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European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 61–71 | Cite as

Contribution of creatine to protein homeostasis in athletes after endurance and sprint running

  • Fu-Chun Tang
  • Chun-Chen Chan
  • Po-Ling Kuo
Original Contribution

Abstract

Purpose

Few studies have focused on the metabolic changes induced by creatine supplementation. This study investigated the effects of creatine supplementation on plasma and urinary metabolite changes of athletes after endurance and sprint running.

Methods

Twelve male athletes (20.3 ± 1.4 y) performed two identical (65–70 % maximum heart rate reserved) 60 min running exercises (endurance trial) before and after creatine supplementation (12 g creatine monohydrate/day for 15 days), followed by a 5-day washout period. Subsequently, they performed two identical 100 m sprint running exercises (power trial) before and after 15 days of creatine supplementation in accordance with the supplementary protocol of the endurance trial. Body composition measurements were performed during the entire study. Plasma samples were examined for the concentrations of glucose, lactate, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), free-tryptophan (f-TRP), glutamine, alanine, hypoxanthine, and uric acid. Urinary samples were examined for the concentrations of hydroxyproline, 3-methylhistidine, urea nitrogen, and creatinine.

Results

Creatine supplementation significantly increased body weights of the athletes of endurance trial. Plasma lactate concentration and ratio of f-TRP/BCAAs after recovery from endurance running were significantly decreased with creatine supplementation. Plasma purine metabolites (the sum of hypoxanthine and uric acid), glutamine, urinary 3-methylhistidine, and urea nitrogen concentrations tended to decrease before running in trials with creatine supplements. After running, urinary hydroxyproline concentration significantly increased in the power trial with creatine supplements.

Conclusions

The findings suggest that creatine supplementation tended to decrease muscle glycogen and protein degradation, especially after endurance exercise. However, creatine supplementation might induce collagen proteolysis in athletes after sprint running.

Keywords

Purine metabolites Glutamine Alanine Hydroxyproline 3-Methylhistidine Urinary urea nitrogen 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study would not have been possible without the dedication and cooperation of the volunteer athletes. The authors thank Chih-Yun Lin, M.S., R.D. and Jo-Shui Chao, M.S., R.D. for their technical assistance; Charles V. Morr, Ph.D. and Chi-Tang Ho, Ph.D. for their English language editing. The authors are indebted to the National Taiwan Normal University for support of this research.

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate Institute of Nutritional Sciences and EducationTaipeiTaiwan, ROC
  2. 2.Department of Physical EducationNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan, ROC

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