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The effects of creatine supplementation on selected factors of tennis specific training
  1. B M Pluim1,
  2. A Ferrauti2,
  3. F Broekhof3,
  4. M Deutekom4,
  5. A Gotzmann5,
  6. H Kuipers7,
  7. K Weber6
  1. 1Royal Netherlands Lawn Tennis Association (KNLTB), Amersfoort, Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Training Science, Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany
  3. 3Sport Medical Centre Papendal, Arnhem, Netherlands
  4. 4Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam
  5. 5Institute for Biochemistry, German Sports University, Cologne, Germany
  6. 6Institute of Movement, Science for Games in Sport, German Sports University
  7. 7Department of Human Movement Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to:
 Babette M Pluim


Background: Creatine supplementation is popular among tennis players but it is not clear whether it actually enhances tennis performance.

Objectives: To examine the effects of creatine supplementation on tennis specific performance indices.

Methods: In a randomised, double blind design, 36 competitive male tennis players (24 creatine, mean (SD) age, 22.5 (4.9) years; 12 placebo, 22.8 (4.8) years) were tested at baseline, after six days of creatine loading, and after a maintenance phase of four weeks (14 creatine, 10 placebo). Serving velocity (10 serves), forehand and backhand velocity (three series of 5×8 strokes), arm and leg strength (bench press and leg press), and intermittent running speed (three series of five 20 metre sprints) were measured.

Results: Compared with placebo, neither six days nor five weeks of creatine supplementation had a significant effect on serving velocity (creatine: +2 km/h; placebo: +2 km/h, p = 0.90); forehand velocity (creatine: +4 km/h; placebo: +4 km/h, p = 0.80), or backhand velocity (creatine: +3 km/h; placebo: +1 km/h, p = 0.38). There was also no significant effect of creatine supplementation on repetitive sprint power after 5, 10, and 20 metres, (creatine 20 m: −0.03 m/s; placebo 20 m: +0.01 m/s, p = 0.18), or in the strength of the upper and lower extremities.

Conclusions: Creatine supplementation is not effective in improving selected factors of tennis specific performance and should not be recommended to tennis players.

  • PCr, phosphocreatine
  • RPE, rate of perceived exertion
  • dietary supplements
  • racquet sports
  • creatine supplementation

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  • Competing interests: none declared