Purpose: This investigation assessed the effects of a 9-wk regimen of creatine monohydrate (Cr x H2O) supplementation coupled with resistance training on body composition and neuromuscular performance in NCAA Division I football athletes.
Methods: Twenty-five subjects were randomly assigned in a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled design, to a treatment (Cr, N = 9), placebo (P, N = 8), or control group (C, N = 8). The Cr group received 20 g.d(-1) of creatine for the first 5 d in 5-g doses, four times daily, followed by 5 g.d(-1) for the remainder of the study. Each 5-g dose was mixed with 500 mL of glucose solution (Gatorade). The P group received a placebo (sodium phosphate monohydrate; NaH2PO4 x H2O) following the exact protocol as the Cr group. The C group received no supplementation. All subjects resistance trained 4 d.wk(-1). Measurements of neuromuscular performance and body composition were made pre- and post-training after supplementation while monitoring dietary intakes.
Results: Repeated measures ANOVA indicated significant differences occurred between the Cr group and the other two groups (P and C) for total body weight, lean body mass, cell hydration, strength, peak torque at 300 degrees.s(-1) knee flexion, percent torque decrement, and anaerobic power and capacity. However, percent body fat, peak torque during both knee flexion and extension at 60 and 180 degrees.s(-1), peak torque at 300 degrees.s(-1) during knee extension, global muscular strength (power clean), and extracellular fluid remained statistically unchanged for all groups.
Conclusions: Our findings indicate that creatine, supplemented concurrently with resistance and anaerobic training, may positively affect cell hydration status and enhance performance variables further than augmentation seen with training alone.