The new research was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. It was the work of researchers associated with universities in Malaga, Spain, as well as well-known creatine expert Richard Kreider, PhD, of Texas A&M University.
Creatine is a very well researched ingredient, and the most research has been done on the form used in this study, creatine monohydrate. Kreider told NutraIngredients-USA at this year’s Sports &Active Nutrition Summit in San Diego that new indications are being found for the ingredient all the time, making the case for it to be considered as a general health aid.
Sports performance wheelhouse
This study, however, concentrated on research within creatine’s main sports performance wheelhouse. The researchers noted that creatine monohydrate supplementation in isolation has been shown to increase strength and power performance in short-duration efforts, which has made it popular for use among athletes of all sorts, including young athletes, for whom the safety of the intervention is generally agreed upon.
However, the researchers noted that, “There is limited research in young athletes linking the consumption of creatine monohydrate with the application of a combined training program.”
To fill in that gap, the researchers designed an 8-week study that paired creatine with a focused training program aimed at increasing the lower body strength of a cohort of young basketball players in Spain.
For their study population the authors used 23 basketball players in the under-16 age category from a high level club team in Malaga. The players participated in a focused 8-week training program aimed at increasing their performance on several plyometric measures.
The measurements included squat jump (SJ), drop jump (DP), countermovement jump (CMJ), and Abalakov (ABK) jump power tests.
The test group received 0.1 g/kg of creatine daily, which was fully dissolved in juice. The control group followed their normal diets. The study was not blinded. One of the control group athletes couldn’t complete the study, leaving 12 in the creatine group and 11 in the control group.
Creatine plus training equals better jumpers
The researchers found greater improvement in all of the jumping tests for the creatine group. While those trend lines indicated that a greater sample size might have yielded statistically significant differences, only in the Abalakov test did the additional power increase for creatine group clear that bar.
In addition, they also found that the creatine group tended to perform better in actual games, scoring more points per game than the control group. That secondary outcome, though, could certainly be open to more confounding factors, such as the choice of coaches to play certain lineups, the strength of the opposition, etc.
“CrM supplementation might benefit strength-training adaptations and sports performance in U16 basketball players undergoing a resistance and plyometric training program. Particularly, CrM supplementation increased power production in one out of four power tests and points per game scored per game in U16,” they concluded.
Source: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
A randomized open-labeled study to examine the effects of creatine monohydrate and combined training on jump and scoring performance in young basketball players
Authors: Vargas-Molina S, et al.