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Health, Exercise, & Rehabilitative Sciences


Creatine monohydrate (CrM) is considered a safe nutritional supplement. The loading phase of CrM supplementation is associated with shifts in total body water and plasma volume that may affect blood pressure. However, few studies have measured blood pressure during the loading phase of CrM supplementation. The aim of this study was to determine if CrM supplementation induces a daily blood pressure increase during the supplementation-loading phase. Participants’ blood pressure, shoulder extension active ROM, arm girth, arm volume, plasma volume, blood volume, hematocrit, and hemoglobin were measured daily for five days of supplementation (45 gd-1 for 5d) of either CrM (n=12) or placebo (P; n=12). The CrM group experienced no significant changes in systolic (CrM 126.7±1.9 Day-5; P 125.5±2.6 Day-5) or diastolic (CrM 83.8±2.2 Day-5; P 82.3±2.1 Day-5) blood pressure (mmHg) compared to P. A significant time by treatment (p=0.001) and treatment effect (p=0.03) supported a decline in AROM (cm) in the CrM group compared to P (CrM 38.3±2.2 Day-1, CrM 34.0±2.0 Day-5; P 41.0±2.5 Day-1, P 43.2±2.5 Day-5). A significant time by treatment interaction (p=0.026) supported an increase in arm volume (ml) in the CrM group compared to P (CrM 2443±99.4 Day-1, CrM 2470±92.2 Day-5; P 2372±74.1 Day-1, P 2374±74.6 Day-5). An increase in plasma volume (%Δ from baseline) (p=0.014) (CrM 1.48±2.59 Day-2, CrM 6.03±4.03 Day-5) and a decrease in hematocrit (%) (p=0.026) (CrM 0.47±0.01 Day-1, CrM 0.45±0.01 Day-5 ) were observed. These findings suggest that CrM loading does not affect blood pressure in normotensive college-aged males and is safe regarding blood pressure. CrM reduces shoulder extension AROM presumably due to increased tissue volume secondary to fluid shifts.

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Gary Kastello



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