Creatine and Testosterone Supplementation: Is there a relationship?

Tempo de Leitura: 3 minutos

Creatine supplementation is widely known for its potential ergogenic aidtherefore has been extensively studied in athletic and diseased populations. However, for professional and recreational athletes, the mechanisms underlying increased performance and muscle building by creatine supplementation still need to be clearly elucidated. Since the existing literature is focused only on the clinical safety of supplementation, seeking to identify possible side effects on renal function and liver markers. Now, learn more about the possible relationship between creatine and testosterone supplementation.

In this context, two approaches were suggested to investigate the mechanisms by which creatine can influence skeletal muscle. Since one involves the skeletal muscle biopsy and the other involves investigating the effects of creatine supplementation on humoral endocrine response to exercise.

Testosterone and Creatine

Testosterone can stimulate muscle growth by increasing protein synthesis and potentially reusing muscle protein breakdown amino acids. In addition, testosterone, growth hormone and insulin-1 growth factor increase as an acute effect of resistance exercise, which is shown to be improved with creatine intake for 7 days.

However, a similar study found no increase in growth hormone response to a 60-minute resistance training session in individuals who ingested creatine for 5 days and testosterone’s response to exercise was not significant, with or without creatine supplementation.

While in extreme training involving endurance, it has been shown that total testosterone levels decrease after 4 weeks despite creatine supplementation, suggesting the possible role of testosterone as a mediator of the effects of creatine on muscle mass.

Interpreting the Literature on Creatine and Testosterone Supplementation

Testosterone can be converted into a more bioactive metabolite, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by the action of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. That said, a double-blind cross-study was conducted in young male athletes who participated in collective sports that require substantial strength (rugby). These, in turn, were submitted to biochemical tests to measure serum testosterone (T) and DHT, also calculating the proportion after 21 days of creatine supplementation.

Among the results, it was found that testosterone levels did not change significantly over time in any of the groups, however, in dihydrotestosterone concentrations it was possible to observe significant increases in concentrations over time. Because after 7 days of loading, the increase in DHT was 56% and after another 14 days with the maintenance dose, the increase was still 40% above baseline.

In addition, after calculating the proportion of DHT to T, it was found that there was a significantly higher proportion in the creatine group, a change that represented in the proportion an increase of 36% in the conversion of T into DHT after 7 days of supplementation.

Discussing Literature

The main finding is the increase in dht-to-t ratio in response to creatine load, which was also maintained during the maintenance phase for at least another 2 weeks in trained young athletes. It is necessary to make an end to the in this study the results are restricted to creatine as this was ingested in conjunction with carbohydrates to increase your muscle absorption, but was not ingested in combination with any other putative anabolic supplements, such as those that may work synergistically.

Clinical practice

Clinically, an increasedp roporium of DHT:T has been associated with higher male pattern baldness and prostate cancer development according to ethnic/racial classification. Therefore, it is important to investigate the effects of this proportion on the target tissues of the patient who supplements creatine in order to avoid undesirable side effects.

Bibliographic references

Reading Suggestion: Testosterone
and Obesity: What is the relationship?

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Van Der J Merwe, Brooks NE, Myburgh KH. Three weeks of creatine monohydrate supplementation affects dihydrotestosterone to testosterone ratio in college-aged rugby players. Clin J Sport Med. 2009 Sep;19(5):399-404. Doi: 10.1097/JSM.0b013e3181b8b52f. PMID: 19741313.

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