Research Paper: Dietary Supplement for Athletes

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[. . .] 2007). On average, the International Society of Sports Nutrition reported that body composition athletes supplementing with creatine gain twice as much lean muscle mass than those taking a placebo (Butford et al. 2007).

But not all studies have confirmed this notion. In another small study by Beck (2007) fifty-one men were assigned a creatine drink while others were given a placebo. Neither group showed marked improvement on two 30-second Wingate Anaerobic Tests for determination of peak power (PP) and mean power (MP), percent body fat (%fat) and fat-free mass (FFM), and on tests of external resistance strength and muscular endurance over a ten-week period. However, none of these men were trained athletes, which may indicate that some natural ability to build body mass must be present for the supplement to be effective.

"The recommended initial dose for athletes for 1 week ranges from 15 to 30 g/day taken orally in a variety of forms and in divided doses with food or glucose-containing beverages. After this period of 'loading' 2-5 gl day is required for maintenance" (LaBotz & Smith 1999). The degree of benefit will vary with the individual and the "amount of increase in muscle storage depends on the levels of creatine in the muscle prior to supplementation" (Butford et al. 2007). People with low natural stores (such as vegetarians or near-vegetarians) "are more likely to experience muscle storage increases of 20 -- 40%, whereas those with relatively high muscle stores may only increase stores by 10 -- 20%" (Butford et al. 2007). Combining creatine with protein has shown to improve efficacy in some studies, one of which found that "adding 93 g of carbohydrate to 5 g of CM increased total muscle creatine by 60%" (Butford et al. 2007).

However, once again, other studies of small, specific population conflict with this assertion. In a study of ten international caliber competitive swimmers before and after a loading regimen of either creatine alone (Cr) or combined creatine and carbohydrate (Cr + CHO), "all subjects swam faster after either dietary loading regimen (p < 0.01, both regimens); however, there was no difference in the extent of improvement of performance between groups" (Theodorou 2005).


The findings on how best to use creatine, in what doses, and in combination with what nutrients are mixed. Creatine should be used with caution, particularly by those with preexisting medical conditions. People with a history of kidney problems should avoid creatine, as there are reports that the drug can cause kidney damage (Creatine, 2012, Mayo Clinic: 4). Used with careful supervision, it can apparently provide benefits but the extent to which the risks outweigh the improvements in athletic performance still remains a topic of intense debate and will depend on the individual. Although the only universally consistent detriment in studies amongst healthy athletes has been weight gain, "many anecdotal claims of side effects including dehydration, cramping, kidney and liver damage, musculoskeletal injury, gastrointestinal distress, and anterior (leg) compartment syndrome still exist in the media and popular literature" (Butford et al. 2007). Even more importantly, small, anecdotal studies show mixed results on athletic improvements and in dosages with carbohydrates. Simply because a supplement is 'natural' does not mean it is risk-free or effective.


Beck TW, Housh TJ, Johnson GO, Coburn DW, Malek MH, Cramer JT. (2007). Effects of a drink containing creatine, amino acids, and protein, combined with ten weeks of resistance training on body composition, strength, and anaerobic performance.

J Strength Cond Res, 21:100-104.

Buford, Thomas W. (et al. 2007). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand:

creatine supplementation and exercise. Retrieved:

Creatine. (2012). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved:

Dunn, M.S., Eddy, J.M., Wang, M.Q., Nagy, S. (2001). The influence of significant others on attitudes, subjective norms and intentions regarding dietary supplement use among adolescent athletes. Adolescence, 36(143), 583-91. Retrieved from

Feldman, E. (1999). Creatine: a dietary supplement and ergogenic aid. Nutrition Reviews, 57(2),


LaBotz, M., & Smith, B. (1999). Creatine supplement use in an NCAA Division I athletic program. Clinical Journal Of Sport Medicine, 9(3), 167-169.

Tarnopolsky MA & MacLennan, DP. (2000). Creatine monohydrate supplementation enhances

high-intensity exercise performance in males and females.

Int J. Sport Nutr Exerc… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Dietary Supplement for Athletes.  (2012, November 16).  Retrieved May 25, 2019, from

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"Dietary Supplement for Athletes."  16 November 2012.  Web.  25 May 2019. <>.

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"Dietary Supplement for Athletes."  November 16, 2012.  Accessed May 25, 2019.