Creatine Supplementation: Can it Improve Quality of Life in the Elderly without Associated Resistance Training?
Anna Moon, Lara Heywood, Stephen Rutherford and Christian Cobbold
Affiliation: School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Museum Avenue, Cardiff CF11 3AX, UK.
Keywords: Ageing, creatine, elderly, supplementation, muscle, strength, functional performance.
Introduction: Ageing is associated with decreased muscle mass, strength, power and function, and reduction in
bone density and mineral content, leading to reduced independence and increased risk of falls. Creatine supplementation is
reported to improve muscular strength and performance with training in younger athletes, and therefore could benefit
Aims: This review critically appraises the current literature on whether creatine supplementation enhances muscular performance
and function, body composition, bone mineral density and content in older adults without the addition of resistance
training, and thus determines whether creatine supplementation can lead to an improved lifestyle for the sedentary
Results: There is conflicting evidence regarding the usefulness of creatine supplementation in older subjects. Generally,
however, creatine supplementation, without associated resistance training, seems to enhance muscular strength, power and
endurance, increase lean body mass (LBM) and improve the functional capacity of the elderly. Furthermore, it has been
demonstrated that increased muscle mass due to creatine supplementation can result in increased local bone density. It appears
that the effect of creatine supplementation is more beneficial in larger muscles and less effective in smaller muscles,
however there are exceptions. The mechanism by which creatine supplementation works requires further research, however
it is likely that the effects of creatine are related to creatine kinase activity, providing enhanced energy production for
greater muscular contraction.
Conclusions: These data indicate that creatine supplementation without associated training in the elderly could potentially
delay atrophy of muscle mass, improve endurance and strength, and increase bone strength, and thus may be a safe therapeutic
strategy to help decrease loss in functional performance of everyday tasks.
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport