With the exception of protein, no single nutritional supplement has proven more valuable in the quest for physique and performance enhancement than creatine monohydrate. Going back to the 1990s, when it first emerged as a cost-effective option for supplementation, creatine has played an essential role in augmenting muscle size and strength for generations of athletes and fitness-conscious consumers.
Literally hundreds of peer-reviewed, journal-published clinical studies have validated the transformative power of creatine and many more are underway to this day. (Indeed, we’ll take a look at some of these recent, compelling studies later in this article.) The simple fact is, if you’re engaged in a regular regimen of weight training, you probably already have a container of creatine monohydrate at home or in your gym bag, or you’re taking a pre- or post-workout formula that contains creatine.
But are you taking the right one?
A Legacy of Excellence in Creatine
Manufacture Dating Back to the 1990s
You would think that with the sizable number of companies with creatine products and the massive market share that exists for creatine sales in the sports nutrition marketplace, that all creatine monohydrate products would essentially be the same by now. But in truth, one company has stood head and shoulders above all the others when it comes to the purity, power, and potency of its creatine product. That company is AlzChem of Germany and the product is Creapure®.
The Creapure® superiority derives from a meticulous and long-standing attention to detail. AlzChem has a corporate history that goes all the way back to SKW Trostberg, one of the original producers of creatine when it came onto market back in the 1990s. They virtually invented modern creatine science and have been leading the way in the category for thirty years now.
Creapure® is manufactured according to the strictest GMP manufacturing practice standards and is produced on a completely closed production line, from the delivery of raw materials to the final packaging process. Each production batch is tested with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and other analytical techniques before being released for shipment. Product purity is further maintained via implementation of the principles of the HACCP concept (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) that eliminates nearly all risk of cross-contamination or contamination by other products.
Compare this standard of excellence to the short cuts and inefficiencies often associated with the production of lesser creatines, often sourced from Russian or Chinese suppliers. Their less stringent manufacturing protocols can result in unacceptably high levels of undesirable by-products such as dicyandiamide (DCD) and dihydrotriazine (DHT). Pure creatine should contain no more than a few tens of parts per million (ppm) of DCD and no detectable DHT, both of which are potentially harmful and sometimes found in inferior creatines. You'll find absolutely no trace of these elements in Creapure®.
Another common manufacturing process typical of disreputable manufacturers involves the use of sarcosine and S-methylthiourea as raw materials. Contaminants in creatine made by this method can include methanethiol (methyl mercaptan), thiourea and dimethyl sulfate, all of which are toxic.
In addition, the breakdown of creatine during substandard manufacturing or storage can produce creatinine. Levels above one percent have been measured in some commercial creatine samples. Although not dangerous in itself, creatinine offers no performance benefit and indicates slipshod manufacturing.
Finally, some analyses of commercial creatine have reported high levels of other contaminants, including steroids, recreational drugs, and other banned substances, introduced either deliberately or accidentally. To ensure the integrity of Creapure®, each batch is tested for purity before leaving the factory. Creapure® is listed on the Cologne List®, which means that you can be sure that your Creapure® is regularly tested at the Olympiastützpunkt Rheinland laboratory in Germany for any contamination from steroids or stimulants.
Ongoing Scientific Research Continues to
Identify New Performance Benefits of Creatine
Creatine monohydrate is easily the most researched and most validated sports nutrition supplement of the last few decades. In fact, a comprehensive review article published in 2015 offered a meta-analysis of over 60 clinical studies devoted to creatine’s impact on physique and performance. It concluded that creatine not only increased strength across the board for test subjects receiving creatine, but it did so irrespective of training background, training protocol, dose taken or duration (Lanhers et al. 2015). That’s pretty definitive validation.
So you might think that the story of creatine has already been told with regard to scientific investigation. But you would be wrong. Today in laboratories around the world, scientists continue to identify new ways in which creatine can help athletes gain fat-free mass, increase strength, increase power, and increase the volume of high-intensity work completed.
In 2014, a landmark study offered evidence that creatine can prevent acute strength loss in athletes. The study, published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, examined the ability of creatine to offset losses in strength and repetitions performed using either the leg press or bench press exercises after two different types of treadmill workouts (de Salles Painelli et al. 2014). Test subjects supplementing with creatine monohydrate successfully maintained repetitions completed after an interval workout when compared to a continuous intensity treadmill workout while repetitions decreased in the placebo group. Creatine use increased repetitions completed during either cardio workout when compared to placebo and slight increases in 1RM were found for either weight exercise when creatine was used versus placebo.
At the same time, creatine supplementation has been shown to greatly reduce muscle damage after workouts. A recent study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism highlights creatine monohydrate’s ability to assist the body’s ability to facilitate recovery (Veggi et al. 2013). Young men were divided into two groups, either a placebo group or creatine group, and completed a workout designed to damage a muscle group and make it sore. To monitor the extent of recovery, the participants were asked how sore they were and had their blood measured for levels of muscle damage markers. Across the board when creatine was provided, reported muscle soreness levels were decreased and the level of muscle damage markers in the blood were also decreased, resulting in the facilitation of recovery and maximized performance in subsequent workouts.
Creatine can also offer significant benefits for healthy older adults. In a study published in 2015 in the journal Applied Physiology Nutrition And Metabolism, the impact of strategic creatine supplementation on resistance training in healthy older adults was considered. Using a double-blind, repeated measures design, older adults (50-71 years) were randomized to one of three groups: creatine before training; creatine immediately before resistance training and placebo immediately after resistance training, and placebo immediately before and immediately after resistance training for 32 weeks. Prior to and following the study, body composition and muscle strength were assessed. Creatine supplementation resulted in greater improvements in lean tissue mass compared to placebo in the older adults. Creatine supplementation, independent of the timing of ingestion, increased muscle strength more than placebo. Thus it was indicated that, compared with resistance training alone, creatine supplementation improves muscle strength in older adults, with greater gains in lean tissue mass resulting from post-exercise creatine supplementation.
Interestingly, creatine may also offer antioxidant benefit. A recent study was published in the June 2015 issue of Redox Report, a peer-reviewed journal devoted to oxidative stress that examined the impact of creatine supplementation for antioxidant properties (Deminice and Jordao 2015). The study required two groups of rats to exercise anaerobically and/or supplement their diet with creatine. A 28-day supplementation period was followed before all rats were required to complete an acute exercise protocol consisting of vertical jumps. In response to supplementation and the exercise, the animals were examined for the impact of markers of oxidative stress. The authors reported that creatine operated as an effective antioxidant in more aerobically trained muscle and also that levels of oxidative stress were inhibited when creatine was administered.
Creatine can also interact synergistically with other strength and power-enhancing factors to support performance. A recent study published in the journal Amino Acids compared the ingestion of creatine, betaine and their combination against a placebo for changes in intramuscular phosphocreatine content and strength performance (del Favero, Roschel et al. 2012). Over a 10 day period, study participants supplemented with either betaine (2 grams/day), creatine (20 grams/day) or a combination of betaine and creatine. As expected, when creatine monohydrate was provided, significantly greater levels of muscle phosphocreatine were found in comparison to the placebo and betaine only groups. Additionally, supplementation with creatine (whether betaine was provided or not) significantly increased the power output during the squat exercise and these changes were found to be significantly greater than the changes made with the placebo group. Upper-body power using the bench press was also found to be significantly increased when creatine was added to the diet. In addition to increasing upper-body and lower-body power production, creatine supplementation led to significantly greater increases in maximal upper-body and lower-body strength as well.
Look For the Creapure Brand, As Found
In ProSource Creatine Monohydrate
Clearly, the news regarding creatine monohydrate generally and Creapure® specifically just keeps getting better as more science emerges. Creatine monohydrate offers substantial performance and physique benefits for fitness-conscious people and Creapure® creatine is the purest, most potent form of creatine monohydrate you can find anywhere. This unequalled purity level, combined with its stability and bioavailability, can mean greater absorption, greater cell volumization and greater gains in lean muscle growth than you can achieve with any other creatine.
And where can you find Creapure? Where else but in ProSource’s Creatine Monohydrate product, which has always contained (and always will contain) 100% Creapure creatine. Why? Because it works. When you read about the enormous benefits experienced by test subjects in creatine clinical studies, you’re almost always reading about people using Creapure creatine. Creatine is the athlete’s ultimate strength, size, and performance edge!
Lanhers, C., B. Pereira, G. Naughton, M. Trousselard, F. X. Lesage, and F. Dutheil. 2015. "Creatine Supplementation and Lower Limb Strength Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses." Sports Med 45 (9):1285-94. doi: 10.1007/s40279-015-0337-4.
Veggi, K. Ft, M. Machado, A. J. Koch, S. C. Santana, S. S. Oliveira, and M. J. Stec. 2013. "Oral Creatine Supplementation Augments the Repeated Bout Effect." Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab.
de Salles Painelli, V., V. T. Alves, C. Ugrinowitsch, F. B. Benatti, G. G. Artioli, A. H. Lancha, Jr., B. Gualano, and H. Roschel. 2014. "Creatine supplementation prevents acute strength loss induced by concurrent exercise." Eur J Appl Physiol 114 (8):1749-55. doi: 10.1007/s00421-014-2903-0.
Candow DG1, Vogt E1, Johannsmeyer S1, Forbes SC2, Farthing JP3. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2015 Jul;40(7):689-94. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2014-0498. Epub 2015 Feb 26.
Deminice, R., and A. A. Jordao. 2015. "Creatine supplementation decreases plasma lipid peroxidation markers and enhances anaerobic performance in rats." Redox Rep. doi: 10.1179/1351000215Y.0000000020.
Use as directed with a sensible diet and exercise program that includes reduced caloric intake and increased physical activity. Consult a health care professional before beginning any weight loss program. Read and follow all product label instructions and warnings thoroughly before use. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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