Objectives: Creatine and whey protein are supplements believed to have an ergogenic effect. Very little is known regarding the effects of these dietary supplements in older men. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of creatine and whey protein supplements, consumed independently and in combination, on total and regional body composition in middle-aged men during a resistance-training program.
Design, setting, participants: Forty-two men were randomly assigned to four groups to receive supplements according to a double-blind protocol. Groups consumed their supplements three times per week immediately following their resistance training sessions. The groups were: 1) placebo (480 ml of Gatorade); 2) creatine (480 ml of Gatorade plus 5 grams of creatine); 3) whey protein (480 ml of Gatorade plus 35 grams of whey protein powder); and 4) whey protein/creatine (480 ml of Gatorade plus 5 grams of creatine and 35 grams of whey protein powder). All groups participated in resistance training 3 times per week for 14 weeks.
Measurements: At the beginning and end of the study, total and regional measures of body composition (DXA) and total (TBW), intracellular (ICW), and extracellular (ECW) body water (Multifrequency BIA) were measured and 3-day diet records were completed.
Results: There were significant training effects for regional arm fat (decrease), regional arm bone free-fat free mass (BF-FFM - increase), total body BF-FFM (increase), ICW (increase), and ECW (increase) but no significant group effects and only one significant group by training interaction (ECW). There were no significant changes for total calorie, carbohydrate, fat or protein intake for any of the groups from prestudy to post-study testing.
Conclusion: The results from this study suggest that supplementation with creatine, whey protein, or a combination of creatine and whey protein, when combined with resistance training in middle-aged men, have no added benefit to changes that occur to body composition due to resistance training alone.