ISSN Responds to Creatine Rumor in Oregon H.S. Football Incident

September 22, 2010

When over a dozen football players at Oregon...s McMinnville High School were reported hospitalized, following intense preseason workouts two weeks ago, media reports indicated that the supplement creatine monohydrate may have been a factor. Now, the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN; Woodland Park, CO) is refuting those reports. The football players were hospitalized for rhabdomyolysis (rapid breakdown of muscle fibers) and/or anterior compartment syndrome (muscle swelling in the lower leg).

When over a dozen football players at Oregon...s McMinnville High School were reported hospitalized, following intense preseason workouts two weeks ago, media reports indicated that the supplement creatine monohydrate may have been a factor. Now, the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN; Woodland Park, CO) is refuting those reports.

The football players were hospitalized for rhabdomyolysis (rapid breakdown of muscle fibers) and/or anterior compartment syndrome (muscle swelling in the lower leg).

But according to ISSN, none of the athletes admitted to taking creatine supplements. Additionally, ISSN states that the athletes were not allowed to drink water during exercise, while temperatures in a room were exercise was conducted were reported as high as 115 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

'It is well known that excessive exercise in hot and humid environments can promote dehydration, muscle breakdown, and result in marked elevations in muscle creatine kinase (CK) levels,' says ISSN in its report. 'In severe instances, this may lead to exertional rhabdomyolysis particularly in athletes who have been engaged in intense exercise in hot and humid environments for several days and who become chronically dehydrated. Additionally, excessive exercise in individuals unaccustomed to heavy training bouts can promote anterior compartment swelling, pain, and pressure. It is well known that dehydration and/or heat illness can exacerbate this clinical course.'

Contrary to various media reports, ISSN states that none of the athletes said they took creatine supplements. Athletes were not allowed to drink water during training session.

ISSN has published a 'position stand' for the society on creatine supplementation, which outlines safety and efficacy of the ingredient, at the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.