Chilibeck, P. D., & Anderson, M. (2004). In-season creatine supplementation by rugby union football players. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(5), Supplement abstract 2303.

"Rugby union football is a sport that relies on muscular strength and endurance, as well as aerobic endurance. Simultaneous training for strength and aerobic endurance is challenging because one type of training can interfere with the other (i.e., heavy aerobic training can compromise muscle mass and strength development; whereas heavy strength training can compromise aerobic endurance due to muscle hypertrophy)" (p. S335). This investigation determined if creatine supplementation during a season of rugby union football preserved lean tissue mass and muscular performance, without negatively affecting aerobic endurance. Rugby union football players were assigned randomly to two groups, one receiving 0.1 gm/kg/day creatine monohydrate (N = 9) or placebo (N = 9) during eight weeks of a rugby season. Ss practiced (mainly aerobic training) twice per week for approximately two hours per session and played one 80-minute game per week. Before and after the eight weeks, Ss were measured for body composition, muscular performance (number of repetitions at approximately 75% 1-RM for bench press and leg press), and aerobic endurance (Leger shuttle-run test with 1 minute stages of progressively increasing speed).

Over the season, there were no differences between groups for significant losses of body mass and fat mass. The creatine group significantly increased the number of repetitions for combined bench press and leg press tests when compared to the placebo group. There were no changes in either group for aerobic endurance.

Implication. Creatine supplementation during a rugby union football season increases muscular performance, but has no effect on body composition or aerobic endurance.

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