Published: 11/20/2005 - Updated: 08/13/2019
A study by Spanish researchers, to be published next February in the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, USA, concludes that, in elite soccer players and highly trained, the proper administration of supplemental creatine enhances physical performance.
One advantage of 15 centimeters is critical in a race of 100 meters. In an Olympic final, the differences in physical performance of the first seven are classified higher than 1%. In the Tour de France, the percentage is 0.1%. On these figures are set out minimum performance in elite sport.
The success depends not only on the characteristics of athletes, but on factors such as diet, type of training, rest periods or, as one can conclude a new Spanish study, consumption or no of creatine supplementation. According to the results of work done by Sabino Padilla-old doctor in the Indurain Banesto team and current head of the medical services of the Athletic Club of Bilbao, and Iñigo Mujika specialist in biology and exercise physiology, the correct dose of this substance, the consumption of which is permitted by the International Olympic Committee, can contribute to improved physical performance of elite athletes. The authors of the research to be published in February in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, USA), explained how to manage this nutrient, in addition to the dose and sports for which their use is indicated.
Mujika and Padilla’s work was held with a group of Spanish football. With the aim of checking whether creatine supplementation improves physical performance of these athletes, the researchers divided into two groups. The first consumed supplements of this nutrient and the rest a placebo. All players, regardless of the substance ingested, followed the same protocol of administration of creatine, technically known as chronic supplementation.
But in a sport like professional football, in which are eight or 10 miles to base of short courses, the goal is not to prepare the athlete for a specific competition, but keeping the concentration muscle with creatine and thereby improve physical performance throughout a season. To achieve this, supplementation with acute complete chronicle is used.
First, it saturates the muscle of this nutrient (classic protocol), and then given about two to three grams of creatine per day. In principle, recommending courses of 10 weeks with four supplements and without them, the time required for the creatine concentration was normalized.
"The amounts are not a lot," says Mujika. "In a normal person, the body provides two grams daily of creatine, a nutrition through, and another, by endogenous synthesis. We are in chronic supplementation, just doubling the dose, "he adds.
The next step of this research was to determine whether, with this system, the athletes experienced an improvement in their physical performance. To check, Padilla and Mujika underwent footballers who participated in the study did six races of speed of 15 meters with 30 seconds recovery between each. The timing was done through photocells that player at the beginning and end of each series. The evolution of the players during races shows the effect of the creatine.
In the group that consumed it, the yield has remained virtually stable over the six series.
Approximately, if the time it takes for each test area is moved to the first group took an average of 20 centimeters to the edge of control. Statistically, however, the benefit of creatine is not significant.
"The sensitivity of the statistical method is not consistent with what society believes it is improving athletic performance, as it discards a lot of data that are valid at the societal level," says Padilla.
"Statistically, if the difference is not greater than 5%, would not have won. However, an improvement of 1% in a sprint of 15 meters [similar to those obtained during the survey], equivalent to a lead of 15 centimeters, "he adds.
In other words, the effects of creatine in the preparation has to be seen sporting agree to these terms: in a professional athlete, a slight improvement in their physical performance can be a significant jump sports. However, an amateur, a 1% improvement does not make sense.
"With the administration of carbohydrates something happens," explains Mujika. “In an elite athlete, you have to be in perfect condition in a few specific dates, at any given time you can manage liquid supplements of carbohydrates, which are worth money. However, an aficionado will tell you to take a plate of pasta to get to your house and point, "he adds.
The problem of the professional athlete is that the margin of adjustment is so close to the limit to go a little further is very complicated. "Our approach is always to bring something to the very elite athlete training" says Mujika.
We should also be aware that if increasing the dose is consumed, it merely increased the urinary elimination of creatine, not multiplying the effect.
"There is an amount that saturates, and the rest is elimination," says Padilla. While ingesting an inadequate quantity could lead to several side effects, similar to those caused by excess protein (renal, acute dehydration, cramps). This circumstance would be against the athlete's own performance.
By contrast, in the best conditions, there are not observed side effects, explain and Mujika Padilla. In fact, the main study on this issue, conducted by researcher Richard Kreimer, concluded that the adverse consequences were more in the placebo group.
Source: The World-Health Supplement