Creatine and caffeine: one gets in the way of the other?

Tempo de Leitura: 2 minutos

The ergogenic effect of caffeine and creatine supplementation, in isolation, is supported by strong evidence attesting to its efficacies. However, there is still much controversy about the efficacy of this supplementation when done together. Creatine and caffeine: one gets in the way of the other?

What does the Scientific Literature point to about creatine and caffeine?

Studies have suggested the existence of competition between the effects of supplementation. The evidence was in the sense that chronic caffeine supplementation would attenuate the ergogenic effect of creatine supplementation, vandenberghe et al. (1996). As for caffeine supplementation after creatine loading, evidence suggests that loading does not attenuate the acute ergogenic effect of caffeine supplementation.

When it comes to multi-ingredient supplements, such as pre-workouts, there is evidence to support their ergogenic effect. Nonetheless although these results may seem to favor the concomitant use of caffeine and creatine, such studies do not directly determine whether any supplement can increase or decrease the effects of the other.

In addition, the results of these studies can be confused by the large number of ingredients in the supplements investigated, including amino acids, beta-alanine, citrulline marate, among others.

Nevertheless, studies have identified that concurrent caffeine intake did not affect creatine-phosphate muscle saturation, indicating that attenuation of the ergogenic effect of creatine is probably not due to decreased absorption or uptake capacity by skeletal muscle.

One possible mechanism to explain the competition between the effects of caffeine and creatine supplementation lies in the time required for muscle relaxation. While creatine supplementation decreases relaxation time by improving muscle recovery, caffeine supplementation has the opposite effect, increasing the necessary time of muscle relaxation. Other possible mechanisms are due to gastrointestinal dysregulation caused by joint supplementation of the two substances.

Clinical practice

It is prudent to avoid chronic supplementation at high dosages of caffeine to maximize the ergogenic effect of supplementation. It is noteworthy that strategies of fractionation and dispersion of consumption can contribute not only to the decrease in the ergogenic effect of creatine is not observed, but also to avoid any gastrointestinal symptoms due to the consumption of the two substances.


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Article: Trexler ET, Smith-Ryan AE. Creatine and Caffeine: Considerations for Concurrent Supplementation. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2015 Dec;25(6):607-23. Doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2014-0193. PMID: 26219105.

Article: Vandenberghe, K., Gillis, N., Van Leemputte, M., Van Hecke, P., Vanstapel, F., & Hespel, P. (1996). Caffeine counteracts the ergogenic action of muscle creatine loading. J Appl Physiol (1985), 80(2), 452-457.

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