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Six-Week Oral Guanidinoacetic Acid Administration Improves Muscular Performance in Healthy Volunteers
  1. Sergej M. Ostojic, MD, PhD*†,
  2. Marko D. Stojanovic, PhD*†,
  3. Jay R. Hoffman, PhD
  1. From the *Center for Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences, Stari DIF, Belgrade; †Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia; and ‡Sport and Exercise Science, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL.
  1. Reprints: Sergej M. Ostojic, MD, PhD, Center for Health, Exercise and Sport Sciences, Stari DIF, Deligradska 27, Belgrade 11000, Serbia. E-mail: sergej.ostojic{at}
  2. Supported by the Serbian Ministry of Science (grant number 175037) and by AlzChem AG (grant number AN_85E_S09). Trial identification: number NCT01133899.
  3. The funders had no role in the study design, data collection, analysis, and interpretation; decision to publish; or preparation of the article.
  4. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


Background Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA), a natural precursor of creatine, is a new promising dietary supplement, yet its performance-enhancing effect, if any, has yet to be established. The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the effects of supplemental GAA on muscle strength, anaerobic performance, and aerobic performance in healthy men and women.

Method The study enrolled 48 young participants (age, 22.3 ± 1.5 years; height, 176.4 ± 10.0 cm; weight, 71.9 ± 14.3 kg), who received oral doses of GAA (1.2, 2.4, or 4.8 g/d) for 6 weeks in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.

Results Significant differences were observed between treatment groups for handgrip strength among participants receiving 1.2 g of GAA per day and 2.4 g of GAA per day, as compared with placebo (P < 0.05). In addition, muscle endurance expressed as the change from baseline in repetitions performed in the bench press exercise was significantly greater in the 1.2 g/d dose of GAA (P = 0.01) and the 4.8 g/d dose (P = 0.01) compared with placebo. No dose-response differences were found between trials.

Conclusions Results from this preliminary study indicate that supplemental GAA ingested in young individuals can improve exercise performance, even at low doses (1.2 g/d).

Key Words
  • creatine
  • guanidinoacetic acid
  • muscle strength
  • endurance

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