Mechanisms of muscular adaptations to creatine supplementation
Creatine supplementation is a widely used and heavily studied ergogenic aid. Athletes use creatine to increase muscle mass, strength, and muscle endurance. While the performance and muscle-building effects of creatine supplementation have been well documented, the mechanisms responsible for these muscular adaptations have been less studied. Objective: The purpose of this review is to examine studies of the mechanisms underlying muscular adaptations to creatine supplementation. Data sources: PubMed and SPORTDiscus databases were searched from 1992 to 2007 using the terms creatine, creatine supplementation, creatine monohydrate, and phosphocreatine. Study selection: Studies of creatine supplementation in healthy adults were included. Data extraction: Due to the small number of studies identified, a meta-analysis was not performed. Data synthesis: Several potential mechanisms underlying muscular adaptations to creatine supplementation were identified, including: metabolic adaptations, changes in protein turnover, hormonal alterations, stabilization of lipid membranes, molecular modifications, or as a general training aid. The mechanisms with the greatest amount of support (metabolic adaptations, molecular modifications, and general training aid) may work in concert rather than independently. Conclusions: Creatine supplementation may alter skeletal muscle directly, by increased muscle glycogen and phosphocreatine, faster phosphocreatine resynthesis, increased expression of endocrine and growth factor mRNA, or indirectly, through increased training volume.
Rawson, Eric S. and Persky, Adam M., "Mechanisms of muscular adaptations to creatine supplementation" (2007). HNES Educator Scholarship. 27.