The effects of creatine and glycerol hyperhydration on running economy in well trained endurance runners

Lukas Beis, T.P. Polyviou, Dalia Malkova, Yannis Pitsiladis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND Ingestion of creatine (Cr) and glycerol (Gly) has been reported to be an effective method in expanding water compartments within the human body, attenuating the rise in heart rate (HR) and core temperature (Tcore) during exercise in the heat. Despite these positive effects, a substantial water retention could potentially impair endurance performance through increasing body mass (BM) and consequently impacting negatively on running economy (RE). The objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of a combined Cr and Gly supplementation on thermoregulatory and cardiovascular responses and RE during running for 30 min at speed corresponding to 60% of maximal oxygen uptake (V˙O2max) in hot and cool conditions. METHODS Cr·H2O (11.4 g), Gly (1 g·kg-1 BM) and Glucose polymer (75 g) were administered twice daily to 15 male endurance runners during a 7-day period. Exercise trials were conducted pre- and post-supplementation at 10 and 35°C and 70% relative humidity. RESULTS BM and total body water increased by 0.90 ± 0.40 kg (P < 0.01; mean ± SD) and 0.71 ± 0.42 L (P < 0.01), respectively following supplementation. Despite the significant increase in BM, supplementation had no effect on V˙O2 and therefore RE. Both HR and Tcore were attenuated significantly after supplementation (P < 0.05, for both). Nevertheless, thermal comfort and rating of perceived exertion was not significantly different between pre- and post-supplementation. Similarly, no significant differences were found in sweat loss, serum osmolality, blood lactate and in plasma volume changes between pre- and post-supplementation. CONCLUSIONS Combining Cr and Gly is effective in reducing thermal and cardiovascular strain during exercise in the heat without negatively impacting on RE.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2011

Bibliographical note

© 2011 Beis et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dive into the research topics of 'The effects of creatine and glycerol hyperhydration on running economy in well trained endurance runners'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this