Creatine monohydrate is one of the top studied and supported supplements of all time; however, most past creatine research has focused on its strength and muscle building benefits. Interestingly, recent work published in Amino Acids illustrates that creatine promotes greater glycogen loading in muscle after exhaustive endurance style training. In this study, 14 healthy male volunteers (in their mid-twenties) cycled to exhaustion at moderate intensity. Muscle biopsies were taken at rest, immediately post-exercise, and after 1, 3 and 6 days of recovery, during which Cr or placebo supplements (20 g/day) were taken in conjunction with a high carbohydrate diet. Above all, the researchers reported that creatine supplementation promoted 82% greater glycogen re-synthesis during the first 24 h of supplementation!
Glycogen Supercharging: The Endurance Boost of Creatine
ACTION POINT: This study illustrates the utility of creatine monohydrate for athletes that compete in tournaments or have back-to-back performances— especially those who implement carbohydrate loading strategies prior to competition. In such cases, and following the methods used in the study, we suggest taking 20 g/day of creatine monohydrate (split into 4 doses of 5 g each) for the entire duration of your planned carbohydrate loading protocol.
Roberts PA, Fox J, Peirce N, Jones SW, Casey A, Greenhaff PL. Creatine ingestion augments dietary carbohydrate mediated muscle glycogen supercompensation during the initial 24 h of recovery following prolonged exhaustive exercise in humans. Amino Acids. 2016 May 19. [Epub ahead of print]