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Creatine

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    Nano Pure Creatine Monohydrate - 500g

    GN Laboratories

    Increased strength and performance during exercise & accelerated muscle building with the most effective active ingredient the market has to b...

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    Thor Strength NanoPure Creatine - 500g

    Gods Rage

    Creatine is probably one of the most used supplements. This is because it is one of the most potent supplements, whose effect ...

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  • 100% Micronized Creatine Monohydrate - 300g
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    100% Micronized Creatine Monohydrate - 300g

    Biotech USA

    Increase training performance Creatine monohydrate powder promotes more intense workouts in the long term Supports muscle building Accelerates de...

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  • Creatine - 500g
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    Creatine - 500g

    Big Zone

    100% pure creatine Microfine quality GMO free Lactose and gluten free Dosage spoon included

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  • Creatine Monohydrate Tera Caps - 200 Tera Capsules
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    Creatine Monohydrate Tera Caps - 200 Tera Capsules

    GN Laboratories

    Creatine is probably one of the most popular supplements of all time. Whether it's for optimal strength development or maximum muscle building...

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  • 100% Creatine Monohydrate - 300g
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    100% Creatine Monohydrate - 300g

    SCITEC Nutrition

    Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid in vertebrates. 95% of the creatine in the body is found in skeletal muscle. Creatine li...

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  • Creapure Monohydrate Powder - 500g
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    Creapure Monohydrate Powder - 500g

    Olimp Sport Nutrition

    High-quality creatine product made from pure creatine monohydrate Micronized manufacturing process for optimal absorption in the body Improved energy...

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  • Creatine 1250 Mega Caps - 120 Capsules
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    Creatine 1250 Mega Caps - 120 Capsules

    Olimp Sport Nutrition

    Creatine 1250 Mega Caps by Olimp: Dietary supplement to increase athletic performance and muscle building. Creatine is a natural...

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  • Creatine Monohydrate Powder - 550g
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    Creatine Monohydrate Powder - 550g

    Olimp Sport Nutrition

    Olimp Creatine Monohydrate Powder is a popular creatine supplement. It increases physical performance through increased phosphocreatine levels.

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  • 6th Gear Creatine Complex - 1135g
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    6th Gear Creatine Complex - 1135g

    Stacker 2

    Patented sixfold creatine complex Unique combination with alpha-lipoic acid and beta-alanine Noticeable results from the first dose Ex...

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  • Creatine 1250 Mega Caps - 400 Capsules
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    Creatine 1250 Mega Caps - 400 Capsules

    Olimp Sport Nutrition

    High-dose creatine capsules with 100% pure creatine monohydrate Effective absorption due to mesh factor of 200 Increases power and strength during training...

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  • Complete Creatine - 300g
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    Complete Creatine - 300g

    Stacker 2

    Complete Creatine contains the four strongest and best-researched forms of creatine More muscle strength and endurance during training No loading...

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  • Creatine Monohydrate Powder - 500g
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    Creatine Monohydrate Powder - 500g

    PEAK

    Component of ATP synthesis and central substance in the energy supply of the muscles 100% pure creatine monohydrate powder in ultra-clean &a...

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  • Creatine AKG - 160 capsules
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    Creatine AKG - 160 capsules

    PEAK

    Creatine AKG is an effective and efficient creatine compound from Peak Performance. The decisive advantage of Creatine AKG lies in its combined effect.

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  • Creatine PH-X - 210 capsules
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    Creatine PH-X - 210 capsules

    Biotech USA

    Biotech Creatine pH-X: Dietary supplement for strength and muscle growth pH-X-Level: Treatment of creatine molecules for full strength in the muscles.

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  • Epic Strengh - 240g
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    Epic Strengh - 240g

    PEAK

    The foundation for more strength and power With creatine (Creapure®) and beta-alanine Promotes an increase in strength Improves strength endurance With citrus...

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  • Core Creatine Monohydrate - 500g
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    Core Creatine Monohydrate - 300g

    #sinob

    Muscle building and explosive strength: Increases the ability to handle heavier loads and promotes muscle growth and hypertrophy. Neurop...

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  • TCM 1100 Mega Caps - 400 capsules
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    TCM 1100 Mega Caps - 400 capsules

    Olimp Sport Nutrition

    Micronized creatine malate for maximum absorption and use Positive effects: improved muscle energy supply, muscle endurance, support for muscle growth...

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  • Creatine Creapure Powder - 225g
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    Creatine Creapure Powder - 225g

    PEAK

    Component of ATP synthesis - important substance in the energy supply of the muscles 100% Creapure® from Germany Subject to the highest qualit...

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    Hydro Creatine HCl - 165 capsules

    #sinob

    Practical capsule form: Ideal for on the go and easy dosing with 1,000mg creatine HCL per capsule. Increased performance: Increases your performance and...

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  • Core Creatine Creapure - 500g
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    Core Creatine Creapure - 500g

    #sinob

    Highly effective creatine monohydrate: key substance for muscular energy supply and muscle building. Performance enhancement: Increases the explo...

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    The Creatine - 316g

    DY Nutrition

    Maximized training performance: "The Creatine" with 6 grams of creatine monohydrate massively increases strength and performance in the gym. Improves...

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    Tango - 393g

    REDCON1

    3 forms of creatine, including 5g creatine monohydrate. Boosts energy and performance by increasing ATP. Multiform creatine mixture for sporty...

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  • Pure Creatine Creapure® - 500g
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    Pure Creatine Creapure® - 500g

    GN Laboratories

    Creatine is probably the most popular natural supplement when it comes to optimum strength development and maximum muscle building. The effect has been...

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Creatine is a nutrient that increases the body's performance when consumed regularly. It is one of the best-studied supplements and is particularly popular with athletes because of its effects. Creatine, chemically a -methylguanidoacetic acid, was first discovered in 1832 in meat extract by the French scientist Chevreul, who named it after the Greek word for meat (kreas). The performance-enhancing effect of creatine has been known for some time.

As early as the seventies and eighties, strength athletes in particular tried to increase their creatine stores with a "meat fattening" diet and thus boost their performance. However, the large amounts of meat often led to health problems due to elevated uric acid levels. In the early 1990s, tests with synthetic forms of creatine (ATP, creatine phosphate and creatine monohydrate) showed that strength and muscle gains could only be achieved with creatine monohydrate.

What does creatine do?

It is known to increase strength endurance and muscle volume, and can also support brain function. Creatine is particularly effective during short and very strong efforts. Because of this, this nutrient is particularly useful for bodybuilders and strength athletes.

How does creatine work?

More power

ATP is the primary energy carrier for physical exertion and metabolic processes. It is contained in our muscle cells and is used up within a few seconds during exertion. Creatine ensures a rapid resynthesis of ATP without forming lactate (=lactic acid, which is responsible for the burning feeling in the muscle). This effect colloquially ensures that the strength endurance increases, which has the consequence that harder training can be done and thus stronger stimuli can be set. Studies have shown that creatine can increase strength by up to 10%.

More muscle volume

The glycogen stores in the muscle are able to bind water. Creatine promotes glycogen storage. This means that more water can be bound in the muscle, giving the muscles a voluminous look in a relatively short time. Don't worry, you won't bulk up! Since water retention is limited to the muscle, only the volume of the muscles themselves will increase. Logically, creatine thus also leads to weight gain.

More mental stamina

A Japanese study also demonstrated improved brain performance. The intake of creatine is said to increase the oxygen uptake of the brain cells, which counteracts mental fatigue.

Creatine intake

How much creatine to take a day?

For the effect described above, 3 to 5 g of creatine should be taken per day. At about 5g per day, the stores are full after about a month. From this point on creatine unfolds its full effect.

When to take creatine?

The time of day is quite irrelevant, since creatine has no acute effect. The effect becomes noticeable only with increasing charge of the stores. However, it is advisable to keep a selected time of day approximately, otherwise the optimal absorption by the body could be impaired.

What should be considered when taking the product?

It is basically a good idea to take creatine in combination with a transport matrix. It helps the body to utilize the ingested creatine. A transport matrix consists of short-chain carbohydrates. The tried and tested classic is grape juice. A little tip on the side: Creatine powder dissolves better in warm liquids. With high-quality products, however, you have no problems dissolving in cold liquids!

How much water should you drink while taking it?

Since creatine binds water in the muscle, the water requirement of the body logically increases. When creatine is consumed, at least 3 liters of water should be drunk daily. In heat, heavy sweating and other conditions, the water consumption should be increased accordingly.

Creatine capsules or powder?

Basically, it doesn't matter at all - both dosage forms serve their purpose! Powder is the classic among the alternatives. Apart from the fact that it is less practical, there are no significant differences to capsules - apart from the price! This is correspondingly higher for capsules due to the higher production costs.

Is creatine harmful?

None of the studies found harmful consequences when taken correctly. Nevertheless, a medical examination is advisable before starting regular consumption in order to exclude an intolerance in advance.

Creatine cure?

That creatine should only be taken in the form of a cure is a widespread misconception. Creatine can be taken all year round.

Why supplement creatine?

Cover creatine requirements through food

Creatine is found in red meat and fish. Especially in herring, pork, beef, salmon, tuna and cod. However, about 1 kg of pseudo meat would have to be consumed to reach the daily dose of 5 g of creatine. So it is simply hardly possible to cover the requirement through food.

Cover creatine needs through supplements

Besides the fact that it would hardly be possible to consume these masses of meat and fish over a long period of time, supplementation saves time and money. Apart from that, the health aspect should be considered with this amount of meat consumption, as well as the constant quality of creatine.

What types of creatine supplements are there?

Meanwhile, there are a variety of different supplements. Basically, however, every supplement offered is based on the simplest form of creatine: the monohydrate. All other supplements that are not titled creatine monohydrate are characterized by a particularly high degree of purity or are processed for better tolerance or absorption in the body.

Where are the differences?

Creapure, for example, is high-purity creatine monohydrate, which is produced exclusively in Germany. It brings all the benefits of creatine monohydrate in the best possible quality. It is vegan as well as kosher and halal certified. Creatine HCL or the innovative creatine polyhydrate is creatine, which has an excellent bioavailability due to added hydrochloride molecules and thus leads to the fastest possible absorption.

Is creatine vegan?

Most of them are, yes. Creapure as well as Creatine Polyhydrate definitely are. When buying capsules, pay particular attention to what the capsules themselves are made of. If a product is vegan, it is also advertised as such. A look at the packaging or the product description should therefore provide clarity and be more reliable than a blanket statement.

Formation and occurrence of creatine

Creatine is an intermediate product of energy metabolism and is synthesized in the liver, pancreas and kidney from the amino acids glycine, arginine and methionine. Of the body's creatine pool of 90 to 140 g, 95% is stored in skeletal muscle, of which one-third is in the form of free creatine (Crf) and two-thirds in the phosphorylated form, i.e. phosphocreatine (Crph) or creatine phosphate. The body metabolizes about 2 g of creatine per day, which it loses by excreting the breakdown product creatinine. Half of this amount (1 g) is replaced by the body's own synthesis and the other half by food intake (1 g).

Creatine is found almost exclusively in animal foods, especially meat. In a mixed diet, an average of 1 g of creatine is consumed per day. Since it is found only in traces in plant foods, vegetarians usually have a lowered creatine supply. The excess creatine is excreted via the kidneys in the form of creatinine. Creatine, in its phosphorylated form as creatine phosphate, together with adenosine triphosphate (ATP) forms the anaerobic-alactacid energy release system and thus plays a crucial role in energy provision.

The muscle requires ATP for contraction. However, the ATP supply in the muscle cell is very limited at 6 mmol/kg muscle and is only sufficient for approx. 1-3 seconds of work (2-3 contractions) during heavy muscular stress. In order to perform further muscle work, ATP is resynthesized by splitting off the phosphate residue from the creatine phosphate. This ensures a constant ATP level in the muscle cell, which is maintained at the expense of the creatine phosphate and allows a contraction duration of 6-10 seconds at maximum muscle contraction.

It thus supports the start-up time until the body can provide increased energy through anaerobic glycolysis and later through aerobic glycolysis and fatty acid oxidation. CrP stores can be depleted to 20% of baseline during short-term peak performance, while ATP concentrations can drop to 40% of resting baseline at most due to immediate ATP resynthesis from CrP decay. The replenishment of creatine phsphat stores takes between 3 and 5 minutes.

Anaerobic-alactacid phosphate catabolism has the highest rate of energy flow and acquires great importance at very short and maximal contraction intensities. Phosphocreatine can be considered as a temporal energy buffer between the delayed energy supply by anaerobic glycolysis, which reaches the corresponding energy turnover only 2-3 seconds later. After a muscular load, the rephosphorylation of creatine to creatine phosphate forms a decisive criterion for the regeneration speed of the muscle.

This can be of great importance during high-intensity repetitive forms of exertion, as is often the case in ball sports (soccer) or in strength sports. It can be assumed that an increased creatine level can shorten the restitution phase or improve the availability of phosphocreatine for direct energy supply. This means that the muscle has to provide less energy via the anaerobic-lactacid pathway, resulting in less lactate being formed and, on the basis of this, delaying muscle fatigue. In endurance, cyclic forms of exercise, the size of the phosphate stores has a rather subordinate role (aerobic endurance).

Does creatine neutralize lactic acid during alternating efforts?

The first studies suggested that creatine has a buffering effect on lactic acid. Other studies doubted these claims although a new study confirms the initial results. Many sports activities are very variable. The physical efforts are fast: a few seconds to minutes of maximum effort, interrupted by pauses of the same duration. During these short and intense efforts, the muscles consume first the creatine and then the glucose to produce ATP. These two substances provide the necessary energy during the first minutes of physical effort.

The oxygen does not play a role: the breakdown of glucose produces lactic acid. This lactic acid releases positively charged hydrogen atoms, the H+ ions. These ions prevent muscle contraction and eventually energy production. They only harm athletic performance. Creatine, on the other hand, needs H+ ions to produce ATP, which is necessary for the muscles to work. So this is how science explains the fact that creatine can delay the onset of fatigue: by neutralizing H+ ions during short and intense efforts. Although this is only a hypothesis, it is clear that creatine intake prolongs the duration of intense physical effort.

Consequently, creatine (with isotonic drinks and protein-based supplements) became the most widely used dietary supplement in the world. It is estimated that more than 80% of the athletes who participated in the Atlanta Olympics took creatine in their preparation. Athletes of every level benefit from creatine every day, the Sunday athlete as well as the professional. But why such enthusiasm? Simply because creatine actually works. Used properly, this supplement is an undisputed aid for anyone looking to improve their performance and recovery. Dozens of investigative reports have recently appeared in reputable medical journals. Although these studies have not shown all the effects, the majority confirm that creatine is an effective supplement that can be taken without danger.

Effects of creatine supplementation

Scientific research indicates that oral administration of creatine (creatine monohydrate) has been shown to increase the creatine pool in muscle. The best results were obtained with a 5-day dietary creatine supplementation of 20 g daily (4x5g in portions throughout the day). For the transport of creatine into the muscle cells one makes use of the anabolic effect of insulin. The release of insulin by the simultaneous supply of larger amounts of glucose or dextrose (has the highest glycemic index) ? about 30 g per serving ? increases the permeability of creatine (glucose, amino acids, fatty acids) in the muscles. In other words, insulin transports such substances faster and more into the muscle cells.

However, there seems to be an upper limit for the maximum creatine intake. For most people, this is between 140 and 160 mmol/kg muscle dry mass (the average creatine content is 120 to 130 mmol/kg muscle dry mass). After the individual threshold value is reached, the excess creatine is excreted via the kidneys in the form of creatinine. However, the effect of creatine supplementation strongly depends on the initial value of the creatine pool.

The greatest success can be expected by those whose initial total muscle create content is low. If this is only 120 mmol/kg muscle dry mass, an approximate growth rate of 25% can be expected. Accordingly, however, creatine supplementation has little effect in people with an initial creatine pool value near the upper limit of the normal range. This could also explain, among other things, why individuals respond differently to creatine monohydrate supplementation. In order to estimate the expected creatine pool increase, the creatine pool status would have to be determined beforehand.

Dosing scheme for creatine monohydrate supplementation

High-dose oral creatine supplementation (in the published studies, 5 grams were administered 4 times daily - equivalent to the creatine content of 4.5 kg of raw meat! - over five days, total dose thus 100 grams) can cause an individually varying increase in the creatine content of the muscles. Approximately 20% of the creatine absorbed into the muscle cells can be measured as creatine phosphate; unabsorbed creatine is excreted via the kidneys in the urine. The ATP content of the muscles remains unchanged. However, short-term high-dose creatine intake does not cause a significant increase in the creatine content of the muscles in all people, nor does it increase the resynthesis rate of creatine phosphate in the recovery phase after the most intense muscle work.

At present, there are no clear, scientifically based guidelines on how a longer-term creatine intake, e.g. in the build-up phase of a training session, in competition preparation or in the bridging phases between competitions, should be carried out in order to "outsmart" the down-regulations described above and thus avoid a counterproductive or detrimental effect. This is currently the subject of further study. Not only the maintenance dose (apparently 2 grams daily is sufficient, see below), but also the "timing", i.e. the time of creatine intake, could be crucial. At present, there are mainly "cooking recipes", i.e. instructions from the various manufacturing companies and especially from bodybuilding trainers.

A manufacturing company recommends, for example, a three-day, high-dose "loading phase" with about 40 grams of creatine daily, divided into six partial doses, and as a daily maintenance dose about 20 grams (three partial doses daily). However, one could easily take up to six (!) single doses daily in the long run... Then again a break is recommended... Thus, one is not precisely informed about the long-term mode of intake. Apart from that, such high doses are, according to today's knowledge, anything but necessary and therefore not sensible. In bodybuilding, which due to empirical experience also plays a pioneering role in this field, the following scheme is currently followed:

A five-day "loading phase" with relatively high creatine doses (depending on body weight, 25 to 30 grams daily and occasionally more, divided into 4 individual doses) is followed by five days of reduced doses (about two-thirds of the loading dose) and then a further dose reduction to about 10 grams (about one-third of the loading dose), taken only on training days, divided into two partial doses, the first taken about 40 minutes before training and the second immediately afterwards. After one month, there is a break in intake for about four weeks before starting the next cycle.

From a physiological point of view, such an intake mode to avoid the above-described down-regulatiosmechanismem seems to be quite reasonable and effective, at least the subjective experiences of bodybuilders, which can also be partially objectified, speak for it: There is a better "pump" during training, an increase in maximum strength and strength endurance due to the possibility of a higher training intensity and - in bodybuilding primarily - a body weight gain of about 3 to 4 kilograms with a certain increase in muscle cross-section.

However, this increase in weight of the "lean body mass" (fat-free body mass) is only due to increased water retention in the muscles and not due to a positive nitrogen balance with protein neosynthesis (increase in the number of contractile filaments in the muscle cell, the myofibrils) in the sense of actual hypertrophy. Creatine has an osmotic effect, i.e. it takes water with it when it is absorbed into the muscle cell (as do, for example Depending on the extent of its absorption into the muscle cell, creatine causes an individual "swelling" of the muscle cell, which appears externally as hypertrophy (not to mention other "supporting agents" that are much more efficient for muscle growth, such as androgen-anabolic steroids, which are also used "as a cure", not only in bodybuilding, but of course also in competitive sports, such as powerlifting, weightlifting, bobsledding, athletics, etc...).

It is currently being discussed and researched whether a better hydration state (higher water content) of the muscle cell is in principle also beneficial for its protein synthesis and can thus promote hypertrophy. In this case, creatine would indeed have an anabolic effect, quasi as an "indirect anabolic agent". However, the current data situation speaks against this. According to new scientific findings, it makes no difference whether creatine is "loaded" quickly (see above) or slowly. It was shown that the creatine content of the muscles after taking 20 grams daily for 5 days was identical to that after taking 3 grams daily for 30 days and could not be increased subsequently.

If one is not under time pressure, the slow mode is recommended from a medical point of view to avoid any gastrointestinal problems. A maintenance dose of only 3 grams daily is sufficient to maintain the increased creatine content (here, too high doses are usually recommended by the manufacturing companies, but taking more will only lead to "expensive urine"). After discontinuing creatine intake, its muscular content drops back to the initial level.

Due to the osmotic effect, a little more should be drunk than usual during a creatine "cure" (approx. three liters daily), also to avoid gastrointestinal complaints. The creatine powder is preferably dissolved in fruit juice to take advantage of the sugar-induced insulin "peak" and thereby increase creatine absorption into the muscle cell. Alternatively, creatine can of course be taken with or immediately after a carbohydrate-containing meal. Insulin thus promotes not only the uptake of glucose and amino acids into the muscle cell, but also that of creatine.

It is obvious that creatine supplementation before a competition - analogous to the "carbohydrate loading" before a marathon run - can be expedient (but does not have to be!) to increase the creatine phosphate content of the "fast" muscle fibers as an energy store for short maximum performances in the sense of supercompensation for speed endurance and power endurance disciplines. A "cure" mode of intake as usual in bodybuilding is quite effective and so far without adverse effects.

Likewise, a longer-term intake (e.g. during an athletics or rowing season) with a low maintenance dose (see above) can bring a benefit. Therefore, it seems reasonable to schedule the supplementation and abstention phases into the training, competition, and recovery phases. During substitution (creatine supplementation), hypertonation and muscle cramps occur not infrequently, but these should be limited if 150-600 mg of magnesium is taken at the same time.

There are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You have to take enough liquid during a creatine cure - water is best suited. The reason is simple: the muscle cells have an increased fluid requirement during the application period.
  • As some studies show, the consumption of caffeine-rich beverages such as coffee and cola can impair the effect of creatine. Caffeine has a negative effect on creatine metabolism.
  • If the creatine is taken as a powder dissolved in a liquid, one should be careful not to wait too long with the consumption. The creatine decomposes after some time into the breakdown product creatinine.
  • To promote the storage of creatine in muscle cells, you can take some grape juice or another single-sugar source. Some creatine manufacturers advertise products that contain a transport matrix. Ultimately, however, this matrix is nothing more than the addition of sugar.

Creatine is very quickly stored in the muscle cells, but it is also very quickly transported away again, which is why a discontinuation or the end of a cure also leads to a loss of strength and weight. To minimize these losses, one should make sure that the diet is basically rich in protein and carbohydrates. Training should also - if possible - remain at the same level as during the cure.

Can the creatine effect be enhanced?

However, this does not require creatine variants, but only the nutrient substrate synergism is decisive. As already mentioned above several times, other nutritive substrates are necessary for a long-lasting ATP supply as well as for the build-up of body and muscle mass (creatine is not a substrate that can be used directly as a building material for body proteins, but as an energy supplier it is only a catalyst for cell build-up). In addition, science and practice have shown that there is a synergism between creatine and dextrose, glutamine, taurine, BCAA's, Whey Protein, chromium, vanadium, i.e. that, among other things, creatine is increasingly stored in the muscle cells through insulin modulation of the latter nutrients and the thus increased ATP activity in turn promotes the conversion of amino acids ect. into solid muscle mass - the substrates thus potentiate each other in their effect. In addition to these officially known synergisms, there are other substrates (alpha lipoic acid, beta ecdysterone and many aromatic plant extracts) that work in synergism with creatine as well as with amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and other regulatory substances.

Positive results have been published so far e.g. at:

  • 10 x 6 seconds of bicycle ergometry at 820 or 880 watts: overall performance improved.
  • 3 x 30 seconds of maximal isokinetic force application: improved performance in the first two series.
  • 5 x 30 maximum leg extension: total strength increased.
  • 4 x 300m run: total time unchanged, but higher speed on the last 100 meters.
  • 4 x 1000m run: Total time improved.

The partly contradictory results with different test arrangements show that it is not so easy to make clear and unambiguous statements about when and in whom oral creatine supplementation causes an actual, objectifiable increase in performance. As mentioned, smaller increases in performance can only be observed in sports involving high-intensity, repetitive, shorter anaerobic (oxygen debt) loads with breaks of less than 1-2 minutes. For these types of exertion, larger creatine stores have a positive effect on premature fatigue due to acidosis.

This effect should not be overestimated. In short sprints on the bicycle ergometer (10 x 6 sec. load) performance increases of 4-5% occurred and a reduction in lactate accumulation from the 3rd sprint of 1 mmol/l lactate was recorded (cf. KOSTER, Einfluss der Creatin-Supplementierung auf die Leistungsfähigkeitbei repetitiver, hochintensiver Belastung. In: Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Sportmedizin und Sporttraumatologie, 1996;4, 43-145)Creatine has received increasing attention in bodybuilding and fitness sports in recent years because of its "outstanding" strength-increasing and mass-building properties. After all, it is one of the few supplements that can be clearly shown to have some effect.

The mass-building effect, which is appreciated in weight training, is based on the fact that creatine is an osmotically acting substance, which - similar to amino acids - binds water in the muscle cell. This causes the muscle cells to enlarge, so that the muscles appear "fuller". The swelling muscle cell volume results in increased cell tension, which supposedly exerts an anabolic stimulus on the muscle cell, i.e. stimulates protein biosynthesis or muscle building. However, the increase in strength or weight under creatine substitution is not primarily due to an increase in muscle mass, but primarily to the water retention already mentioned. It is therefore also understandable that this effect only occurs during the increase in muscle creatine content and is therefore reversible.

Manufacturers of creatine supplements set the expectations for the products too high (weight gain of 3-6 kg within 6 weeks), so that disappointments can easily occur. In scientifically based studies, only a weight gain ? due to water ? of 1-1.5 kg could be proven. If nevertheless larger increases in body weight occur, these are not rarely to due to nourish-psychological causes (one takes more energy in the form of food to itself). A body fat analysis could prove that the increase in body weight is not solely due to an increase in lean muscle mass.

Creatine side effects

If individual doses are too high, stomach upsets or diarrhea cannot be ruled out. As a rule, however, excess creatine is excreted through the urine. The miracle drug is also suspected of causing muscle cramps and dehydration (increased fluid excretion and resulting fluid deficiency). This can be counteracted by taking magnesium in good time. Creatine users, by the way, complain more frequently of occasional mild flatulence and bad breath. Crepitations and halitosis, the medical term for bad breath, are probably due to the powder being taken with too little liquid. The poorly soluble creatine powder remains undissolved in the acidic environment of the stomach for too long and escapes in gaseous form from the various body orifices.

Creatine and ALA (alpha lipoic acid)

In a study reported in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition, one group of subjects consumed 20 grams of creatine a day, a second group consumed 20 grams of creatine prus 100 grams of sucrose, and a third group consumed 20 grams of creatine, 100 grams of sucrose prus 1000 milligrams of alpha lipoic acid. Sixteen men between the ages of 18 and 32 participated in the five-day study. Before and after the study, a tissue sample (biopsy) was taken from the lateral vastus of all subjects. Subjects maintained their normal diet and took a seven-day break from exercise.

As expected, the creatine content of all three groups increased, with the group that had additionally supplemented alpha-lipoic acid showing a significantly greater increase in phosphocreatine and total creatine content of the muscles than the other two groups. From this, the scientists concluded that the combined intake of ALA with creatine and a small amount of sucrose is able to increase the total creatine content of the muscles more than supplementation of creatine alone or creatine with sucrose. Dosage: Take 1000mg ALA together with creatine. Chances are good that you will achieve more muscle gains than ever before with this power combo.

Other types of creatine

Creatine Citrate

One of the first creatine products to compete against the popular creatine monohydrate, this form consists of one molecule of citric acid combined. Citric acid is a naturally occurring intermediate of the citrate cycle, which means it plays an important role as an energy metabolist. Citric acid with creatine could cause greater energy production in exercising muscles. Creatine cirtrate contains only about 40% creatine, but it is somehow popular because of its solubility. It dissolves when mixed, although it tends to have a bitter taste.

Creatine Phosphate

Creatine phosphate (actually a creatine molecule with a phosphate molecule to provide about 60% creatine) was another option that became available early. This initially generated some excitement because creatine binds to a phosphate group in muscle and becomes creatine phosphate to make it effective. Many believe that taking creatine phosphate directly would be even better than creatine monohydrate. The phosphate could also be effective in dampening the buildup of lactic acid.

Creatine Malate

Creatine malate is creatine combined with malic acid. Like citrate, malic acid is an intermediate of the citrate cycle, so it provides stronger ATP production than other forms of creatine. Also like creatine citrate, creatine malate dissolves better in water and does not seem to cause stomach problems.

Creatine tartrate

Creatine tartrate contains a creatine molecule (about 70%) combined with a molecule of tartaric acid (about 30%). This formula is sometimes used in solid creatine products, such as capsules, tablets, effervescent tablets, bars and chewable tablets.

Creatine Magnesium

This patented form consists of creatine combined with magnesium. This chelated creatine-mineral complex helps protect the creatine in the stomach and aids absorption. Another benefit of this formula occurs within the muscle cell itself, as magnesium is needed for the conversion of creatine phosphate into ATP (which simply put means energy). A recent study comparing Cheat magnesium creatine to creatine taken with magnesium found that muscle cells absorbed more fluid with the Cheat form, and test subjects showed more strength in leg extensions compared to the group taking creatine plus magnesium.

Creatine Anhydride

When the water molecule is taken out of creatine, this is what you get - pure creatine. It provides slightly more creatine than the monohydrate form (about 6% more), but is otherwise similar to the product.

Creatine HMB

Creatine-HMB is simply creatine combined with HMB (beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate), the leucine metabolite that supports muscle recovery and growth. The compound is what protects both ingredients from degradation in the stomach, as well as improves solubility and absorption in the body. Once in the bloodstream, creatine separates from HMB and they are transported separately to the muscles.

Creatine Ethyl Ester

Scientists at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha, USA) developed it to improve the bioavailability of creatine and thus enhance its health-promoting effects. The addition of the ester group improves the molecule's ability to cross cell membranes, such as in the intestine and muscle cells. Theoretically, it is better absorbed and more rapidly taken up by muscle cells than other forms of creatine. The intention of the Nebraska researchers was to improve the absorption and uptake of creatine and thus increase its use for patients who had lost a great deal of body weight due to cancer. It is thus an excellent alternative for bodybuilders who get stomach problems from creatine monohydrate, do not want to consume heaps of simple carbohydrates, and are prone to creatine-induced bloating. This technology is also available for supplements with vitamin C and pro-steroids.

Creatine Micro (Micronized Creatine)

This is a fine powder form of creatine monohydrate. The micron size (about 20 times smaller than other creatine monohydrate particles) provides more surface area, which means it's easier to mix in. The better the creatine dissolves in your drink, the less remains at the bottom of the glass and the more your body absorbs. If the creatine just stays in your intestines, it will draw water, leading to more severe gastrointestinal problems and diarrhea.

Creatine Titrate

Not to be confused with Tartart. When water and creatine nitrate are mixed, the creatine separates from its transport vehicle. This leaves free and neutrally charged creatine in the glass, which dissolves completely in the water. This helps prevent it from being dissolved by stomach acid and could improve absorption in the intestines. It allows for better solubility by changing the pH of the water when creatine nitrate is stirred in.

Creatine Glutamine Taurine

For some time now, there have also been products on the market that combine creatine, glutamine and taurine. Behind this combination is the idea that the absorption and storage of creatine and glutamine in the muscle cell can be improved. Since both glutamine and taurine promote the infiltration of water into the cell interior, this combination could theoretically increase cell volume. At the same time, a positive effect on muscle strength can also be expected, since taurine can lead to strength gains, as has been proven in studies (human and animal experiments).

Creatine Liquid

Theoretically, stable liquid creatine products are better absorbed because the creatine dissolves completely and no residue remains in the jar. Today's products use ingredients such as soybean oil and colloidal mineral complexes that help keep the creatine stable for up to 12 months.

Creatine Methyl Ester

This creatine form is also called methylated creatine. A methyl group (a carbon atom with three hydrogen atoms) has been added to creatine methyl ester. This simple organic compound protects the creatine from degradation as it is digested and metabolized, improving its absorption. Compared to creatine monohydrate, a smaller dose is sufficient for methylated creatine products, only 1-2g before and after training.

Kre-Alkalyn

Kre-Alkalyn is a giant leap forward in sports nutrition technology. Kre-Alkalyn is a "buffered creatine," which means it has been processed to a higher pH than regular creatine. The higher the pH, the less acidic the environment. Kre-Alkalyn is completely stable not only in powder form but also after mixing with water or other liquid. So it is safe to take (since it is not converted to creatinine) and you need much less, since the problem of loss in creatinine conversion is eliminated. This allows to need only a fraction of what you used before to get the full effect. Since Kre-Alkalyn is a creatine source that never converts to creatinine, it can be added to liquid and stored in that form for extended periods of time.

Buying advice

Often you read questions like: "Which creatine is the best?". There is no blanket answer to this question, because every body is individual and reacts differently to certain nutrients. The problem with buying creatine is that the quality of the product is not visible to the naked eye. If you are looking for quality at reasonable prices, you should grab Creapure. Despite the high quality, however, it may be that one tolerates Creapure less well. In this case, Creatine HCL or even better Creatine Polyhydrate can be used. These two variants have been developed, among other things, for better tolerance. Ideally, you should discuss the intake with your doctor beforehand. This can determine an intolerance in advance or exclude.

Whether you take powder or capsules or tablets makes no difference in terms of the effect of creatine. But the fact is that capsules and tablets are much more practical than powder. In order to effectively compare prices, not only the pure number of capsules should be looked at, but in particular the amount of creatine contained in the capsules should be taken as a decisive factor.

Closing words

I have heard from many athletes that have not been able to achieve significant results with creatine supplementation. Well, about 30% of creatine users have minimal response to this product. The reason is that this group of people already produces enough creatine phosphate naturally in the body and therefore the additional supplementation does not bring any further gains. Whether the individual creatine products are useful or not, each athlete must determine for himself in a private trial. Individual differences can come into play here. First of all, you should test the effect of the simplest and cheapest product - creatine monohydrate - for yourself. If you find that you tolerate it without any problems and make good progress in terms of strength and muscle growth, you have probably already found the best method. If this should not be the case, the search continues!

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