How to jump higher using creatine, what kind to use, and how to use it.
What type of creatine should you be using to enhance your workouts? How much to take, when and how to take it?
Before I get started about creatine, this article is NOT about the benefits of using creatine. If you want to learn about why creatine is of benefit, and you are a skeptic I have listed several peer reviewed studies that demonstrate how creatine can be used to increase workout intensity and anaerobic endurance. You can also fine information here: Free Vertical Jump Training
You can get PLENTY of results without creatine, and it is by no means a requirement for increasing athletic performance. It is however, a tactic to get the edge on your everyday training.
Creatine Monohydrate is the “original” version of creatine and has been around for quite some time. Only reports of any “incidents” with the supplement are of clear and extreme abuse, and these types of incidents are nowhere near as frequent as perhaps with cough medicine or other well known medicines. Creatine monohydrate has not only been found to be a safe performance enhancement supplement, but is also being used to treat individuals with degenerative diseases as well as individuals with genetic defects in natural creatine metabolism.
Creatine is one of the few supplements that you can try and actually feel and see a benefit in your training. It works, and on top of that, it is very cheap, perhaps one of the cheapest supplements available.
Ever since creatine has become available a number of other products have come out claiming to triple or double the effects of creatine. These products are usually much more expensive and tote headlines such as “Better absorption than regular creatine” etc…
One of the most well known “new” creatines is Kre-Alklyn, which is brand of creatine that has received a patent. The selling propostion here is that Kre-Alklyn absorbs at greater percentages AND does not change into “creatinine” (a byproduct of creatine), which they claim to be very toxic. Here is the exact working on patent # U.S. Patent #6,399,661
“Research has shown that known creatine delivery systems actually have the human body ingesting creatinine, a poison and toxic byproduct. It is believed that the main reason for complaints resulting from creatine consumption, namely, stomach cramps, edema, bloodedness and dehydration, is caused by the body’s defense to this toxic compound.
The known oral creatine supplements are dissolved in acidic solutions having a pH range of from 3-6. Research has shown that at these pH levels, the rate of conversion of creatine to creatinine is almost instantaneous.”
According to the company’s own “internal research” (internal research is not known so much for it’s accuracy as it is for it’s marketing purposes) creatine begin changing to creatinine “instantaneously” upon mixing with water. So basically Kre-Alklyn IS creatine monohydrate combined with PH levels to “stabilize” the conversion into creatinine.
Thus, the advantage of Kre-Alklyn WOULD BE it’s ability to prevent creatinine conversion, HOWEVER is this really a problem?
Research shows that the conversion to creatinine and teh dangerous thereof are clearly overstated.
Independent research performed by Dr. Roger Harris found that creatine was stable in water for 8 hours, and that even after 3 days Dr. Harris stated:
“…the conversion of creatine to creatinine at acidic pH is actually sufficiently slow as to allow physiologically useful amounts of creatine to remain…after considerable periods of time.”
Further, research don at Barry University has found that creatine can be stable in water for weeks.
The bit of truth to Kre-Alklyn
It has been found that creatine can convert to creatinine at certain PH levels, but such a conversion doesn’t take place for up to 3 days after being in the solution and even then the conversion was 4%, 12% and 21% at pH 5.5, 4.5, and 3.5, respectively.
So instant conversion to creatinine, is clearly overstated, although if you take the 4% divide it by the 72 hours, then multiply that by 60 minutes than technically you could say that there was a conversion to creatinine of .00000009 every minute. Which is completely insignificant, and stating this as “converting creatine instantly to creatinine” would clearly be for marketing purposes. Clever eh?
Now lets get to what could be the most ridiculous finding.
Kre-Alklyln’s most dear claim is the new formula is more stable and allows for less conversion to creatinine, and thus greater absorption. However, Dr. Mark J. Tallon found that under experimental circumstances Kre-Alklyn actually converted at much higher rates to creatinine.
CM – Creatine Monohydrate
KA – Kre-Alklyn
“In contrast to the claims of All American Pharmaceutical and Natural Foods Corp., the rate of creatinine formation from CM was found to be less than 1% of the initial dose, demonstrating that CM is extremely stable under acidic conditions that replicate those of the stomach. This study also showed that KA supplementation actually resulted in 35% greater conversion of creatine to creatinine than CM. In conclusion the conversion of creatine to creatinine is not a limitation in the delivery of creatine from CM and KA is less stable than CM in the acid conditions of the stomach.”
So what we have here is a case of clever marketers who found a potential ploy to play on consumer fears. Unfortunately it appears that it backfired.
Creatine is a fine supplement to increases anaerobic capacity. Kre-Alkalyn IS creatine monohydrate that claims to package it at altere PH level to reduce conversion of creatine to toxic creatinine. 1st – There appears to be no problem with conversion to creatinine. 2nd – Kre-Alklyn actually appears to convert at higher rates to creatinine but still at levels that appear harmless and after several days of sitting in a glass. Thus Kre-Alklyn is only as effective as a monohydrate with a slightly higher price.
Personally the whole ploy leaves a bad taste in my mouth and leaves me distrusting supplement companies.
A word on non responders
Some people claim not to response to creatine, and some studies have found this to be true. This is likely because the creatine metabolism of these individuals is sufficiently high taht no additional absorption is necessary, but the supplement does not pose risk to these individuals.
A word on dosage
You body can likely not absord more than about 5 grams of creatine. Taking creatine post workout with a juice (high glycemic carb) will temporarily spike insulin and allow greatest conversion. Insulin is an anabolic stimulant. Creatine products with a “delivery system” are simply substitutes for juice.
A word on loading and cycling
Loading creatine is the idea that you need to take significant amounts at the beginning to get maximum conversion.
Loading in my opinion is not necessary. Most of it you will exit with your urine and be wasted. You may absorb slightly more in the beginning, but I think below you will see why I recommend not loading…
Cycling refers to periods of using and then not using the supplement. This is because if you are using lots of the supplement your body may adapt, because you are getting creatine from an external source it may slow down it’s own production. This is why I recommend not loading, and only taking 5 grams post workout. This is a sustainable amount that shouldn’t cause any super compensation from you endocrine system and will still give you excellent results.
Other resources on the subject