Nutrition
February 16, 2024

Creatine. A no brainer?

Jon Bateman
Founder, Performance Nutritionist and Endurance Coach

Creatine is a popular dietary supplement often used by athletes to enhance their performance. While it is commonly associated with strength and power activities, such as weightlifting or sprinting, it can also be beneficial for endurance-based sports like bike racing and running.


1. Improved muscle power and fatigue resistance: One of the primary benefits of creatine is its ability to enhance phosphocreatine stores in muscles. This can lead to improved short-term anaerobic performance, specifically during intense sprints or climbs within a race. The increased availability of energy can help delay fatigue and allow you to perform at a higher intensity for longer durations.


2. Enhanced recovery: Creatine has shown positive effects on post-exercise recovery by promoting glycogen resynthesis and reducing markers of muscle damage. This aspect can be especially important in multi-stage bike races, where quick recovery between stages is crucial.


3. Individual response and optimal dosage: It's important to note that not everyone responds to creatine in the same way, and individual variability exists. However, research suggests that a loading phase of approximately 20 grams per day for 5-7 days, followed by a maintenance dose of 3-5 grams per day, can be effective for most people. We would propose missing the loading phase and trying a daily dose of 5 grams per day. It's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a sports nutritionist to determine the best dosage and approach for your specific needs.


4. Hydration and potential weight gain: Creatine supplementation may cause a slight increase in water weight due to increased intramuscular water retention. Ensuring proper hydration while taking creatine is important, especially during bike racing, as dehydration can impair performance. Monitoring fluid intake and incorporating a well-balanced hydration strategy will help mitigate any potential issues.


Remember, it's always important to prioritise a well-rounded training plan, proper nutrition, and recovery strategies alongside any supplementation. If you're unsure on whether it would work for you, we can assess your individual needs and goals and help you make informed decisions about creatine intake and its potential benefits for your bike racing performance.

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