Creatine aids muscle rehabilitation

Creatine has been the subject of over 400 research studies in the past decade, focusing primarily on muscle performance and size in athletes and in individuals with neuromuscular diseases. A new study suggests that creatine may also have a use in muscle rehabilitation and recovery.

Twenty young male and female university students volunteered to have their right legs immobilized in a groin-to-ankle cast for two weeks. The students then received 20 grams of either creatine monohydrate or placebo daily. After the cast was removed, all subjects underwent a 10-week physical exercise rehabilitation program. The creatine dose was gradually reduced to 5 grams/day for the final weeks of the study.

“Our findings suggest that a dietary supplement of creatine taken before immobilization and then throughout the rehab process quickens the body’s return to normal appearance and function,” said Dr Peter Hespel, lead researcher on the study. “We found the creatine users’ casted legs displayed more muscle power and a greater regain of muscle size after…rehab.”

Source: J Physiol 2001;536(Pt 2):625-33