Effectiveness of Creatine as a Supplement for Enhancing Power and Endurance in Male Collegiate Basketball Players

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Dr. Maureen Dunn, Hope College

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The purpose of this experiment was to examine the effects of four weeks of creatine supplementation compared to placebo on endurance, body composition, and flexibility in male collegiate basketball players during a pre-season training regimen. The tests conducted before and after supplementation included a mile run, 40-meter dash, beep test, vertical jump, bench press, sit-and-reach, body composition, and VO2 max. Participants were matched into two groups (creatine supplementation and placebo) based on VO2max values in a double blind manner. The creatine supplementation protocol consisted of a five-day loading phase in which athletes ingested 10 grams of creatine twice per day, followed by a maintenance phase, in which athletes ingested 2 grams of creatine per day for the remaining 23 days of the study. Placebo was ingested in a similar manner. Workouts were designed and carried out by the Hope men’s basketball coaching staff and included various combinations of endurance training, plyometrics, and resistance training. Overall, both the experimental and the control group showed significant improvements in mile run time, 40-meter dash time, vertical jump height, beep test level, and lean muscle mass over the 4-week trial period. No significant differences in improvement between groups existed; however, the vertical jump test yielded a trend of superior improvement for the experimental group compared to the control group. This study offers no significant evidence that creatine supplementation improves endurance, reduces body fat, or improves flexibility.

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