If you’re looking for a edge in your workout or sports training, a combination of creatine and herbs may help, suggests a new study.

Researchers tested the effects of creatine and a combination of ginseng and astragalus in 44 adults, aged 55-84 years. Participants consumed either creatine only, creatine plus the herb extracts, or a placebo, and performed a series of strength training exercises three days per week for 12 weeks. Strength, body composition, blood lipids and vigour were evaluated before and after the study. Researchers found that, although strength and lean muscle mass improved for all three groups, greater gains were seen in the groups taking creatine or creatine plus the herbs. Only creatine plus the herbs improved blood lipids and vigour, and this group lost significantly more body fat than creatine alone.

The results indicate that strength and lean muscle mass gains can be enhanced with creatine supplements, and that ginseng and astragalus may provide additional health and psychological benefits.

Source: J Sports Sci and Med 2006:5, 60-69