Are Creatine Supplements Effective to increase muscle?Nelson Vergel
Jul 29, 2008
I workout six times a week, take a teaspoon of creatine before each workout with some juice. Is there a problem taking this supplement pratically everyday. I noticed that on my recent labs that my creatine number was 1.4H, I’ve been taking this supplement for about 6 weeks.
Response from Nelson
Creatine is the most popular bodybuilding supplement out there. It has been shown in non HIV studies to increase lean body mass and strength. I have taken it once in a while and definitely feel more pumped and a little stronger. There are concerns about loading up the kidneys, however. Your creatinine blood level is higher than normal, so I would probably be careful if I was you.
We have some pilot data in HIV presented by Dr. Sakkas at the Lipodystrophy Workshop in Dublin in 2005. It was a placebo controlled study of the use of creatine or placebo plus exercise.
Strength did not differ much between the creatine arm and the placebo arm. But men taking creatine had a significant jump in triglycerides, a risk factor for heart disease. I am not sure if the creatine supplement used had sugar in it, which may explain the increase in triglycerides.
Lean body mass index rose in both groups, but significantly more with creatine (2.3 versus 0.9 kg, P = 0.01). Thigh muscle cross-sectional area also increased more with creatine, but not significantly more than with placebo (12.2 versus 9.3 cm2, P = 0.34).
What are your triglycerides? Talk to your doctor since you may have some reduction in kidney function that may not make you a good candidate for this supplement.
You may want to try Juven, another supplement that has arginine, HMB and glutamine that may not have a negative effect on the kidneys.
G.K. Sakkas, K. Mulligan, MI. DeSilva, et al. Creatine supplementation fails to augment the benefits derived from resistance exercise training in patients with HIV infection. 7th International Workshop on Adverse Drug Reactions and Lipodystrophy in HIV. November 13-16, 2005. Dublin. Abstract 6.