Creatine is a naturally occurring nitrogenous organic acid, produced in the liver and kidneys. It is formed from 3 amino acids, including L-arginine, L- methionine and glycine, and is responsible for supplying the body’s cells with energy, primarily the muscle cells.
It is found naturally in foods such as eggs, red meats, poultry and fish, but it is also used as a popular bodybuilding supplement because it provides the body with high levels of energy and therefore longer endurance.
How does creatine work?
In order for muscles to move and contract, the body utilises a fuel source called adenosine triphosphate or ATP.
When ATP is used in a muscle contraction, it loses its phosphate molecule and is turned into adenosine diphosphate (ADP).
It works by giving the ADP back its phosphate molecule, returning it back to ATP, ready to be used as fuel again. Therefore provides your body with increased energy and stamina, which enables you to workout at higher intensity levels for longer periods of time.
How are creatine supplements made?
Although it is found naturally in animal products, it would be expensive and impractical to extract enough for supplement purposes.
Most supplements that are available today have been synthetically produced by reacting two chemicals together, sarcosine and cyanamide, in a glass lined instrument called a reactor.
There are 4 stages that take place in the production, they include the initial reaction phase, the cleaning phase, before it is then dried and milled into the finished product.
What are the different types of creatine?
There are many different brands available and many different types. Each different type is said to have its own benefits.
This is the most popular form of creatine and is the one that is most used for studies and research. It contains 88% pure creatine per molecule.
This is essentially the same product as creatine monohydrate, with the molecules divided up so that they are much smaller and therefore much easier to digest.
This has already bonded with a phosphate, though it only provides you with 62.3% creatine per molecule.
It has been bonded with other molecules to increase absorption rates and has the benefit of causing less stomach upsets in people who are susceptible. It is also a much more expensive form of creatine.
Creatine ethyl ester (CEE)
This is a creatine monohydrate with an ester attached. This has increased solubility, which is supposed to increase the absorption rate by 10 times that of other creatine supplements.
Processed at a higher PH level than creatine monohydrate, it is said to have the fastest absorption rate of all the creatine supplements to date
There are conflicting opinions as to the effectiveness of creatine serum. It is creatine is dissolved in water and can have vitamins and amino acids added. It is generally ingested through drops under the tongue.
However scientific evidence shows that it is in fact, unstable in water as it breaks down into creatinine.
Combined with either sugar or sodium, it is supposed to not only absorb better than creatine monohydrates, but taste better too.