The focus of this review is the effects of creatine supplementation with or without exercise on glucose metabolism. A comprehensive examination of the past 16 years of study within the field provided a distillation of key data. Both in animal and human studies, creatine supplementation together with exercise training demonstrated greater beneficial effects on glucose metabolism; creatine supplementation itself demonstrated positive results in only a few of the studies. In the animal studies, the effects of creatine supplementation on glucose metabolism were even more distinct, and caution is needed in extrapolating these data to different species, especially to humans. Regarding human studies, considering the samples characteristics, the findings cannot be extrapolated to patients who have poorer glycemic control, are older, are on a different pharmacological treatment (e.g., exogenous insulin therapy) or are physically inactive. Thus, creatine supplementation is a possible nutritional therapy adjuvant with hypoglycemic effects, particularly when used in conjunction with exercise.
Keywords: Creatine; Exercise; Glucose; Insulin; Type 2 diabetes.