Creatine + nitrate safe for athletes, study finds

By Adi Menayang contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Scientific method

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock
Consumers go to creatine to increase strength performance, and go to nitrate to improve endurance performance. So what happens when you take both?

This was the question posed by Texas A&M researchers of the university’s Department of Health and Kinesiology. “Despite the number of studies associated with endurance performance, a dearth of literature exists examining nitrate supplementation on strength performance,” ​the researchers wrote in a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

The researchers argue that the two nutrients have potential to work synergistically. “We hypothesized that Creatine Nitrate (CrN) would increase exercise performance and related performance indices in a dose dependent manner and be equal in effectiveness to Creatine monohydrate,” ​they wrote.

Acute supplementation

Two tests funded by Nutrabolt​ were conducted for the study: one examined the acute supplementation of a CrN formula, and another one examined chronic supplementation.

During the acute phase study, participants ingested each respective supplement one time in a randomized, double blind, crossover manner. The chronic supplementation phase used different participants receiving treatments in a randomized, double blind manner over 28 days.

For the acute supplementation trial, thirteen “healthy and recreationally active men”​ were recruited. Each participant was randomized in a counterbalanced manner to ingest at 6.5 g per dose either a placebo, creatine monohydrate, creatine nitrate-low, or creatine nitrate-high.  All supplements were provided by Nutrabolt.

After supplementation, the participant’s heart rate and blood pressures were measured and blood was drawn in regular time increments of 30 minutes and then 1-5 hours on the hour.

Chronic supplementation

In the second study, 48 healthy and recreationally active males were asked to follow a standardized resistance-training program two weeks before a baseline testing session. The program was continued throughout the supplementation period.

Similar to the first study, participants were assigned to ingest 5.5 g per dose of either a placebo, Creatine monohydrate, creatine nitrate-high, or creatine nitrate-low. The participants were required to do a standardized, four days a week split routine and upper and lower body workouts for a total of six weeks under the supervision of fitness instructors or training partners. Following the seventh day of the study, the supplementation assigned was ingested once daily.


The researchers found no significant changes in any blood marker or hemodynamic function for any treatment group from the acute supplementation study. Similar safety findings were also observed in the chronic supplementation study, which included a 7-day loading schema.

Though some side effects such as dizziness were reported, it was distributed among all groups, including the placebo group. Moreover, the researchers said that these reports were “minimal in regard to severity.”

In the chronic supplementation study, investigators noticed a significant increase ”in several strength parameters for the Creatine monohydrate and Creatine nitrate high groups. In terms of total lifting volume compared to the placebo group.

“Based on these findings we accept both our hypotheses that Creatine nitrate is safe when provided up to 3 g per day and is efficacious with regard to change sin strength and body composition,” ​they wrote.

Source: ​Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition

Published online, DOI: 10.1186/s12970-016-0124-0

Acute and chronic safety and efficacy of dose dependent creatine nitrate supplementation and exercise performance

Authors: Elfego Galvaln, Richard B. Kreider, et al.

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