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Thread: Updated Creatine FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

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    Default Updated Creatine FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

    NOTE: CURRENTLY UNDER HEAVY CONSTRUCTION !!!

    Updated Creatine FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):

    What is creatine ?

    Creatine is known chemically as N-(aminoiminomethyl)-N-methyl glycine and its structural formula is:


    What different types / forms of creatine are available ?

    Creatine Monohydrate
    - Micronized
    - Creapure (SKW)
    http://www.creapure.com/index.php?url=&pid=_5_6&lng=en

    Creatine Ethyl Ester
    Esterification for enhanced permeation / absorption

    Magnesium Creatine Chelate
    United States Patent 6,114,379
    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...&RS=PN/6114379

    Dicreatine Malate
    Water molecule removed and molecularly bound to malic acid

    Creatine timing (when / how to take it):


    This thread / sticky will be constantly updated with relevent info to keep the important info towards the top of the thread. Credit will be given to those who contribute.

    NOTE: CURRENTLY UNDER HEAVY CONSTRUCTION !!!
    Last edited by pu12en12g; 06-02-2006 at 03:47 AM.

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    How does creatine work:

    In depth look at creatine

    Quote Originally Posted by HalleluYAH
    Creatine supplrmentation works by increasing intra-muscular phosphocreatine stores. Phosphocreatine plays it's key role by recycling ADP (spent energy) and converting it back to ATP (available cellular energy). This leads to more power and longer, more intense sets.

    Increased workout intensity theoretically should lead to an increase in muscle fiber recruitment and ultimatley leave you with microtears in the myofibril and sarcomere.

    This increase in fiber recruitment, when combined with adequate/proper nutrition, will end up in increased muscle hypertrophy muscle growth).

    That said, if you are looking for cell volumization (appearance of growth), while also benefiting from creatine's ergogenic properties (outlined above), then I recommend you take CEE or other Creatine product with glycerol monostearate, citrulline malate and diarginine.
    Creatine / nutrient timing and cell volumization:

    "Beyond solubility the timing of ingesting creatine may also allow an athlete to take less. The latest research on "Differential effects of training on the control of skeletal muscle perfusion" (Delp M., Med. Sci. Sport & Ex. Vol. 30, #3, pp. 361-374) indicate some potential advantages for uptake by type II muscle fibers while they are perfused with blood relative to high intensity workloads. Basically we are trying to get the creatine into the blood while the metabolic window for uptake by the target muscle fiber (type II, fast twitch) is open, while the fiber is perfused with blood."
    "creatine may stimulate an initial gain in intracellular fluid serving to increase cellular osmotic pressure and stimulate protein synthesis."

    Kreider (1997)
    Osmotic Effect

    All AAS increase nitrogen retention and testosterone tends to notably create an even greater osmotic effect. Both facets increase protein synthesis and strength. Nitrogen retention is anabolic simply because amino acids are not exiting muscle cells. They therefore are available for repair and growth instead of exiting or becoming an energy source.

    Osmotic reactions simply mean there is an elevated level of intracellular nutrients, including water, available. The way an osmotic response effects or induces an elevation in strength is basic physics. Try benching on a waterbed. (No, I mean weights) There is little in the way of structural integrity.

    Now, if you filled that waterbed with much more water, thus creating a firmer structure, the ability of it and you to support and leverage a higher weight load will improve. The osmotic effect is not simply water retention. It is an increase intracellularly (inside muscle cells) of growth nutrients, including C.P., for increased cellular repair and growth as well. If it were outside of the cells only, you would be very smooth, but this is not the case entirely.

    Strength increases from most creatine supplementation range from 5-10% and body weight increases (over a 2 month cycle) range from 3-10%. This means a bodybuilder that weighs 200 LBS and bench presses 200 LBS for 10 reps max can realistically expect to weigh 206-220 LBS and bench press 210-220 LBS for 10 reps by the end of a 2 month cycle.

    Results from any following Creatine cycles tend not to be as impressive as first time cycles. Unfortunately about 20% of Creatine users do not respond to Creatine. This is usually due to an inability to get the Creatine into muscle cells.
    Last edited by pu12en12g; 05-19-2006 at 06:54 AM.

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    Creatine safety:

    Quote Originally Posted by David Barr
    The research unequivocally states that creatine is safe in the measured parameters (7, 12, 15, 20, 22, 23), although some people are quick to point out that no long-term studies (i.e. 10+ years) have been performed. Interestingly, so much research on safety has come out in the last few years that a couple of complete literature reviews have been performed on the topic (1, 31). For those who question the long-term effects on kidney and liver function, we have to think that if five straight years of use has zero negative effect, then the negative effect we're waiting for just won't ever happen.

    Taking this one step further, a group of researchers decided to check out creatine use in animals with pre-existing kidney problems (25). Once again, creatine had no negative effect in subjects with kidney dysfunction — something that isn't even universally true for high protein diets!

    Of course, we need long-term data on the effect of creatine supplementation on our hearts, as well as the natural creatine synthetic pathway, but so far the safety data look pretty convincing.

    Actually Good For You?

    On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, creatine is actually being used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including a form of muscular dystrophy (26) and Lou Gehrig's disease (5).

    There are also positive effects of creatine on glucose tolerance when combined with resistance training and protein supplementation (4). This is a finding of incredible magnitude, because type II diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in the Western world! Who knows, in 20 years, part of the treatment may be to consume protein and creatine supplements along with working out!

    Further strengthening the support for creatine use, we've seen that creatine supplementation can decrease the level of homocysteine, a toxic indicator for cardiovascular disease (16). This means that creatine has been shown to reduce the risk for the number one killer in the Western world.

    Research has also shown that creatine may have an anti-inflammatory effect in vitro, but we don't know how strong this will be in humans (18). Another in vitro study showed that creatine possesses antioxidant activity (17), which is a very exciting prospect.

    Lastly, creatine appears to have a nootropic effect. It's been shown to enhance memory and score on an intelligence test in vegetarians (21) and has been shown to reduce mental fatigue and enhance brain oxygen uptake (29). Clearly, the benefits of creatine extend far beyond the athlete!

    In summary, creatine appears to not only lack negative health effects, it actually seems to be good for us in many ways!
    Creatine and caffeine:

    Quote Originally Posted by John Berardi
    Creatine & Caffeine... The Forbidden Combination?

    The creatine and caffeine issue has been discussed pretty extensively in both the athletic and scientific communities. However, most people don't even know why such a debate exists. What exactly is the concern? Well let's talk a little history.

    The creatine and caffeine debate started about four years ago when one single scientific study concluded that "caffeine counteracts the effects of a creatine loaded muscle" (1). This statement was shocking because the purpose of the study was to see if the two agents could work together to increase exercise performance, not to see if they would interfere with each other. Researchers and athletes have long known that caffeine and creatine independently improve performance so a combination would be the next logical step.

    Creatine works on the phosphocreatine and ATP systems while possibly buffering exercise produced hydrogen protons (acid), while caffeine demonstrates a powerful stimulation for the release of epinephrine. So theoretically, one could take both to gain more of a performance edge. But this study showed that maybe they don't work together. Even further, it showed that maybe they interfere with each other. So if this is the case and caffeine does counteract the effect of a creatine loaded muscle then there is no debate. The answer is to avoid consuming beverages that contain caffeine if you want your money spent on creatine to work for you.

    But as usually is the case, things are not so simple. Although some individuals avoid this combination like the plague, we don't think this is necessary. So while you're here, go ahead and grab a cup of coffee. Then add your desired amount of crystals - creatine, not sugar; if you haven't already had your dose for the day. Based on further scientific data and scrutiny, you just might not have to give either one up.


    A Study's Only As Good As It's Design

    When looking back at the previously mentioned study, some glaring problems are evident. And these problems explain our disbelief of the conclusions. First, the study utilized a crossover design. In a crossover design, one group of lifters first takes creatine and then switches over to placebo a few weeks later. The other group first takes placebo then switches over to creatine a few weeks later.

    During each treatment performance tests are done. This design is a great one in most cases because researchers don't have to compare two different groups of guys, one group of lifters on creatine vs one group of different lifters on placebo. In this design, the researchers can compare the same athletes (on creatine) to themselves (on placebo) a few weeks later.

    Although this is typically a great study design, when a supplement has lasting effects, a long period has to separate the time between treatments. If not, the effects of creatine will still be around when the subjects are on placebo. And that's the problem with this study. In this design, the researchers only allowed 3 weeks between creatine/caffeine and placebo. We know that this is too short of a time between treatments to allow the study participant to "return to normal".

    Subsequent studies have shown repeatedly that the washout period for creatine supplementation is a minimum of four weeks, it may be even be longer. So one of the take-home messages of this article is that creatine, once loaded into the muscle, takes about 4-6 weeks or more to be eliminated (2). If this is the case, we hope you realize the fact that since performance tests were conducted, the treatments could have affected both testing periods. This is a great way to ensure that the data from a study is meaningless.

    Another important factor to consider in all of this is diet. Creatine containing foods, like steak and fish, may provide enough creatine to effectively maintain your initial loading.

    What we mean here is that after you load up for a week, you may be able to maintain a creatine-loaded state with diet alone. Many of you have heard of "maintenance doses" of creatine that usually consist of around 5 grams per day.

    These may be unnecessary. Since the combination of a typical non-vegetarian diet and your natural production of creatine provides about 2 grams of creatine per day, you only need an additional 2 or 3 grams per day from food to stay loaded. The research shows that diets high in red meat (1.5 or 2 lbs per day) can provide this (2).But just to be safe, we typically recommend "reloading" every few months however as you may gradually lose that super-loaded state over time.

    Getting back to the science of the creatine and caffeine thing, if subjects remain loaded by dietary means, a crossover study may never give good results. Another example of this is evident in another creatine and caffeine study in scientific literature (3). This crossover study also showed no performance differences between groups that took creatine and caffeine together and those on placebo.

    But again, the washout problem rears its ugly head. This study only utilized a one-week washout period between the subject cross-over. We cannot really gain any information from this study in terms of creatine and caffeine interactions. This short washout again may have allowed the subjects to be creatine loaded throughout the testing even when they were performing as the placebo group.

    Although the two studies seem to run counter to our advice to load your coffee up with creatine powder, I hope that you can see that a study is only as good as it's design. In addition, our argument gains some support from the following. In both studies, the loading of muscle with creatine was not hindered by caffeine ingestion. So if the muscle is loaded with creatine, then it should be able to perform like other creatine-loaded muscles or simply put, better.

    The only limiting factor then in these studies is the design. One argument that other side proposes to justify their conclusions is that perhaps the coffee caused diuresis (water loss) and that inhibited the performance gain. Since it is well-know that dehydrated muscles perform very poorly and have lower protein synthetic rates than normally hydrated muscle, some have argued that maybe the coffee negated the effects of creatine due to dehydration (4). Since there is no data on this, it is merely speculation. But the most practical answer is as follows. Ask yourself if you find yourself being constantly dehydrated when you consume coffee. If the answer is no, then you know that you are ok on this front.

    Although the debate seems pretty even at this point, the real clincher for our side is this. In many prior studies showing that creatine does increase performance and muscle mass, creatine was administered with…you guessed it... good old coffee or tea. Since creatine is very hard to dissolve in regular room temperature beverages, researchers had been giving creatine in warm coffee and tea to ensure dissolution of the powder and to mask the taste. Also this dissolution makes taking creatine orally easier on subjects and their digestive systems. Since there was a demonstrated effect of creatine in these studies, the coffee must not have hindered the effects of the creatine.

    Although, we are pretty convinced that coffee will probably not lead to a huge reduction in the effectiveness of creatine supplementation, we have decided to go ahead and do a definitive study. In collaboration with our lab mates and lab director at the University of Western Ontario, we plan to look at the effects of creatine, creatine plus caffeine, creatine plus coffee, and placebo. This study should, uhm, dissolve this debate once and for all. Until then, we won't be kicking Mr Coffee or Mr Creatine out of our lives just yet.
    Creatine conversion / Creatine stability:

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Arnold
    at room temperature, even at a low pH (3.6) it will take about 8 hours to degrade 1% of creatine to creatinine. go to the creapure web site, they have a graph representing the degradation rates at different pHs

    At neutral pH of course it will take much longer. And you will probably never degrade all of it at neutral pH. you will end up with an equilibrium mixture of creatine and creatinine

    you must take it to low pH and boil it for half hour or so
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Arnold
    Patrick Arnold
    this is what leading creatine researcher Dr. Roger Harris (he is the man who did the first human studies on creatine in humans at University of Stockholm)

    "Creatine degrades to the non-toxic, physiologically useless compound creatinine. This degradation process proceeds more rapidly at acidic pH but still is relatively minimal."
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Arnold
    creatinine is not toxic either. so there is no safety concern
    Creatine bloating:
    Last edited by pu12en12g; 06-02-2006 at 03:28 AM.

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    Does creatine have any effects on the liver?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MynameisMike
    Does creatine have any effects on the liver?
    I would say no, because its not toxic, but it can affect your kidneys if you dont drink enough water. But thats just an assumption that can be read in millions of places.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by MynameisMike
    Does creatine have any effects on the liver?
    At crazy high doeses it can, but than again anything at crazy high doses can affect your liver

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    As long as you have normally functioning kidneys and do not have a predisposition to kidney disease creatine should not be detrimental to your health. As has been mentioned the key is to drink a large volume of water to ease the extra load on your kidneys. I aim for 1.5+ gallons water per day . . . the bathroom is my friend

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    Nice Post!!

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    Great post! Waiting for the write up on the creatine conversion/stability issue. It seem's monohydrate/cee converts to creatinine in the stomach (acidic enviornment) I have a write up which is based on the conversion rates of different creatine supplements, and it seemed only Kre Alkayln passed through untouched. Ofcourse, it could have been conducted by a manufacturer of Kre Alkayln, which is very possible. So, nonetheless, looking forward to it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by xven
    Great post! Waiting for the write up on the creatine conversion/stability issue. It seem's monohydrate/cee converts to creatinine in the stomach (acidic enviornment) I have a write up which is based on the conversion rates of different creatine supplements, and it seemed only Kre Alkayln passed through untouched. Ofcourse, it could have been conducted by a manufacturer of Kre Alkayln, which is very possible. So, nonetheless, looking forward to it!
    I'm not so sure about that. I had posted this over at BB.com in a discussion on this topic.

    Clin Pharmacokinet. 2003;42(6):557-74.
    Pharmacokinetics of the dietary supplement creatine.
    Persky AM, Brazeau GA, Hochhaus G.

    The degradation half-lives for the conversion of creatine to creatinine at pH values 1.4, 3.7 and 6.8 are 55, 7.5 and 40.5 days, respectively. At these rates, less than 0.1g of a 5g dose would be lost in 1 hour. Therefore, the conversion to creatinine in the gastrointestinal tract is probably minimal regardless of transit time.
    Disclaimer: While I have an M.D. the views I express are not to be taken as medical advice under any circumstances. Please check with your own doctor if you want medical advice as he/she has access to your info and can provide the most accurate advice.


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    Thumbs up oops

    I forgot to include the graph in my post so you don't have to click on the attachement . . . it's below
    Disclaimer: While I have an M.D. the views I express are not to be taken as medical advice under any circumstances. Please check with your own doctor if you want medical advice as he/she has access to your info and can provide the most accurate advice.


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    I've been wondering, I don't respond to creatine mono but was wondering, is it still beneficial to supplement with this? Obviously it is still taken into the body, but I was looking for a secondary creatine product to my green bulge and creatine mono is very easy to get locally compared to CEE. Just wondering if it'll be a waste of money since I don't respond, or will it still help in increasing the creatine levels in my body?

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    Quote Originally Posted by skinnychubbyguy
    I've been wondering, I don't respond to creatine mono but was wondering, is it still beneficial to supplement with this? Obviously it is still taken into the body, but I was looking for a secondary creatine product to my green bulge and creatine mono is very easy to get locally compared to CEE. Just wondering if it'll be a waste of money since I don't respond, or will it still help in increasing the creatine levels in my body?
    If you truly are a nonresponder to mono then IMO you will not really benefit from supplementing w/ mono. There is no point to have the extra creatine/creatinine floating around in your body only to be lost in your urine, save your money. Creatine is only beneficial to your lifting when it enters your muscles to be converted to creatine phosphate to replenish ATP.
    However, you do respond to GB, correct? If this is the case and you are looking for a cheap alternative to supplement with in addition to your GB then you may want to look into other forms of creatine available in bulk like CEE, Kre-alk, magnesium creatine chelate, and dicreatine-malate (and probably others too). You can take your preworkout GB and then add some additional bulk creatine into your post workout drink. Post workout your cells are soaking up all kinds of nutrients. There are various theories as to the best way to get the creatine into your cells. The insulin response is one but there are others as well. I'm sure Pu can give you a more complete response
    Disclaimer: While I have an M.D. the views I express are not to be taken as medical advice under any circumstances. Please check with your own doctor if you want medical advice as he/she has access to your info and can provide the most accurate advice.


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    What do think of Creatine for individuals that where injured
    and trying to rebuild damaged tissue,fractures bone density and so on?
    Last edited by trizz; 05-23-2006 at 12:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trizz
    What do think of Creatine for individuals that where injured
    and trying to rebuild damaged tissue,fractures bone density and so on?
    hmmmm . . . I can honestly say that I am unfamiliar with "creatine sublimation". What is the theory? And is there research supporting it?
    I had not heard of a role for creatine in rebuilding damaged tendons or bones . . . it sounds interesting though.
    Disclaimer: While I have an M.D. the views I express are not to be taken as medical advice under any circumstances. Please check with your own doctor if you want medical advice as he/she has access to your info and can provide the most accurate advice.


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    Creatine / nutrient timing and cell volumization:

    "Beyond solubility the timing of ingesting creatine may also allow an athlete to take less. The latest research on "Differential effects of training on the control of skeletal muscle perfusion" (Delp M., Med. Sci. Sport & Ex. Vol. 30, #3, pp. 361-374) indicate some potential advantages for uptake by type II muscle fibers while they are perfused with blood relative to high intensity workloads. Basically we are trying to get the creatine into the blood while the metabolic window for uptake by the target muscle fiber (type II, fast twitch) is open, while the fiber is perfused with blood."
    In English, please? Just make it simple for me, does it go pre-workout, post workout, first thing in the morning, what?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GimpyPaw
    In English, please? Just make it simple for me, does it go pre-workout, post workout, first thing in the morning, what?
    It sounds like the excerpt is referring to post-workout as that is when muscle would still be highly perfused.
    Disclaimer: While I have an M.D. the views I express are not to be taken as medical advice under any circumstances. Please check with your own doctor if you want medical advice as he/she has access to your info and can provide the most accurate advice.


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    Quote Originally Posted by GimpyPaw
    In English, please? Just make it simple for me, does it go pre-workout, post workout, first thing in the morning, what?
    Ideally all of the above... but if you have to choose, I'd go with pre-workout.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pu12en12g
    Ideally all of the above... but if you have to choose, I'd go with pre-workout.
    Agreed, and Ive found that about 2.5g before and 2.5 after works great for gains in strength and size.
    "Usually when people think they are holding a lot of water, they are just holding a lot of fat." -Mr. Aries


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    ive read the FAQ but still a question.... i was thinking pre-mix my supplements and bottle & fridge them for use later...like a day or two later. Just makes it alot easier for me to have RTD supplements sitting in the fridge at work as well as home. Question is... how long would creatine in gatorade last - bottled and chilled before it goes bad? Same question for PW, GG, Glutamine as well. I know protein would be fine so so far ive only got that. But would like glutamine in the protein shake and maybe cee for post workout shakes.
    Looking for a reply from the knowledgabe pu.

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