Objective: The goal of this study was to evaluate the effects of creatine (Cr) supplementation on oxidative stress and inflammation markers after acute repeated-sprint exercise in humans.
Methods: Twenty-five players under age 20 y were randomly assigned to two groups: Cr supplemented and placebo. Double-blind controlled supplementation was performed using Cr (0.3 g/kg) or placebo tablets for 7 d. Before and after 7 d of supplementation, the athletes performed two consecutive Running-based Anaerobic Sprint Tests (RAST). RAST consisted of six 35-m sprint runs at maximum speed with 10 sec rest between them. Blood samples were collected just prior to start of test (pre), just after the completion (0 h), and 1 h after completion.
Results: Average, maximum, and minimum power values were greater in the Cr-supplemented group compared with placebo (P < 0.05). There were significant increases (P < 0.05) in plasma tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and C-reactive protein (CRP) up to 1 h after acute sprint exercise in the placebo-supplemented group. Malondialdehyde, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), catalase, and superoxide dismutase enzymes also were increased after exercise in both groups. Red blood cell glutathione was lower after exercise in both groups. Cr supplementation reversed the increase in TNF-α and CRP as well as LDH induced by acute exercise. Controversially, Cr supplementation did not inhibit the rise in oxidative stress markers. Also, antioxidant enzyme activity was not different between placebo and Cr-supplemented groups.
Conclusion: Cr supplementation inhibited the increase of inflammation markers TNF-α and CRP, but not oxidative stress markers, due to acute exercise.
Keywords: Creatine supplementation; Inflammation; Oxidative stress; Soccer; Sprint exercise.
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