Kreider, R.B. (1998). Creatine, the next ergogenic supplement? In: Sportscience Training & Technology. Internet Society for Sport Science.
Creatine has become one of the most popular dietary supplements
available to athletes today. Unfortunately, research on creatine
supplementation and exercise metabolism is in its infancy, and there
is currently an enormous amount of misleading information about
creatine loading, its mechanisms of action and its side effects,
which has led to confusion in the athletic community. The present
review will go some way to redressing the imbalance. It is written by
a scientist actively involved in creatine research and describes, in
a clear and concise manner, the status of our knowledge. I recommend
you read this review before you consult the popular press.
J Duncan McDougall, PhD
Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Website and Email
As Dr Kreider has noted, the literature indicates that wide inter-individual differences exist in response to creatine supplementation. Although it is generally accepted that creatine supplementation results in a substantial increase in free creatine in muscle, whether or not this increase is matched by an increased uptake of inorganic phosphate and a proportional increase in phosphocreatine is somewhat more controversial, since some studies have noted increased free creatine but no change in phosphocreatine. An effect on creatine but not phosphocreatine may partially explain why subjects appear more likely to gain an ergogenic benefit from creatine supplementation when they perform several repeated sprints (where recovery time is very short) than during a single maximum effort.