vs. baseline (Arazi. 2015).|
supplementation in Cr group (P < 0.05). In addition, Cr group had significant higher resting testosterone concentration compared to Pl group after 5 and 7 days of creatine loading (P < 0.05).
As it was to be expected creatine did not lead to unwanted increases in systolic or diastolic blood pressure , mess with the heart rate, mean arterial pressure or rate pressure product as some fearmonegerish laypress articles would have it.
- Arazi, H., et al. "Effects of short term creatine supplementation and resistance exercises on resting hormonal and cardiovascular responses." Science & Sports (2015).
- Hall, Matthew, and Thomas H. Trojian. "Creatine supplementation." Current sports medicine reports 12.4 (2013): 240-244.
- MacLaren, Don. "Chapter 18-Supplements for high intensity exercise: Creatine and other ergogenic aids: Chapter taken from Drugs in Sport ISBN: 978-0-203-87382-3." Routledge Online Studies on the Olympic and Paralympic Games 1.43 (2012): 247-261.
- Moret, Sabrina, Annalisa Prevarin, and Franco Tubaro. "Levels of creatine, organic contaminants and heavy metals in creatine dietary supplements." Food Chemistry 126.3 (2011): 1232-1238.
- Rawson, Eric S., et al. "Low-dose creatine supplementation enhances fatigue resistance in the absence of weight gain." Nutrition 27.4 (2011): 451-455.