Imagine, you need to look good in less than a week’s time. You’re going to train with a good friend you haven’t seen for months, and you want to make a good impression. You’ve got a swimsuit party. You’ve been asked to help friends move house. Whatever. But now you’re looking for a way to improve your body in just a few days. Military researchers in Singapore came up with something you can try: take creatine [structural formula shown below].
The researchers did an experiment with 17 male basketball players. On day 1 and day 4 they had to do weight training and sprinton a bike for a few minutes. Eight of the test subjects took 5 g creatine 4 times a day. The other 9 got a placebo.
On day 6, after 5 days of taking creatine supplements, the researchers measured how many Watts the subjects generated during their sprint. The increase in both peak power and average power was greater in the subjects that had taken the supplements than in the placebo takers. The average power had increased by 12 percent more in the creatine users after 6 days than in the placebo takers. The effect on peak power is shown in the figure below. Ergo: the test subjects sprinted faster.
The creatine supplement had no effect on the 1RM for the bench press, but it did make a difference to the 1RM for the squats. In the 6 days of the experiment, the latter increased by 11 percent more in the supplement takers than in the placebo takers.
Even the body composition of the creatine takers altered during the 6 days. Their fat percentage decreased by 4 percent.
The research was not funded by the supplements industry. “This study was conducted with the support of the Singapore Basketball Association and the Defence Science & Technology Agency”, the researchers write in the last lines of the publication.
J Strength Cond Res. 2009 May; 23(3): 906-14.