|Summary sheet: Creatine|
|Common names||Creatine, N-Carbamimidoyl-N-methylglycine, Methylguanidoacetic acid|
|Systematic name||2-[Carbamimidoyl(methyl)amino]acetic acid|
|Chemical class||Nitrogenous organic acid|
|Routes of Administration|
Creatine (and its derivatives hydrochloride, malate, nitrate, et al.) is a nitrogenous organic acid with nootropic effects that occurs naturally within the body of vertebrates and in some foods such as meat, eggs, and fish. It was identified in 1832 when Michel Eugène Chevreul isolated it from the basified water-extract of skeletal muscle. He later named the crystallized precipitate after the Greek word for meat, κρέας (kreas). Early analysis showed that human blood is approximately 1% creatine.
Creatine helps to supply energy to all cells in the body, primarily muscle. When taken as a supplement within humans, this compound has cognitive enhancing, neuroprotective, cardioprotective and performance enhancing effects which are particularly present during strenuous physical exercise. It is often used by athletes and bodybuilders to increase both power output and lean mass.
Creatine is a nitrogenous amino acid produced endogenously and synthesized for consumption. Creatine is structurally comprised of an acetic acid group, a two carbon chain with both a ketone and hydroxyl group bonded to one of the carbons. This acetic acid group is connected at R2 to a methyl substituted amine group, which in turn is also bound to a carbon atom substituted with one double bonded nitrogen and one single-bonded nitrogen constituent. Synthetic creatine is usually made from sarcosine (or its salts) and cyanamide which are combined in a reactor with catalyst compounds. The reactor is heated and pressurized, causing creatine crystals to form. The crystalline creatine is then purified by centrifuge and vacuum dried. The dried creatine compound is milled into a fine powder for improved bioavailability. Milling techniques differ, resulting in final products of varying solubility and bioavailability. For instance, creatine compounds milled to 200 mesh are referred to as micronized.
Creatine is an endogenous molecule that stores high-energy phosphate groups in the form of phosphocreatine (creatine phosphate). During periods of stress or strenuous exercise, phosphocreatine releases energy to aid cellular function. This is what causes strength increases after creatine supplementation, but this action can also aid the brain, bones, muscles, and liver. Most of the benefits of creatine are provided through this mechanism.
Disclaimer: The effects listed below cite the Subjective Effect Index (SEI), an open research literature based on anecdotal user reports and the personal analyses of PsychonautWiki contributors. As a result, they should be viewed with a healthy degree of skepticism.
It is also worth noting that these effects will not necessarily occur in a predictable or reliable manner, although higher doses are more liable to induce the full spectrum of effects. Likewise, adverse effects become increasingly likely with higher doses and may include addiction, severe injury, or death ☠.
In comparison to the effects of other nootropics such as noopept, this compound can be described as conferring both physical stimulation and cognitive stimulation.
- Stimulation - The stimulation which Creatine presents can be considered as subtle, yet persistent and energetic comparable to that of caffeine, yet even less forced in nature.
- Perception of bodily lightness - Creatine may have a large effect on increasing overall weight due to water retention. Due to this, creatine, rather than altering perception, manifests itself in a physical bodily change. However, the degree of increase is dosage-dependent.
- Muscle spasms
- Stomach cramps
Toxicity and harm potential
There are no clinically significant side-effects of creatine supplementation acutely. Numerous trials have been conducted in humans with varying dosages, and the side-effects have been limited to gastrointestinal distress (from too much creatine consumption at once) and cramping (from insufficient hydration).
Studies that use a dosage range typical of creatine supplementation (in the range of 5g a day following an acute loading period) note increases to total body water of 6.2% (3.74lbs) over nine weeks, and 1.1kg (2.42 lbs) over 42 days. This effect may be responsible for creatine's capability to increase perceived body weight.
Regardless, it is strongly recommended that one is familiar with harm reduction practices when using creatine.
Tolerance and addiction potential
Creatine is not habit-forming with a low potential for abuse. It does not seem to be capable of causing psychological or physiological dependence among users.
Tolerance to the effects of creatine are not built after ingestion as with most other psychoactive substances. There are many anecdotal reports of people ingesting this substance for prolonged periods of time with no tolerance build up.
This legality section is a stub.
As such, it may contain incomplete or wrong information. You can help by expanding it.
Creatine is freely available to possess and distribute and is approved in most countries as a dietary supplement.
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- Francaux, M., & Poortmans, J. R. (1999). Effects of training and creatine supplement on muscle strength and body mass. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, 80(2), 165–168. https://doi.org/10.1007/s004210050575
- Persky, a M., & Brazeau, G. a. (2001). Clinical pharmacology of the dietary supplement creatine monohydrate. Pharmacological Reviews, 53(2), 161–176. https://doi.org/10.1124/pharmrev1
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- Hezave, A. Z., Aftab, S., & Esmaeilzadeh, F. (2010). Micronization of creatine monohydrate via Rapid Expansion of Supercritical Solution (RESS). Journal of Supercritical Fluids, 55(1), 316–324. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.supflu.2010.05.009
- Béard, E., & Braissant, O. (2010). Synthesis and transport of creatine in the CNS: Importance for cerebral functions. Journal of Neurochemistry, 115(2), 297–313. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-4159.2010.06935.x
- Nasrallah, F., Feki, M., & Kaabachi, N. (2010). Creatine and Creatine Deficiency Syndromes: Biochemical and Clinical Aspects. Pediatric Neurology, 42(3), 163–171. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2009.07.015
- Tarnopolsky, M. A. (2010). Caffeine and Creatine Use in Sport. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 57(s2), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1159/000322696
- Sahlin, K., & Harris, R. C. (2011). The creatine kinase reaction: a simple reaction with functional complexity. Amino Acids, 40(5), 1363–1367. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-011-0856-8
- Beal, M. F. (2011). Neuroprotective effects of creatine. Amino Acids, 40(5), 1305–1313. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-011-0851-0
- Turner, C. E., & Gant, N. (2014). The Biochemistry of Creatine. In Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (pp. 91–103). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-401688-0.00007-0
- Hezave, A. Z., Aftab, S., Esmaeilzadeh, F. (November 2010). "Micronization of creatine monohydrate via Rapid Expansion of Supercritical Solution (RESS)". The Journal of Supercritical Fluids. 55 (1): 316–324. doi:10.1016/j.supflu.2010.05.009. ISSN 0896-8446.
- Sahlin, K., Harris, R. C. (May 2011). "The creatine kinase reaction: a simple reaction with functional complexity". Amino Acids. 40 (5): 1363–1367. doi:10.1007/s00726-011-0856-8. ISSN 0939-4451.
- Francaux, M., Poortmans, J. R. (June 1999). "Effects of training and creatine supplement on muscle strength and body mass". European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology. 80 (2): 165–168. doi:10.1007/s004210050575. ISSN 0301-5548.