Friday, December 12, 2008

Muscle Hack - Creatine Facts! What Is The Best Creatine?

Creatine monohydrate is the most widely studied sports supplement in history. Not only is it great for athletes and weight lifters, it's very good for the average person (see here, here, and here, for starters). In fact, I think it should be considered an essential nutrient. And despite claims to the contrary, there have never been any confirmed adverse events associated with creatine.

So with all the health benefits, it's no wonder that unscrupulous supplement companies keep coming out with "new and improved" versions of the ubiquitous creatine monohydrate (which is now very cheap). Trouble is that none of these supplements are any better and most (like the infamous liquid creatine) are complete crap.

Muscle Hack
has an article confirming the worthlessness of two of the better-known of these "next generation" creatine supplements.

First let’s deal with Kre-Alkalyn (KA). The claim here is that KA is stable in stomach acid and does not convert to creatinine. They also state that in contrast, monohydrate (CM) will convert to creatinine at the rate of 90% in stomach acid! Not good, better dump that CM, right? Let’s look at the evidence, the following is from the study…

“In contrast to the claims of All American Pharmaceutical and Natural Foods Corp., the rate of creatinine formation from CM was found to be less than 1% of the initial dose, demonstrating that CM is extremely stable under acidic conditions that replicate those of the stomach. This study also showed that KA supplementation actually resulted in 35% greater conversion of creatine to creatinine than CM. In conclusion the conversion of creatine to creatinine is not a limitation in the delivery of creatine from CM and KA is less stable than CM in the acid conditions of the stomach.”

KA has a 35% greater conversion rate to creatinine than CM; the finest creatine in town? Not on your life!

Now let’s take a look at Creatine Ethyl Esther (CEE). Similarly the claim here is that it doesn’t convert to creatinine as much as CM and has a better absorption rate. This study looked at 2 CEE products. One product called CE2 from Medical Research Institute (MRI) and the other called CM2 Alpha from SAN Corporation. Here are the results after being placed in conditions simulating stomach acid at 5, 30 and 120 minutes….

“After 30 minutes incubation only 73% of the initial CEE present was available from CE2, while the amount of CEE available from San CM2 Alpha was even lower at only 62%. In contrast, more than 99% of the creatine remained available from the CM product. These reductions in CEE availability were accompanied by substantial creatinine formation, without the appearance of free creatine. After 120minutes incubation 72% of the CEE was available from CE2 with only 11% available from San CM2 Alpha, while more than 99% of the creatine remained available from CM.

So, it seems that the addition of the ethyl group to your creatine actually reduces stability in stomach acid and accelerates its breakdown to creatinine. CEE creatines are inferior to Creatine Monohydrate as a source of free creatine i.e. up to a difference of 11% and 99% availability - that’s huge!

How much better could your workouts and gains have been if you hadn’t bought into the bogus claims about CEE and KA?

So if you want the best creatine, stick to monohydrate.

See his article on creatine here, where he argues in favor of capsules rather than powder - personally, the powder works fine for me.

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