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I discussed Creatine in an earlier post and focused on the loading phase of creatine, emphasizing on using your Lean Body Mass to calculate dosages.
The differences between Liquid Creatine vs Creatine Powders was also discussed.
One can browse any supplement section, whether it’s an online web site or health food store, and the comparison is similar to the cold cereal section at Safeway… too many choices!
Other than brand names and costs, Creatine & Creatine mixtures can be divided into 3 groups:
- plain Creatine
- Creatine/Glutamine and Creatine/Glutamine/Taurine mixtures
- Creatine/Ribose mixtures
Creatine is a natural by-product of liver, kidney, and pancreas metabolism. It helps recycle the muscle’s ultimate energy source, ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is the molecule that releases the energy for contraction of muscles. By giving off its energy through its high-energy phosphate bond, ATP is reduced to ADP. The problem is that the amount of ATP that is stored in our cells is limited. Creatine supplements results in raised creatine-phosphate in the muscle.
Creatine Phosphate may also reduce exercise fatigue since it absorbs the hydrogen ions that dissociate from lactic acid. By reducing this acidity, subjects may experience less acid-associated pain (the “burn” associated with 400m!) and delay the onset of fatigue.
95% of the creatine found in your body is stored inside your muscle cells and used for energy. By taking creatine monohydrate, your muscles become saturated with creatine. As your body retains extra creatine, your muscle cells contain more water (hence the reason to drink a lot of water!!!!). This process is called cell volumizing and it allows your muscles to swell, but for a short term.
The best absorbed form of creatine is the creatine monohydrate. It is recommended that creatine is mixed in fruit juice to aid in absorption.
Creatine/Glutamine and Creatine/Glutamine/Taurine mixtures
The Crea-Glutide label reads: “
If creatine and glutamine are supplemented together, then glutamine can pick up where creatine “leaves off” signaling the growth and repair process.
Supplementing glutamine with creatine enhances muscle building. But creatine combined with glutamine-peptide (taurine) is reportedly better. Studies show taurine has potent insulin-like benefits that can significantly enhance creatine uptake and retention in muscles (similar to fruit juice).
Glutamine-peptide is far superior to regular (free-from) glutamine. As a small peptide, glutamine-peptide is more rapidly and efficiently absorbed. In addition, peptide-bonded amino acids are the optimal source of amino acids for building muscle, and provide greater nitrogen retention and protein synthesis.
Creatine/Ribose mixtures (for pre-workouts and during workouts)
Again, another variation of the above. Where Creatine help replace the lost Phosphate to recreate the ATP from ADP, D-Ribose is an actual building block of ATP. In an ATP molecule, there’s a base called adenine, a ribose, and a phosphate chain. Without Ribose, you can’t make ATP at all. Basically, both helps recycle ADP to create ATP molecules.
I hope I clarified the differences on your next shopping trip!