A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology indicates creatine enhances performance in events longer than two minutes.
Athletes performed 3 tests of maximal work lasting 90, 150, and 300 seconds using an upper body cycle. Each test was separated by about 60 minutes. Subjects were required to perform the maximum workload possible during the allotted time. After each test period, blood samples were obtained for lactate measurements.
Following this first test, subjects consumed either a placebo or creatine (20 grams a day) for 5 days and then repeated the tests. The groups were then reversed (the placebo group received creatine, and the creatine group received a placebo), and the same procedures were repeated.
The study found those in the creatine group increased their work by 16%, 13%, and 6% during the 90-, 150-, and 300-second time periods, respectively. Blood-lactate levels also increased during the 150- and 300-second work periods because the subjects did more work.
While this study supports previous research that found creatine supplementation increases the ability to do more work, it also suggests creatine can enhance performance in events lasting longer than two minutes. Most of the previous research has focused on six seconds to two minutes. While 6% may not seem like a lot, this would be equivalent to 21 seconds during a 6-minute mile.
Recommendation: Creatine loading with 20 grams of creatine for 5 days can have a positive influence on sprint performance.