Creatine – It’s All About Absorption!

Author: Nicole Adler   Date Posted: 27 July 2016 

In order to get the most out of any supplement, athletes have to take the absorption rate of the supplement into account. In general, supplements with the lowest molecular weight will provide the best absorption rate to athletes, although there are some additional denominators that can impact the absorption rate of a supplement. To learn more about the absorption rate of creatine, be sure to read our useful information below.

Absorption Is Not Everything!

First of all, we need to mention that absorption rate is important, but it is not the most important thing when it comes down to the use of supplements. Many people try to combine multiple supplements at once to get better absorption rates and better results, but too many supplements can throw off the chemical balance of your body and lead to some unwanted side-effects.

When you take any supplement, it is important to realise that only fifty percent of that supplement might actually get absorbed. Adding even more supplements to your body is therefore not necessary. Instead, stick to the recommended dose of the supplement and do not try to speed up the process by adding additional supplements to the mix.

Creatine Absorption

The Nature of Creatine

Creatine is a substance that falls under the category of amino acids, the building blocks of the human body. The substance is present in our body by nature, so you are not adding any kind of substance that is not present in your body already.

So why do people use supplements to get more creatine in their body? Well, athletes who train intensively and frequently can struggle from a lack of energy. They can also experience cell damage and oxidative stress after those heavy workouts. The use of a creatine supplement can replenish the energy level of the athlete in question, reduce cell damage and oxidative stress and speed up muscle recovery after intensive training sessions.

Cr (Creatine) and PCr (Phosphocreatine)

In order to get energy, our metabolism will need plenty of adenosine triphosphate. When adenosine triphosphate breaks the connection with one of its phosphate group, energy is released. It is this energy that is used to perform important tasks in our body, for example muscle contraction and concentration.

Our metabolism can create adenosine triphosphate with the help of various metabolic processes. During one of these processes, a phosphate group is added to a molecule called adenosine diphosphate. The addition of this extra molecule leads to the creation of the body’s energy source – adenosine triphosphate.

There are many different molecules that can provide an extra phosphate group to adenosine diphosphate in the body, but the fastest molecule is creatine. For that reason, athletes will choose creatine over other supplements.

Dosage for Better Absorption

To get the most out of your creatine supplement, it is always a good idea to stick to the recommended dose. However, athletes should consider the loading phase and maintenance phase. Even though the loading phase and maintenance phase are not obligated to get good results from your supplement, taking the supplement in phases can increase the absorption rate.

Additional research has been done to determine the best dosage for creatine. A dose of 20 to 30 grams over a period of two days showed a clear increase of intramuscular Cr levels. Up to 20% of this increase could be attributed to PCr.

After the initial 2-day loading period, researchers recommend a maintenance phase of 3 grams a day over a period of 30 days. That being said, it is always a good idea to read the directions of your particular supplement. There are many different Cr variants on the market, so you may need to adjust your dosage according to the Cr variant you are using.

How Do I Determine the Best Cr Product with the Fastest Absorption Rate?

According to scientists, Cr products with the lowest molecular weight will be the fastest to absorb in the body. If absorption speed is very important for your particular training regime, you will need to evaluate a number of Cr supplements to determine the best one.

Athletes should also be wary of the fact that combining Cr supplements with other supplements may slow down the absorption rate of creatine. This is mainly due to the fact that the absorption process is delayed by other supplements in the digestive system.

Even with a wide range of Cr supplements on the market, the fastest way to get PCr is to inject a supplement. However, injecting supplements is far from ideal to most people, because not everyone is fond of needles and the hassle that comes along with it.

Creatine Absorption

Liquid Cr Supplements Versus Powdered Cr Supplements?

There has been a lot of discussion about the most effective form of Cr supplement as of late. At the moment, both powdered and liquid Cr supplements have an equal amount of supporters, considering the results of these two forms of Cr have been quite similar. In order to determine the most effective supplement, more research will have to take place.

How Long Until Cr Is Absorbed?

The absorption time of Cr supplements has been a widely discussed subject in the world of fitness. There is no specific time for all Cr supplements, considering the amount of Cr variants that are available on the market. In short, the time it takes to absorb the supplement will depend on the Cr supplement you are using.

In general, Cr will take approximately one hour before it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Once the Cr supplement has been absorbed, the metabolism decides to use or lose that creatine within the next hour and a half. However, some products may take as long as six hours to reach the muscle.

Athletes who want to determine the exact absorption rate of their Cr supplement will have to look on the website of the supplement manufacturer. Most Cr supplement manufacturers will include this information, so you can find a supplement that fits your training routine the best. Depending on the absorption rate of your Cr supplement, you can take your supplement before or after your training session.


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