Creatine & caffeine: counterproductive?

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    Creatine & caffeine: counterproductive?


    Here's some interesting food for thought... supplementing w caffeine and creatine mono pre workout might be a pointless endeavor, bc caffeine is purported to inhibit muscle relaxation by altering muscle calcium levels...

    so i wonder, i take GNC's Anabolic Leucine Stack as a pre workout supplement, which contains 195 mg caffeine (almost 2 cups coffee) alongside 3 g creatine mono. if caffeine really does negate the benefits of creatine, at least to some extent, then this could just be a waste of money. or perhaps these amounts are just too minimal to effect any kind of change regardless.

    it makes for some interesting discussion though, does anyone have any feedback on this?

    Here's the article I read:
    Creatine Newsletter #7: The Creatine Caffeine Dilemma

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    Not a good idea to take them together, IMO.
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    Theres a ton of products (as well as a ton of people) that stack the two together. Interesting post
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    Interesting, but I'm not so sure about this. I don't see any actual performance results, so we're sort of taking this guy's word for it that performance did actually drop off. I may try to find those actual studies and read more.

    But right off the bat, I'll question the amount of caffeine used. 350mg is quite a lot. I'm not saying people don't hit that number and I'm sure I have on occasion, but it's a lot of caffeine. And just from my own experience, I don't notice any decrease in power/strength when I add 200mg to 5g of creatine in my system during my workout.

    I'd like to see some hard data on the study. Curious about what others think too. I'd be pretty bummed if I had to cut out my pre-workout caffeine!
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    Ecto, there is data on this. It's not just his word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Savage View Post
    Ecto, there is data on this. It's not just his word.
    There is actually very conflicting info on this, as some creatine studies were conducted with the creatine mixed in with black tea and creatine still exhibited positive effects. I have seen good arguments for both sides, I honestly do not know what to think.
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    This topic has been debated for a very long time and originally the intial impression is not to. Then you got people saying 'Dude my, etc, etc, etc'....yeah ok.

    I'll interject what I know and throw out a hypothesis. Caffiene has a tendency to increase the pH within the stomach. The exact amount of pH increase is up in the air, but based on an increase in pH you'd have to think about how that would affect creatine. This again is another debated topic. Are we talking about the rate of digestion or are we talking about converting to creatinine (waste product) ? People have for some reason a difficult time understanding those 2 when its not really that hard.

    Putting that issue aside. No I don't believe caffiene negatively affects creatine. The actual digestion rate of creatine and caffiene make a difference. The actual absorption rate of creatine and caffiene make a difference. This is just based off of how pH levels are affected by caffiene. This would be the same as putting creatine in orange juice where people say 'Oh no! your gonna turn it into creatinine faster !' Um, our stomach are pretty acidic...so yeah.

    If you don't notice any lack of the power of creatine or its still doing what its doing even after you take caffiene...there isn't a damn thing wrong with that. Bottom line is your getting the results that you want and your taking caffiene with it I don't feel any need to stop.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReaperX View Post
    This topic has been debated for a very long time and originally the intial impression is not to. Then you got people saying 'Dude my, etc, etc, etc'....yeah ok.

    I'll interject what I know and throw out a hypothesis. Caffiene has a tendency to increase the pH within the stomach. The exact amount of pH increase is up in the air, but based on an increase in pH you'd have to think about how that would affect creatine. This again is another debated topic. Are we talking about the rate of digestion or are we talking about converting to creatinine (waste product) ? People have for some reason a difficult time understanding those 2 when its not really that hard.

    Putting that issue aside. No I don't believe caffiene negatively affects creatine. The actual digestion rate of creatine and caffiene make a difference. The actual absorption rate of creatine and caffiene make a difference. This is just based off of how pH levels are affected by caffiene. This would be the same as putting creatine in orange juice where people say 'Oh no! your gonna turn it into creatinine faster !' Um, our stomach are pretty acidic...so yeah.

    If you don't notice any lack of the power of creatine or its still doing what its doing even after you take caffiene...there isn't a damn thing wrong with that. Bottom line is your getting the results that you want and your taking caffiene with it I don't feel any need to stop.
    some good points here. i don't necessarily feel a loss of power mid workout... but i'm not sure what to attribute that to. I take creatine mono pre workout in the leucine formula, as well as another 5 grams mono directly post. and i'm also on mass fx, hx2, r2 and Incarnate. so any of those or all of them combined could be the result of whatever energy i feel.

    it'd make an interesting log if somebody noted the effects of cycling creatine consistently w/ caffeine... mayb 300 mg or some high amount, to test the theories. maybe cycle creatine alone for a while, then again w caffeine.

    initally, i feared that since caffeine is thought to be a diuretic it would negate the water retaining effects of creatine...
    but this article says evidence to the contrary on that:
    http://www.advance.uconn.edu/2002/020722/02072207.htm
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    The only thing that I've read is that creatine and glutamine might be counterproductive because they use the same receptors. I don't believe in glutamine so I don't use it anyway, but if you do seperate the usage of the 2 products by atleast 2 hrs.



    What I do is hit up 10g-15g first thing when I wake up in the morning to get max absorption of creatine on an empty stomach. I use some type of pre-workout stim about 30min prior to workout. Right after workingout I throw back the usual protein. Whey's digestion rate is something like....1 hour I believe. There are alot of whey compounds out there that have the BCAAs/Amino Acid blend like Optimum Nutrition does. (glutamine). I take 10g-15g of creatine about 1.5 hrs after whey since it digests so fast.


    Here's what my dosing is like:

    Morning: 10g-15g of micro-creatine

    Regular diet stuff throughout the day............

    Workout @ 8:30pm. Take stims at 8:00pm

    Get done at 10:00pm. Throw back protein

    Throwback 10g-15g of micro-creatine @ 11:30pm-12:00am


    I feel that taking the creatine right before bed allows it to replace what was 'thrashed' out of my muscles earlier in the evening. Taking it in the morning continues to maintain so that it'll be ready again by the evening.
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    Regarding your diuretic effect. That is a good observation but if you just drank more water to essentially replenish the water loss you'd be equally as fine. Caffiene . I think caffiene's halflife is 4 hrs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReaperX View Post
    This topic has been debated for a very long time and originally the intial impression is not to. Then you got people saying 'Dude my, etc, etc, etc'....yeah ok.

    I'll interject what I know and throw out a hypothesis. Caffiene has a tendency to increase the pH within the stomach. The exact amount of pH increase is up in the air, but based on an increase in pH you'd have to think about how that would affect creatine. This again is another debated topic. Are we talking about the rate of digestion or are we talking about converting to creatinine (waste product) ? People have for some reason a difficult time understanding those 2 when its not really that hard.

    Putting that issue aside. No I don't believe caffiene negatively affects creatine. The actual digestion rate of creatine and caffiene make a difference. The actual absorption rate of creatine and caffiene make a difference. This is just based off of how pH levels are affected by caffiene. This would be the same as putting creatine in orange juice where people say 'Oh no! your gonna turn it into creatinine faster !' Um, our stomach are pretty acidic...so yeah.

    If you don't notice any lack of the power of creatine or its still doing what its doing even after you take caffiene...there isn't a damn thing wrong with that. Bottom line is your getting the results that you want and your taking caffiene with it I don't feel any need to stop.
    I gotta' disagree with you, man.

    Caffeine interferes with the ergogenic benefits of creatine and it appears to be related to a differences that they cause in muscle relaxation time.


    J Appl Physiol. 1996 Feb;80(2):452-7. Links
    Caffeine counteracts the ergogenic action of muscle creatine loading.
    Vandenberghe K, Gillis N, Van Leemputte M, Van Hecke P, Vanstapel F, Hespel P.
    Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy, Department of Kinesiology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.
    This study aimed to compare the effects of oral creatine (Cr) supplementation with creatine supplementation in combination with caffeine (Cr+C) on muscle phosphocreatine (PCr) level and performance in healthy male volunteers (n = 9). Before and after 6 days of placebo, Cr (0.5 g x kg-1 x day-1), or Cr (0.5 g x kg-1 x day-1) + C (5 mg x kg-1 x day-1) supplementation, 31P-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the gastrocnemius muscle and a maximal intermittent exercise fatigue test of the knee extensors on an isokinetic dynamometer were performed. The exercise consisted of three consecutive maximal isometric contractions and three interval series of 90, 80, and 50 maximal voluntary contractions performed with a rest interval of 2 min between the series. Muscle ATP concentration remained constant over the three experimental conditions. Cr and Cr+C increased (P < 0.05) muscle PCr concentration by 4-6%. Dynamic torque production, however, was increased by 10-23% (P < 0.05) by Cr but was not changed by Cr+C. Torque improvement during Cr was most prominent immediately after the 2-min rest between the exercise bouts. The data show that Cr supplementation elevates muscle PCr concentration and markedly improves performance during intense intermittent exercise. This ergogenic effect, however, is completely eliminated by caffeine intake.
    PMID: 8929583 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
    J Appl Physiol. 2002 Feb;92(2):513-8. Links
    Opposite actions of caffeine and creatine on muscle relaxation time in humans.
    Hespel P, Op't Eijnde B, Van Leemputte M.
    Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Tervuursevest 101, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium.
    The effect of creatine and caffeine supplementation on muscle torque generation and relaxation was investigated in healthy male volunteers. Maximal torque (T(max)), contraction time (CT) from 0.25 to 0.75 of T(max), and relaxation time (RT) from 0.75 to 0.25 of T(max) were measured during an exercise test consisting of 30 intermittent contractions of musculus quadriceps (2 s stimulation, 2 s rest) that were induced by electrical stimulation. According to a double-blind randomized crossover design, subjects (n = 10) performed the exercise test before (pretest) and after (posttest) creatine supplementation (Cr, 4 x 5 g/day, 4 days), short-term caffeine intake (Caf, 5 mg x kg(-1) x day(-1), 3 days), creatine supplementation + short-term caffeine intake (Cr+Caf), acute caffeine intake (ACaf, 5 mg/kg) or placebo. Compared with placebo, Cr shortened RT by approximately 5% (P < 0.05). Conversely, Caf increased RT (+ approximately 10%, P < 0.05), in particular as RT increased because of fatigue. RT was not significantly changed by either Cr+Caf or ACaf. T(max) and CT were similar during all experimental conditions. Initial T(max) was approximately 20% of voluntary maximal isometric contraction force, which was not different between treatments. It is concluded that Caf intake (3 days) prolongs muscle RT and by this action overrides the shortening of RT due to creatine supplementation.
    PMID: 11796658 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Savage View Post
    I gotta' disagree with you, man.

    Caffeine interferes with the ergogenic benefits of creatine and it appears to be related to a differences that they cause in muscle relaxation time.



    Savage, thanks for posting that.

    Again, I question the amount of caffeine being used. 5g per kg of body weight for me is 420g of caffeine (84kg), unless I'm calcing that wrong. That's a bunch of caffeine. Wonder if a more moderate caffeine dose has less impact.

    Also, T(max) stayed the same, regardless of a slowing of RT. That means torque (power) stayed the same even with caffeine. So if RT is affected but power stays the same, I'm not sure I care. I take creatine for added power to lift more weight.

    So the study showed that caffeine (a lot of it) does inferfere with muscle relaxation time, regardless of creatine supplementation. But that it did not decrease torque. Am I missing something?
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    I knew there probably were some studies out there showing the correlation between the 2 products. At any rate, I just seperate the 2 compounds when taken.
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    I'm going to go ahead and rest my case with this, from Dr. Paul Cribb at AST-SS:

    AST Sports Science - Paul Cribb's Q&A

    Some overlap in this one, but he discusses the 2002 Belgian study referenced above.
    AST Sports Science - Paul Cribb's Q&A

    I have no real-world reason to believe that caffeine is lowering my power output, so I'll keep on with my 200mg caffeine and 5g creatine pre-workout regimen.
    Last edited by EctoPower; 08-03-2007 at 11:04 AM. Reason: Dead link.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EctoPower View Post
    Savage, thanks for posting that.

    Again, I question the amount of caffeine being used. 5g per kg of body weight for me is 420g of caffeine (84kg), unless I'm calcing that wrong. That's a bunch of caffeine. Wonder if a more moderate caffeine dose has less impact.

    Also, T(max) stayed the same, regardless of a slowing of RT. That means torque (power) stayed the same even with caffeine. So if RT is affected but power stays the same, I'm not sure I care. I take creatine for added power to lift more weight.

    So the study showed that caffeine (a lot of it) does inferfere with muscle relaxation time, regardless of creatine supplementation. But that it did not decrease torque. Am I missing something?
    Well the first study that shows caffeine interferes with creatine used actual exercise to calculate torque and showed that torque significantly decreased with the addition of caffeine, whereas the second study on relaxation time only used electrical impulse.

    I think the first one has more relevance, but the second still shows possible mechanisms for interference.
  

  
 

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