T Nation

Creatine Purity?


Hello All,

Informed articles about creatine supplementation tend to mention something about creatine purity. That is, we are warned not to buy the 'cheap stuff' because it can contain several types of alarming toxins. Nikhil Rao's recent article describes this danger. What I haven't been able to find, however, is any a standard measure of purity or quality.

Some manufacturers of Creatine Monohydrate note that they test their product using an HPLC, which is short for High Performance Liquid Chromatography, and not very telling at all. Anyone with about $4000 can buy and claim to use such a device.

My question to you is how do you assess the quality of the creatine you buy, and what makes you confident that you're getting pure product with no potentially harmful byproducts?



Very good question. You've got to get familiar with the market and find out who the best manufacturer is. To be honest, you're bound to get a load of bull from everyone besides an independent party, so just because a supplement retailer or manufacturer claims that they sell/make the best stuff in the industry doesn't mean a whole lot.

HPLC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HPLC is a means to ensuring purity, but check to make sure you know who is performing the analysis... here's an example of companies that perform the service http://kerouac.pharm.uky.edu/asrg/hplc/manufacturers.html German creatine has a reputation for being the purest of the three main manufacturing countries, (china, USA, and Germany). Creapure is manufactured there and has some good research and HPLC analysis behind it.

Many Creatine monohydrate products on the market today are known to contain chemical impurities like Dicyandiamide (up to 5.4%), Creatinine (up to 1.3%), and Dihydrotriazine (up to 0.09%). Additionally heavy metal impurities have been known to exist, such as mercury. These chemicals/heavy metals are leftover from various manufacturing processes and/or low quality ingredients.


Thanks BPT, for your great response. It's too bad that there are no standard measures of quality for CMH, considering it's wide popularity. It seems like even setting tolerances for specific impurities would be a step forward.

In canned food products, for example, the FDA sets an allowable parts per million for all kinds of undesirable stuff, like bugs and rats! I'm going to do a little more research about how quality is measured by different brands, and I'll post what I find here. Thanks again!