Biopsy samples were obtained from the vastus lateralis muscle of eight subjects after 0, 20, 60, and 120 s of recovery from intense electrically evoked isometric contraction. Later (10 days), the same procedures were performed using the other leg, but subjects ingested 20 g creatine (Cr)/day for the preceding 5 days. Muscle ATP, phosphocreatine (PCr), free Cr, and lactate concentrations were measured, and total Cr was calculated as the sum of PCr and free Cr concentrations. In five of the eight subjects, Cr ingestion substantially increased muscle total Cr concentration (mean 29 +/- 3 mmol/kg dry matter, 25 +/- 3%; range 19-35 mmol/kg dry matter, 15-32%) and PCr resynthesis during recovery (mean 19 +/- 4 mmol/kg dry matter, 35 +/- 6%; range 11-28 mmol/kg dry matter, 23-53%). In the remaining three subjects, Cr ingestion had little effect on muscle total Cr concentration, producing increases of 8-9 mmol/kg dry matter (5-7%), and did not increase PCr resynthesis. The data suggest that a dietary-induced increase in muscle total Cr concentration can increase PCr resynthesis during the 2nd min of recovery from intense contraction.