The effect of short-term creatine loading on active range of movement

Nicholas Sculthorpe, Fergal Grace, Peter Jones, Iain Fletcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


During high-intensity exercise, intracellular creatine phosphate (PCr) is rapidly broken down to maintain adenosine triphosphate turnover. This has lead to the widespread use of creatine monohydrate as a nutritional ergogenic aid. However, the increase in intracellular PCr and the concomitant increase in intracellular water have not been investigated with regard to their effect on active range of movement (ROM). Forty male subjects (age, 24+/-3.2 years) underwent restricted randomization into 2 equal groups, either an intervention group (CS) or a control group (C). The CS group ingested 25 of creatine monohydrate for 5 days, followed by 5 for a further 3 days. Before (24 h before starting supplementation (PRE) and after (on the 8th day of supplementation (POST)) this loading phase, both groups underwent goniometry measurement of the shoulder, elbow, hip, and ankle. Data indicated significant reductions in active ROM in 3 movements: shoulder extension (57+/-11.3 degrees PRE vs. 48+/-11.2 degrees POST, p<0.01), shoulder abduction (183.4+/-6.8 degrees PRE vs. 180.3+/-5.1 degrees POST, p<0.05), and ankle dorsiflexion (14.2+/-4.7 degrees PRE vs. 12.1+/-6.4 degrees POST, p<0.01). There was also a significant increase in body mass for the CS group (83.6+/-6.2 kg vs. 85.2+/-6.3 kg, p<0.05). The results suggest that short-term supplementation with creatine monohydrate reduces the active ROM of shoulder extension and abduction and of ankle dorsiflexion. Although the mechanism for this is not fully understood, it may be related to the asymmetrical distribution of muscle mass around those joints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-11
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Arthrometry, Articular
  • Beverages
  • Body Weight
  • Creatine
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • England
  • Humans
  • Joints
  • Male
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


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