To determine the effects of creatine supplementation on blood lactate during incremental cycling exercise.
Thirteen male subjects (M ± SD 23 ± 2 yr, 178.0 ± 8.1 cm, 86.3 ± 16.0 kg, 24% ± 9% body fat) performed a maximal, incremental cycling test to exhaustion before (Pre) and after (Post) 6 d of creatine supplementation (4 doses/d of 5 g creatine + 15 g glucose). Blood lactate was measured at the end of each exercise stage during the protocol, and the lactate threshold was determined as the stage before achieving 4 mmol/L. Lactate concentrations during the incremental test were analyzed using a 2 (condition) × 6 (exercise stage) repeated-measures ANOVA. Differences in power at lactate threshold, power at exhaustion, and total exercise time were determined by paired t tests and are presented as M ± SD.
Lactate concentrations were reduced during exercise after supplementation, demonstrating a significant condition effect (p = .041). There was a tendency for increased power at the lactate threshold (Pre 128 ± 45 W, Post 143 ± 26 W; p = .11). Total time to fatigue approached significant increases (Pre 22.6 ± 3.2 min, Post 23.3 ± 3.3 min; p = .056), as did maximal power output (Pre 212.5 ± 32.5 W, Post 220 ± 34.6 W; p = .082).
Our findings demonstrate that creatine supplementation decreases lactate during incremental cycling exercise and tends to raise lactate threshold. Therefore, creatine supplementation could potentially benefit endurance athletes.