Medicine and science in sports and exercise vol:31 issue:2 pages:236-42
PURPOSE: Oral creatine supplementation has been shown to improve power output during high intensity intermittent muscle contractions. Facilitated muscle phosphocreatine (PCr) resynthesis, by virtue of elevated intracellular PCr concentration, might contribute to this ergogenic action. Therefore, the effect of creatine loading (C: 25 g X d(-1) for 5 d) on muscle PCr breakdown and resynthesis and muscle performance during high intensity intermittent muscle contractions was investigated. METHODS: A double-blind randomized cross-over study was performed in young healthy male volunteers (N = 9). 31P-NMR spectroscopy of the m. gastrocnemius and isokinetic dynamometry of knee-extension torque were performed before and after 2 and 5 d of either placebo (P) or C administration. RESULTS: Compared with P, 2 and 5 d of C increased (P < 0.05) resting muscle PCr concentration by 11% and 16%, respectively. Furthermore, torque production during maximal intermittent knee extensions, including the first bout of contractions, was increased (P < 0.05) by 5-13% by either 2 or 5 d of C. However, compared with P, the rate of PCr breakdown and resynthesis during intermittent isometric contractions of the calf was not significantly affected by C. CONCLUSION: Creatine loading raises muscle PCr concentration and improves performance during rapid and dynamic intermittent muscle contractions. Creatine loading does not facilitate muscle PCr resynthesis during intermittent isometric muscle contractions.