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Creatine Reduces Oxygen Requirement During Bike Sprint Time Trial

Brian Turner

Posted on February 14 2017

Muscles get energy for contraction by breaking down adenosine triphosphate (ATP)— an important compound that supplies most of the energy to the cells. Creatine phosphate is a high-energy chemical that restores full energy levels to ATP after it releases some of its energy. It does this by donating a high-energy phosphate to restore ATP. Creatine monohydrate supplements increase muscle creatine phosphate by 20 percent. Most ATP comes from reactions involving oxygen, but these reactions are slower than high-energy reactions involving ATP and creatine phosphate. Brazilian researchers showed how creatine phosphate synthesized from creatine monohydrate could benefit performance during high-intensity sprint cycling. Athletes who consumed a creatine monohydrate loading protocol (20 grams per day for five days) showed lower oxygen consumptions during the beginning phase of a one-kilometer time trial. The body will preferentially use the energy available to it. It chose to use more creatine phosphate at the onset of cycling because more was available. (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 47: 2660-2668, 2015)