Creatine’s effect on resistance training in patients with HIV

 Researchers from the University of California San Francisco studied whether creatine supplementation augments the effects of progressive resistance exercise training on muscle strength, energetics, and body composition.

First, the details.

  • 40 HIV-positive men were enrolled in a 14-week study.
  • They were randomly assigned to a treatment group.
    • Creatine monohydrate starting with a loading dose of 20 grams/day for 5 days, followed by maintenance dosing of 4.8 grams/day.
    • Placebo
  • Beginning at week 2 through week 14, everyone underwent 3-times weekly supervised resistance exercise.

And, the results.

  • Strength increased in all 8 muscle groups studied, but this increase was not augmented by creatine supplementation.
  • There were no differences between groups in changes in muscle energetics (transition from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism).
  • Thigh muscle cross-sectional area increased following resistance exercise, with no additive effect of creatine.
  • Lean body mass increased significantly more with creatine.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “While creatine supplementation produced a greater increase in lean body mass, it did not augment the robust increase in strength derived from progressive resistance training.”

5/18/09 19:05 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.