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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Glycerol and Creatine Hyperhydration on Doping-Relevant Blood Parameters

Institute of Cardiovascular & Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK
Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE, UK
Medical School, College of Medicine, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK
Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Tillydrone Ave, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ, UK
Institute of Biochemistry, German Research Center of Elite Sport, German Sport University Cologne, Cologne 50933, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2012, 4(9), 1171-1186;
Received: 12 June 2012 / Revised: 17 July 2012 / Accepted: 16 August 2012 / Published: 31 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sports Nutrition)
PDF [303 KB, uploaded 31 August 2012]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: masking agent; glycerol; creatine; hyperhydration; doping markers masking agent; glycerol; creatine; hyperhydration; doping markers

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Polyviou, T.P.; Easton, C.; Beis, L.; Malkova, D.; Takas, P.; Hambly, C.; Speakman, J.R.; Koehler, K.; Pitsiladis, Y.P. Effects of Glycerol and Creatine Hyperhydration on Doping-Relevant Blood Parameters. Nutrients 2012, 4, 1171-1186.

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