Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Creatine
- 02-08-2003, 05:08 PM
Creatine and Testosterone By Huck Finn
Hey fellas.Just dug up an interesting read out of one of my old Ironman mags.The following excerpts are providided by the notorious Michael Gundill(a.k.a. Dharkam)....Although creatine does have testosterone-like effects,it doesn't act as a steroid hormone.Instead,it's a mediator of some of the androgens' anabolic effects.In fact,steroid users get far more out of their cycles if they take in massive amounts of creatine along with the drugs.Androgens are among the hormones that can force the entry of creatine into muscle cells.While there's a clear relationship between muscle strength gains and increases in muscle creatine stores,unfortunately,the relationship is not as obvious when it comes to increases in muscle mass.Animal-based studies have shown that the muscles of untrained rats take up as much creatine as the muscles of trained rats,but the ANABOLIC effects of creatine are only obvious in trained rats.Therefore,training increases the muscles sensitivity to the anabolic actions of creatine.(Although it's not related to this article,the study also demonstrated that the anabolic effects of creatine are DIRECT,and not mediated by waterretention.In fact,in the 1970s American and Russian studies pointed out a DIRECT anabolic effect of creatine on muscle cells.)Testosterone increases the muscles'sensitivity to the anabolic properties of creatine in addition to enhancing the creatine buildup in muscle fibers.It's also obvious that part of the strength gains people experience while on steroids are mediated by an increase in muscle creatine stores.An interesting discovery A/S users have made is that they should dramatically increase their creatine intake during a cycle to boost the potency of the steroids.Thanks to creatine,people can build more muscle mass with fewer drugs.Anecdotal evidence from A/S users points out that it takes at least 10-15 grams(maintenance)of creatine a day to visibly enhance the the anabolic potency of a steroid stack.There are probably good reasons for the increased creatine requirement when androgen levels are high.As mentioned above,steroids increase the muscle uptake of creatine,and if the muscles are ready to accept more creatine,why not give it to them?I also think that even though steroids enhance creatine synthesis,they may increase creatine degradation as well-so more creatine is used up every day.That could be due to an increase in muscle creatine turnover and also the fact that an elevated muscle protein synthesis rate will likely consume creatine at a faster rate.Other reasons for a higher creatine requirement may be indirect.Because the muscles of drug users are stronger and receive more training,they may waste greater amounts of creatine during training.Once inside the muscle,creatine provides not only an anabolic effect,but also a rapidly mobilized source of fuel.Muscle protein synthesis is a process that wastes great amounts of energy.Anabolism is an ATP-dependent process,which means that it's essential for protein synthesis.If the cellular level of ATP is reduced even a little,IT STOPS ANABOLISM.So even if you can increase the testosterone content of your muscles,nothing will happen if your ATP level is low.Creatine supports anabolism by providing energy to the muscle...Well fellas,it looks like it might be a good idea to stock up on creatine when you're grabbing your protein powder for those bulking cycles,hehheh....Huck
- 02-11-2003, 03:00 PM
Creatine: More than just a sports nutrition supplement
*you'll need adobe acrobat to read it, which can be picked up for free at adobe.com*
02-12-2003, 05:41 PM
Glycocyamine - Is it a Creatine Enhancer???
Glycocyamine – Is it a "Creatine-Enhancer?"
by Paul Cribb, B.H.Sci HMS
AST Director of Research
You many have read about a new compound called glycocyamine in the muscle magazines. Some supplement marketers are selling this product as a creatine enhancer.
What is Glycocyamine?
Glycocyamine is the intermediate step of creatine synthesis in the liver. It is often called guanidinoacetate. The first step in creatine synthesis occurs with the transfer of the amidino group of arginine to glycine to yield ornithine and guanidinoacetate via L-arginine:glycine amidinotransferase.
Because of this, glycocyamine (guanidinoacetate) is often used in medical research as a marker for alterations in creatine metabolism and an indicator of conditions such as arginine-glycine amidinotransferase (AGAT) and guanidinoacetate methyltransferase (GAMT) deficiencies.[2,3]
A reduction of guanidinoacetic acid in body fluids is desired for GAMT deficiency (an inborn error of creatine biosynthesis). These diseases are characterized by creatine depletion and accumulation of guanidinoacetate in the brain.
Glycocyamine as a Supplement.
There are no direct studies on glycocyamine as a performance enhancing supplement or a creatine enhancer. Even more important to athletes, there is no theoretical research that even remotely suggests glycocyamine might enhance muscle growth or the effectiveness of creatine supplementation.
One study has examined the effects of supplementing with glycocyamine and creatine on physiological plasma homocysteine levels in rats. It’s from this research that marketers of glycocyamine supplements seem to be drawing their “science-based” sales pitch on glycocyamine.
A number of studies have confirmed a relationship between an increased plasma concentration of homocysteine and the development of cardiovascular disease. Even a small increase in circulating homocysteine increases coronary artery disease risk by 60% for men and 80% for women. Supplementation with creatine is suspected to decrease homocysteine levels.
Because the methylation of guanidinoacetate to creatine via consumes more S-adenosylmethionine than all other methylation reactions combined, the researchers behind the rat study hypothesized that guanidinoacetate and creatine supplementation may have opposite effects on homocysteine levels. Results showed they did. Creatine supplementation was shown to decrease liver homocysteine levels, thus substantiating the possibility of creatine as a supplement that may help people avoid cardiovascular disease. However, guanidinoacetate supplementation was shown to increase homocysteine levels. This is not a good thing if you want to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Would glycocyamine be effective for bodybuilders?
To provide a theoretical answer this question, we must look at glycocyamine’s role in metabolism and the role of creatine supplementation. Firstly, remember that glycocyamine is an intermediate involved in creatine synthesis within the liver. Without the presence of supplementation the body only synthesizes a small amount of creatine (less than 2-grams) per day. However, from the research it is clear that creatine supplementation reduces the body’s need to synthesize creatine, therefore the role of glycocyamine would be virtually eliminated.
Secondly, compare this to regular doses that bodybuilders supplement (5-20-grams per day). Glycocyamine has no biochemical role what so ever in creatine supplementation and accumulation in muscle. Therefore you can start to understand why glycocyamine would be fairly useless supplement for bodybuilders.
Finally, as muscle cells cannot manufacture creatine, any attempt to increase muscle glycocyamine content via supplementation in an effort to help increase creatine stores would obviously be useless. Also, creatine relies on a highly selective cell transporter, I can’t see how a non-insulin-stimulating compound like glycocyamine could enhance creatine uptake in muscle.
The bottom line . . .
Guanidinoacetate/glycocyamine’s role in the small amount of creatine synthesized by the body has nothing to do with creatine supplementation. Promoting glycocyamine as a supplement that enhances the effects of creatine supplementation is completely without practical or theoretical biological evidence.
While at present there is zero research on guanidinoacetate/glycocyamine’s effect on muscle growth or creatine supplementation, from a theoretical perspective, as I have shown you, I can’t see how glycocyamine supplementation would enhance the effectiveness of creatine supplementation.
It’s becoming commonplace in the supplement industry for marketers to select a little known obscure metabolite from biochemistry (it doesn't matter if the compound is completely irrelevant to bodybuilding), and hype it as a new “magic muscle building catalyst”. This seems to occur because supplement marketers are all too aware that bodybuilders are demanding science-based products.
The problem with this unscrupulous marketing approach is that it’s very difficult for anyone without a biochemistry major to decipher the “science” behind these bogus products (even then, most acedemics still can’t see through the smoke screen). What you can do as a consumer is ask to be provided with the full reports on the research cited. Ask for the clear facts and don’t be intimidated or impressed by scientific marketing spin.
From a research and theoretically-based perspective, the suggestion that glycocyamine is a creatine-enhancing supplement is at present, completely unfounded.
1. Allain, P, LeBouil A, Cordillet E, LeQuay L, Bagheri H, and Montastruc JL. Sulfate and cysteine levels in the plasma of patients with Parkinson's Disease. Neurotoxicol 16: 527–530, 1995.
2. Carducci C, Birarelli M, Leuzzi V, Carducci C, Battini R, Cioni G, Antonozzi I Clin Chem 2002 Oct;48(10):1772-8. Guanidinoacetate and creatine plus creatinine assessment in physiologic fluids: an effective diagnostic tool for the biochemical diagnosis of arginine:glycine amidinotransferase and guanidinoacetate methyltransferase deficiencies. Clin Chem 2002 Oct; 48(10):1772–8.
3. Al Banchaabouchi M, Marescau B, Van Marck E, D'hooge R, De Deyn PP. Long-term effect of partial nephrectomy on biological parameters, kidney histology, and guanidino compound levels in mice. Metabolism 2001 Dec; 50(12):1418-25.
4. Schulze A, Ebinger F, Rating D, Mayatepek E. Improving treatment of guanidinoacetate methyltransferase deficiency: reduction of guanidinoacetic acid in body fluids by arginine restriction and ornithine supplementation. Mol Genet Metab 2001 Dec;74(4):413-9.
5. Lori M. Stead, Keegan P. Au, René L. Jacobs, Margaret E. Brosnan, and John T. Brosnan. Methylation demand and homocysteine metabolism: effects of dietary provision of creatine and guanidinoacetate. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 281: E1095–E1100, 2001
6. Refsum, H, Ueland PM, Nygård O, and Vollset SE. Homocysteine and cardiovascular disease. Annu Rev Med 49: 31-62, 1998.
7. M. F. McCarty. Supplemental creatine may decrease serum homocysteine and abolish the homocysteine `gender gap' by suppressing endogenous creatine synthesis. Med Hypotheses. Jan; 56(1): 5-7,2001.
02-12-2003, 06:20 PM
02-12-2003, 08:51 PM
08-13-2003, 10:37 AM
02-01-2006, 04:18 PM
Bump from the dead!
This post has been an excellent source of creatine information to someone such as myself who is trying get into creatine supplementation but seeking as much education beforehand. So far this has really kept to the well educated or those who are curious and ask questions that are intelligent. I like everything being in a nice neat package here. With so much variable information and opinions floating around, as well as just the sheer mass of posts it makes it hard for someone to find anything. Its like a needle in a haystack. Could someone compare/contrast the differences, advantages, and disadvantages between the different variations of creatines available? (I.E. Monohydrate, CEE, etc)
02-01-2006, 11:15 PM
Yeah that would be nice to see. There are so many different kinds out there now and it's hard to keep them all straight.
02-02-2006, 11:28 PM
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