Creatine Supplementation Increases Muscle in Resistance Exercise Training
Creatine Supplementation Increases Muscle in Resistance Exercise Training. Date: Friday, September 05, 2008 Source: International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism Related Monographs: Creatine plays an important role in the production of energy and in the process of building muscle tissue. While creatine can be produced in the body from certain amino acids, many athletes are using creatine as a performance-enhancing agent. Studies suggest creatine may enhance the performance of high-intensity, short-duration exercise. Creatine is found in the body in muscle, brain, and blood. However, most creatine in the body is stored in muscles. Scientists think its potential for increasing energy comes from its ability to help the body increase the efficiency with which cells use energy. Resistance exercise training focuses on the development of muscular strength and endurance. It reduces the risk of certain health conditions and also promotes weight loss and weight maintenance. Young athletes under 18 years of age should use caution because their bodies have not yet matured and over vigorous workouts could cause bone damage. Stretching exercises must be performed before and after each training session. Creatine supplements are often used in resistance exercise to assist in efficient production of muscle energy. Lifting weights are used to provide the necessary resistance in this form of exercise. A recently published study compared changes in muscle insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) content resulting from resistance exercise training and creatine supplementation. The study included 24 male and 18 female participants with minimal resistance training experience who were exercising for at least 30 minutes 3 to 5 times per week. The study participants were randomly assigned a supplement with creatine or a placebo and then all entered into a whole-body resistance exercise training program for 8 weeks. The researchers also included 18 vegetarians examining to see if there was any difference in intramuscularl IGF-I content in comparison to non-vegetarians. Muscle biopsies were taken before and after the intervention and analyzed for IGF-I using standard immunohistochemical procedures. The results of the study revealed that resistance exercise training increased muscular IGF-I content by 67 percent. There was greater accumulation of IGF-I in the group supplementing with creatine (+78%) compared with the placebo group (+54%). There were no differences in IGF-I content between vegetarians and non-vegetarians. These results indicate that resistance training with the addition of creatine supplementation does effectively increase muscle in healthy men and women, independent of habitual dietary routine.1 1 Burke DG, Candow DG, Chilibeck PD, et al. Effect of creatine supplementation and resistance-exercise training on muscle insulin-like growth factor in young adults. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. Aug2008;18(4):389-98.