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Thread: Updated Creatine FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Creatine Cycling

    Came across this post of mine from and thought it would be good to post in this thread
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Dave1
    Factors Influencing Creatine Loading into Human Skeletal Muscle
    Rodney J. Snow and Robyn M. Murphy
    Exerc. Sport Sci. Rev.,Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 154-158, 2003
    This review describes several factors involved in regulating skeletal muscle creatine uptake and total creatine content. Skeletal muscle total creatine content increases with oral creatine supplementation, although the response is variable. Factors that may account for this variation are carbohydrate intake, physical activity, training status, and possibly fiber type

    ^^their abstract^^ is too vague, here are some key points

    Here are some highlights from the article on Factors Influencing Creatine Loading into Human Skeletal Muscle

    - to maintain whole body Cr stores, approximately 2 g of Cr needs to be synthesized or ingested daily.
    - oral Cr supplementation can elevate human skeletal muscle Cr by 10–30%
    - Dietary Cr serves as an end-product repressor for the first step in Cr biosynthesis, and this mechanism may act to attenuate the increase in Cr supply to cells, thereby lowering cellular Cr uptake.

    Creatine transporter
    - There is clear evidence that Na+ and Cl- dependent Cr transport occurs into skeletal muscle cells
    - mitochondrial Cr uptake is not inhibited by several amino acids and creatine analogues that are known to inhibit sarcolemma CreaT uptake.
    - It should be noted that the initial increase in transporter activity accompanying elevated extracellular Cr levels is likely to be short lived . . . cellular Cr uptake is at least partly inhibited with short-term exposure to high extracellular Cr levels
    - evidence indicating that intracellular Cr, but not CrP level is involved in inhibition . . . feedback may occur by reducing the activity of a nonreceptor protein tyrosine kinase
    - Recent evidence suggests that oral Cr supplementation does not alter the CreaT mRNA expression content in human skeletal muscle, despite a significant increase in muscle TCr, CrP, and Cr content

    factors affecting uptake by skeletal muscles
    - Insulin probably acts by directly stimulating cell membrane Cr transport processes, rather than enhancing cell Cr delivery by elevating blood flow. . . . stimulatory effect of insulin on whole-body Cr disposal only occurs during the initial 24 h of Cr and carbohydrate co-ingestion
    - data indicate that individuals involved in regular exercise (i.e., training) may
    have a greater ability to load Cr.

    I do not think that info supports the role of cycling creatine. Supplementation can cz a compensatory decrease in endogenous Cr production, which makes sense. However, if the body only produces 1-2g per day this effect is generally overcome by supplementation. Additionally, while short term inhibition of Cr uptake exists via receptor inhibition (which would still occur with cycling) it does not appear that receptor synthesis is affected by high levels of creatine (mRNA levels are unaffected).
    I realize this article is from 2003 (so some of this info might be wrong) but it was the most relevant article I could find on the topic at the moment.

    SUMMARY: supplementation can cz a compensatory decrease in endogenous Cr production, which makes sense. However, if the body only produces 1-2g per day this effect is generally overcome by supplementation. Additionally, while short term inhibition of Cr uptake exists via receptor inhibition it does not appear that receptor synthesis is affected by high levels of creatine (mRNA levels are unaffected).
    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. . . . gotta love it

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    bump to good basic info and additional article that serves as a good overview of why creatine works

    Subcell Biochem. 2007;46:245-59.
    Ergogenic effects of creatine in sports and rehabilitation.
    Hespel P, Derave W.

    The daily oral ingestion of supplementary creatine monohydrate can substantially elevate the creatine content of human skeletal muscle. This chapter aims to summarize the current knowledge regarding the impact muscle creatine loading can have on exercise performance and rehabilitation. The major part of the elevation of muscle creatine content is already obtained after one week of supplementation, and the response can be further enhanced by a concomitant exercise or insulin stimulus. The elevated muscle creatine content moderately improves contractile performance in sports with repeated high-intensity exercise bouts. More chronic ergogenic effects of creatine are to be expected when combined with several weeks of training. A more pronounced muscle hypertrophy and a faster recovery from atrophy have been demonstrated in humans involved in resistance training. The mechanism behind this anabolic effect of creatine may relate to satellite cell proliferation, myogenic transcription factors and insulin-like growth factor-1 signalling. An additional effect of creatine supplementation, mostly when combined with training, is enhanced muscle glycogen accumulation and glucose transporter (GLUT4) expression. Thus, creatine may also be beneficial in sport competition and training characterized by daily glycogen depletion, as well as provide therapeutic value in the insulin-resistant state.

    PMID: 18652080 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
    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. . . . gotta love it

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    The different forms of Creatine today

    1.Creatine monohydrate: Creatine monohydrate is the king of the creatine supplement world. It is the most inexpensive form of creatine, and has been studied exhaustively. It is popular because it works. No other legal non-hormonal bodybuilding or sports supplement can come close to the potency of creatine monohydrate. Creatine monohydrate is 88% pure creatine bound with 12% water. Early creatine products were filled with large, hard to digest particles. These earlier supplements often caused intestinal issues. Most modern creatines are micronized, and are 20 times smaller. Modern creatines generally do not have the intestinal side effects that older creatines had.

    2.Creapure® Micronized Creatine Monohydrate: Although all creatine powders may look alike, looks can be deceiving. The fact is that potentially harmful impurities such as dicyandiamide, thiourea, and dihydrotriazine may be present in creatine products produced via some low-cost methods. And because many supplement companies simply use the cheapest creatine they can find (or whatever type of creatine happens to be "hot" at the moment), quality often varies widely from one brand of creatine to the next. That's why top researchers, medical professionals, and knowledgeable health-conscious individuals alike seek out Creapure® Creatine Monohydrate - the patented product recognized worldwide as the benchmark for creatine quality.
    Only Creapure® Creatine Monohydrate is produced using a unique patented process (U.S. patent 5,719,319) which guarantees the highest purity, and potency. Each batch is produced using Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) in an FDA-registered plant in Trostberg, Germany and is rigorously tested using state-of-the art high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC).
    Because Creapure® is the only type of creatine guaranteed to meet the strictest quality standards, and because Creapure® is the only type of creatine which has been subjected to the rigorous scrutiny of hundreds of short- and long-term studies spanning over two decades, you can be confident that no other type of creatine can top Creapure® when it comes to purity, safety, or effectiveness. Cheap knock-off creatine monohydrate products or fads like liquid creatine, buffered creatine, and creatine esters don't even come close.

    3. Creatine Hydrochloride: is the newest form of creatine to hit the market. Not to be confused with Creatine Ethyl Ester. Creatine hydrochloride (also known as creatine hcl) is a totally different form of creatine. In fact, Creatine Hcl was discovered quite by accident during the synthesizing of the ingredients needed to make creatine ethyl ester back in 2003. Once discovered the manufacturers began studying this new form of creatine and its effectiveness. They soon found out that compared to creatine monohydrate, creatine hydrochloride was far superior in every way.

    4. Creatine Alpha-Ketoglutarate: One of the newest forms of creatine is creatine alpha-ketoglutarate, also known as creatine AKG. This form is creatine bound to a molecule of AKG. This is the same AKG that is used in the nitric oxide formulas (arginine AKG). Alpha-Ketoglutarate is a precursor of glutamine, which means that with this supplement you are getting both glutamine and creatine. The key benefit, however, is that the intestines more easily absorb AKG, which will prevent the diarrhea that most bodybuilders experience when they take creatine monohydrate. Alpha-ketoglutarate is used for kidney disease; intestinal and stomach disorders, including bacterial infections; liver problems; cataracts; and recurring yeast infections. It is also used for improving the way kidney patients receiving hemodialysis treatments process protein. Some people take alpha-ketoglutarate to improve peak athletic performance. Suppliers of athletic nutritional supplements claim alpha-ketoglutaric acid may be an important addition to proper diet and training for the athlete who wants peak performance. They base this claim on studies that show extra ammonia in the body can combine with alpha-ketoglutarate to reduce problems associated with too much ammonia (ammonia toxicity). But, so far, the only studies that show alpha-ketoglutarate can reduce ammonia toxicity have been performed in hemodialysis patients.

    5. Creatine Gluconate: This unique delivery system, quickly and continuously, delivers the supplement to your muscles – so quickly that in 24 to 36 hours you can see and feel your muscles getting bulkier after the very first serving. You will be able to pump much more, your belly muscles will increase and you will be far more energetic than before. Creatine gluconate is an ionic salt made by bonding a creatine ion to a glucose ion. What you get as a result is a product that is absorbed easily and almost completely as glucose. Plus, it mixes very well with water and tastes very good. How does it do all this? The answer's simple. Most “single stage delivery” systems do the work of getting the creatine into your blood and muscles, quite well. But what they don't do so well is getting the optimal quantity into your system. That is where the new creatine scores over others. Take the case of Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE). The ethyl ester in it nicely manages to deliver the creatine into your system. But in the process, when the molecule splits, you are left with the good creatine and the not so good ethanol. This ethanol lacks the “after burner” ability to push the creatine harder and faster into your blood and muscles. The result is that your body gets less than the optimal amount of creatine delivered at less than the optimal rate. In the case of creatine gluconate, the molecular splitting results in the formation of glucose ion. Here the glucose ion delivers the creatine. The glucose ion is good since it is well and easily absorbed by the body. This ion also does another thing. It causes a nice insulin pike to be formed. It is this insulin pike that pushes the glucose and along with it, the creatine, harder and more rapidly into your blood and muscle. Another good thing about creatine gluconate is that it does not require any “loading period”. This in no way affects its optimizing and maximizing capabilities.

    6. Magnesium Creatine Chelate: Magnesium creatine chelate, often abbreviated MCC, is a newer form of creatine that is chemically bonded to magnesium rather than a water molecule as in creatine monohydrate. This special form of creatine is absorbed through a different pathway than creatine monohydrate. Creatine monohydrate is absorbed through a sodium-dependent transporter, while magnesium creatine chelate is absorbed through a lignand-gated cation channel. Because the magnesium that is bound to the creatine is a cation, the entire molecule now becomes a cation, making it absorbable through this pathway while creatine monohydrate is not. Creatine Magnesium Chelate (pronounced key-late) is different from other forms of Creatine because it's chemically attached to the mineral magnesium for optimal absorption.* This means more creatine for your muscles and possibly less bloating or stomach discomfort!*

    7. CREATINE NITRATE: If you are into bodybuilding, then you have probably already heard of creatine nitrate and are likely wondering exactly what it is and what it can do for you. To start with, let us look at what this substance really is. It is basically a mixture of creatine and an organic nitrite or nitrate group. Once the substance is ingested or mixed in a solution, it is expected to transform back into the parent ions. This means the nitrate will get metabolized into nitric oxide when it enters smooth muscle tissue. For this reason, bodybuilders are using the substance not only because it boosts their energy levels, but also because it is believed to increase vasodilation, thus aiding muscle growth. Creatine supplements have long been used by athletes and bodybuilders to enhance their performance not only during workouts, but most especially during competitions. This supplement was first introduced as energy boosters back in 1992, and is among the reasons why creatine nitrate is now taking the bodybuilding industry by storm as well. There is perhaps no need to explain why a boost in energy levels can lead to a much better performance in your chosen sport or bodybuilding event. Nitric oxide, for its part, is known to promote vasodilation, which literally translates to a widening of blood vessels. This allows more blood to flow into your organs whenever necessary. For bodybuilders, nitric oxide is also valuable because it promotes proper oxygen delivery to the muscles, glucose uptake, and muscle growth, among other things. It also increases muscle strength and endurance, while facilitating quicker muscle recovery at the same time. Now you know what creatine and nitric oxide can do for you in terms of energy levels and muscle growth. And perhaps you now have a better understanding of why creatine nitrate has become the latest trend in the bodybuilding industry as well.

    8. Creatine Pyruvate : Creatine Pyruvate is a combination of Creatine and Pyruvate, both of which are impressive ergogenic (energy) producers and have been highly touted for building muscle and reducing body fat. The performance-enhancing effects of creatine monohydrate and pyruvate are combined for the first time in this unique nutritional formula designed to boost energy and endurance.Creatine regenerates the primary energy immediately available to muscles involved in short, intense contractions.Creatine also serves as a buffer, delaying the point at which lactic acid causes muscle fatigue and discomfort.Increasing creatine energizes muscle for prolonged endurance and optimal work output in activities such as weight lifting and sprinting.Pyruvate stimulates glucose extraction from blood into muscle during exercise and at rest, priming muscle with a carbohydrate content essential for greater endurance.In clinical studies, pyruvate reduced gain in body fat without reducing muscle protein, an important factor in increasing lean muscle mass. Supplementation with Creatine Pyruvate provides complementary nutritional support for maximizing muscular performance and endurance in high-intensity exercise programs. Creatine Pyruvate is 10 times more soluble than either Creatine or Pyruvate and it is also more bioavailable so that it takes less to do the job. Moreover, a loading dose is not necessary. The "stabilized and improved" Pyruvate in this product is also more bioavailable which means that large amounts of minerals (Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, etc.) are not ingested with the pyruvate. This lessens the possibility of adverse reactions associated with large amounts of minerals, e.g. fluid retention. Simply put, Creatine Pyruvate is a stronger, more powerful and safer form of Creatine and Pyruvate.

    9. Kre-Alkalyn: Kre-Alkalyn is a pH buffered creatine that has a pH of more than 12. Manufacturers of Kre-Alkalyn claim that your body can not naturally buffer regular creatine supplements. Instead, your body breaks down regular creatine into creatinine, a useless substance excreted from your body through wastes. Further, because your body does not breakdown Kre-Alkalyn into creatinine, your body can fully absorb the creatine in Kre-Alkalyn supplements

    10. Creatine Citrate: A worthy predecessor of creatine monohydrate, this compound was amongst the first to go against its much popular counterpart, the monohydrate version. It has creatine molecule attached to citric acid. Since citric acid has a crucial role to play in the synthesis of aerobic energy this supplement is known to offer much more energy as a compound.

    11. Creatine Phosphate: Creatine phosphate created a lot of buzz initially given the fact that in the muscle creatine essentially bonds with the phosphate and having the compound directly available as a supplement might make it a direct source of instant energy. Though research proved this wrong since phosphate and creatine in the bound form are not permeable through cell membranes. Creatine phosphate is another early form of creatine. Creatine phosphate is a creatine molecule bonded to a phosphate molecule. This bonding is a process that naturally occurs within muscle cells. It was thought that by pre-bonding creatine with phosphate, that it would amplify results. Ultimately, creatine phosphate was found to be less effective then creatine monohydrate.

    12. Creatine Malate: Malic acid is known to partake in the energy producing Krebs cycle thus as a compound with creatine it is known to offer greater ATP production. Another merit of this compound is that just like creatine citrate it gets easily dissolved in water causing nil stomach discomfort. Creatine malate is a relatively new version of creatine. It is creatine chemically bonded to malic acid. Malic acid works in much the same way that citric acid does, and assists muscles with aerobic energy production. There is little current research for or against creatine malate’s effectiveness.

    13. Creatine Tartrate: It is the compound containing approximately 70% creatine with 30% tartaric acid. They are present in the solid form as tablets, bars and chewable tablets. Creatine tartrate is creatine bonded to tartaric acid. This form of creatine is often used in pills, capsules, bars and chewables. It offers no benefits over creatine monohydrate.

    14. Creatine titrate. Creatine titrate (different from creatine tartrate) works in a similar manner to effervescent creatine. Creatine titrate changes the PH of the water solution when it is mixed, allowing for a more stable solution that is easier to digest.

    15. Creatine Anhydrous: An anhydrate is a compound that is form with the removal of the water molecules in the compound and that is exactly what this supplement is made up of. It is known to provide more creatine than in its monohydrate form. Creatine anhydrous is creatine monohydrate without the water molecule. Creatine anhydrous provides approximately 6% more pure creatine per serving compared to creation monohydrate.

    16. Creatine HMB: This compound is composed of creatine molecule bound to betahydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) which is composed of amino acid leucine that helps in muscle growth and recovery. It is easily soluble and absorbed in the body. Creatine HMB is creatine chemically attached to HMB (beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate). HMB, by itself, assists muscle recovery and growth. This form of creatine is generally easier for the body to digest. Once in the bloodstream, the creatine and HMB are separated. Creatine HMB is a relatively new form of creatine, and there is very little research to back its effectiveness.

    17. Creatine Ethyl Ester: A compound formed of the bond between ester ethyl hydrochloride and creatine is known to enhance the muscular mass much higher than other compounds since the molecule easily passes through the membranes of cells like those of the intestines or muscles and is absorbed rapidly at a higher rate. Creatine ethyl ester is a form of creatine monohydrate, but it has an ester attached. The process, called esterification, is the result of the reaction of carboxylic acid and alcohol. The way CEE is made means that it is more bioavailable to the body and so you actually need to take less of it.

    18. (Tri-)Creatine Orotate: Creatine orotate is exclusively found in Man’s Orotine. This is simply creatine bonded to orotic acid. Orotic acid is supposed to produce ATP and increase energy levels significantly. It also possibly implies improved absorption. It would be considered a decent product by many as it is part of Man’s line, but few use it and feedback is difficult to find on it. This is likely because it is far more expensive than most bulk creatine powders.

    19. Magnesium creatine. Magnesium creatine is creatine chemically bonded to magnesium. Magnesium assists in the digestion of creatine, primarily helping it pass through the stomach. Magnesium is also involved in the process of turning creatine phosphate into ATP. Magnesium creatine has been shown to be an effective form of creatine, but only in the bonded state. Taking creatine together with magnesium, but as separate supplements, is not as effective.

    20. Creatine glutamine taurine. This form of creatine has creatine bonded with glutamine and taurine. Because both glutamine and taurine act to volumize cells, it is hoped that – in conjunction with creatine – their benefits will be heightened. One side benefit to taurine use is that it has been shown to improve strength.

    21. Effervescent creatine. Effervescent creatine has been available for a number of years. Effervescent creatines usually contains creatine monohydrate or creatine citrate, along with citric acid and bicarbonate. When effervescent creatine is placed in water, a chemical reaction takes place, resulting in the formation of creatine carrying a neutral charge. This form of creatine passes through the stomach better then creatine monohydrate. It also retains its stability longer in solution then creatine monohydrate, making it a solid option for those that mix and take their creatine solution with them.

    22. Liquid creatine. Liquid creatine is a form of creatine that is completely dissolved, and supposedly, easier to digest. Unfortunately, creatine is very unstable when dissolved, so many early liquid creatine products were failures. Modern liquid creatine products are improved, and can remain solvent for up to a year.

    23. Creatine gum. Creatine gum allows for a slow, steady creatine release as you chew.

    24. Time released creatine. Time released creatine is a new creatine product. It provides a slow, steady release of creatine. The debate over the effectiveness of time-released creatine is very heated. Because of its very nature, time-released creatine does not provide a high concentration of creatine in the blood. Many believe that a certain “concentration threshold” is required for creatine to be effective.
    Last edited by stewy101; 02-19-2012 at 10:23 PM.

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