Creatine supplementation prevents acute strength loss induced by concurrent exercise



To investigate the effect of creatine (CR) supplementation on the acute interference induced by aerobic exercise on subsequent maximum dynamic strength (1RM) and strength endurance (SE, total number of repetitions) performance.


Thirty-two recreationally strength-trained men were submitted to a graded exercise test to determine maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max: 41.56 ± 5.24 ml kg−1 min−1), anaerobic threshold velocity (ATv: 8.3 ± 1.18 km h−1), and baseline performance (control) on the 1RM and SE (4 × 80 % 1RM to failure) tests. After the control tests, participants were randomly assigned to either a CR (20 g day−1 for 7 days followed by 5 g day−1 throughout the study) or a placebo (PL-dextrose) group, and then completed 4 experimental sessions, consisting of a 5-km run on a treadmill either continuously (90 % ATv) or intermittently (1:1 min at vVO2max) followed by either a leg- or bench-press SE/1RM test.


CR was able to maintain the leg-press SE performance after the intermittent aerobic exercise when compared with C (p > 0.05). On the other hand, the PL group showed a significant decrease in leg-press SE (p ≤ 0.05). CR supplementation significantly increased bench-press SE after both aerobic exercise modes, while the bench-press SE was not affected by either mode of aerobic exercise in the PL group. Although small increases in 1RM were observed after either continuous (bench press and leg press) or intermittent (bench press) aerobic exercise in the CR group, they were within the range of variability of the measurement. The PL group only maintained their 1RM.


In conclusion, the acute interference effect on strength performance observed in concurrent exercise may be counteracted by CR supplementation.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3



Maximum dynamic strength


Anaerobic threshold velocity

Ca++ :



Continuous aerobic exercise and strength endurance assessment condition


Continuous aerobic exercise and maximum strength assessment condition




High-performance liquid chromatography

HRmax :

Maximum heart rate


Intermittent aerobic exercise and strength endurance assessment condition


Continuous aerobic exercise and maximum strength assessment condition




Strength endurance


Ventilatory equivalent for carbon dioxide

VCO2 :

Carbon dioxide output

VO2 :

Oxygen consumption

VO2max :

Maximal oxygen consumption

vVO2max :

Maximal oxygen consumption velocity


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The authors are grateful to all subjects who participated in the study. Vitor de Salles Painelli is supported by FAPESP (Grant 2013/04806-0). CU was supported by CNPq (Grant 304205/2011-7). The authors are grateful to Probiótica for the donation of Creapure®.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hamilton Roschel.

Additional information

V. de Salles Painelli and V. T. Alves contributed equally.

Communicated by Michael Lindinger.

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de Salles Painelli, V., Alves, V.T., Ugrinowitsch, C. et al. Creatine supplementation prevents acute strength loss induced by concurrent exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 114, 1749–1755 (2014).

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  • Creatine supplementation
  • Interference
  • Resistance training
  • Fatigue