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J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2014 Feb 26;11(1):6. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-11-6.

Effects of short-term ingestion of Russian Tarragon prior to creatine monohydrate supplementation on whole body and muscle creatine retention and anaerobic sprint capacity: a preliminary investigation.

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Department of Health and Kinesiology, Exercise and Sport Nutrition Lab, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4243, USA.



Extracts of Russian Tarragon (RT) have been reported to produce anti-hyperglycemic effects and influence plasma creatine (Cr) levels while supplementing with creatine monohydrate (CrM). The purpose of this preliminary study was to determine if short-term, low-dose aqueous RT extract ingestion prior to CrM supplementation influences whole body Cr retention, muscle Cr or measures of anaerobic sprint performance.


In a double-blind, randomized, and crossover manner; 10 recreationally trained males (20 ± 2 yrs; 179 ± 9 cm; 91.3 ± 34 kg) ingested 500 mg of aqueous RT extract (Finzelberg, Andernach, Germany) or 500 mg placebo 30-minutes prior to ingesting 5 g of CrM (Creapure®, AlzChem AG, Germany) twice per day for 5-days then repeated after a 6-week wash-out period. Urine was collected at baseline and during each of the 5-days of supplementation to determine urine Cr content. Whole body Cr retention was estimated from urine samples. Muscle biopsies were obtained for determination of muscle free Cr content. Participants also performed two 30-second Wingate anaerobic capacity tests prior to and following supplementation for determination of peak power (PP), mean power (MP), and total work (TW). Data were analysed by repeated measures MANOVA.


Whole body daily Cr retention increased in both groups following supplementation (0.0 ± 0.0; 8.2 ± 1.4, 6.5 ± 2.4, 5.6 ± 3.2, 6.1 ± 2.6, 4.8 ± 3.2 g · d-1; p = 0.001) with no differences observed between groups (p = 0.59). After 3 and 5-days of supplementation, respectively, both supplementation protocols demonstrated a significant increase in muscle free Cr content from baseline (4.8 ± 16.7, 15.5 ± 23.6 mmol · kg-1 DW, p = 0.01) with no significant differences observed between groups (p = 0.34). Absolute change in MP (9 ± 57, 35 ± 57 W; p = 0.031), percent change in MP (2.5 ± 10.5, 6.7 ± 10.4%; p = 0.026), absolute change in TW (275 ± 1,700, 1,031 ± 1,721 J; p = 0.032), and percent change in TW (2.5 ± 10.5, 6.6 ± 10.4%; p = 0.027) increased over time in both groups with no differences observed between groups.


Short-term CrM supplementation (10 g · d-1 for 5-days) significantly increased whole body Cr retention and muscle free Cr content. However, ingesting 500 mg of RT 30-min prior to CrM supplementation did not affect whole body Cr retention, muscle free Cr content, or anaerobic sprint capacity in comparison to ingesting CrM with a placebo.

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