Not as uncommon a question as the more informed here might think! But, you too may have been asked that Q, and here’s a short vid to refer them to if/when they ask.
Levels of creatine, organic contaminants and heavy metals in creatine dietary supplements
Food Chemistry. Volume 126, Issue 3, 1 June 2011, Pages 1232–1238
High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) has been optimised for the analysis of the creatine content and possible organic contaminants in 33 samples of creatine supplements from the market. Creatinine resulted to be the major organic contaminant (44% of the samples over 100 mg/kg). About 15% of the samples had dihydro-1,3,5-triazine concentrations exceeding the detection limit of 4.5 mg/kg (maximum 8.0 mg/kg) and a dicyandiamide concentration over 50 mg/kg, while none of the samples were contaminated with thiourea. The heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead) content was also assessed by means of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Only mercury was present in detectable amounts (at levels lower than 1 mg/kg).
• A survey on quality of creatine supplements commercialised in Italy has been carried out.
• Creatinine resulted to be the major organic contaminant (44% of the samples over 100 mg/kg).
• 50% of the products exceeded the maximum level recommended by EFSA for organic contaminants.
• Among heavy metals, only mercury was present in detectable amounts (<1 mg/kg)
Full Paper, which is not free, is HERE
Creatine is one of the few dietary supplements that have a very solid scientific support for its efficacy in increasing strength, explosive performance and muscle mass. So the question in not whether it is effective, but rather how to supplement it to reap maximal effectiveness?
There are several theories on how to take creatine; some say you should load and then lower the dose to maintenance, while others say you can get good results by a constant low dosage regimen without loading. Yet others say you should cycle the creatine and take breaks from it in between cycles. And then we have the issue of dosages and how to ingest it. In addition, there is a lot of confusion about the myriad for creatine forms that claim to be superior over the gold standard creatine monohydrate – the form that was used in research which proved its efficacy. Are the new fancy creatine-super-duper formulations really worth their price? Let’s tackle all theses creatine issues here…
Can creatine supplements reduce the calories used or slow metabolism? Some people think it does. That’s a recent question I received so I decided to answer it in this latest video.
A common question I get is regarding creatine added to pre workout drinks. Many companies put creatine in their pre workout supplements, and many people add creatine their home made pre workout drinks, but should they?
I have the facts on creatine being added to pre workout drinks in this vid!
A simple but often unappreciated issue regarding creatine monohydrate is the benefit to pre dissolving it fully, which will greatly improve any stomach upset for those who experience it and may improve absorption for some users. This vid will help you get the most from your CM products! Also see updated comments below the vid
UPDATE TO THIS VID!
GETTING THE MOST FROM CREATINE (2014 FOLLOW UP!!!)
This simple vid I did showing pre mixing creatine a good idea, has gotten more traffic and discussion than any vid I have done, and still shows up regularly. So, let me explain with more details and self corrections from the criticisms I get gotten…
Yes, I may have over stated the importance of it in the vid, but, the fact is, creatine must be solubilized before it will get absorbed. There’s a number of papers confirming that unless there’s another route of absorption for CM I’m not aware of… It will either get solubilized in digestion or it can be done first in the glass.
People who get stomach problems from creatine have been told to pre solubilize their creatine for decades. For people who get stomach upset, non responders (approx 30% of users) they may get better responses from fully dissolving, but that’s hypothesis on my part.
I can say, thousands of people have reported the stomach issues and bloating they experienced were gone once they pre solubilized their creatine.
Clearly, some of the creatine not dissolved in the glass will be made soluble and absorbed and I should have been clearer about that in the vid, but it’s well established in human digestion that compounds with poor solubility are often poorly absorbed. It’s also going to be dose dependent (large amounts of CM are more likely to not get solubalized and absorbed, causing stomach issues, etc) while smaller amounts, less so.
At this point, I tell people If one has gotten good response from not fully dissolving, don’t sweat it, but it’s my opinion that fully dissolving *may* optimize absorption for some, reduces waste, may improve effects in non responders, and will reduce stomach discomfort in those who experience it with creatine.
It’s also going to be individual. Back when loading was all the rage, some got killer cramps, the runs, and a bloated stomach from those mega doses, some had no issues. That was due to the hypotonic effects of large doses of CM.
Folks, firstly a quick update on the state of another “improved” form of creatine, which when put under real scientific scrutiny, didn’t live up to it’s claims (read hype and pseudo science) as I predicted in a prior article (The Creatine Graveyard). Additional comments with links to the study, can be found here The Creatine Graveyard Update 2012!
In this latest vid in the creatine series, I answer the common Q regarding the impact of caffeine on creatine: