Open Access Open Badges Research article

Thermoregulatory and cardiovascular responses to creatine, glycerol and alpha lipoic acid in trained cyclists

Thelma P Polyviou1, Yannis P Pitsiladis1, Wu Chean Lee1, Takas Pantazis1, Catherine Hambly3, John R Speakman3 and Dalia Malkova2*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, United Kingdom

2 Medical School, College of Medicine, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, United Kingdom

3 Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences University of Aberdeen Tillydrone Ave Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, Scotland, UK

For all author emails, please log on.

Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2012, 9:29  doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-29

Published: 22 June 2012



It has been shown that supplementation with creatine (Cr) and glycerol (Gly), when combined with glucose (Glu) necessary for the enhancement of Cr uptake by skeletal muscle, induces significant improvements in thermoregulatory and cardiovascular responses during exercise in the heat.


To determine whether Cr/Gly-induced thermoregulatory and cardiovascular responses are maintained when the majority (~75%) of the Glu in the Cr/Gly supplement is replaced with the insulintropic agent alpha lipoic acid (Ala).


22 healthy endurance trained cyclists were randomly assigned to receive either 20 g/day (4 × 5 g/day) of Cr, 2 g .kg-1 BM per day (4 × 0.5 g .kg-1 BM per day) of Gly and 150 g/day (4 × 37.5 g/day) of Glu or 20 g/day (4 × 5 g/day) of Cr monohydrate, 2 g .kg-1 BM per day (4 × 0.5 g .kg-1 BM per day) of Gly (100 g/day (4 × 25 g/day) of Glu and 1000 mg/day (4 × 250 mg/day) of Ala for 7 days for 7 days. Exercise trials were conducted pre- and post-supplementation and involved 40 min of constant-load cycling exercise at 70% O2 max by a self-paced 16.1 km time trial at 30°C and 70% relative humidity.


Median and range values of TBW increased significantly by 2.1 (1.3-3.3) L and 1.8 (0.2-4.6) L in Cr/Gly/Glu and Cr/Gly/Glu/Ala groups respectively (P = 0.03) and of BM not significantly by 1.8 (0.2-3.0) kg and 1.2 (0.5-2.1) kg in Cr/Gly/Glu and in Cr/Gly/Glu/Ala, respectively (P = 0.75). During constant load exercise, heart rate (HR) and core temperature (Tcore) were significantly lower post-supplementation: HR was reduced on average by 3.3 ± 2.1 beats/min and by 4.8 ± 3.3 beats/min (mean ± SD) and Tcore by 0.2 ± 0.1 (mean ± SD) in the Cr/Gly/Glu and Cr/Gly/Glu/Ala, respectively The reduction in HR and Tcore was not significantly different between the supplementation groups.


In comparison to the established hyper hydrating Cr/Gly/Glu supplement, supplement containing Cr/Gly/Ala and decreased amount of Glu provides equal improvements in thermoregulatory and cardiovascular responses during exercise in the heat.

Creatine; Glycerol; Alpha Lipoic Acid; Thermoregulation; Cardiovascular Response; Water Loading; Exercise