Journal of applied physiology vol:95 issue:2 pages:818-28
effect of oral creatine supplementation (CR; 5 g/day) in conjunction with exercise training on physical fitness was investigated in men between 55 and 75 yr of age (n = 46). A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled (PL) trial was performed over a 6-mo period. Furthermore, a subgroup (n = 20) completed a 1-yr follow-up. The training program consisted of cardiorespiratory endurance training as well as moderate resistance training (2-3 sessions/wk). Endurance capacity was evaluated during a maximal incremental bicycle ergometer test, maximal isometric strength of the knee-extensor muscles was assessed by an isokinetic dynamometer, and body composition was assessed by hydrostatic weighing. Furthermore, in a subgroup (PL: n = 13; CR: n = 12) biopsies were taken from m. vastus lateralis to determine total creatine (TCr) content. In PL, 6 mo of training increased peak oxygen uptake rate (+16%; P < 0.05). Fat-free mass slightly increased (+0.3 kg; P < 0.05), whereas percent body fat slightly decreased (-1.2%; P < 0.05). The training intervention did not significantly change either maximal isometric strength or body weight. The responses were independent of CR. Still, compared with PL, TCr was increased by approximately 5% in CR, and this increase was closely correlated with initial muscle creatine content (r = -0.78; P < 0.05). After a 1-yr follow-up, muscle TCr was not higher in CR than in PL. Furthermore, the other measurements were not affected by CR. It is concluded that long-term creatine intake (5 g/day) in conjunction with exercise training does not beneficially impact physical fitness in men between 55 and 75 yr of age.