Creatine and GAA as biomarkers of muscular fitness
Elevated serum creatine and higher handgrip strength are individually associated with better health profiles yet the link between two variables remains unknown. In this cross-sectional study, we evaluated serum creatine levels in relation to handgrip strength in a cohort of 130 young healthy adults (61 women and 69 men; age 23.3 ± 2.6 years), while controlling for age, gender, fat-free mass and biomarkers of creatine metabolism as effect modifiers. Serum creatine, creatinine and guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) levels were measured with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectroscopy, while handgrip strength was assessed with a hydraulic hand dynamometer. Hierarchical multiple regression revealed that our model as a whole explained 79.9% of the variance in handgrip strength (p < 0.001). However, the evaluation of the contribution of each independent variable revealed that gender and free-fat mass make significant contributions (45.4 and 31.8%, respectively) to our model (p < 0.05), while neither age (0.9%) nor serum creatine (4.5%) or any other lab markers made significant contributions to the model (p > 0.05). Having higher blood creatine appears to be unrelated with better physical performance in young healthy adults. Serum creatine was not a reliable marker of muscular fitness in this population.