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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update

Robert Cooper1*, Fernando Naclerio1, Judith Allgrove1 and Alfonso Jimenez12

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Sports Science and Human Performance, School of Science, University of Greenwich at Medway, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent, ME4 4TB, United Kingdom

2 Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living, ISEAL, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia

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Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2012, 9:33  doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-33

Published: 20 July 2012

Abstract

Creatine is one of the most popular and widely researched natural supplements. The majority of studies have focused on the effects of creatine monohydrate on performance and health; however, many other forms of creatine exist and are commercially available in the sports nutrition/supplement market. Regardless of the form, supplementation with creatine has regularly shown to increase strength, fat free mass, and muscle morphology with concurrent heavy resistance training more than resistance training alone. Creatine may be of benefit in other modes of exercise such as high-intensity sprints or endurance training. However, it appears that the effects of creatine diminish as the length of time spent exercising increases. Even though not all individuals respond similarly to creatine supplementation, it is generally accepted that its supplementation increases creatine storage and promotes a faster regeneration of adenosine triphosphate between high intensity exercises. These improved outcomes will increase performance and promote greater training adaptations. More recent research suggests that creatine supplementation in amounts of 0.1 g/kg of body weight combined with resistance training improves training adaptations at a cellular and sub-cellular level. Finally, although presently ingesting creatine as an oral supplement is considered safe and ethical, the perception of safety cannot be guaranteed, especially when administered for long period of time to different populations (athletes, sedentary, patient, active, young or elderly).