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  • The Creatine Grave Yard...

    Seems there is a recent group of creatine related questions. Thought I had already posted this...


    The Creatine Grave Yard
    By Will Brink © 2009

    Looks like another “high tech” form of creatine has got one foot planted firmly in the creatine grave yard. What is the creatine graveyard? It’s where forms of creatine - other then monohydrate - go when either science has shown them inferior to monohydrate, and or it’s life cycle of hype has come to and end.

    I refer specifically to creatine ethyl ester (CEE). As with the many “high tech” forms of creatine before it, all manner of claims were/are made about how superior it is to creatine monohydrate (CM). It always starts the same. First the company will invent a long list of negatives about CM such as “poorly absorbed” or “causes bloat” or “is not stable” and then goes onto claim their form of creatine has solved all those invented negatives. The problem is, the data already shows CM does not suffer from virtually any of the negatives they invent, nor do they show their form “cures” those negatives. Sellers of CCE for example claimed CEE was better absorbed and utilized vs. CM, and that has been shown to be nonsense. There have been several in vitro (test tube) studies pointing to the fact CEE is inferior to CM, but a recent study done in humans puts a final nail in the coffin as far as I am concerned. This study is titled “The effects of creatine ethyl ester supplementation combined with heavy resistance training on body composition, muscle performance, and serum and muscle creatine levels” The full study is public access and can be read here:

    CEE Study

    Warning, the abstract is confusing and not well written. If you read the full paper, it’s clearer. If you don’t have the time or interest to read it, the take home is: although all subjects in this study (CEE vs. CM vs. Placebo) experienced approximately the same effects; they all had improvements in bodycomp and got stronger. Why? Because they used untrained subjects in the study. Thus, a drawback of this study was due to using untrained people, they couldn’t differentiate between PL, CEE, and CM in terms of effects on bodycomp and strength within that time period as newbies always make fast progress in the beginning. No news there.

    However, the study did achieve the essential point, which is it clearly showed the claims of CEE false: CEE had much higher creatinine levels and lower muscle creatine levels compared to CM in this study, thus, yet again, the claims by sellers of CEE that it’s superior to CM and that CM is “poorly absorbed” or “causes bloat,” or my favorite “CM is not stable,” etc are false. They also looked at changes in water compartments (CEE actually had a trend toward greater extra cellular water then CM BTW, so there goes that stupid “no bloat” claim for CEE…) and other issues claimed to make CEE superior, and it failed.

    CEE is less stable then CM, increases creatinine to a much greater extent then CM, and is inferior for increasing muscle creatine levels to CM. This study is not perfect by any means, but when combined with what else exists, and the counter studies sellers of CEE offer (which is to say zero), well you don’t have to be a scientist to see the writing on the wall there…

    CEE will be added to the creatine graveyard with a ton of others all claiming to be superior to CM which all started with big claims and now sit in the grave yard.

    Two essential points about the grave yard before we get to that:

    (1) Because they are in the grave yard does not mean they are worthless. Some forms, such as magnesium creatine chelate for example looked promising, but a head to head study with CM found it no better. Remember, another form does not have to show it’s the equal of CM, it has to show it’s superior to CM per its claims. Forms such as creatine pyruvate and many others on the list may be just as effective as CM, but not superior, so it comes down to cost. Others on the list have in fact been proven inferior to CM in studies, such as serum creatine, various liquid creatine versions, and now CEE. Serum creatine was all the rage a few years ago, and studies found not only was it inferior to CM in every respect, it contained virtually no creatine! Of course, there were still those on the various forums using ‘bro logic’ with “bro, I don’t care what the studies say, it works like da bomb for me!” posts, but I digress….Finally, other forms on the list simply lack any data at all to compare to CM. The companies selling these forms will routinely make claims of superiority with nadda for hard data to support them. Therefore, it’s impossible to really separate fact from fiction (i.e., marketing hype) to recommend them.

    Me, I will use what has literally hundreds of studies to support its efficacy and safety over a form with zero data to support it’s claims of superiority over CM. Thus, they get put into the grave yard. Future studies may get them out of the graveyard, but I aint holding my breath…

    (2) CM is not perfect. It’s not very soluble, and in about 30% of users, does not appear to work at all. At higher doses, generally above 3g-5g or so in a single dose, can cause stomach upset for some, among other small, but significant drawbacks for some users. Therefore, I am in favor of continued research into improved delivery technologies, improved forms of creatine, and so on. I’m all for it, but as they say, don’t **** on me and tell me it’s raining. In God we trust, everyone else must show data. Hard data talks, BS walks.

    I could randomly take two forms from the list below, say dicreatine malate and creatine ethyl carbonate ester and make dicreatine malate creatine ethyl carbonate*, but would it be superior to CM? Unknown as there would be no data. I could just invent a bunch of unproven claims like others do and sell the stuff… Do companies just invent a form of creatine for no other reason then it sound “high tech”? Hell, one company (BSN) is currently in court over one form they sell, called CEM3 or “Creatine Ethyl Ester Malate” which according to the charges “does not exist and is impossible to manufacture”! As I said, CM is not perfect and I am all for continued research into improved (vs. just different!) forms of creatine and or improved delivery technologies, but companies should do their due diligence on these products and stop with all the hype and CM bashing to sell unproven products.

    So, without further delay, here is my current list for the creatine graveyard:

    The Creatine Graveyard List:

    Creatine ethyl ester (CEE)
    creatine pyruvate
    creatine taurinate
    creatine ethyl ester malate
    creatine ethyl carbonate ester
    creatine gluconate
    creatine malate
    dicreatine malate
    tricreatine malate
    creatine citrate
    tricreatine citrate
    Kre-Alkalyn
    creatine phosphate
    creatine alpha-ketoglutarate
    creatine-6,8-thioctic Acid-ketoisocaproic Acid Calcium (CREAKIC)
    creatine pyroglutamate
    “conjugated creatine” (Con-Cret)
    magnesium creatine chelate
    creatine anhydrous
    dicreatine orotate
    tricreatine orotate
    creatine alpha-amino butyrate
    creatine HMB
    “titrated creatine”
    “creatine serum”
    “liquid creatine”

    Also:
    glycocyamine (precursor)
    creatinol-o-phosphate (analog)

    * = for the sake of an example. I have no idea if such a form is chemically possible, nor do I care.

    Source:

    http://www.brinkzone.com/blog/bodybu...ne-grave-yard/
    - Will

    Performance/Fitness Advice For the Tactical Community

    www.OptimalSWAT.com

    General Performance/Fitness Advice for all

    www.BrinkZone.com

  • #2
    Will,
    I very much enjoy reading your work. Thank you for posting articles in these forums. I have a question for you regarding a certain supplement.

    I take Cytocell by Cytogenix as a post work out drink. I feel it is working well. But, I have never used anything else so I have no comparison. Cytocell has CM but it's blended with a bunch of other creatine combos you listed in your graveyard list. Do you suggest I try something else?? I'm searching for a pre/post workout drink/supplement that helps with recovery and strength.

    Also, I have a PFT for a police job in 3 weeks. Is it worth trying something new at this stage??

    Thank you for any feedback!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by NEPATS View Post
      Will,
      I very much enjoy reading your work. Thank you for posting articles in these forums. I have a question for you regarding a certain supplement.

      I take Cytocell by Cytogenix as a post work out drink. I feel it is working well. But, I have never used anything else so I have no comparison. Cytocell has CM but it's blended with a bunch of other creatine combos you listed in your graveyard list. Do you suggest I try something else?? I'm searching for a pre/post workout drink/supplement that helps with recovery and strength.

      Also, I have a PFT for a police job in 3 weeks. Is it worth trying something new at this stage??

      Thank you for any feedback!
      If you feel the product is a benefit and worth the $$$, then use it. I generaly tell people to simply make their own, as it's more cost effective and you know exactly what doses you are getting. Some advice on pre and post workout intakes:

      http://www.brinkzone.com/articledeta...catid=3&aid=85

      If you want to try something that appears superior as a carb source to the usual carb sources:

      http://www.brinkzone.com/articledeta...atid=3&aid=139

      Everything you ever wanted to know about creatine; health uses, doses, side effects, etc, read my report on creatine, which is free:

      www.creatine-report.com

      The above also lists some brands of CM from the source I recommend....
      - Will

      Performance/Fitness Advice For the Tactical Community

      www.OptimalSWAT.com

      General Performance/Fitness Advice for all

      www.BrinkZone.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by OperatorEX
        While we're on this topic.

        What brands of creatine are recommended? An internet search reveals pages and pages of snake oil drenched in marketing catch phrases.
        Any company using Creapure. I list brands in that report mentioned above. I prefer it mirconized as it makes it easier to mix. Do a google search for "creapure" and look for it in micronized form. Personally, I use creatine from the Life Extension Foundation: www.LEF.org

        Originally posted by OperatorEX
        How about BCAAs? Yay or nay?
        Yay, but if you are using whey already PW as you should be, you are getting a good dose of BCAA's.
        - Will

        Performance/Fitness Advice For the Tactical Community

        www.OptimalSWAT.com

        General Performance/Fitness Advice for all

        www.BrinkZone.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Just confirms what I said in the Creatine Graveyard a while back:


          Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
          Volume 388, Issue 2, 16 October 2009, Pages 252-255


          Non-enzymatic cyclization of creatine ethyl ester to creatinine
          Matthew W. Giese, a, and Carl S. Lechera

          aDepartment of Chemistry, Marian University, 3200 Cold Spring Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46222, USA


          Received 28 July 2009. Available online 4 August 2009.

          Abstract

          Creatine ethyl ester was incubated at 37 ?C in both water and phosphate-buffered saline and the diagnostic methylene resonances in the 1H NMR spectrum were used to identify the resultant products. It was found that mild aqueous conditions result in the cyclization of creatine ethyl ester to provide inactive creatinine as the exclusive product, and this transformation becomes nearly instantaneous as the pH approaches 7.4. This study demonstrates that mild non-enzymatic conditions are sufficient for the cyclization of creatine ethyl ester into creatinine, and together with previous results obtained under enzymatic conditions suggests that there are no physiological conditions that would result in the production of creatine. It is concluded that creatine ethyl ester is a pronutrient for creatinine rather than creatine under all physiological conditions encountered during transit through the various tissues, thus no ergogenic effect is to be expected from supplementation.
          - Will

          Performance/Fitness Advice For the Tactical Community

          www.OptimalSWAT.com

          General Performance/Fitness Advice for all

          www.BrinkZone.com

          Comment


          • #6
            I always knew that ethyl ester was crap! Will..Have you tried con-cret? its conjugated creatine. Any thoughts on that?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by thecongo View Post
              I always knew that ethyl ester was crap! Will..Have you tried con-cret? its conjugated creatine. Any thoughts on that?
              It's in the list above. There's no data at all it's superior to CM.
              - Will

              Performance/Fitness Advice For the Tactical Community

              www.OptimalSWAT.com

              General Performance/Fitness Advice for all

              www.BrinkZone.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Some doofus in the gym told me that purple creatine was the secret I needed to bench 405. (He'd asked if I wanted to get my bench up to four plates, and I said, yeah, I'd like to be pushing 405 in six months or so.) He swore by it and said purple creatine and a program he'd put me on (never mind the fact that he barely benches 225) would do it. He visibly deflated when I told him that I hit 501 five years ago and just didn't want to train at that level anymore.
                Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by WillBrink View Post
                  It's in the list above. There's no data at all it's superior to CM.
                  I shoulda read the friggin thing. Anyhow, the bloat I get from CM is just too much for me. It gets to the point that I feel i cant run because of the pressure on my chest. I've never tried the creapure tho. Ill be sure to get it from that site you recommended.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Just another nail in the CEE coffin....

                    J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2009 Feb 19;6:6.

                    The effects of creatine ethyl ester supplementation combined with heavy resistance training on body composition, muscle performance, and serum and muscle creatine levels.

                    Spillane M, Schoch R, Cooke M, Harvey T, Greenwood M, Kreider R, Willoughby DS.

                    Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation, Baylor University, Box 97313, Waco, TX 76798, USA. [email protected].

                    ABSTRACT: Numerous creatine formulations have been developed primarily to maximize creatine absorption. Creatine ethyl ester is alleged to increase creatine bio-availability. This study examined how a seven-week supplementation regimen combined with resistance training affected body composition, muscle mass, muscle strength and power, serum and muscle creatine levels, and serum creatinine levels in 30 non-resistance-trained males.

                    In a double-blind manner, participants were randomly assigned to a maltodextrose placebo (PLA), creatine monohydrate (CRT), or creatine ethyl ester (CEE) group. The supplements were orally ingested at a dose of 0.30 g/kg fat-free body mass (approximately 20 g/day) for five days followed by ingestion at 0.075 g/kg fat free mass (approximately 5 g/day) for 42 days.

                    Results showed significantly higher serum creatine concentrations in PLA (p = 0.007) and CRT (p = 0.005) compared to CEE. Serum creatinine was greater in CEE compared to the PLA (p = 0.001) and CRT (p = 0.001) and increased at days 6, 27, and 48. Total muscle creatine content was significantly higher in CRT (p = 0.026) and CEE (p = 0.041) compared to PLA, with no differences between CRT and CEE.

                    Significant changes over time were observed for body composition, body water, muscle strength and power variables, but no significant differences were observed between groups.

                    In conclusion, when compared to creatine monohydrate, creatine ethyl ester was not as effective at increasing serum and muscle creatine levels or in improving body composition, muscle mass, strength, and power.

                    Therefore, the improvements in these variables can most likely be attributed to the training protocol itself, rather than the supplementation regimen.
                    - Will

                    Performance/Fitness Advice For the Tactical Community

                    www.OptimalSWAT.com

                    General Performance/Fitness Advice for all

                    www.BrinkZone.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      HeyGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGYrength no problem. What do you think?
                      Last edited by _GLOCK_; 10-12-2014, 08:38 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by _GLOCK_ View Post
                        Hey Will got a question for ya. I have taken many types and makes of creatine. None have worked for me, I get no bloat, no strength, no weight gain, nothing. My thought is because I consume 3.5 of meat a day and I am getting enough, or am I simply not absorbing it. I have heard of non responders to creatine but why is that? I respond well to weight training, gain size and strength no problem. What do you think?
                        About 30% of people seem to be non responders. Some people who don't respond to straight creatine, do to creatine-carb mixtures, so there is a lower % of non responders in people who do the Cr-carb mixtures. Reasons for non responders is not totally clear, but one reason might be just as you suspect: your tissue levels are already high due to the meat intake. For example, it's well known that vegetarians tend to respond dramatically to creatine supps as they have lower levels of PCr. It may also have to do with other factors such as muscle fiber types. Below is a study that looked at the differences between responders and non:


                        1: J Strength Cond Res. 2004 Aug;18(3):610-7.
                        Â*
                        Acute Creatine Monohydrate Supplementation: A Descriptive Physiological Profile of Responders vs. Nonresponders.

                        Syrotuik DG, Bell GJ.
                        Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

                        Syrotuik, D.G., and G.J. Bell. Acute creatine monohydrate supplementation: a descriptive physiological profile of responders vs. nonresponders.

                        J. Strength Cond. Res. 18(3):610- 617. 2004.-The purpose of this study was to describe the physiological profile of responders (>20 mmol.kg(-1) dry weight [dw] increase in total intramuscular creatine monohydrate [Cr] + phosphorylated creatine [PCr]) versus nonresponders (<10 mmol.kg(-1) dw increase) to a 5-day Cr load (0.3 g.kg(-1).d(-1)) in 11 healthy men (mean age = 22.7 years). Pre-post 5-day cellular measures included total resting Cr content (Cr + PCr), fiber type composition, and fiber type cross-sectional area (CSA) determined from muscle biopsies of the vastus lateralis. Body mass, daily dietary intake, 24-hour urine outputs, urinary Cr and creatinine (CrN), and strength performance measures (1 repetition maximum [1RM] bench and leg press) were also assessed before and after the 5-day loading period. Results indicated that there were 3 levels of response to the 5-day supplementation: responders (R), quasi responders (QR), and nonresponders (NR) with mean changes in resting Cr + PCr of 29.5 mmol.kg(-1) dw (n = 3), 14.9 mmol.kg(-1) dw (n = 5), and 5.1 mmol.kg(-1) dw (n = 3), respectively.

                        The results support a person-by-treatment interaction to acute Cr supplementation with R possessing a biological profile of lowest initial levels of Cr + PCr, greatest percentage of type II fibers, and greatest preload muscle fiber CSA and fat-free mass. Responders also showed improvement in 1RM leg press scores following the 5-day loading period. NR had higher preload levels of Cr + PCr, less type II muscle fibers, small preload muscle CSA, and lower fat-free mass and displayed no improvements in 1RM strength scores.

                        The results suggest that to be considered a responder to acute oral supplementation, a favorable preexisting biological profile may determine the final extent to which an individual responds to supplementation. Physiologic profiles of nonresponders appear to be different and may limit their ability to uptake Cr. This may help partially explain the reported equivocal performance findings in the Cr supplementation literature.
                        - Will

                        Performance/Fitness Advice For the Tactical Community

                        www.OptimalSWAT.com

                        General Performance/Fitness Advice for all

                        www.BrinkZone.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanx Will

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think iRYUILKOR7I
                            Last edited by _GLOCK_; 10-12-2014, 08:38 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by _GLOCK_ View Post
                              I think it is definitely due to meat intake, because I have and always responded better to weight training than I do cardio, suggesting I have type II fibers. I can sprint a quarter-mile in under a 1:15 (At 240lbs), but ask me to run three-miles, and well, see ya in about 28-30 min lol. Even in the Marines, I could always smoke the pulls, and sits, however the run was never better than 22:30.
                              I'm the same way. I'm good at high intensity short duration type stuff, but running any distances is death.
                              - Will

                              Performance/Fitness Advice For the Tactical Community

                              www.OptimalSWAT.com

                              General Performance/Fitness Advice for all

                              www.BrinkZone.com

                              Comment

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