Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

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Study: creatine ethyl ester doesn't work

Ordinary creatine works better than creatine ethyl ester, according to a study carried out at Baylor University in Texas. They say that the creatine analogue is of little use to beginner-level athletes. We at Ergo-log have our reservations about the study, but let the facts speak for themselves. That way you can judge for yourself.

Creatine ethyl ester [structural formula shown below] is an ethyl analogue of creatine. The ethyl group makes the molecule less soluble in water. According to the manufacturers of supplements containing creatine ethyl ester, this characteristic means that the analogue enters muscle cells more easily. That's why the substance, if taken thirty minutes to an hour before a weight training session, should work better than creatine. This is also the experience of many users.

Study: creatine ethyl ester doesn't work
Creatine ethyl ester
A study published way back in 1955 showed that, in an acid environment, creatine ethyl ester is converted into the far less creatinine. [J Amer Chem Soc. 1955;77:178180.] This was recently confirmed in a British test-tube study although the results weren't published, they were presented at a congress on sports nutrition in 2007. But there were no human studies in which test subjects had taken creatine ethyl ester.

Until now.

The researchers did an experiment with thirty young men who had not trained before. One group were given a placebo and did weight training. Another group trained also and took ordinary creatine, and yet another group trained and took the creatine ethyl ester produced by Labrada. During the first week the test subjects took twenty grams daily of creatine or the ethyl analogue. For six weeks after that they took a daily five grams of the supplement they were on.

The supplements were taken in the morning, and the subjects were allowed to train whenever they wanted. So no, they didn't use the supplements as they should be used.

The creatine ethyl ester [CEE] had hardly any effect. The quantity of creatine in the muscles increased by a small amount, but the ordinary creatine [CRT] worked better.

Study: creatine ethyl ester doesn't work

The creatine ethyl ester did lead to a considerable increase in the amount of creatinine in the test subjects' blood.

Study: creatine ethyl ester doesn't work

After seven weeks of taking the supplement, the creatine users had made the same amount of progress as the creatine ethyl ester users and the placebo group. In terms of body composition and the development of muscle power, all three groups had made the same amount of progress.

Study: creatine ethyl ester doesn't work

"It can be concluded that a large portion of the creatine ethyl ester was being degraded within the GI tract after ingestion", the researchers conclude. "Furthermore, it appears that the skeletal muscle uptake of creatine ethyl ester uptake was not significant enough to increase skeletal muscle creatine levels without significant degradation to creatinine occurring".

That is the researchers' conclusion. But creatine ethyl ester didn't really have a fair chance in this study.

J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2009 Feb 19;6:6.

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