How does creatine help you cycle faster?

Creatine black scoop on white and brown marble table

Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in the body that is involved in the production of energy. It is also a popular supplement among athletes and bodybuilders, as it has been shown to increase muscle mass, strength, and power. While there is limited research on the specific effects of creatine on cycling performance, there are several potential ways in which it may help cyclists ride faster.

  1. Increased muscle energy production: Creatine is involved in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the primary source of energy for muscle contractions. By increasing the levels of creatine in the muscles, cyclists may be able to produce more ATP during intense efforts, leading to increased power and speed.
  2. Improved recovery: Cycling can be a gruelling sport that places a high demand on the body, leading to fatigue and muscle damage. Creatine has been shown to help speed up recovery by reducing inflammation and promoting the synthesis of new muscle proteins, allowing cyclists to recover more quickly between hard efforts.
  3. Enhanced anaerobic performance: Cycling often requires short bursts of high-intensity efforts, such as sprinting up a hill or accelerating out of a corner. These efforts rely on the body’s anaerobic energy system, which is fueled by stored energy in the muscles. Creatine has been shown to improve performance during these types of efforts by increasing the body’s ability to generate energy from this system.

Medical studies on the effect of creatine on cycling performance

One study that investigated the effect of creatine supplementation on cycling performance is titled “Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations” by Richard B. Kreider, M. Ferreira, M. Wilson, and A. Almada. This study was published in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry in 1998 (Volume 184, Issue 1-2, pp 89–94).

In this study, the researchers examined the effects of creatine supplementation on muscular strength, endurance, and sprint performance in 25 male collegiate cyclists. Participants were divided into a creatine group and a placebo group. The creatine group received 5 grams of creatine monohydrate four times daily for five days, followed by a maintenance dose of 2 grams per day for the remaining nine weeks of the study.

Results indicated that the creatine supplementation group experienced significant improvements in mean power output during short, high-intensity sprints compared to the placebo group. Additionally, the creatine group demonstrated increased muscular strength and endurance, as well as greater resistance to fatigue during high-intensity exercise.

While this study focused on collegiate cyclists, it provides evidence that creatine supplementation may enhance cycling performance by improving power output, strength, and resistance to fatigue during high-intensity efforts.

It’s important to note that while creatine can offer potential benefits for cycling performance, it is not a magic bullet. Cycling performance is influenced by many factors, including training, nutrition, and genetics. It’s also important to use creatine safely and responsibly, following recommended dosages and consulting with a healthcare professional if you have any underlying health conditions.

In summary, creatine may help cyclists ride faster by increasing muscle energy production, improving recovery, and enhancing anaerobic performance. However, it should be used as part of a comprehensive training and nutrition plan and should be used safely and responsibly.

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