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Creatine Explained

To learn more about creatine click on any of the following questions.

Q: What is Creatine?

Creatine is an endogenous (made by the body) substance that is present in every human cell. It functions as an energy storehouse. Creatine is required for physical and mental exertion. It is found naturally in our diets and is rich in red meat and some fish such as herring.

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Q: How is Creatine made?

In the body, creatine is synthesized from the amino acids glycine, arginine, and methionine, primarily in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas and is transported from there to all the cells in the body via the bloodstream. Since creatine is involved in all processes that require energy, muscle, brain and nerve cells receive correspondingly larger amounts.

Creapure® is synthesized by chemical reaction using non-animal based starting materials. The process used guarantees the highest quality and purity.

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Q: How does Creatine Work?

The creatine reserves of a person who weighs 70 kg is equal to about 120 grams. The vast majority of creatine (c. 95%) is stored in the skeletal muscles.

Approximately 60-70% of the total creatine in muscle is stored in the form of the high energy molecule phosphocreatine. The remaining 30-40% is present in the form of free creatine. Besides adenosine triphosphate, phosphocreatine is the most important source for energy in the body. All of the body’s cells can use only adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as an energy-releasing substance. Since the ATP reserves in the body are limited, ATP has to be continuously resynthesized. ATP is produced from the energy sources fat and carbohydrate over a fairly long time frame.

Phosphocreatine resynthesis is critical for restoring muscle power at the beginning of the next set of intensive exercises. An increased resynthesis rate makes it possible to complete more intensive training sets, which is an advantage for explosive sports disciplines in particular.

During very intensive, repetitive forms of exercise there is enough ATP for 1-2 seconds of exercise, and phosphocreatine is available for the immediate regeneration of ATP. However, phosphocreatine stores last approximately 10 seconds. Increasing phosphocreatine levels in muscle results in the delayed breakdown of phosphocreatine, which has a beneficial effect on muscle performance. More than 20 clinical trials have shown that creatine supplementation significantly improves muscle strength and/or performance during short bouts of high-intensity exercise.

The greatest improvements in performance can be found during a series of repetitive high-intensity types of exertion that are interrupted by a fairly brief period of rest (e.g. 20-60 seconds). The rest breaks are sufficient to achieve greater recovery of phosphocreatine concentrations.

Different mechanisms are involved in the ergogenic effects of creatine supplementation:

  • Higher phosphocreatine concentrations serve as immediate reserves for ATP during exertion.
  • Increased phosphocreatine resynthesis rate during and after exertion due to increased levels of creatine.
  • Smaller decrease in muscle pH during exertion.
  • Greater training capacity.
  • Increase in muscle mass (absolute power output).

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Q: Who can benefit from Creatine supplementation?

As a supplement, it is widely accepted as offering relatively immediate and very tangible benefits to both gym goers and sports people alike and is one of the most widely used of supplements. Creatine supplementation has a performance enhancing effect for those involved in a wide variety of sports. For sports that require speed, such as sprinting, rugby, football, swimming, and for intensive strength training by bodybuilders and cyclists, short-term creatine supplementation can greatly improve performance in the areas of maximum strength and endurance (5-15%), with interval training in the maximum range (5-20%), power production in short sprints (30%) and in training with repetitive sprints (5-15%).

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Q: Is Creapure® Creatine suitable for vegetarians?

Yes, Creapure® is synthesized by chemical reaction using non-animal based starting materials.

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Q: I have heard that creatine should not be consumed together with coffee, is this true?

Try to avoid taking high amounts of Caffeine when supplementing with Creapure® Creatine. Simultaneous supplementation of large amounts of Caffeine (e.g. 4 cups of coffee) eliminates the ergogenic effects of Creatine by interfering with the resynthesis of Phosphocreatine. Lower amounts of Caffeine (e.g. 1-2 cups of Coffee) does not seem to influence the efficacy.

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Q: Does Carboydrate improve creatine absorption?

Creatine absorption can be improved by taking creatine together with simple carbohydrates, such as maltodextrin or dextrose, instead of just taking it alone. Ingesting carbohydrates raises blood sugar levels and therefore the secretion of insulin, an endogenous hormone.

The improved uptake of creatine into the muscles is attributed to stimulation of creatine transporters mediated by insulin.

Exercise also stimulates the uptake of creatine. The increase in creatine uptake can probably mostly be attributed to the increased perfusion of the muscle or to greater movement of the creatine transporters to the muscle cell membrane. Taking carbohydrates at the same time does not increase creatine storage rates when the training sets are done before supplementation.

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Q: It is possible that some individuals are non-responders?

If they report no results this may be because their body is able to produce enough creatine to keep its pools of creatine full or because their body finds it hard utilising the supplement. In this instance, it would be recommended that they combine creatine with simple sugars. The sugars cause a peak in insulin and help drive creatine into the muscles. In fact, studies amongst non responders have shown that the addition of sugars can increase creatine uptake by 60%.

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Q: Is Creatine safe?

Creatine has been thoroughly evaluated in long term clinical safety studies. Creatine is the most comprehensively researched supplement with over 2000 research studies focused upon it. Using Creapure®, the main focus was to evaluate if long-term creatine monohydrate supplementation (average of 5 grams/day) might increase the incidence of musculoskeletal injury, heat-related disorders (e.g. dehydration and cramping), or renal stress.

Clinical assessments included analysing a comprehensive panel of serum and whole blood markers (electrolytes, muscle and liver enzymes, substrates, lipid profiles, red and white blood cells, etc.), renal function tests determined by creatinine clearance, monitoring of injuries treated by the medical/athletic training staff, as well as the collection of medical safety and fatigue/weakness data.

The results of these safety studies on the long-term use of creatine monohydrate have consistently shown that, in comparison to athletes who did not take creatine, those who took creatine did not experience a greater incidence of injuries, heat-related disorders, dehydration, cramping, musculoskeletal injuries, or gastrointestinal disturbances. Additionally, athletes who took creatine over a long period did not have significantly higher muscle and liver enzymes, altered electrolytes, or increased renal stress determined by creatine clearance.

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Q: Creatine is Creatine right? Isn't it all the same?

Not all creatine is created equal. When it comes to the manufacture of Creatine, no other brand combines the three pillars of quality—careful selection of raw materials, patented high-performance technology, and precise chemical analysis—the way Creapure® does. If it doesn’t say Creapure® on the label, it’s not pure. Creapure® is the safest in the world and the most effective.

Creapure® is manufactured in Germany and is considered to be the highest quality creatine available. Creapure® has been studied extensively and absolutely no toxic side effects have been discovered. All of the studies carried out on Creapure® have been in accordance with internationally accepted guidelines and standards (FDA and EU) under GLP (Good Laboratory Practice) conditions.

Furthermore, numerous animal and human trials have been commissioned to test the safety of Creapure® as a supplement. In addition to the classic toxicological tests, Creapure® has been investigated in more than 50 clinical trials. People of all ages tested Creapure® in sports and non-sports applications over a period of more than 21 months without experiencing any side-effects.

Because other manufacturers use different manufacturing processes, and therefore have different purity profiles, only Creapure® has this proven safety profile. Products with more than 5% impurities have been found on the market. The reaction conditions as well as the treatment of the crude Creatine Monohydrate are crucial for the quality of the product. Inferior starting materials or reducing the amount of water during "recrystallization" results in increased amounts of impurities (such as Dicyandiamide (dimerization product of Cyanamide), Creatinine and Dihydrotriazines). For these reasons Creapure® Creatine is used exclusively in Pure Nutrition creatine products.

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Q: What about other forms of Creatine?

In a market always looking for new and improved products, there are now more than 20 different derivatives sold commercially that promise better results than conventional creatine monohydrate such as Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE) and Tri-Creatine Malate.

But no scientific studies have been done on these new products that prove that they enhance performance, unlike creatine monohydrate, which, as the subject of more than 300 studies, is one of the most researched dietary supplements around. So if you are given the choice to choose between largely untested, unproven products and one that is not only proven beyond doubt to be the most effective but also the safest in the world, which would you choose? The choice is both logical and simple, especially if you put safety first .

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