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Published by Will Brink
Learn the facts about the "high tech" forms of creatine
Learn the facts about the "high tech" forms of creatine

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Published by: Will Brink on May 21, 2010
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The Creatine Grave Yard
By William D. Brink 
Looks like another “high tech” form of creatine has got one foot planted firmly in the creatine grave yard. What is the creatinegraveyard? 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 claimswere/are made about how superior it is to creatine monohydrate(CM). It always starts the same. First the company will invent along 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 fromvirtually any of the negatives they invent, nor do they show their form “cures” those negatives. Sellers of CCE for example claimedCEE was better absorbed and utilized vs. CM, and that has beenshown to be nonsense.There have been several in vitro (test tube) studies pointing to thefact CEE is inferior to CM, but a recent study done in humans putsa final nail in the coffin as far as I am concerned. This study istitled “The effects of creatine ethyl ester supplementationcombined with heavy resistance training on body composition,muscle performance, and serum and muscle creatine levels” Thefull study is public access and can be read here:CEE Study
Warning, the abstract is confusing and not well written. If you readthe full paper, it’s clearer. If you don’t have the time or interest toread it, the take home is: although all subjects in this study (CEEvs. 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, adrawback of this study was due to using untrained people, theycouldn’t differentiate between PL, CEE, and CM in terms of effects on bodycomp and strength within that time period asnewbies always make fast progress in the beginning. No newsthere.However, the study did achieve the essential point, which is itclearly showed the claims of CEE false: CEE had much higher creatinine levels and lower muscle creatine levels compared to CMin this study, thus, yet again, the claims by sellers of CEE that it’ssuperior to CM and that CM is “poorly absorbed” or “causes bloat,” or my favorite “CM is not stable,” etc are false. They alsolooked at changes in water compartments (CEE actually had atrend toward greater extra cellular water then CM BTW, so theregoes that stupid “no bloat” claim for CEE…) and other issuesclaimed 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 creatinelevels to CM. This study is not perfect by any means, but whencombined with what else exists, and the counter studies sellers of CEE offer (which is to say zero), well you don’t have to be ascientist to see the writing on the wall there…CEE will be added to the creatine graveyard with a ton of others allclaiming to be superior to CM which all started with big claimsand now sit in the grave yard.
Two essential points about the grave yard before we get tothat:
Because they are in the grave yard does not mean they areworthless. Some forms, such as magnesium creatine chelate for example looked promising, but a head to head study with CMfound it no better. Remember, another form does not have to showit’s the equal of CM, it has to show it’s superior to CM per itsclaims. Forms such as creatine pyruvate and many others on thelist may be just as effective as CM, but not superior, so it comesdown to cost. Others on the list have in fact been proven inferior toCM in studies, such as serum creatine, various liquid creatineversions, and now CEE. Serum creatine was all the rage a fewyears ago, and studies found not only was it inferior to CM inevery respect, it contained virtually no creatine! Of course, therewere still those on the various forums using ‘bro logic’ with “bro, Idon’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 theseforms will routinely make claims of superiority with nadda for hard data to support them. Therefore, it’s impossible to reallyseparate fact from fiction (i.e., marketing hype) to recommendthem.Me, I will use what has literally hundreds of studies to support itsefficacy and safety over a form with zero data to support it’sclaims of superiority over CM. Thus, they get put into the graveyard. Future studies may get them out of the graveyard, but I aintholding my breath…
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, generallyabove 3g-5g or so in a single dose, can cause stomach upset for some, among other small, but significant drawbacks for someusers. Therefore, I am in favor of continued research into improveddelivery technologies, improved forms of creatine, and so on. I’mall for it, but as they say, don’t piss on me and tell me it’s raining.In God we trust, everyone else must show data. Hard data talks, BS

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