Creatine (Cr) supplementation increases muscle mass, strength, and power. Arginine α-ketoglutarate (A-AKG) is a precursor for nitric oxide production and has the potential to improve blood flow and nutrient delivery (i.e., Cr) to muscles. This study compared a commercial dietary supplement of Cr, A-AKG, glutamine, taurine, branchedchain amino acids, and medium-chain triglycerides with Cr alone or placebo on exercise performance and body composition. Thirty-five men (~23 yr) were randomized to Cr + A-AKG (0.1 g · kg−1 · d−1 Cr + 0.075 g · kg−1 · d−1 A-AKG, n = 12), Cr (0.1 g · kg−1 · d−1, n = 11), or placebo (1 g · kg−1 · d−1 sucrose, n = 12) for 10 d. Body composition, muscle endurance (bench press), and peak and average power (Wingate tests) were measured before and after supplementation. Bench-press repetitions over 3 sets increased with Cr + A-AKG (30.9 ==6.6 → 34.9 ± 8.7 reps; p < .01) and Cr (27.6 ± 5.9 → 31.0 ± 7.6 reps; p < .01), with no change for placebo (26.8 ± 5.0 → 27.1 ± 6.3 reps). Peak power significantly increased in Cr + A-AKG (741 ± 112 → 794 ± 92 W; p < .01), with no changes in Cr (722 ± 138 → 730 ± 144 W) and placebo (696 ± 63 → 705 ± 77 W). There were no differences in average power between groups over time. Only the Cr-only group increased total body mass (79.9 ± 13.0→81.1 ± 13.8 kg; p < .01), with no significant changes in lean-tissue or fat mass. These results suggest that Cr alone and in combination with A-AKG improves upper body muscle endurance, and Cr + A-AKG supplementation improves peak power output on repeated Wingate tests.
Jonathan. P. Little, Scott C. Forbes, Darren G. Candow, Stephen M. Cornish, and Philip D. Chilibeck
Scott C. Forbes, Darren G. Candow, Jonathan P. Little, Charlene Magnus, and Philip D. Chilibeck
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of Red Bull energy drink on Wingate cycle performance and muscle endurance. Healthy young adults (N = 15, 11 men, 4 women, 21 ± 5 y old) participated in a crossover study in which they were randomized to supplement with Red Bull (2 mg/kg body mass of caffeine) or isoenergetic, isovolumetric, noncaffeinated placebo, separated by 7 d. Muscle endurance (bench press) was assessed by the maximum number of repetitions over 3 sets (separated by 1-min rest intervals) at an intensity corresponding to 70% of baseline 1-repetition maximum. Three 30-s Wingate cycling tests (load = 0.075 kp/kg body mass), with 2 min recovery between tests, were used to assess peak and average power output. Red Bull energy drink significantly increased total bench-press repetitions over 3 sets (Red Bull = 34 ± 9 vs. placebo = 32 ± 8, P < 0.05) but had no effect on Wingate peak or average power (Red Bull = 701 ± 124 W vs. placebo = 700 ± 132 W, Red Bull = 479 ± 74 W vs. placebo = 471 ± 74 W, respectively). Red Bull energy drink significantly increased upper body muscle endurance but had no effect on anaerobic peak or average power during repeated Wingate cycling tests in young healthy adults.
Scott C. Forbes, Nathan Sletten, Cody Durrer, Étienne Myette-Côté, D. Candow, and Jonathan P. Little
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to improve cardiorespiratory fitness, performance, body composition, and insulin sensitivity. Creatine (Cr) supplementation may augment responses to HIIT, leading to even greater physiological adaptations. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of 4 weeks of HIIT (three sessions/week) combined with Cr supplementation in recreationally active females. Seventeen females (age = 23 ± 4 yrs; BMI = 23.4 ± 2.4) were randomly assigned to either Cr (Cr; 0.3 g・kg-1・d-1 for 5 d followed by 0.1 g・kg-1・d-1 for 23 days; n = 9) or placebo (PLA; n = 8). Before and after the intervention, VO2peak, ventilatory threshold (VT), time-trial performance, lean body mass and fat mass, and insulin sensitivity were assessed. HIIT improved VO2peak (Cr = +10.2%; PLA = +8.8%), VT (Cr = +12.7%; PLA = +9.9%), and time-trial performance (Cr = -11.5%; PLA = -11.6%) with no differences between groups (time main effects, all p < .001). There were no changes over time for fat mass (Cr = -0.3%; PLA = +4.3%), whole-body lean mass (Cr = +0.5%; PLA = -0.9%), or insulin resistance (Cr = +3.9%; PLA = +18.7%). In conclusion, HIIT is an effective way to improve cardiorespiratory fitness, VT, and time-trial performance. The addition of Cr to HIIT did not augment improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness, performance or body composition in recreationally active females.
Jonathan P. Little, Philip D. Chilibeck, Dawn Ciona, Albert Vandenberg, and Gordon A. Zello
The glycemic index (GI) of a pre exercise meal may affect substrate utilization and performance during continuous exercise.
To examine the effects of low- and high-GI foods on metabolism and performance during high-intensity, intermittent exercise.
Seven male athletes participated in three experimental trials (low-GI, high-GI, and fasted control) separated by ~7 days. Foods were consumed 3 h before (~1.3 g·kg−1 carbohydrate) and halfway through (~0.2 g·kg−1 carbohydrate) 90 min of intermittent treadmill running designed to simulate the activity pattern of soccer. Expired gas was collected during exercise to estimate substrate oxidation. Performance was assessed by the distance covered on fve 1-min sprints during the last 15 min of exercise.
Respiratory exchange ratio was higher and fat oxidation lower during exercise in the high-GI condition compared with fasting (P < .05). The mean difference in total distance covered on the repeated sprint test between low GI and fasting (247 m; 90% confidence limits ±352 m) represented an 81% (likely, probable) chance that the low-GI condition improved performance over fasting. The mean difference between high GI and fasted control (223 m; ±385 m) represented a 76% (likely, probable) chance of improved performance. There were no differences between low and high GI.
When compared with fasting, both low- and high-GI foods consumed 3 h before and halfway through prolonged, high-intensity intermittent exercise improved repeated sprint performance. High-GI foods impaired fat oxidation during exercise but the GI did not appear to influence high-intensity, intermittent exercise performance.
Jonathan P. Little, Philip D. Chilibeck, Dawn Ciona, Scott Forbes, Huw Rees, Albert Vandenberg, and Gordon A. Zello
Consuming carbohydrate-rich meals before continuous endurance exercise improves performance, yet few studies have evaluated the ideal preexercise meal for high-intensity intermittent exercise, which is characteristic of many team sports. The authors’ purpose was to investigate the effects of low- and high-glycemic-index (GI) meals on metabolism and performance during high-intensity, intermittent exercise. Sixteen male participants completed three 90-min high-intensity intermittent running trials in a single-blinded random order, separated by ~7 d, while fasted (control) and 2 hr after ingesting an isoenergetic low-GI (lentil), or high-GI (potato and egg white) preexercise meal. Serum free fatty acids were higher and insulin lower throughout exercise in the fasted condition (p < .05), but there were no differences in blood glucose during exercise between conditions. Distance covered on a repeated-sprint test at the end of exercise was significantly greater in the low-GI and high-GI conditions than in the control (p < .05). Rating of perceived exertion was lower in the low-GI condition than in the control (p = .01). In a subsample of 5 participants, muscle glycogen availability was greater in the low- and high-GI conditions versus fasted control before the repeated-sprint test (p < .05), with no differences between low and high GI. When exogenous carbohydrates are not provided during exercise both low- and high-GI preexercise meals improve high-intensity, intermittent exercise performance, probably by increasing the availability of muscle glycogen. However, the GI does not influence markers of substrate oxidation during high-intensity, intermittent exercise.
Stephen M. Cornish, Darren G. Candow, Nathan T. Jantz, Philip D. Chilibeck, Jonathan P. Little, Scott Forbes, Saman Abeysekara, and Gordon A. Zello
The authors examined the combined effects of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), creatine (C), and whey protein (P) supplementation during strength training.
Sixty-nine participants (52 men, 17 women; M ± SD age 22.5 ± 2.5 yr) were randomly assigned (double-blind) to 1 of 3 groups: CCP (6 g/d CLA + 9 g/d C + 36 g/d P; n = 22), CP (C + P + placebo oil; n = 25), or P (P + placebo oil; n = 22) during 5 wk of strength training (4–5 sets, 6–12 repetitions, 6 d/wk). Measurements were taken for body composition (air-displacement plethysmography), muscle thickness (ultrasound) of the flexors and extensors of the elbow and knee, 1-repetitionmaximum (1-RM) strength (leg press and bench press), urinary markers of bone resorption (N-telopeptides, NTx), myofibrillar protein catabolism (3-methylhistidine; 3-MH), oxidative stress (8-isoprostanes), and kidney function (microalbumin) before and after training.
Contrast analyses indicated that the CCP group had a greater increase in bench-press (16.2% ± 11.3% vs. 9.7% ± 17.0%; p < .05) and legpress (13.1% ± 9.9% vs. 7.7% ± 14.2%; p < .05) strength and lean-tissue mass (2.4% ± 2.8% vs. 1.3% ± 4.1%; p < .05) than the other groups combined. All groups increased muscle thickness over time (p < .05). The relative change in 3-MH (CCP –4.7% ± 70.2%, CP –0.4% ± 81.4%, P 20.3% ± 75.2%) was less in the groups receiving creatine (p < .05), with the difference for NTx also close to significance (p = .055; CCP–3.4% ± 66.6%, CP–3.9% ± 64.9%, P 26.0% ± 63.8%). There were no changes in oxidative stress or kidney function.
Combining C, CLA, and P was beneficial for increasing strength and lean-tissue mass during heavy resistance training.