Creatine-a non-stimulant based wake-up pill?

By Dwayne Jackson
Jun 16, 2011

A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, compared the effects of a single dose creatine or caffeine on the execution of a complex repeated rugby passing skill, with and without sleep deprivation.
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In this randomized placebo-controlled trial, rugby players were placed into placebo, creatine, or caffeine groups and completed 10 experimental trials (5 with 7-8 hours sleep and 5 with 3-5 hours sleep per night). The researchers reported that sleep deprivation with placebo treatment resulted in significantly decreased skill performance accuracy. However, those who ingested caffeine (1 or 5mg/kg) or creatine (50 or 100mg/kg) before the drills saw no decrease in skill performance under sleep deprived conditions. These new data illustrate that a single dose of creatine can protect the body from mental fatigue as well as caffeine.  Remarkably, under sleep-deprived conditions, creatine did not elevate cortisol levels (like caffeine did), but instead it elevated testosterone levels, making it an ideal "anabolic wake-up pill" for bodybuilders.

Cook CJ, Crewther BT, Kilduff LP, Drawer S, Gaviglio CM. Skill execution and sleep deprivation: effects of acute caffeine or creatine supplementation - a randomized placebo-controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2011 Feb 16;8(1):2. [Epub ahead of print]

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