Supplementing with creatine in addition to resistance exercise may further improve muscle strength.
Increased muscle strength gains from resistance training with creatine supplementation
What was done?
A group of healthy older adults were given either i)creatine before and placebo after resistance training, ii) placebo before and creatine after resistance training, iii) or placebo before and after resistance training for 12 weeks. Muscle strength and muscle mass was measured before and after training.
What was found?
Creatine supplementation both before and after training increased muscle strength more than placebo.
How does this affect me?
Including creatine supplementation in addition to resistance exercise may further improve muscle strength.
Creatine supplementation in close proximity to resistance training may be an important strategy for increasing muscle mass and strength; however, it is unknown whether creatine supplementation before or after resistance training is more effective for aging adults. Using a double-blind, repeated measures design, older adults (50–71 years) were randomized to 1 of 3 groups: creatine before (CR-B: n = 15; creatine (0.1 g/kg) immediately before resistance training and placebo (0.1 g/kg cornstarch maltodextrin) immediately after resistance training), creatine after (CR-A: n = 12; placebo immediately before resistance training and creatine immediately after resistance training), or placebo (PLA: n = 12; placebo immediately before and immediately after resistance training) for 32 weeks. Prior to and following the study, body composition (lean tissue, fat mass; dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) and muscle strength (1-repetition maximum leg press and chest press) were assessed. There was an increase over time for lean tissue mass and muscle strength and a decrease in fat mass (p < 0.05). CR-A resulted in greater improvements in lean tissue mass (Δ 3.0 ± 1.9 kg) compared with PLA (Δ 0.5 ± 2.1 kg; p < 0.025). Creatine supplementation, independent of the timing of ingestion, increased muscle strength more than placebo (leg press: CR-B, Δ 36.6 ± 26.6 kg; CR-A, Δ 40.8 ± 38.4 kg; PLA, Δ 5.6 ± 35.1 kg; chest press: CR-B, Δ 15.2 ± 13.0 kg; CR-A, Δ 15.7 ± 12.5 kg; PLA, Δ 1.9 ± 14.7 kg; p < 0.025). Compared with resistance training alone, creatine supplementation improves muscle strength, with greater gains in lean tissue mass resulting from post-exercise creatine supplementation.