Effects of training and creatine supplement on muscle strength and body mass

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to test the effect of creatine supplement on the size of the extra- and intra-cellular compartments and on the increase of isokinetic force during a strength training-program. Twenty-five healthy male subjects (age 22.0 ± 2.9 years) participated in this experiment. Seven subjects formed the control-group. They did not complete any training and did not have any dietary supplement. The eighteen other subjects were randomly divided into a creatine- (n = 8) and a placebo-group (n = 10). They were submitted to a controlled strength-training program for 42 days followed by a detraining period of 21 days. Creatine and placebo were given over a period of 9 weeks. The size of the body water compartments was assessed by bio- impedance spectroscopy and the isokinetic force was determined during a single squat by means of an isokinetic dynamometer. These measurements were completed beforehand, at the end of the training period, and after the determining period. Both placebo- and creatine-group increased the isokinetic force by about 6% after the training period, showing that creatine ingestion does not induce a higher increase of the force measured during a single movement. No change in body mass was observed in the control- and placebo-groups during the entire experiment period while the body mass of the creatine-group was increased by 2 kg (P < 0.001). This change can be attributed partially to an increase (P = 0.039) in the body water content (+1.11), and more specifically, to an increase (P < 0.001) in the volume of the inter-cellular compartment (+0.61). Nevertheless, the relative volumes of the body water compartments remained constant and therefore the gain in body mass cannot be attributed to water retention, but probably to dry matter growth accompanied with a normal water volume.

Accepted: 22 February 1999