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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2008 Feb;104(2):508-12. Epub 2007 Nov 21.

Creatine supplementation does not affect human skeletal muscle glycogen content in the absence of prior exercise.

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School of Life Sciences, Heriot-Watt Univ., Riccarton, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK.


Due to the current lack of clarity, we examined whether 5 days of dietary creatine (Cr) supplementation per se can influence the glycogen content of human skeletal muscle. Six healthy male volunteers participated in the study, reporting to the laboratory on four occasions to exercise to the point of volitional exhaustion, each after 3 days of a controlled normal habitual dietary intake. After a familiarization visit, participants cycled to exhaustion in the absence of any supplementation (N), and then 2 wk later again they cycled to exhaustion after 5 days of supplementation with simple sugars (CHO). Finally, after a further 2 wk, they again cycled to exhaustion after 5 days of Cr supplementation. Muscle samples were taken at rest before exercise, at the time point of exhaustion in visit 1, and at subsequent visit time of exhaustion. There was a treatment effect on muscle total Cr content in Cr compared with N and CHO supplementation (P < 0.01). Resting muscle glycogen content was elevated above N following CHO (P < 0.05) but not after Cr. At exhaustion following N, glycogen content was no different from CHO and Cr measured at the same time point during exercise. Cr supplementation under conditions of controlled habitual dietary intake had no effect on muscle glycogen content at rest or after exhaustive exercise. We suggest that any Cr-associated increases in muscle glycogen storage are the result of an interaction between Cr supplementation and other mediators of muscle glycogen storage.

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