Differential Effects Between the Sexes of Ergogenic Aids on Skeletal Muscle Performance
At present it is not entirely clear whether ergogenic aids such as creatine exert differential effects on skeletal muscle performance between the sexes. The purpose of these experiments was to examine whether sex specific differences exist on the length of time it takes to fatigue the hand and forearm skeletal muscle when ergogenic aids are taken acutely. Results from these experiments will provide valuable information regarding the specific gains in performance that athletes can expect, respective to their sex, when using ergogenic aids. It was hypothesized that the effects of pre-exercise drinks on forearm skeletal muscle performance differ between the sexes, independent of arm. Healthy males (n=6-10; 21.8±0.2yrs) and females (n=7-10, 21±0.4yrs) performed a maximal handgrip exercise with either arm 30-minutes after consuming different pre-exercise drinks including: water, Red Bull, and N.O. Shotgun (a creatine based drink). Subjects participated in three different experimental sessions over the course of 3-weeks, with a 6-day rest period between each. A maximal handgrip test was used to measure time to fatigue (TTF) in each subject. Percent increase from control in TTF results showed that consumption of Red Bull or N.O. Shotgun did not differ between the sexes for either arm (p< 0.05). However, there was a tendency for males to have a slightly higher percent increase in TTF than females in the right arm after consuming creatine (p=0.059). It was concluded that Red Bull and N.O. Shotgun do not have significant differential effects in hand and forearm skeletal muscle performance between the sexes. These results suggest that athletes of either sex can expect similar gains in hand and forearm skeletal muscle performance when consuming ergogenic aids.