Purpose: To assess the effects of creatine supplementation, associated or not with strength training, upon emotional and cognitive measures in older woman.
Methods: This is a 24-week, parallel-group, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. The individuals were randomly allocated into one of the following groups (n=14 each): 1) placebo, 2) creatine supplementation, 3) placebo associated with strength training or 4) creatine supplementation associated with strength training. According to their allocation, the participants were given creatine (4 x 5 g/d for 5 days followed by 5 g/d) or placebo (dextrose at the same dosage) and were strength trained or not. Cognitive function, assessed by a comprehensive battery of tests involving memory, selective attention, and inhibitory control, and emotional measures, assessed by the Geriatric Depression Scale, were evaluated at baseline, after 12 and 24 weeks of the intervention. Muscle strength and food intake were evaluated at baseline and after 24 weeks.
Results: After the 24-week intervention, both training groups (ingesting creatine supplementation and placebo) had significant reductions on the Geriatric Depression Scale scores when compared with the non-trained placebo group (p = 0.001 and p = 0.01, respectively) and the non-trained creatine group (p < 0.001 for both comparison). However, no significant differences were observed between the non-trained placebo and creatine (p = 0.60) groups, or between the trained placebo and creatine groups (p = 0.83). Both trained groups, irrespective of creatine supplementation, had better muscle strength performance than the non-trained groups. Neither strength training nor creatine supplementation altered any parameter of cognitive performance. Food intake remained unchanged.
Conclusion: Creatine supplementation did not promote any significant change in cognitive function and emotional parameters in apparently healthy older individuals. In addition, strength training per se improved emotional state and muscle strength, but not cognition, with no additive effects of creatine supplementation.
Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01164020.