Creatine: The Antioxidant

Creatine has become a staple dietary supplement in the regimens of many athletes and bodybuilders; it has been shown to help enhance endurance, improve strength, and increase muscle mass.  But are there even more benefits? In a recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, R. Rahimi discovered that using the Creatine reduces cell damage caused by resistance exercises.

This study focused on the more recently reported antioxidant effect that creatine has on the body, which may have therapeutic benefits. The primary purpose of this study was to look at damaging oxidative compounds released during resistance exercise in male althletes, and to determine if taking a creatine supplement had any effect on those compounds.

To explore the benefits of creatine, 27 athletic males were randomly divide into two groups, one group that was given a supplement of 5g of creatine monohydrate 4 times a day, and the other group give a placebo 4 times a day. Prior to taking the supplements, each athlete had blood and urine samples taken. Then they performed a resistance exercise protocol consisting of: 7 sets — 4 exercise– 60-90 repetitions. Blood and urine samples were taken immediately following the protocol, and then again 24 hours later. The groups followed their normal resistance exercise routines and took their supplement or placebo for 7 days. After seven days, each person was again tested using the same protocol as before, including the before, after and 24-hours later blood and urine testing. Blood was tested for MDA and urine was tested for 8-OHdG excretion—both of which are damaging oxidative compounds and increase the levels of oxidative stress and resulting DNA damage.

Before taking the supplements, tests showed a dramatic increase in these oxidative compounds following resistance exercise. After the seven days, those athletes supplementing with creatine showed a reduction of damaging oxidative compounds following resistance exercise.

These results indicate that adding a creatine supplement can significantly reduce the amount of damage to your body’s cells during resistance exercise. Creatine supplementation now has more reasons to be added to a bodybuilder or any athlete’s routine as this study shows its antioxidant properties help protect you at a cellular level, in addition to the previously reported studies that creatine helps improve muscles mass and strength.


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  1. Creatine sounds like an amazing supplement. I have been facing severe fatigue after workouts and felt that maybe the exercise is too much for my body. With creatine I can push my body into heavier reps. Great piece of information you've got there…

  2. Yes, I had heard about Creatine earlier, but the information give here seriously makes me consider adding it to my supplement list. I will post my observations about the impact of creatine on my work out in a few weeks.

    PS – I really appreciate your work over here, really interesting articles.

  3. Creatine I thought had some placebo effect, actually I read report somewhere, don't have the link right now. But n your article you have given a pretty good argument why it's a good idea to add Creatine in our diet.

  4. some of my bodybuilder friends use creatine to help them recover and they claim it works. been slowly getting back into working out (new i had to do something when i was puffing walking up the stairs) and thinking of trying it myself. what kind of brands are the best? where can you but it? at wal-mart or a health food store?

  5. Julie Wise says:

    What dosage is recommended – that in the study or a different amount? Also, what was the specific percent increase? Has the same been found true in women? What was the age of the men in the study? Interesting info, thank you for sharing!

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