Effects of creatine loading on electromyographic fatigue threshold during cycle ergometry in college-aged women

J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2007 Nov 26:4:20. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-4-20.


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of 5 days of Creatine (Cr) loading on the electromyographic fatigue threshold (EMGFT) in college-aged women. Fifteen healthy college-aged women (mean +/- SD = 22.3 +/- 1.7 yrs) volunteered to participate in this double-blind, placebo-controlled study and were randomly placed into either placebo (PL - 10 g of flavored dextrose powder; n = 8) or creatine (Cr - 5 g di-creatine citrate plus 10 g of flavored dextrose powder; n = 7; Creatine Edge, FSI Nutrition) loading groups. Each group ingested one packet 4 times per day (total of 20 g/day) for 5 days. Prior to and following supplementation, each subject performed a discontinuous incremental cycle ergometer test to determine their EMGFT value, using bipolar surface electrodes placed on the longitudinal axis of the right vastus lateralis. Subjects completed a total of four, 60 second work bouts (ranging from 100-350 W). The EMG amplitude was averaged over 10 second intervals and plotted over the 60 second work bout. The resulting slopes from each successive work bouts were used to calculate EMGFT. A two-way ANOVA (group [Cr vs. PL] x time [pre vs. post]) resulted in a significant (p = 0.031) interaction. Furthermore, a dependent samples t-test showed a 14.5% +/- 3.5% increase in EMGFT from pre- to post-supplementation with Cr (p = 0.009), but no change for the PL treatment (-2.2 +/- 5.8%; p = 0.732). In addition, a significant increase (1.0 +/- 0.34 kg; p = 0.049) in weight (kg) was observed in the Cr group but no change for PL (-0.2 kg +/- 0.2 kg). These findings suggest that 5 days of Cr loading in women may be an effective strategy for delaying the onset of neuromuscular fatigue during cycle ergometry.