What Is It?
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid produced in the liver and formed as a result of normal protein metabolism (in other words, it’s a natural substance!), from 3 amino acids: L-arginine, glycine and L-methionine. It is present in living tissue (over 90% is found in skeletal muscle) and supplies energy to cells all over the body - creatine is particularly important for muscular contraction. The ability of creatine to minimise protein breakdown, hydrate and provide energy for the working and recovering muscles, as well as its ability to boost growth, makes it an important consideration for all athletes and gym goers alike.
Used mainly by athletes to improve their overall performance, creatine may also help to treat a range of neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disorders, such as arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, congestive heart failure and depression. Creatine has been shown to improve overall cognitive ability.
Safety & Bioavailability
Monkey Creatine has the highest possible purity and is produced under conditions that prevent microbiological and heavy metal contamination. The same cannot be said for cheaper products, which raise concerns over safety and bioavailability due to the presence of precarious levels of impurities, such as dicyandiamide (DCD) and dihydro-1,3,5-triazine (DHT) derivatives. The main problem here is diacynamide, which converts to hydrogen cyanide when in the presence of a strong acid. It is thought the stomach acid itself may provide the catalyst required to convert DCD into hydrogen cyanide, which is extremely toxic to the human body and a good enough reason not to purchase cheap products – Remember, you only get what you pay for!!
Dihydrotriazine (DHT) belongs to a group of compounds known as triazines. Its presence in creatine products is a result of using inferior raw materials and poor processing techniques. Although little is known about the effects of this by-product, it is thought to be harmful in large doses.
Why Monkey Creatine Is Better
Monkey creatine is a “tri-phase” product and uses 3 high-grade forms of creatine, processed using the latest technology to give you what we consider the best and most genuine formulation on the UK market today. As well as a high purity creatine monohydrate, Monkey’s creatine is reinforced with creatine HCL and creatine pyruvate for enhanced bioavailability.
Pyruvate is derived from pyruvic acid and is integral to the activation of the krebs cycle – an energy cycle which is directly responsible for the production of ATP (high energy molecule found within cells). Combining a pure creatine source with a weak acid such as pyruvic acid has been shown to benefit athletes involved in endurance sports and high intensity exercise, as well as improving body composition and increasing muscle mass. A study by Stone et al investigated the efficacy of pyruvate and creatine combined, on measurements of body mass, body composition and performance in 42 American football players for a 50 week period. In this study, pyruvate alone seemed to have no significant effects on any physiological markers of performance or body measurements. Creatine alone seemed to have significant effects on body compositions and muscular strength. But the combination of pyruvate and creatine, showed the greatest increase in strength and power, as well as decreases in body fat and increases in lean muscle mass. Bioavailability studies on creatine pyruvate supplementation show a significant increase in creatine plasma levels, when compared to supplementation of creatine monohydrate alone.
Other studies show the combination of pyruvate and DHA (found in high concentrations in Monkey Fish Oil) enhanced the endurance of certain muscles in untrained men, when compared to a placebo. Some evidence also suggests this combination to have a positive influence on metabolism. (Try stacking your Monkey Creatine with our Fish Oil, for a more productive workout).
Unfortunately there isn’t a great deal of research on creatine HCL, as this is a relatively new form (patented in 2009). However, the lack of scientific publication is replaced with a considerable number of user reviews (many can be found online) and the general consensus is improved increases in muscle mass, strength gains and energy levels, when compared to creatine monohydrate alone. It is thought the main benefits of creatine HCL are due to its potency in smaller doses (300 mg in a 3 tablet serving of Monkey Creatine, may be equivalent to approx. 1500 mg of monohydrate), which eliminates issues associated with the consumption of monohydrate – bloating, cramps, nausea and frequent urination - although these issues are only usually related to cheaper, poorly processed products. A blend of creatine HCL, monohydrate and pyruvate is in our opinion, the most effective way to consume creatine, with either form alone, not being as effective as this blend.
Due to the use of advanced processing techniques, Monkey creatine will not cause water retention beyond what is necessary to hydrate and fill the muscle. Inferior-grade creatine products contribute to an “overspill” of water, resulting in a soft, puffy appearance (not a good look!). This is due to poor processing practices, which means excess sodium remains in the finished product.
How To Take It
Creatine can be taken both before (45 mins with food) and after your workout, although consuming after may actually be more beneficial, as your muscles will be much more receptive at absorbing creatine from the blood. Try taking creatine alongside a cup of black coffee for a more productive workout. You could “super-charge” this further, by blending with a few teaspoons of Super-Carb into your brew.
A point worth clarifying – There is no sufficient evidence anywhere to suggest taking creatine in powder form is more effective than taking it in tablet form.