The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is activated by a fall in the ATP:AMP ratio within the cell in response to metabolic stresses. Once activated, it phosphorylates and inhibits key enzymes in energy-consuming biosynthetic pathways, thereby conserving cellular ATP. The creatine kinase-phosphocreatine system plays a key role in the control of ATP levels in tissues that have a high and rapidly fluctuating energy requirement. In this study, we provide direct evidence that these two energy-regulating systems are linked in skeletal muscle. We show that the AMPK inhibits creatine kinase by phosphorylation in vitro and in differentiated muscle cells. AMPK is itself regulated by a novel mechanism involving phosphocreatine, creatine and pH. Our findings provide an explanation for the high expression, yet apparently low activity, of AMPK in skeletal muscle, and reveal a potential mechanism for the co-ordinated regulation of energy metabolism in this tissue. Previous evidence suggests that AMPK activates fatty acid oxidation, which provides a source of ATP, following continued muscle contraction. The novel regulation of AMPK described here provides a mechanism by which energy supply can meet energy demand following the utilization of the immediate energy reserve provided by the creatine kinase-phosphocreatine system.