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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

The effects of age on skeletal muscle and the phosphocreatine energy system: can creatine supplementation help older adults

Vincent J Dalbo1, Michael D Roberts1, Chris M Lockwood1, Patrick S Tucker1, Richard B Kreider2 and Chad M Kerksick1*

Author Affiliations

1 Applied Biochemistry and Molecular Physiology Laboratory, Department of Health & Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA

2 College of Education & Human Development, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA

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Dynamic Medicine 2009, 8:6  doi:10.1186/1476-5918-8-6

Published: 24 December 2009

Abstract

Creatine supplementation has been found to significantly increase muscle strength and hypertrophy in young adults (≤ 35 yr) particularly when consumed in conjunction with a resistance training regime. Literature examining the efficacy of creatine supplementation in older adults (55-82 yr) suggests creatine to promote muscle strength and hypertrophy to a greater extent than resistance training alone. The following is a review of literature reporting on the effects of creatine supplementation on intramuscular high energy phosphates, skeletal muscle morphology and quality of life in older adults. Results suggest creatine supplementation to be a safe, inexpensive and effective nutritional intervention, particularly when consumed in conjunction with a resistance training regime, for slowing the rate of muscle wasting that is associated with aging. Physicians should strongly consider advising older adults to supplement with creatine and to begin a resistance training regime in an effort to enhance skeletal muscle strength and hypertrophy, resulting in enhanced quality of life.