Effects of glycerol and creatine hyperhydration on doping-relevant blood parameters

Polyviou, Thelma P., Easton, Chris, Beis, Lukas, Malkova, Dalia, Takas, Pantazis, Hambly, Catherine, Speakman, John R., Koehler, Karsten and Pitsiladis, Yannis P. (2012) Effects of glycerol and creatine hyperhydration on doping-relevant blood parameters. Nutrients, 4(9), pp. 1171-1186. ISSN (online) 2072-6643


Glycerol is prohibited as an ergogenic aid by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) due to the potential for its plasma expansion properties to have masking effects. However, the scientific basis of the inclusion of Gly as a "masking agent" remains inconclusive. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a hyperhydrating supplement containing Gly on doping-relevant blood parameters. Nine trained males ingested a hyperhydrating mixture twice per day for 7 days containing 1.0 g·kg(-1) body mass (BM) of Gly, 10.0 g of creatine and 75.0 g of glucose. Blood samples were collected and total hemoglobin (Hb) mass determined using the optimized carbon monoxide (CO) rebreathing method pre- and post-supplementation. BM and total body water (TBW) increased significantly following supplementation by 1.1 ± 1.2 and 1.0 ± 1.2 L (BM, P < 0.01; TBW, P <0.01), respectively. This hyperhydration did not significantly alter plasma volume or any of the doping-relevant blood parameters (e.g., hematocrit, Hb, reticulocytes and total Hb-mass) even when Gly was clearly detectable in urine samples. In conclusion, this study shows that supplementation with hyperhydrating solution containing Gly for 7 days does not significantly alter doping-relevant blood parameters.

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