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    Nano Pure Creatine Monohydrate · 500g

    GN Laboratories

    Increased strength and performance during training & accelerated muscle building with the most effective active ingredient on the market Incre...

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    Thor Strength NanoPure Creatine · 500g

    Gods Rage

    Creatine is probably one of the most widely used supplements. This is because it is one of the most potent dietary supplements, the effects of whic...

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

    Biotech USA

    Increase in training performance Creatine monohydrate powder promotes more intensive workouts in the long term Supports muscle building Accelerate...

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  • Creatin · 500g
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    Creatine · 500g

    Big Zone

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

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  • Creatine Monohydrate Tera Caps · 200 Tera Kapseln
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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. Regardless of whether it is a question of optimum strength development or max...

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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 ene...

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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 creatine in the body is found in skeletal muscle. Creatine provides energy to all ce...

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  • Creatine 1250 Mega Caps · 120 Kapseln
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    Creatine 1250 Mega Caps · 120 capsules

    Olimp Sport Nutrition

    Creatine 1250 Mega Caps from Olimp: dietary supplement to increase athletic performance and muscle building. Creatine is a natural and proven acti...

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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 by increasing the phosphocreatine content in...

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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 Extreme increa...

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  • Creatine 1250 Mega Caps · 400 Kapseln
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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...

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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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  • Creatin Monohydrat 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 & ...

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    Pure Creatine Creapure® · 500g

    GN Laboratories

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

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  • Creatine AKG · 160 Kapseln
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    Creatine AKG · 160 capsules

    PEAK

    Creatine AKG is an effective and efficient creatine compound from Peak Performance. The key advantage of Creatine AKG lies in its improved absorpt...

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  • Creatine PH-X · 210 Kapseln
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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 the creatine molecules for full strength in the ...

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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...

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  • Core Creatin Monohydrat · 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. Neuroprotecti...

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    Odin Strength Creapure Vikingstorm · 500g

    Gods Rage

    Creatine is without doubt one of the most popular supplements on the market. It is considered to be the most potent active ingredient for increasin...

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  • Creatin Creapure Powder · 225g
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    Creatine Creapure Powder · 225g

    PEAK

    Component of ATP synthesis · Important substance for providing energy to the muscles 100% Creapure® from Germany Subject to the highest quality,...

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  • TCM 1100 Mega Caps · 400 Kapseln
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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 of the immune...

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  • Core Creatin Creapure · 500g
    Original price €39,90 - Original price €39,90
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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 explosi...

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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. Increases performance: Increases explosive p...

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    Creatine AKG · 180 capsules

    Zec+

    Outstanding bioavailability: combination of creatine with alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) for optimized absorption. Ideal for non-responders: Effectiv...

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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 due to its effects. Creatine, chemically a -methylguanidoacetic acid, was first discovered in meat extract in 1832 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.

Back in the seventies and eighties, strength athletes in particular tried to increase their creatine stores with a "meat diet" and thus boost their performance. However, the large quantities of meat often led to health problems due to increased uric acid levels. At the beginning of the 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 are the benefits of creatine?

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

How does creatine work?

More strength

ATP is the primary energy source 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 sensation in the muscle). This effect colloquially ensures that strength endurance is increased, which means that you can train harder and thus create stronger stimuli. 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 get bloated! As the water retention is limited to the muscle, only the volume of the muscles themselves will increase. Logically, creatine therefore 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 exhaustion.

Creatine intake

How much creatine should I take per day?

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

When to take creatine?

The time of day doesn't really matter, as creatine has no acute effect. The effect only becomes noticeable as the stores become increasingly full. However, it is advisable to stick to a specific time of day, as otherwise the optimum absorption by the body could be impaired.

What should I bear in mind when taking creatine?

It is generally a good idea to take creatine in combination with a transport matrix. It helps the body to utilize the creatine it absorbs. 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 won't have any problems dissolving it in cold liquids either!

How much water should I drink while taking creatine?

As creatine binds water in the muscle, the body's need for water logically increases. If creatine is consumed, at least 3 liters of water should be drunk daily. In hot weather, heavy sweating and other conditions, water consumption should be increased accordingly.

Creatine capsules or powder?

Basically, it doesn't matter - both dosage forms fulfill their purpose! Powder is the classic alternative. 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 any harmful effects if taken correctly. Nevertheless, a medical examination is advisable before starting regular consumption in order to rule out any intolerance in advance.

Creatine cure?

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

Why supplement creatine?

Covering creatine requirements through food

Creatine is found in red meat and fish. Especially in herring, pork, beef, salmon, tuna and cod. However, around 1 kg of mock meat, for example, would have to be consumed to reach the daily dose of 5 g creatine. It is therefore simply not possible to cover the requirement through food.

Covering creatine requirements with supplements

In addition to the fact that it would hardly be possible to eat this amount of meat and fish over a long period of time, supplementation saves time and money. Apart from this, the health aspect of this level of meat consumption should be considered, as well as the consistent quality of the creatine.

What types of creatine supplements are there?

There are now a large number of different supplements. Basically, however, every supplement on offer is based on the simplest form of creatine: monohydrate. All other supplements that are not labeled with creatine monohydrate are characterized by a particularly high degree of purity or are further processed for better tolerability or absorption in the body.

What are the differences?

Creapure, for example, is high-purity creatine monohydrate that is produced exclusively in Germany. It offers 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 that has excellent bioavailability due to the added hydrochloride molecules and therefore leads to the fastest possible absorption.

Is creatine vegan?

Most of them are, yes. Creapure and creatine polyhydrates definitely are. When buying capsules, particular attention should be paid to what the capsules themselves are made of. If a product is vegan, it will also be advertised as such. A look at the packaging or 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 kidneys from the amino acids glycine, arginine and methionine. 95% of the body's own creatine pool of 90 to 140 g is stored in the skeletal muscles, of which one third is present as free creatine (Crf) and two thirds as a phosphorylated form, i.e. as phosphocreatine (Crph) or creatine phosphate. The body metabolizes approx. 2 g of creatine per day, which it loses through the excretion of the breakdown product creatinine. Half of this amount (1 g) is replaced through the body's own synthesis and the other half through food intake (1 g).

Creatine is found almost exclusively in animal foods, especially meat. With a mixed diet, an average of 1 g of creatine is consumed per day. As it is only found in traces in plant foods, vegetarians generally have a lower 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-alactacidic energy release system and therefore plays a decisive role in the provision of energy.

The muscle needs ATP to contract. 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 exertion. 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 creatine phosphate and enables 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. The CrP store can be depleted to 20 % of the initial value during short-term peak performance, while the ATP concentration can drop to a maximum of 40 % of the initial resting value due to the immediate ATP resynthesis from the CrP decomposition. The replenishment of creatine phosphate stores takes between 3 and 5 minutes.

The anaerobic-alactacid phosphate degradation has the highest energy flow rate and is of great importance at very short and maximum contraction intensities. Phosphocreatine can be regarded as a temporal energy buffer between the delayed provision of energy by anaerobic glycolysis, which only reaches the corresponding energy turnover 2-3 seconds later. After muscular exertion, the rephosphorylation of creatine to creatine phosphate is a decisive criterion for the regeneration speed of the muscle.

This can be of great importance in the case of high-intensity repetitive forms of exercise, as often occur in ball sports (soccer) or 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. As a result, the muscle has to provide less energy via the anaerobic-lactacidic pathway, which means that less lactate is formed and muscle fatigue is delayed. In endurance-based, cyclical forms of exercise, the size of the phosphate stores plays 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 cast doubt on these claims, although a new study confirms the initial findings. Many sporting activities are highly variable. The physical efforts are fast: a few seconds to minutes of maximum effort, interspersed with breaks of the same duration. During these short and intense efforts, the muscles first use creatine and then glucose to produce ATP. These two substances provide the necessary energy during the first few minutes of physical exertion.

Oxygen plays no role here: the breakdown of glucose produces lactic acid. This lactic acid releases positively charged hydrogen atoms, the H+ ions. These ions prevent muscle contraction and ultimately energy production. They only damage athletic performance. Creatine, on the other hand, needs H+ ions to produce ATP, which is necessary for the muscles to work. 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 the intake of creatine prolongs the duration of intense physical exertion.

As a result, creatine (along with isotonic drinks and protein-based supplements) has become the most widely used dietary supplement in the world. It is estimated that more than 80% of athletes who competed in the Atlanta Olympics took creatine as part of their preparation. Athletes of all levels benefit from creatine on a daily basis, from the Sunday athlete to the professional. But why such enthusiasm? Simply because creatine actually works. Used correctly, this supplement is an undisputed aid for anyone who wants to improve their performance and recovery. Dozens of research 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 risk.

Effects of creatine supplementation

Scientific studies indicate that oral administration of creatine (creatine monohydrate) has been shown to increase the creatine pool in muscle. The best results were achieved with a 5-day creatine supplement dosage of 20 g daily (4 x 5 g in portions throughout the day). The anabolic effect of insulin is used to transport creatine into the muscle cells. The release of insulin through the simultaneous intake of large amounts of dextrose or glucose (has the highest glycemic index)? approx. 30 g per portion ? 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 dry muscle mass (the average creatine content is 120 to 130 mmol/kg dry muscle mass). Once the individual limit has been reached, the excess creatine is excreted via the kidneys in the form of creatinine. However, the effect of creatine supplementation depends heavily on the initial value of the creatine pool.

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

Dosage regimen for creatine monohydrate supplementation

High-dose oral creatine supplementation (in the published studies, 5 grams 4 times a day - equivalent to the creatine content of 4.5 kg of raw meat! - over five days, i.e. a total dose of 100 grams) can cause an individually varying increase in the creatine content of the muscles. Approx. 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 or an increase in the resynthesis rate of creatine phosphate in the recovery phase after intensive muscle work in all people.

There are currently no clear, scientifically based guidelines on how a longer-term creatine intake, e.g. in the build-up phase of training, in competition preparation or in the bridging phases between competitions, should be carried out in order to "outwit" the down-regulations described above and thus avoid a counterproductive or detrimental effect. This is currently the subject of further studies. 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 decisive. At present, there are mainly "recipes", i.e. instructions from the various manufacturers and above all from bodybuilding trainers.

One manufacturer, for example, recommends a three-day, high-dose "loading phase" with approx. 40 grams of creatine daily, divided into six partial doses, and a daily maintenance dose of approx. 20 grams (three partial doses daily). However, one could easily take up to six (!) single doses daily in the long term... Then a break is recommended again... You are therefore given inaccurate information about the longer-term intake mode. Apart from that, according to current knowledge, such high doses are anything but necessary and therefore not sensible. In bodybuilding, which also plays a pioneering role in this area on the basis of empirical experience, the following procedure 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 single doses) is followed by five days with a reduced dose (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 being taken about 40 minutes before training and the second immediately afterwards. After one month, a break is taken for approx. four weeks before the next cycle is started.

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

However, this increase in "lean body mass" is only due to increased water retention in the muscles and not to a positive nitrogen balance with protein neosynthesis (increase in the contractile filaments in the muscle cell, the myofibrils) in the sense of actual hypertrophy. Creatine is osmotically active, i.e. it takes water with it when it is absorbed into the muscle cell (as sodium and glucose do, for example). This causes - depending on the extent of its absorption into the muscle cell - an individual "swelling" of the muscle cell, which appears externally as hypertrophy (quite apart from the other, much more efficient "supportive agents" for muscle growth, such as androgenic-anabolic steroids, which are also used "as a cure", not only in bodybuilding, but of course also in competitive sports, such as powerlifting, weightlifting, bobsleigh, 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 neosynthesis and can therefore promote hypertrophy. In this case, creatine would actually have an anabolic effect, quasi as an "indirect anabolic". 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 further.

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

Due to its osmotic effect, you should drink a little more than usual during a creatine "cure" (approx. three liters a day), also to avoid gastrointestinal complaints. Creatine powder is preferably dissolved in fruit juice to take advantage of the sugar-induced insulin "peak" and thereby increase creatine uptake into the muscle cell. Alternatively, creatine can of course also be taken with or immediately after a carbohydrate-containing meal. Insulin therefore not only promotes 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 "carbohydrate loading" before a marathon - can (but does not have to!) be useful for increasing 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 strength endurance disciplines. A "cure" mode of intake, as is common in bodybuilding, is quite effective and has so far had no adverse effects.

Longer-term use (e.g. during an athletics or rowing season) with a low maintenance dose (see above) can also bring benefits. It therefore seems sensible to plan the supplementation and abstinence phases into the training, competition and recovery phases. During substitution (creatine intake), hypertonization and muscle cramps often occur, but these should be limited if 150-600 mg of magnesium is taken at the same time.

There are a few things to bear in mind:

  • You need to drink enough fluids during a creatine cure - water is best. The reason is simple: the muscle cells have an increased need for fluids during the application period.
  • As some studies have shown, the consumption of caffeine-rich drinks such as coffee and cola can impair the effect of creatine. Caffeine has a negative effect on creatine metabolism.
  • If creatine is taken as a powder dissolved in a liquid, care should be taken not to wait too long before consuming it. After some time, the creatine breaks down into the degradation product creatinine.
  • To promote the storage of creatine in the muscle cells, you can take some grape juice or another simple source of sugar. Some creatine manufacturers advertise products that contain a transport matrix. Ultimately, however, this matrix is nothing more than an admixture of sugar.

Creatine is stored very quickly in the muscle cells, but it is also transported away very quickly, which is why discontinuation or the end of a cure also leads to a loss of strength and weight. To minimize these losses, you should make sure that your diet is always 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?

No. However, this does not require creatine variants, but only the nutrient-substrate synergism is decisive. As already mentioned several times above, other nutrient substrates are necessary both for a long-lasting ATP supply and for building up 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 building). Furthermore, science and practice have shown that there is a synergism between creatine and dextrose, glutamine, taurine, BCAAs, whey protein, chromium and vanadium, i.e. insulin modulation of the latter nutrients increases the storage of creatine in the muscle cells and the increased ATP activity in turn promotes the conversion of amino acids etc. into solid muscle mass - the substrates therefore potentiate each other's effects. In addition to these officially known synergisms, there are other substrates (alpha lipoic acid, beta ecdysterone and many aromatic plant extracts) that work in synergy with creatine as well as with amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and other regulating substances.

Positive results have been published to date, e.g. with

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

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

This effect should not be overestimated. During short sprints on the bicycle ergometer (10 x 6 sec. load), performance increases of 4-5 % occurred and a reduction in lactate accumulation of 1 mmol/l lactate was recorded from the 3rd sprint onwards (see KOSTER, Influence of creatine supplementation on performance during repetitive, high-intensity exercise. In: Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Sportmedizin und Sporttraumatologie, 1996;4, 43-145)Creatine has received increasing attention in recent years due to its "outstanding" strength-enhancing and mass-building properties in bodybuilding and fitness sports. After all, it is one of the few supplements for which a certain effect can be clearly proven.

The mass-building effect that is appreciated in weight training is based on the fact that creatine is an osmotic substance that - like amino acids - binds water in the muscle cell. This enlarges the muscle cells 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 and muscle building. However, the increase in strength or weight gain under creatine substitution is not primarily due to an increase in muscle mass, but primarily to the aforementioned water retention. It is therefore understandable that this effect only occurs during the increase in muscle creatine content and is therefore reversible.

Manufacturers of creatine supplements set the expectations of the products too high (weight gain of 3-6 kg within 6 weeks), which can easily lead to disappointment. Scientifically sound studies have only been able to demonstrate a weight gain ? due to water ? of 1-1.5 kg. If larger increases in body weight nevertheless occur, these are often due to nutritional psychological causes (you consume more energy in the form of food). A body fat analysis can be used to prove that the increase in body weight is not solely due to an increase in lean muscle mass.

Side effects of creatine

If individual doses are too high, stomach upset or diarrhea cannot be ruled out. As a rule, however, excess creatine is excreted in the urine. The wonder drug is also suspected of causing muscle cramps and dehydration (increased fluid excretion and the resulting lack of fluids). This can be counteracted by taking magnesium in good time. Incidentally, creatine consumers often complain of occasional mild flatulence and bad breath. Crepitations and halitosis, the medical term for bad breath, are probably due to the fact that the powder is 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 test subjects consumed 20 grams of creatine per day, a second group 20 grams of creatine plus 100 grams of sucrose and a third group 20 grams of creatine, 100 grams of sucrose plus 1000 milligrams of alpha-lipoic acid. 16 men between the ages of 18 and 32 took part in the five-day study. Before and after the study, a tissue sample (biopsy) was taken from the vastus lateralis of all subjects. The subjects maintained their normal diet and took a seven-day break from training.

As expected, the creatine intake of all three groups increased, with the group that had additionally supplemented with alpha-lipoic acid showing a significantly greater increase in the 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 is made from a molecule of citric acid. Citric acid is a naturally occurring intermediate in the citrate cycle, which means it plays an important role as an energy metabolizer. Citric acid with creatine may increase energy production in exercising muscles. Creatine cirtrate only contains about 40% creatine, but it is somehow popular due to 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 around 60% creatine) was another option that was available early on. This initially generated some excitement because creatine binds to a phosphate group in the muscle and becomes creatine phosphate for it to be effective. Many believe that taking creatine phosphate directly would be even better than creatine monohydrate. The phosphate could also be effective in curbing the build-up of lactic acid.

Creatine malate

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

Creatine tartrate

Creatine tartrate contains one molecule of creatine (about 70%) combined with one 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 to protect the creatine in the stomach and aids absorption. Another benefit of this formula occurs within the muscle cell itself, as magnesium is required 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 subjects showed more leg extension strength 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. It is the compound that protects both ingredients from degradation in the stomach and improves solubility and absorption in the body. Once in the bloodstream, the creatine separates from the 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 increase 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 taken up by muscle cells faster 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 lot of body weight due to cancer. It is therefore an excellent alternative for bodybuilders who experience 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 is 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 gut, it will draw water, leading to more gastrointestinal problems and diarrhea.

Creatine titrate

Not to be confused with Tartart. When water and creatine titrate 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 to ensure that it is not dissolved by stomach acid and could improve absorption in the intestine. It allows for better solubility by changing the pH of the water when creatine titrate is stirred in.

Creatine-glutamine-taurine

For some time now, there have also been products on the market that combine creatine, glutamine and taurine. The idea behind this combination is that it improves the absorption and storage of creatine and glutamine in the muscle cell. As both glutamine and taurine promote the introduction of water into the interior of the cell, this combination could theoretically increase cell volume. At the same time, a positive effect on muscle strength can also be expected, as taurine can lead to increases in strength, 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 glass. Today's products use ingredients such as soybean oil and colloidal mineral complexes to help keep the creatine stable for up to 12 months.

Creatine methyl ester

This form of creatine is also known as 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 lower dose of methylated creatine products is sufficient, 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 normal creatine. The higher the pH value, the less acidic the environment. Kre-Alkalyn is not only completely stable in powder form but also after mixing with water or another liquid. It is therefore safe to take (as it is not converted into creatinine) and you need much less as the problem of loss during creatinine conversion is eliminated. This allows you to use 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 this form for long periods of time.

Buying advice

You often read questions like: "Which creatine is the best?". There is no general answer to this question, as each body is individual and reacts differently to certain nutrients. The problem with buying creatine is that the quality of the product cannot be seen with the naked eye. If you are looking for quality at a reasonable price, you should go for Creapure. Despite the high quality, however, Creapure may be less well tolerated. In this case, creatine HCL or, even better, creatine polyhydrate can be used. These two variants have been developed for better tolerance, among other things. Ideally, you should discuss the intake with your doctor beforehand. They can determine or rule out any intolerance in advance.

Whether you take powder, capsules or tablets makes no difference to the effect of creatine. The fact is, however, that capsules and tablets are much more practical than powder. In order to compare prices effectively, you should not only look at the number of capsules, but also at the amount of creatine contained in the capsules.

Conclusion

I have heard from many athletes that they were unable to achieve any significant results with creatine supplementation. Well, about 30% of creatine users respond only minimally to this product. The reason is that this group of people already produces sufficient creatine phosphate in the body and the additional intake therefore does not bring any further gains. Whether the individual creatine products are useful or not must be determined by each athlete in private trials. 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 it turns out that you can 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 is not the case, the search continues!!!

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