Short Term Creatine Supplementation and Competitive Female Swimmers

Growing up I had the pleasure of swimming with some of the best age group swimmers in Australia. During a training session it was not uncommon for swimmers to consume various ergogenic aids in the form of a sports drink or supplement. In fact many swimmers used a supplement called creatine to maximise their training performance. Creatine is one of the most widely used dietary supplements, as it has been shown to be beneficial in improving performance during repeated bouts of high intensity anaerobic activity. In a recent study, researchers from the Department of Sports Science at Azad University, studied the effect of short term creatine supplementation on anaerobic performance and sprint swimming records of female competitive swimmers. Numerous studies have examined the effects of short term creatine supplementation (5-7 days) on exercise performance. The majority of initial studies suggested that creatine supplementation can significantly increase strength, power, sprint performance and or work performed during mutiple sets of maximal effort muscle contractions. The results from this most recent study support previous findings. In this study it was found that short term creatine supplementation (20 grams/day for 6 days) led to significant improvements in bench press (1-repetition maximum), vertical jump, and 60 yard sprint swimming. Although short term creatine supplementation was also shown to improve sprint swimming records, the findings were not considered significant. Nonetheless, given the foregoing results, one can assume that short term creatine supplementation may afford swimmers the opportunity to improve their personal best time during anaerobic events (50 metres, 100 metres and 200 metres).

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