The Effect of Creatine Monohydrate on Male Ice Hockey Players’ Skating Sprint Speed

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Dr. Maureen Dunn

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Free creatine is a protein-like substance that is synthesized in the body and can be ingested by consuming animal products such as meat or fish. It utilizes the enzyme creatine kinase to create phosphocreatine, which, in turn, produces ATP, the body’s energy source. The phosphocreatine system is key for providing energy during short, high-intensity exercise, which is equivalent to a shift during an ice hockey game. Few studies exist that have examined the effect of creatine ingestion on ice hockey skating performance, yet the intake of creatine monohydrate may increase the sprint speed of hockey players after a 5-day “loading phase”. Eleven Hope College ice hockey players participated in 3 repeated 70-foot skating sprints with 2 minutes of rest between each sprint. Participants were then assigned into either a creatine group (n=7) or a placebo group (n=4). The week after the pretest, participants ingested the assigned supplement 4 times a day for 5 days. Each dose contained 5 grams of creatine or 5 grams of placebo along with 8 ounces of gatorade. After the “loading phase” the participants performed a posttest, which followed the same protocol as the pretest. Positive results would allow hockey teams to use creatine supplementation to increase players’ sprint speed as well as decrease the amount of rest time needed to be able to perform another maximal shift.

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