Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The effects of creatine ethyl ester supplementation combined with heavy resistance training on body composition, muscle performance, and serum and muscle creatine levels

Mike Spillane1, Ryan Schoch4, Matt Cooke1, Travis Harvey5, Mike Greenwood1, Richard Kreider3 and Darryn S Willoughby12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation, Baylor University, Box 97313, Waco, TX 76798, USA

2 Institute for Biomedical Science, Baylor University, Waco, TX 87898, USA

3 Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 78743, USA

4 Interdepartmental Nutrition Program, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

5 Department of Physical Education, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY 10096, USA

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Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2009, 6:6  doi:10.1186/1550-2783-6-6

Published: 19 February 2009

Abstract

Numerous creatine formulations have been developed primarily to maximize creatine absorption. Creatine ethyl ester is alleged to increase creatine bio-availability. This study examined how a seven-week supplementation regimen combined with resistance training affected body composition, muscle mass, muscle strength and power, serum and muscle creatine levels, and serum creatinine levels in 30 non-resistance-trained males. In a double-blind manner, participants were randomly assigned to a maltodextrose placebo (PLA), creatine monohydrate (CRT), or creatine ethyl ester (CEE) group. The supplements were orally ingested at a dose of 0.30 g/kg fat-free body mass (approximately 20 g/day) for five days followed by ingestion at 0.075 g/kg fat free mass (approximately 5 g/day) for 42 days. Results showed significantly higher serum creatine concentrations in PLA (p = 0.007) and CRT (p = 0.005) compared to CEE. Serum creatinine was greater in CEE compared to the PLA (p = 0.001) and CRT (p = 0.001) and increased at days 6, 27, and 48. Total muscle creatine content was significantly higher in CRT (p = 0.026) and CEE (p = 0.041) compared to PLA, with no differences between CRT and CEE. Significant changes over time were observed for body composition, body water, muscle strength and power variables, but no significant differences were observed between groups. In conclusion, when compared to creatine monohydrate, creatine ethyl ester was not as effective at increasing serum and muscle creatine levels or in improving body composition, muscle mass, strength, and power. Therefore, the improvements in these variables can most likely be attributed to the training protocol itself, rather than the supplementation regimen.