Creatine Supplementation For Mature Athletes

man bench pressing

Creatinine for more than just body builders? Muscle building in old age.

Dayton Kelly

The following was adapted from a combination of speeches given at the European Sports Science Conference 2017, most notably Kaviani, M. et al. [Canada].

Creatine supplementation has been widely praised for its ability to enhance muscle building and strength in young athletes and body builders. Despite an abundance of literature supporting its usefulness in near all populations, the majority are still unaware of the ability of creatine to promote healthy aging and strong functional outcomes in the elderly.

Why the Need?

woman lifting weightsDegeneration of muscle tissue and muscular strength in the elderly is associated with a number of poor health outcomes and lifestyle restriction. Reduced muscular strength and muscle tissue volume reduces one’s ability to perform tasks of daily living, increases risk of falls and injury, and worsens posture.

Unfortunately, musculoskeletal losses appear prevalent among aging populations, with much of this degeneration being a symptom of our life styles rather than healthy aging. Thus, there remains abundant room for preserving muscle tissue should we adopt proper interventions into our lives.

It is well known that exercise serves to promote muscle growth and preservation. What is less well known, despite firm establishment in the literature, is that the supplement creatine can vastly improve increases in muscular strength and growth in older adults when combined with strength training. Further, creatine supplementation in elderly populations have shown increases in bone health (specifically bone density) and functional abilities when combined with exercise. This comes with the asterisk that creatine is not recommended for individuals with reduced kidney function though it appears safe in unimpaired individuals.

CAUTION: as always, consult with your doctor before beginning a new supplement or exercise program.

Our Recommendation:

Discussing creatine supplementation for building muscle mass and promoting health is well worth a conversation with your doctor. You never know, building bigger muscles may save your life!

Related Article: Re-Thinking Gender Based Nutrition


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References

Moon, A., Heywood, L., Rutherford, S., & Cobbold, C. (2013). Creatine Supplementation: Can it Improve Quality of Life in the Elderly without Associated Resistance Training? Current Aging Science, 6(3), 251-257. Retrieved from http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ben/cas/2013/00000006/00000003/art00007.


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