Creatine at low doses promotes resistance to fatigue, study

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Low dose supplementation of creatine could help combat fatigue, according to the results of a new study.

Published in the journal Nutrition​, the study set out to test whether low dose creatine supplements could improve muscle function.

Creatine, an amino acid-like compound, was first identified in 1832 for its presence in muscle. It has been the subject of about 70 randomized, controlled trials over the last 12 years or so, with the majority investigating creatine’s performance-enhancing benefits.

However, according to the authors of the current study, there was a gap in the literature regarding the effects of low-dose creatine ingestion on high-intensity exercise performance and body composition when dosing was based on body size and administered over a period of time that would allow sufficient muscle uptake.


The trial involved twenty health men and women, who were randomized to receive creatine supplements or placebo. Participants were given 0.03 g of creatine (provided by NutraSense Company, Shawnee Mission, KS, USA) or placebo per kilogram of body weight per day for 6 weeks (range 1.7–2.9 g/d).

Before supplementation participants were tested twice for anthropometric/body composition, muscle strength, and muscle fatigue, and they also provided blood samples to test plasma creatine concentration. They were then tested again after supplementation.


At the end of the six week period, researchers found that the supplementation did not result in any significant differences in body mass, fat-free mass, fat mass, body fat

percentage, total body water, or maximal strength.

However, plasma creatine increased significantly in the creatine group. In addition, this group was found to be more resistant to fatigue in some of the tests.

“Our data indicate that the ingestion of approximately 2.3g of creatine per day for six weeks can increase body creatine retention and enhance fatigue resistance during repeated sets of high-intensity contractions with no increase in body mass,”​ wrote the researchers.

“An additional unique finding of the present study is the absence of weight gain or increases in total body water. These may be viewed as beneficial effects in athletic populations for whom weight gain is undesirable. Future research should examine the effects of different doses of creatine supplementation with body composition and muscle function outcomes assessed at multiple time points in an effort to determine the minimal effective dose,”​ they concluded.

Source: Low-dose creatine supplementation enhances fatigue resistance in the absence of weight gain
Nutrition​ (2010), doi:10.1016/j.nut.2010.04.001
Authors : Rawson ES, et al.

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