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A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2005 September;58(3):233-9


language: English

Creatine combined with branched-chain amino acids supplement in speleological practice. A scientific controlled trial

Bregani E. R., Aliberti S., Guariglia A.

Emergency Medicine Division, Ospedale Maggiore IRCCS, Milan, Italy


During speleological activities physical conditions are constant with respect to time. Creatine is a natural compound present in muscular tissue; in its phosphorylated form it can produce great amounts of energy rapidly and independently from sugar consumption. In consideration of specific athletic efforts and unique environment, we evaluate the effects of energy replenishers with creatine combined with branched-chain amino acids on caving performances with a controlled trial. The trial’s primary goal was to evaluate the increase of athletic performance after creatine administration on a group of cavers during a cave trip with different characteristics. A second goal was to analyze the effects of branched-chain amino acids and mineral salts taken before the exertion, for the same period of time. Ten healthy cavers were treated with creatine combined with branched-chain amino acids or placebo before a cave trip. Subsequently the same group performed the same exercise inverting the treatments. Recovery time seemed to be improved by creatine administration showing reduced fatigue. Even if some observations don’t reach the statistical significance, the analysis of all the data shows a trend to an improvement of nearly all parameters in the treated subjects. Laboratory data relating to muscular stress highlight a significantly minor muscular damage in the treated subjects. This might be explained with the double effect of creatine and branched-chain amino acids. Time performances showed little, non significant differences. It is possible that the dosages administered are not sufficient to improve time performances, and their effects are limited to recovery time and muscular damage.

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