Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to creatine and increase in physical performance during short-term, high intensity, repeated exercise bouts (ID 739, 1520, 1521, 1522, 1523, 1525, 1526, 1531, 1532, 1533, 1534, 1922, 1923, 1924), increase in endurance capacity (ID 1527, 1535), and increase in endurance performance (ID 1521, 1963) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

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Article
Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies
EFSA Journal
EFSA Journal 2011;9(7):2303 [24 pp.].
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2303
Panel members at the time of adoption
Carlo Agostoni, Jean-Louis Bresson, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Albert Flynn, Ines Golly, Hannu Korhonen, Pagona Lagiou, Martinus Løvik, Rosangela Marchelli, Ambroise Martin, Bevan Moseley, Monika Neuhäuser-Berthold, Hildegard Przyrembel, Seppo Salminen, Yolanda Sanz, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Stephan Strobel, Inge Tetens, Daniel Tomé, Hendrik van Loveren and Hans Verhagen
Acknowledgements

The Panel wishes to thank for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion: The members of the Working Group on Claims: Carlo Agostoni, Jean-Louis Bresson, Susan Fairweather-Tait, Albert Flynn, Ines Golly, Marina Heinonen, Hannu Korhonen, Martinus Løvik, Ambroise Martin, Hildegard Przyrembel, Seppo Salminen, Yolanda Sanz, Sean (J.J.) Strain, Inge Tetens, Hendrik van Loveren and Hans Verhagen. The members of the Claims Sub-Working Group on Weight Management/Satiety/Glucose and Insulin Control/Physical Performance: Kees de Graaf, Joanne Harrold, Mette Hansen, Mette Kristensen, Anders Sjödin and Inge Tetens

Contact
Type
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
European Commission
Question Number
EFSA-Q-2008-1526
EFSA-Q-2008-2257
EFSA-Q-2008-2258
EFSA-Q-2008-2259
EFSA-Q-2008-2260
EFSA-Q-2008-2262
EFSA-Q-2008-2263
EFSA-Q-2008-2264
EFSA-Q-2008-2268
EFSA-Q-2008-2269
EFSA-Q-2008-2270
EFSA-Q-2008-2271
EFSA-Q-2008-2272
EFSA-Q-2008-2655
EFSA-Q-2008-2656
EFSA-Q-2008-2657
EFSA-Q-2008-2696
Adopted
30 June 2011
Published
28 July 2011
Affiliation
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Note
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Abstract

No abstract available

Summary

Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to provide a scientific opinion on a list of health claims pursuant to Article 13 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. This opinion addresses the scientific substantiation of health claims in relation to creatine and increase in physical performance during short-term, high intensity, repeated exercise bouts, increase in endurance capacity, and increase in endurance performance. The scientific substantiation is based on the information provided by the Member States in the consolidated list of Article 13 health claims and references that EFSA has received from Member States or directly from stakeholders.

The food constituent that is the subject of the health claims is creatine. The Panel considers that creatine is sufficiently characterised.

Increase in physical performance during short-term, high intensity, repeated exercise bouts

The claimed effects are “energy metabolism”, “muscular effort”, “bodily constitution”, “increasing strength”, “increasing mass”, “increasing power”, “increasing performance”, “muscular effort/recovery”, “increasing time to exhaustion” and “increasing lifting volume and performance”. The target population is assumed to be adults performing high-intensity exercise. In the context of the proposed wordings and the references provided, the Panel assumes that the claimed effects refer to an increase in physical performance during short-term, high intensity, repeated exercise bouts. The Panel considers that an increase in physical performance during short term, high intensity, repeated exercise bouts is a beneficial physiological effect.

In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that there is good consensus on the role of creatine in increasing physical performance during short-term, high intensity, repeated exercise bouts, and that the meta-analyses and individual intervention studies provided in the consolidated list are consistent with this consensus.

On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the consumption of creatine and an increase in physical performance during short-term, high intensity, repeated exercise bouts.

The Panel considers that in order to obtain the claimed effect, 3 g of creatine should be consumed daily. The target population is adults performing high-intensity exercise.

Increase in endurance capacity

The claimed effect is “increasing workout capacity”. The target population is assumed to be adults performing endurance exercise. In the context of the proposed wordings, the Panel assumes that the claimed effect refers to an increase in endurance capacity. The Panel considers that an increase in endurance capacity is a beneficial physiological effect.

In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that the three human intervention studies provided from which conclusions could be drawn for the scientific substantiation of the claim did not show an effect of creatine supplementation on measures of endurance capacity.

On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of creatine and an increase in endurance capacity.

Increase in endurance performance

The claimed effects are “muscular effort” and “creatine: energy reserve of muscle tissue”. The target population is assumed to be adults performing endurance exercise. In the context of the proposed wordings, the Panel assumes that the claimed effects refer to increase in endurance performance (i.e. during longer term exercise generally at intensity <80 % of maximum O2 consumption). The Panel considers that an increase in endurance performance is a beneficial physiological effect.

In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that one meta-analysis of 18 human intervention studies, and one additional study, did not show an effect of creatine supplementation on measures of endurance performance.

On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of creatine and an increase in endurance performance.

Keywords
Creatine, physical performance, endurance capacity, endurance performance, exercise, health claims
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Number of Pages
24