• Creatine Doesn't Increase Muscle Size

      by Anthony Roberts

      Yeah, I was pretty shocked when I read a recently published study that claimed that Creatine monohydrate failed to increase muscle size in trained rodents versus placebo. The study wasn’t biased per se (the scientists weren’t promoting an alternative product), and the journal is legitimate. So what happened? I’ll tell you after you read the abstract:

      Creatine does not promote hypertrophy in skeletal muscle in supplemented compared with nonsupplemented rats subjected to a similar workload
      Andreo Fernando Aguiara,, Rodrigo Wagner Alves de Souzaa, Danilo Henrique Aguiarb, Rachel Colauto Milanezi Aguiara, Ivan José Vechetti Jra, Maeli Dal-Pai-Silvaa
      a UNESP-Univ Estadual Paulista, Institute of Biosciences, Department of Morphology, Botucatu, 18618-970, São Paulo, Brazil
      b Mato Grosso Federal University, Health Science Department, Sinop, 78550-000, Mato Grosso, Brazil
      Received 22 March 2011; revised 5 August 2011; Accepted 8 August 2011. Available online 16 September 2011.
      The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that creatine (Cr) supplementation may promote an additional hypertrophic effect on skeletal muscle independent of a higher workload on Cr-supplemented trained muscle compared with Cr-nonsupplemented trained muscle. Male Wistar rats (2-3 months old, 250-300 g) were divided randomly into 4 groups (n = 8 per group): nontrained without Cr supplementation (CO), nontrained with Cr supplementation (CR), trained without Cr supplementation (TR), and trained with Cr supplementation (TRCR). Creatine supplementation was given at 0.5 g/kg per day. Trained groups were submitted to a 5-week resistance training program (5 d/wk). The progressive workloads were similar between the Cr-supplemented (TRCR) and Cr-nonsupplemented (TR) trained groups; the only difference between groups was the Cr treatment. After the 5-week experiment, the soleus muscle was dissected to analyze the cross-sectional area (CSA) of the muscle fibers. Resistance training promoted a significant (P < .05) increase in the muscle fibers CSA in the TR group compared with the CO group. However, no additional hypertrophic effect was found when Cr supplementation was added to training (TRCR vs TR comparison, P > .05). In addition, Cr supplementation alone did not promote significant alterations in muscle fiber CSA (CR vs CO comparison, P > .05). We conclude that Cr supplementation does not promote any additional hypertrophic effect on skeletal muscle area when Cr-supplemented trained muscles are submitted to same training regimen than Cr-nonsupplemented trained muscles. Specifically, any benefits of Cr supplementation on hypertrophy gains during resistance training may not be attributed to a direct anabolic effect on the skeletal muscle.
      Unfortunately, the researchers examined the soleus muscle to determine the effect that the creatine had on before and after muscle size. The soleus (calf) muscle is predominantly slow twitch (Type-I) muscle fibers. These types of muscle, unlike muscles composed primarily of fast-twitch fibers, are notoriously difficult to hypertrophy. They’re built for endurance so a huge cross sectional area wouldn’t impart any benefits, evolutionarily speaking. But that’s not all…

      Creatine primarily exerts its effects on your fast-twitch fibers. And, it has been fairly well-established that total creatine concentration found in the rat’s fast-twitch muscle is 45% greater than what is found in the rat slow-twitch muscle (1) and furthermore it has been established that the increase in phosphocreatine concentration post-creatine supplementation is greater in type II fibers (2). Therefore it seems highly unlikely that an accurate picture of creatine’s anabolic effects could accurately be measured by the examination of slow-twitch fibers.

      Greenhaff PL, Bodin K, Casey A, et al. Dietary creatine supplementation and fatigue during high intensity exercise in man. In: Maughan RJ, ed. Biochemistry of exercise IX. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers, 1996:219–42.
      Casey A, Constantin-Teodosiu D, Howell S, Hultman E, Greenhaff PL. Creatine ingestion favorably affects performance and muscle metabolism during maximal exercise in humans. Am J Physiol 1996;271:E31–7.

      Source: http://www.anthonyroberts.info/2011/...e-muscle-size/
      Comments 1 Comment
      1. wolffmuscle's Avatar
        wolffmuscle -
        Intresting article guise it proves if ur trying to grow your calfs creatine isent the answer. Little bit skepticle though on the over all effects due to the type 1 and type 2 muscle fibers, being that creatine suposedly affects the type2 a lot more.
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