Effect of short-term creatine supplementation on markers of skeletal muscle damage after strenuous contractile activity

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010 Mar;108(5):945-55. doi: 10.1007/s00421-009-1305-1. Epub 2009 Dec 3.


The protective effect of short-term creatine supplementation (CrS) upon markers of strenuous contractile activity-induced damage in human and rat skeletal muscles was investigated. Eight Ironman triathletes were randomized into the placebo (Pl; n = 4) and creatine-supplemented (CrS; n = 4) groups. Five days prior to the Ironman competition, the CrS group received creatine monohydrate (20 g day(-1)) plus maltodextrin (50 g) divided in two equal doses. The Pl group received maltodextrin (50 g day(-1)) only. The effect of CrS (5 g day(-1)/kg body weight for 5 days) was also evaluated in a protocol of strenuous contractile activity induced by electrical stimulation in rats. Blood samples were collected before and 36 and 60 h after the competition and were used to determine plasma activities of creatine kinase (CK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), aldolase (ALD), glutamic oxaloacetic acid transaminase (GOT), glutamic pyruvic acid transaminase (GPT), and C-reactive protein (CRP) level. In rats, plasma activities of CK and LDH, muscle vascular permeability (MVP) using Evans blue dye, muscle force and fatigue were evaluated. Activities of CK, ALD, LDH, GOT, GTP, and levels of CRP were increased in the Pl group after the competition as compared to basal values. CrS decreased plasma activities of CK, LDH, and ALD, and prevented the rise of GOT and GPT plasma activities. In rats, CrS delayed the fatigue, preserved the force, and prevented the rise of LDH and CK plasma activities and MVP in the gastrocnemius muscle. CrS presented a protective effect on muscle injury induced by strenuous contractile activities.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Creatine / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Electric Stimulation / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Muscle Contraction / drug effects*
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle Fatigue / drug effects
  • Muscle Fatigue / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / injuries
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscular Diseases / metabolism
  • Muscular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Physical Exertion / drug effects
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Placebos
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Time Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Placebos
  • Creatine