When we think of Creatine, it immediately conjures up images of bodybuilding, strength, and muscle. Creatine can help users gain strength and increase muscle volume through its role in restoring ATP levels; the energy system the body uses for muscular contractions. But there is something pretty cool about creatine that most of you don’t know.
It is well understood that sleep deprivation will result in a significant fall in skill execution and performance. The most popular and well known choice of supplement in attempt to ameliorate this decline is caffeine.
Research done in 2010 saw ten elite rugby players complete 10 trials on a simple rugby passing skill test (20 repeats per trial). The players completed 5 of these trials with sufficient sleep the night before (7-9 hours) and then completed 5 trials sleep deprived (3-5 hours). An hour and a half before each trail the players were administered either a placebo, 50 or 100mg/kg of creatine, or 1 or 5mg/kg of caffeine.
The results were as follows:
- Sleep deprivation with placebo resulted in a significant fall in skill performance and accuracy.
- No fall in skill performance was seen with either of the caffeine doses.
- Similarly no deficit was seen with creatine administration of either dose size.
Therefore, we can conclude that sleep deprivation affects performance of a skill in elite athletes however, this can be ameliorated with a single dose of either caffeine or creatine.