Effects of creatine supplementation on high-intensity intermittent exercise: discrepancies and methodological appraisals

Bruno Gualano, Fabiana Braga Benatti, Júlio César Batista Ferreira, Emerson Franchini, Patrícia Chackur Brum, Antonio Herbert Lancha Junior


After a brief review of the literature on the effects of creatine supplementation on high-intensity intermittent exercise performance, the main aim of this study was to discuss methodological differences between studies which could explain the discrepancies observed in the literature. The effects of creatine supplementation on high-intensity intermittent exercise performance have been investigated in depth. Although the results of much research demonstrates the effi cacy of this supplement, there is just as much evidence that does not support this ergogenic effect. The explanation for this divergence appears to be multifactorial, although it is always linked to methodological characteristics. Study design (crossover or parallel groups), individual variability of muscular creatine content, chronic high meat intake, sample size, exercise protocol characteristics (body weight dependence and time between series), and gender and age all differ between studies and are potentially the variables responsible, to differing extents, for the discrepancies observed in the literature. Studies involving young males, with parallel group design, adequate statistical power, control of the incorporation of creatine into muscles, food intake assessment and intermittent exercise protocols in which performance is independent of body weight and with rest-recovery intervals of 1 to 6 minutes, usually produce positive results. The many methodological factors which can contribute to divergence on the ergogenic effects of creatine should be considered in futures studies, as well as when prescribing creatine supplementation.


Suplementos dietéticos; Fosfocreatina; Excercício físico. <p> Diet supplements; Phosphocreatine; Fisical exercise.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5007/1980-0037.2008v10n2p189

The abbreviated title of the journal is Rev. Bras. Cineantropom. Desempenho Hum, which should be used in bibliographies, footnotes and bibliographical references. E-ISSN 1980-0037, impressa ISSN 1415-8426, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.