Creatine Promotes Muscle Glycogen Storage

Creatine monohydrate plus carbohydrates increased muscle glycogen restoration following exhaustive exercise better than carbohydrate feeding alone— according to Paul Greenhaff and colleagues from the UK. The test subjects rode a stationary bike to exhaustion at 70 percent of maximum effort and consumed a high-carbohydrate diet plus 20 grams of creatine or placebo (fake creatine) for six days. Creatine triggered higher levels of muscle glycogen during the entire experiment. During high-intensity or prolonged exercise, glycogen breakdown in the muscles supports aerobic and anaerobic metabolism, and glycogen breakdown in the liver maintains blood sugar. Exercise capacity and fatigue are greatly influenced by glycogen stores in muscle and liver. Recovery from repeated intense workouts depends on restoration of muscle and liver glycogen stores. Glycogen breakdown during exercise is influenced by the intensity and duration of exercise, physical fitness and carbohydrate intake before, during and after exercise. Repeated heavy workouts often result in a decrease in these critical liver and muscle glycogen stores and deterioration in performance. Glycogen depletion causes fatigue, decreased motivation and increased susceptibility to injury. A high-carbohydrate diet plus creatine promotes recovery from intense exercise. (Amino Acids, published online May 19, 2016)

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