Effects of creatine supplementation on aerobic power and cardiovascular structure and function

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Journal Article
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 2005, 8 (3), pp. 305 - 313
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This project aimed to determine 1) whether creatine (Cr) supplementation affects cardiovascular structure and function and 2) to examine its effect on aerobic power. Eighteen males undertook aerobic testing on a cycle ergometer and echocardiographic assessment of the heart. The experimental group (N=9) ingested 20g·day-1 of Cr for seven days followed by 10g·day-1 for a further 21 days. The control group (N=9) followed an identical protocol ingesting a placebo for the same period. Assessment was performed pre-, mid- (seven days) and post-testing (28 days). A MANOVA with repeated measures was used to test for group differences before and after supplementation. The Cr group demonstrated a significant increase in body mass for the pre-mid (1.0±0.6 kg) and the pre-post (1.5±0.7 kg) testing occasions. Submaximal V̇O2 decreased significantly from the pre-mid and pre-post testing occasions by between 4.8% to 11.4% with Cr supplementation at workloads of 75 W and 150 W. Other oxygen consumption measures and exercise time to exhaustion, for the Cr group, showed decreasing trends that approached significance. Additionally, there was a significant pre-post decrease in maximum heart rate of 3.7%. There were no changes in any of the echocardiographic or blood pressure measures for either group. The present results suggest short term Cr supplementation has no detectable negative effect on cardiac structure or function. Additionally, Cr ingestion improves submaximal cycling efficiency. These results suggest that the increase in efficiency may be related to peripheral factors such an increase in muscle phosphocreatine, rather than central changes.
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