Combination of creatine & HMB improves performance of rowers, cyclists & runners

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    Combination of creatine & HMB improves performance of rowers, cyclists & runners

    Combination of creatine & HMB improves performance of rowers, cyclists & runners

    Athletes in disciplines where acidification is a factor to be reckoned with - such as rowing, running and cycling - are likely to benefit from supplementation with creatine and HMB. Spanish researchers at the University of the Basque Country discovered that under conditions where the concentration of lactate in the blood rises high, the creatine-HMB combo makes athletes faster. Their human study appeared in Nutrients.

    Study
    The researchers experimented with 4 groups of half a dozen rowers each. The test subjects were young, male, and active at the highest level.

    During the 10 weeks that the experiment took, rowers in the placebo group received a supplement without active substances. [PLG]

    A second group received 0.04 grams of creatine monohydrate per kilo of body weight per day. [CrMG] For a 70 kilo rower that comes to 2.8 grams per day. At such a relatively low dose, creatine does have performance-enhancing effects, but doesn't increase body weight. The researchers used creatine monohydrate from Creapure. [creapure.com]

    • A third group took 3 grams of old-fashioned calcium-bound HMB daily. [HMBG] The researchers used a product from the Spanish FullGas. [fullgas.org]
    • A fourth group took both 0.04 grams of creatine monohydrate per kilo of body weight and 3 grams of HMB per day. [CrM-HMBG]
    • A fourth group took both 0.04 grams of creatine monohydrate per kilo of body weight and 3 grams of HMB per day. [CrM-HMBG]

    When the 10 weeks were over, the researchers tested how much speed the rowers could develop at different intensities. More precisely, the researchers determined how much power the rowers could develop during an effort at the anaerobic threshold [WAT], and at an intensity where the concentration of lactic acid in their blood increased to 4 and 8 millimoles [W4 and W8] respectively.

    The anaerobic threshold is the point at which the intensity of exercise starts to become so high that the muscles start producing more lactate than the body can metabolize. The lactate level starts to rise.

    Results
    Creatine, HMB and certainly the combination of creatine and HMB seemed to increase the power with efforts at the anaerobic threshold and with a lactate level of 4 millimoles, but those effects were not statistically significant.

    The effect of supplementation was however significant if the lactate level rose to 8 millimoles. The combination of creatine and HMB was particularly effective.

    Conclusion
    "Creatine ingestion increased muscle total creatine, and therefore influences the creatine-phosphocreatine shuttle, which may lower the lactic acid production by lowering glycolysis (saving glycogen) at the same intensity, improving anaerobic capacity", the researchers speculate.

    "HMB can increase the gene expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-1 [...], improving mitochondrial biogenesis, and hence oxidative function to enhance the aerobic capacity. This process consists of augmenting the density and quantity of the muscle cell mitochondria, angiogenesis, and hence increases fat oxidation, which enhances aerobic capacity."

    "These adaptations could save glycogen, which is a limiting factor during endurance exercise, increasing oxidative capacity and reducing lactic acid production by glycolysis."

    Source: Nutrients 2020 12(1) 193.
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