Creatine, an amino acid crucial for brain and muscle health, is often taken as a supplement to enhance workout performance and boost muscle growth.
A new clinical trial published in the journal Food Science & Nutrition suggests that dietary creatine might also help those dealing with post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome, commonly referred to as long COVID.
In the trial, 12 people with post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome were randomized to take a placebo or 4 grams of creatine monohydrate per day for 6 months. Creatine intake caused a significant increase in creatine levels in leg muscles and across the brain at both 3-month and 6-month follow-ups.
Creatine supplementation also led to a significant reduction in general fatigue after 3 months of intake, and it significantly improved scores for several post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome–related symptoms—including loss of taste, breathing difficulties, body aches, headaches, and difficulties concentrating—at the 6-month follow up.
“Endorsing creatine might be of great importance in tackling this prevalent condition, but additional studies are warranted to confirm our findings in various post-COVID-19 cohorts,” said corresponding author Sergej M. Ostojic, MD, PhD, of the University of Novi Sad, in Serbia.
Reference: “Effects of six-month creatine supplementation on patient- and clinician-reported outcomes, and tissue creatine levels in patients with post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome” by Jelena Slankamenac, Marijana Ranisavljev, Nikola Todorovic, Jelena Ostojic, Valdemar Stajer and Sergej M. Ostojic, 20 September 2023, Food Science & Nutrition.