I stumbled across this older study on Creatine supplementation. Everyone should know by now that creatine increases gains in lean body mass during resistance training, but no one knows exactly how it works! This study had men supplement with 15 g of creatine monohydrate or placebo each day for five days. This is a typical loading phase for creatine, but recent research shows that it is not truly needed in that your body will be saturated with creatine on a maintaince dose of 3-5 grams after 30 days. After ingestion of creatine, subjects performed the prescribed resistance exercise. Muscle was obtained from the leg using a biopsy needle before exercise, 3 hours later and 24 hours after exercise to measure the anabolic insulin-like growth factors (IGF). The researchers also looked at some of the important signaling proteins that they feel are involved in muscle hypertrophy. The study showed that after five days of creatine supplementation it significantly increased muscle IGF-I at rest or before exercising. Creatine supplementation also improved the signaling proteins that stimulate muscle hypertrophy 24 hours after exercise. This study helped to provide some insights into the mechanism of various anabolic effects of creatine and suggest that increases of IGF-I may be involved.
Deldicque L, Louis M, Theisen D, et al. Increased IGF mRNA in human skeletal muscle after creatine supplementation. Med Sci Sport Exerc. 37(5)731-736, 2005.
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