Creatine, in it’s purest form, is the most popular sports supplement on the market, second only to Whey Protein. It’s performance benefits are widely reported, leading to its adoption by many athletes as their preferred form of supplementation, and it’s clear to see the reasons why.
Creatine is the fuel source for the energy system ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate), especially relevant to explosive and/or anaerobic exercise, such as sprints, weightlifting and plyometrics.
Creatine can help to increase the storage of Phosphocreatine (PCr) at the site of our muscles. Phosphocreatine or Creatine Phosphate is a Creatine molecule found within skeletal muscle, and it’s this that provides the energy needed for muscular contractions during intense exercise.
Whilst Creatine is naturally occurring in the body, it is also found in our natural diets. Meat, particularly red meat, is a well known source of natural Creatine. Supplementation is often recommended if an athlete is likely to be training intensively or explosively over a period of time. It can also benefit those who tend to have a diet low in meat products, such as vegetarians.
One common side effect of Creatine supplementation is the appearance of ‘fuller’ muscles. Creatine, Monohydrate specifically, draws water into the muscles which can lead to a fascia-stretching adaptation.
Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE) is Creatine Monohydrate with an ester (an organic compound formed by Esterification – the reaction of carboxylic acid and alcohols) attached. This addition of an Ester increases absorption of Creatine and eliminates bloating and dehydration, two side effects often associated with Monohydrate usage. Ethyl Ester is often used by athletes who have used Monohydrate but have either failed to see results or simply stopped responding to the supplement.
Another key difference between these two types of Creatine is the transport mechanism. Monohydrate is a semi-lipopholic, meaning that it uses fat as a delivery mechanism. Esterification of substances increases their lipopholic abilities – thus Creatine Ethyl Ester will use fat more efficiently to permeate the cell wall and exert its effect upon cellular function. Simply put, you require a lower dosage of CEE, but the absorption rate will still be greater…or so the theory goes.
Taking a Creatine supplement can have the following benefits:
- Primary – Increased power output
- Primary – Increased muscular endurance
- Secondary – Increased lean body mass
- Secondary – Muscle hypertrophy
Taking Creatine Ethyl Ester can have the additional benefits of:
- Quicker, more efficient absorption
- Less bloating/water retention
- Not having to be ‘loaded’ in the same way as Monohydrate
If you’re currently training intensively or take part in an explosive, powerful sport, such as Rubgy, Creatine Ethyl Ester could be an effective addition to your diet and supplement arsenal. A typical dosage of 3 – 6g will suffice for most athletes but amounts will vary depending on your level of training and bodyweight.