Document Type : Research Paper I Open Access I Released under CC BY-NC 4.0 license


1 MSc of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Mazandaran, Iran

2 Professor, Department of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Mazandaran, Iran


The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of creatine supplementation along with two types of recovery (in-and-out of water) on C-reactive protein (CRP) and malondialdehyde (MDA) as systemic inflammatory indices and lipid peroxidation and also swimming record in trained female swimmers. In this semi-experimental study, 16 trained female swimmers were divided randomly into two groups: in-water active recovery and out of water active recovery. They performed 6 bouts of 50m sprint swimming with 120s rest intervals actively in-out of water, in-and-out of water before and after 6 days of creatine supplementation. The three-way analysis of variance showed that 6 bouts of sprint swimming significantly increased MDA and CRP (P=0.001). Although the recovery type (in-and-out of water) had no significant effects on MDA, CRP and sprint swimming performance, creatine supplementation significantly reduced MDA (P=0.018) and improved swimming performance (P=0.006) in both recovery groups. It seems that specialized and non-specialized recovery strategies do not affect inflammation and stress inhibition resulted from HIIT, but creatine supplementation can reduce the systemic stress resulted from HIIT and maintain sprint swimming performance.



  1. Burgomaster KA, Howarth KR, Phillips SM, Rakobowchuk M, MacDonald MJ, McGee SL, Gibala MJ. Similar metabolic adaptations during exercise after low volume sprint interval and traditional endurance training in humans. The Journal of physiology. 2008 Jan 1;586(1):151-60.
  2. Gibala MJ, Little JP, MacDonald MJ, Hawley JA. Physiological adaptations to low‐volume, high‐intensity interval training in health and disease. The Journal of physiology. 2012 Mar 1;590(5):1077-84.
  3. Borges JP, Masson GS, Tibiriçá E, Lessa MA. Aerobic interval exercise training induces greater reduction in cardiac workload in the recovery period in rats. Arquivosbrasileiros de cardiologia. 2014 Jan;102(1):47-53.
  4. Bogdanis GC, Stavrinou P, Fatouros IG, Philippou A, Chatzinikolaou A, Draganidis D, Ermidis G, Maridaki M. Short-term high-intensity interval exercise training attenuates oxidative stress responses and improves antioxidant status in healthy humans. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2013 Nov 30;61:171-7.
  5. Smith AE, Fukuda DH, Kendall KL, Stout JR. The effects of a pre-workout supplement containing caffeine, creatine, and amino acids during three weeks of high-intensity exercise on aerobic and anaerobic performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2010 Feb 15;7(1):10.
  6. Cardozo GG, de Oliveira RB, de Meirelles LR, da Rocha RD, Farinatti PD. Effects Of High Intensity Interval Vs. Moderate Continuous Training On Markers Of Ventilatory And Cardiac Efficiency In Coronary Heart Disease Patients. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2015 May 1;47(5S):791.
  7. Koo GH, Woo J, Kang S, Shin KO. Effects of supplementation with bcaa and l-glutamine on blood fatigue factors and cytokines in juvenile athletes submitted to maximal intensity rowing performance. Journal of physical therapy science. 2014;26(8):1241-6.
  8. Deminice R, Rosa FT, Franco GS, Jordao AA, de Freitas EC. Effects of creatine supplementation on oxidative stress and inflammatory markers after repeated-sprint exercise in humans. Nutrition. 2013 Sep 30;29(9):1127-32.
  9. Mazloom Z, Panahandeh B, Salesi M, Eftekhari MH. The effects of creatine and carnitine supplementation on oxidative stress and inflammation in athletes. Hormozgan Medical Journal. 2014;18(5):384-91.

10. Yildiz A, Ozdemir E, Gulturk S, Erdal S. The effects of creatine long-term supplementation on muscle morphology and swimming performance in rats. Journal of sports science & medicine. 2009 Dec;8(4):516.

11. Kedia AW, Hofheins JE, Habowski SM, Ferrando AA, Gothard MD, Lopez HL. Effects of a pre-workout supplement on lean mass, muscular performance, subjective workout experience and biomarkers of safety. International journal of medical sciences. 2014;11(2):116.

12. Bassit RA, da JustaPinheiro CH, Vitzel KF, Sproesser AJ, Silveira LR, Curi R. Effect of short-term creatine supplementation on markers of skeletal muscle damage after strenuous contractile activity. European journal of applied physiology. 2010 Mar 1;108(5):945-55.

13. Graef JL, Smith AE, Kendall KL, Fukuda DH, Moon JR, Beck TW, Cramer JT, Stout JR. The effects of four weeks of creatine supplementation and high-intensity interval training on cardiorespiratory fitness: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2009 Nov 12;6(1):18.

14. Bassit RA, Curi R, Rosa LC. Creatine supplementation reduces plasma levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and PGE 2 after a half-ironman competition. Amino acids. 2008 Aug 1;35(2):425-31.

15. Percário S, Domingues SP, Teixeira LF, Vieira JL, de Vasconcelos F, Ciarrocchi DM, Almeida ED, Conte M. Effects of creatine supplementation on oxidative stress profile of athletes. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2012 Dec 21;9(1):56.

16. Deminice R, Portari GV, Vannucchi H, Jordao AA. Effects of creatine supplementation on homocysteine levels and lipid peroxidation in rats. British journal of nutrition. 2008 Dec;102(1):110-6.

17. Lawler JM, Barnes WS, Wu G, Song W, Demaree S. Direct antioxidant properties of creatine. Biochemical and biophysical research communications. 2002 Jan 11;290(1):47-52.

18. Deminice R, Rosa FT, Franco GS, da Cunha SF, de Freitas EC, Jordao AA. Short-term creatine supplementation does not reduce increased homocysteine concentration induced by acute exercise in humans. European journal of nutrition. 2014 Sep 1;53(6):1355-61.

19. Silva LA, Tromm CB, Da Rosa G, Bom K, Luciano TF, Tuon T, De Souza CT, Pinho RA. Creatine supplementation does not decrease oxidative stress and inflammation in skeletal muscle after eccentric exercise. Journal of sports sciences. 2013 Jul 1;31(11):1164-76.

20. Hausswirth C, Louis J, Bieuzen F, Pournot H, Fournier J, Filliard JR, Brisswalter J. Effects of whole-body cryotherapy vs. far-infrared vs. passive modalities on recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage in highly-trained runners. PloS one. 2011 Dec 7;6(12):e27749.

21. Buchheit M, Al Haddad H, Chivot A, Leprêtre PM, Ahmaidi S, Laursen PB. Effect of in-versus out-of-water recovery on repeated swimming sprint performance. European journal of applied physiology. 2010 Jan 1;108(2):321.

22. Hinzpeter J, Zamorano Á, Cuzmar D, Lopez M, Burboa J. Effect of active versus passive recovery on performance during intrameet swimming competition. Sports health. 2014 Mar;6(2):119-21.

23. Losnegard T, Andersen M, Spencer M, Hallén J. Effects of active versus passive recovery in sprint cross-country skiing. International journal of sports physiology and performance. 2015 Jul;10(5):630-5.

24. Roshan VD, Babaei H, Hosseinzadeh M, Arendt-Nielsen L. The effect of creatine supplementation on muscle fatigue and physiological indices following intermittent swimming bouts. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2013 Jun 1;53:232-9.

25. Leeder JD, Van Someren KA, Bell PG, Spence JR, Jewell AP, Gaze D, Howatson G. Effects of seated and standing cold water immersion on recovery from repeated sprinting. Journal of sports sciences. 2015 Sep 14;33(15):1544-52.

26. Marin DP, Bolin AP, Campoio TR, Guerra BA, Otton R. Oxidative stress and antioxidant status response of handball athletes: implications for sport training monitoring. International immunopharmacology. 2013 Oct 31;17(2):462-70.

27. Toubekis AG, Douda HT, Tokmakidis SP. Influence of different rest intervals during active or passive recovery on repeated sprint swimming performance. European journal of applied physiology. 2005 Mar 1;93(5-6):694-700.

28. Cazorla, G., Dufort, C., Cervetti, J., & Montpetit, R. R. The Influence of Active Recovery on Blood Lactate Disappearance after Supramaximal Swimming Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming, Illinois: Human Kinetics Publishers, 1983. - S. 244 - 250: Tab., 13 Lit. ed. International Series on Sport Sciences, 14. 1983, Champaign: Human Kinetics. 244-250.

29. Kim J, Lee J, Kim S, Yoon D, Kim J, Sung DJ. Role of creatine supplementation in exercise-induced muscle damage: A mini review. Journal of exercise rehabilitation. 2015 Oct;11(5):244.

30. Belviranli M, Okudan N, Revan S, Balci S, Gokbel H. Repeated Supramaximal Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress: Effect of β-Alanine PlusCreatine Supplementation. Asian journal of sports medicine. 2016 Mar;7(1).

31. Ostojic SM, Markovic G, Calleja-Gonzalez J, Jakovljevic DG, Vucetic V, Stojanovic MD. Ultra short-term heart rate recovery after maximal exercise in continuous versus intermittent endurance athletes. European journal of applied physiology. 2010 Mar 1;108(5):1055-9.