Short and Longer-Term Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Exercise Induced Muscle Damage

J Sports Sci Med. 2009 Mar 1;8(1):89-96. eCollection 2009.


The purpose of this investigation was to determine if creatine supplementation assisted with reducing the amount of exercise induced muscle damage and if creatine supplementation aided in recovery from exercise induced muscle damage. Two groups of subjects (group 1 = creatine; group 2 = placebo) participated in an eccentric exercise protocol following 7 and 30 days of creatine or placebo supplementation (20 g.d(-1) for 7 d followed by 6g.d(-1) for 23 d = 30 d). Prior to the supplementation period, measurements were obtained for maximal dynamic strength, maximal isometric force, knee range of motion, muscle soreness, and serum levels of creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Following 7 days of creatine supplementation, on day 8, subjects began consuming 6 g.d(-1) of creatine for 23 days. Additionally on days 8 and 31, subjects performed an eccentric exercise protocol using the knee extensors to induce muscle damage. Indirect markers of muscle damage, including maximal isometric force, knee range of motion, muscle soreness, and serum levels of CK and LDH, were collected at 12, 24, and 48 hours following each exercise bout. The results indicated that acute bouts of creatine have no effect on indirect markers of muscle damage for the acute (7 days) bout. However, maximal isometric force was greater for the creatine group versus placebo for the chronic (30 days) bout. This suggests that the ergogenic effect of creatine following 30 days of supplementation may have a positive impact on exercise induced muscle damage. Key pointsEccentric muscle actions highly associated with exercise induced muscle damage.Creatine supplementation has ergogenic effect to increase protein synthesis.Creatine supplementation does not attenuate exercise induced muscle damage with short term supplementation (7 days).Increased maximal isometric force seen with creatine supplementation after 30 days following exercise induced muscle damage.Ergogenic effect of creatine supplementation may contribute to reduced exercise induced muscle damage.

Keywords: Soreness; eccentric.; isometric force.