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Archive > Year 2007, Number 2

Muscle Metabolism And Fatigue During Sprint Exercise: Effects Of Creatine Supplementation


Bogdanis Gregory, Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Science, University of Athens
Maridaki Maria, Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Science, University of Athens
Papaspyrou Aggeliki, Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Science, University of Athens


The aim of this paper was to examine muscle metabolism and fatigue during sprint exercise and also to critically evaluate the evidence regarding the efficacy of Cr supplementation in improving performance and reducing fatigue during one bout and repeated bouts of sprint exercise. Although glycolysis provides more than 50% of total energy supply during a single sprint, its contribution is reduced significantly and may drop to zero when sprints are repeated. Thus in this case, muscle relies exclusively on phosphocreatine (PCr) degradation and aerobic metabolism. Fatigue is shown to be related more to energy deficiency and performance recovery during repeated sprints follows closely the resynthesis of PCr. Due to the important role of PCr on muscle metabolism, an increase of PCr and creatine (Cr) content following oral Cr supplementation has been shown to be beneficial for performance. The effect of Cr supplementation on single sprint performance is small (around 5%) and not always present. A more substantial improvement in performance (around 10%) is demonstrated during repeated sprints, especially during the last repetitions. Although, Cr supplementation has not always proved to be beneficial for performance enhancement, even a small improvement may be important for competitive athletes. Research is needed to investigate and substantiate the effects of combining Cr supplementation with long term training on single and repeated sprints performance.


phosphocreatine, anaerobic metabolism, energy supply, high intensity exercise

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