Creatine Supplementation and Upper Limb Strength Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
- 2.4k Downloads
Creatine is the most widely used supplementation to increase performance in strength; however, the most recent meta-analysis focused specifically on supplementation responses in muscles of the lower limbs without regard to upper limbs.
We aimed to systematically review the effect of creatine supplementation on upper limb strength performance.
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analyses of all randomized controlled trials comparing creatine supplementation with a placebo, with strength performance measured in exercises shorter than 3 min in duration. The search strategy used the keywords ‘creatine’, ‘supplementation’, and ‘performance’. Independent variables were age, sex and level of physical activity at baseline, while dependent variables were creatine loading, total dose, duration, time interval between baseline (T0) and the end of the supplementation (T1), and any training during supplementation. We conducted three meta-analyses: at T0 and T1, and on changes between T0 and T1. Each meta-analysis was stratified within upper limb muscle groups.
We included 53 studies (563 individuals in the creatine supplementation group and 575 controls). Results did not differ at T0, while, at T1, the effect size (ES) for bench press and chest press were 0.265 (95 % CI 0.132–0.398; p < 0.001) and 0.677 (95 % CI 0.149–1.206; p = 0.012), respectively. Overall, pectoral ES was 0.289 (95 % CI 0.160–0.419; p = 0.000), and global upper limb ES was 0.317 (95 % CI 0.185–0.449; p < 0.001). Meta-analysis of changes between T0 and T1 gave similar results. The meta-regression showed no link with characteristics of population or supplementation, demonstrating the efficacy of creatine independently of all listed conditions.
Creatine supplementation is effective in upper limb strength performance for exercise with a duration of less than 3 min, independent of population characteristics, training protocols, and supplementary doses or duration.
KeywordsCreatine Resistance Training Training Status Creatine Supplementation Bench Press
Frédéric Dutheil contributed to the conception and design; Charlotte Lanhers conducted all literature searches and collated the abstracts; and Charlotte Lanhers and Frédéric Dutheil separately reviewed the abstracts and, based on the selection criteria, decided on the suitability of the articles for inclusion. All authors then reviewed the eligible articles. Frédéric Dutheil and Bruno Pereira performed the statistical analysis; Charlotte Lanhers drafted the manuscript; and Frédéric Dutheil and Geraldine Naughton revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this article.
Conflict of interest
Charlotte Lanhers, Bruno Pereira, Geraldine Naughton, Marion Trousselard, François-Xavier Lesage, and Frédéric Dutheil declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this review.
- 8.Cohen J. Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum; 1988.Google Scholar
- 14.Brenner M, Rankin JW, Sebolt D. The effect of creatine supplementation during resistance training in women. J Strength Cond Res. 2000;14:207–13.Google Scholar
- 18.Larson-Meyer DE, Hunter GR, Trowbridge CA, et al. The effect of creatine supplementation on muscle strength and body composition during off-season training in female soccer players. J Strength Cond Res. 2000;14:434–42.Google Scholar
- 19.Vandenberghe K, Goris M, Van Hecke P, et al. Long-term creatine intake is beneficial to muscle performance during resistance training. J Appl Physiol. 1985;83:2055–63.Google Scholar
- 24.Peeters BM, Lantz CD, Mayhew JL. Effect of oral creatine monohydrate and creatine phosphate supplementation on maximal strength indices, dody composition, and blood pressure. J Strength Cond Res. 1999;13:3–9.Google Scholar
- 27.Noonan D, Berg K, Latin RW, et al. Effects of varying dosages of oral creatine relative to fat free body mass on strength and body composition. J Strength Cond Res. 1998;12:104–8.Google Scholar
- 30.Syrotuik DG, Bell GJ, Burnham R, et al. Absolute and relative strength performance following creatine monohydrate supplementation combined with periodized resistance training. J Strength Cond Res. 2000;14:182–90.Google Scholar
- 48.Pearson DR, Russel DGHW, Harris T. Long-term effects of creatine monohydrate on strength and power. J Strength Cond Res. 1999;13:187–92.Google Scholar
- 52.Kelly V, Jenkins DG. Effect of oral creatine supplementation on near-maximal strength and repeated sets of high-intensity bench press exercise. J Strength Cond Res. 1998;12:109–15.Google Scholar
- 58.Bogdanis GC, Nevill ME, Lakomy HKA, et al. The effects of oral creatine supplementation on power output during repeated treadmill sprinting. J Sports Sci. 1996;14:65–6.Google Scholar
- 62.Nissen SL, Sharp RL. Effect of dietary supplements on lean mass and strength gains with resistance exercise: a meta-analysis. J Appl Physiol. 1985;2003(94):651–9.Google Scholar