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

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Creatine dissolved in water works a little better than powder form

Creatine dissolved in water works a little better than powder form
Strength athletes who dissolve their creatine in fluid react a little better to the supplement than athletes who take their creatine in powder form. British sports scientists at University College Chichester discovered this fifteen years ago.

Dissolving creatine
You can dissolve creatine in water at home without having to worry that you'll convert it into an inactive form. Creatine doesn't start to break down until after 8-12 hours.

How well creatine dissolves in water depends on the temperature. We borrowed the data in the table below from an review article by Ralf Jaeger. [Amino Acids. 2011 May; 40(5): 1369-83.] The table shows the temperature at which different quantities of creatine dissolve in 1 l water.

4 degrees Celsius

6 g

20 degrees Celsius

14 g

50 degrees Celsius

34 g

60 degrees Celsius

45 g

The more acid a solution, the more creatine you can dissolve in it. This idea lies behind the many interesting forms of creatine that are available on the market: add an acidifier (and sell the result as creatine citrate, creatine malate or creatine pyruvate) and you'll increase the solubility and your body will absorb the creatine better, the theory goes.

As far as solubility goes the supplement-makers' theory holds water. In 1 l water at 20 degrees Celsius you can dissolve 14 g creatine, 29 g creatine citrate and up to 54 g creatine pyruvate.

Now, creatine citrate and creatine pyruvate don't consist completely of creatine. So if you take that into account, then the solubility of creatine citrate and creatine pyruvate are respectively 1.6 and 2.6 times that of ordinary creatine.

Does it make a difference?
All very interesting. But does it actually make any difference if you dissolve creatine - in whatever form - or not? According to the Brits it does.

They gave five test subjects a dose of 2.3 g creatine on three different occasions. On one occasion the researchers dissolved the creatine in 250 ml water at 30 degrees Celsius [solution]; on another occasion they dissolved the powder in a glass of iced water [the water was so cold that the creatine hardly dissolved] [suspension] and on a third occasion they mixed powdered creatine with ground up sweets [lozenge].

When the researchers examined the blood of their test subjects they saw that the creatine concentration was highest after they had ingested creatine in solution.

Creatine dissolved in water works a little better than powder form

During the six hours that they monitored the blood of their test subjects, the researchers measured 20 percent more creatine after the subjects had drunk creatine that had dissolved than after they had drunk the solution.

Your muscles absorb creatine a little better after a training session. [Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2003 Mar; 13(1): 97-111.] So after a workout is a good moment to drink your creatine solution.

Micronized creatine
According to Will Brink and he should know micronized creatine works best. Brink recommends the real Creapure. The renowned supplements expert explains why in the clip below.

J Sports Sci. 2002 Feb; 20(2): 147-51.

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