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

about us





Creatine pyruvate works better than creatine citrate

Creatine pyruvate works better than creatine citrate
Creatine in the form of creatine pyruvate results in more power than creatine citrate, write German and American researchers in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. The study was funded by the supplements industry.

The shadow side of the best supplement known to power sports creatine is what sports supplement expert Will Brink calls the Creatine Graveyard. [Google] This is the collection of creatine varieties that producers have tried to sell, with little success. Brink mentions creatine citrate and pyruvate in his article, and according to this study, the days of creatine citrate are indeed numbered.

It's worth noting though that the study was funded by Degussa, a manufacturer of pure creatine, and supplements maker FSI Nutrition. FSI Nutrition makes creatine citrate and under its own name FSI manufactures Creatine Edge, which contains creatine citrate.

Creatine citrate and creatine pyruvate are not separate compounds, but mixtures of creatine and citric acid, and creatine and pyruvate. In sports science circles both supplements are controversial. Debate continues as to whether the addition of a few grams of pyruvate or citrate adds anything. Pyruvate is released in large quantities in the body when cells cut glucose molecules in two during energy burning processes. Citric acid is released during the citric acid cycle, part of the processes whereby the body converts food into energy.

Creatine pyruvate works better than creatine citrate
The supplements industry tells its buyers that the additions enhance the effect of creatine. The researchers did not test whether the supplements work better than creatine. [Perhaps for fear of losing sponsors?] Instead, they compared the two supplements with each other. They gave sixteen men five grams of creatine citrate daily for four weeks, and sixteen other men five grams of creatine pyruvate daily. A control group was given a placebo.

Before the experiment started, the men had to squeeze handsprings as hard as they could. The researchers increased the tension in the springs and measured when the men were no longer able to squeeze them shut. Then the men were given one minute rest, after which the procedure was repeated, ten times. The figure below shows the effect of the supplements and the amount of power the men developed. Dark = before; grey = after.

Creatine pyruvate works better than creatine citrate

Creatine pyruvate increased the strength in the test subjects' hands. Creatine citrate also increased their strength, but pyruvate worked better. The table below shows the effect on the force for a few of the sessions.

Creatine pyruvate works better than creatine citrate

The researchers believe that the muscles may use pyruvate as a fuel. From the literature the researchers conclude that long-term use of several grams of pyruvate daily leads to a raised level of pyruvate in the body. "Cr-Pyr might benefit endurance, due to enhanced activity of the aerobic metabolism", the researchers conclude.

We wonder what would have happened if the researchers had also examined the effect of ordinary creatine, or creatine in combination with glucose. Would pyruvate still have been so promising?

J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008 Feb 13;5:4.

PEGylated creatine is disappointing 11.05.2009
Study: 'creatine ethyl ester doesn't work' 25.03.2009