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Creatine Supplementation Also Beneficial When You Are Not Training
Creatine is one of the most popular dietary supplements of all time, and for good reason.
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A large number of studies have confirmed that creatine supplementation augments the typical adaptations to resistance training such as increased muscle mass and maximal strength and power. So the evidence is clear that creatine helps when you are training. But does creatine help muscles that are not active, which might be the case if you stop training for a period of time or if you are injured and forced to rest the affected muscles? This question was addressed by researchers who used a creative model to test whether creatine supplementation would affect muscle and strength during an extended period of physical inactivity and immobilization. The subjects were health men who never supplemented with creatine. A cast was placed on one of their arms to prevent any movement. They supplemented with a carbohydrate placebo for 1 week and then creatine for 1 week. The dose was 20 g per day. As expected the immobilization resulted in significant decrements in lean muscle tissue (-4%) and various measures of muscle strength (-18 to -43%) when subjects ingested Placebo. However, Creatine supplementation resulted in significantly better maintenance of lean tissue and measures of muscle strength and endurance during immobilization. Thus, creatine supplementation not only augments adaptations to training, but also helps maintain gains during periods of inactivity.

Johnston AP, Burke DG, MacNeil LG, Candow DG. Effect of creatine supplementation during cast-induced immobilization on the preservation of muscle mass, strength, and endurance. J Strength Cond Res. 2009 Jan;23(1):116-20.