Background: The main objective of this study was to explore the effect of acute creatine (Cr) ingestion on the secretion of human growth hormone (GH).
Methods: In a comparative cross-sectional study, 6 healthy male subjects ingested in resting conditions a single dose of 20 g creatine (Cr-test) vs a control (c-test). During 6 hours the Cr, creatinine and GH concentrations in blood serum were measured after Cr ingestion (Cr-test).
Results: During the Cr-test, all subjects showed a significant stimulation of GH (p<0.05), but with a large interindividual variability in the GH response: the difference between Cr-test and c-test averaged 83% (SD 45%). For the majority of subjects the maximum GH concentration occurred between 2 hrs and 6 hrs after the acute Cr ingestion.
Conclusions: In resting conditions and at high dosages Cr enhances GH secretion, mimicking the response of strong exercise which also stimulates GH secretion. Acute body weight gain and strength increase observed after Cr supplementation should consider the indirect anabolic property of Cr.