A well-controlled trial out of Western Washington
University (Washington State) has shown that the combination of creatine with magnesium has markedly more impact than creatine alone. According to the researchers, the magnesium-plus-creatine program produced significant improvements of extracellular water (ECW) and intracellular water (ICW)--markers of the "volumizing" effect of creatine. Further, the combination only (not straight creatine) produced significant improvement of knee extension torque. Last, the authors speculate that "the increases in ICW...may infer more muscular creatine due to its osmotic effect, and with increased cellular hydration, perhaps increased protein synthesis." In other words, the effectiveness of creatine may really depend on the presence of adequate magnesium! Apply this important finding--which is simple and cheap--in your creatine supplementation program for extra effectiveness. Take 300 mgs or so of magnesium along with your creatine.
Brilla LR, et al. Magnesium-creatine supplementation effects on
body water. Metabolism. 2003 Sep;52(9):1136-40.