Diet & Suppliments

Dissolving Creatine: Get The Most Out of Your Creatine Supplementation

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? Does creatine need to be fully dissolved for you to get most benefits?

According to Will Brink, If creatine not dissolves, it will not absorb. It basically goes through you and is also more likely to cause stomach problems. So dumping Creatine into a cold protein shake is not always the best idea of Creatine Supplementation.

Surely this video raises a controversial question. Does creatine need to be fully dissolved for you to get most benefits? British sports scientists at University College Chichester discovered this answer over ten years ago. Strength athletes who dissolve their creatine in fluid react a little better to the supplement than athletes who take their creatine in powder or any other form.

Does it actually make any difference if you dissolve creatine – in whatever form – or not?

According to the Brits it does. They gave five test subjects a dose of 2.3 g creatine on three different occasions. On one occasion the researchers dissolved the creatine in 250 ml water at 30 degrees Celsius [solution]; on another occasion they dissolved the powder in a glass of iced water [the water was so cold that the creatine hardly dissolved] [suspension] and on a third occasion they mixed powdered creatine with ground up sweets [lozenge].

When the researchers examined the blood of their test subjects they saw that the creatine concentration was highest after they had ingested creatine in solution.

creatinesolutioneffectivity

During the six hours that they monitored the blood of their test subjects, the researchers measured 20 percent more creatine after the subjects had drunk creatine that had dissolved than after they had drunk the solution.

Does Dissolving Creatine Depend on Temperature?

How well creatine dissolves in water depend on the temperature. The data in the table below borrowed from a review article by Ralf Jaeger. [Amino Acids. 2011 May; 40(5): 1369-83.]

The table shows the temperature at which different quantities of creatine dissolve in 1 L water.

4 degrees Celsius                         6 g

20 degrees Celsius                     14 g

50 degrees Celsius                     34 g

60 degrees Celsius                     45 g

The more acid a solution, the more creatine you can dissolve in it. This idea lies behind the many interesting forms of creatine that are available on the market: add an acidifier (and sell the result as creatine citrate, creatine malate or creatine pyruvate) and you’ll increase the solubility and your body will absorb the creatine better, the theory goes.

Dr. John Berardi’s Thought’s on Creatine Solubility

“Since creatine is very hard to dissolve in regular room temperature beverages, researchers had been giving creatine in warm coffee and tea to ensure dissolution of the powder and to mask the taste. Also, this dissolution makes taking creatine orally easier on subjects and their digestive systems.”

“When the creatine gets to your gastrointestinal tract, the body tries to solubilize it. Why? Because nutrients cannot be absorbed if not solubilized or dissolved in a solution. They will just sit around in the pit of your stomach in powder form and eventually pass right out of you. So what the body does to remedy this is to suck fluids out of the cells of the digestive organs in order to provide enough fluid to dissolve the creatine. But what then happens is that all this fluid that’s sucked into the GI tract needs to quickly be eliminated and this leads to diarrhea. So in solubilizing your creatine, the GI causes some nasty bathroom situations. Not to mention the fact that a lot of the creatine is lost during such porcelain episodes.”

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