Does Creatine Reduce Muscle Damage?

November 3, 2011

When you consume fish, pork or red meat, you're getting some creatine. But not enough to saturate muscles since your body typically turns over 2 grams of creatine a day. The basic loading phase is 20 grams a day, taken in 5 gram installments spread throughout the day. After a week, you can shift to a daily maintenance phase of 3 to 5 grams.

Creatine has a reputation for increasing muscle size and strength, but researchers from Plymouth State University wanted to find out if it helped reduce muscle damage from exercise. Their study, published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, showed that markers of muscle damage from resistance training after a 7-day loading phase of 20 grams per day weren't any different from subjects who were given a placebo.

When subjects worked out again after 23 days on a maintenance dose of 6 grams of creatine per day, the supplemented group displayed greater maximal isometric force than the placebo takers, suggesting that creatine might help minimize the muscle damage that typically occurs while training. Any way you look at it, they were stronger! To see how long it can take to completely recover from resistance training, check out today's Breaking News post at