T Nation

Sugar Needed to 'Activate' Creatine Monohydrate?

My dad is getting into working out and I went to GNC today to pick up some monohydrate for him (he didn’t feel like waiting on Biotest even though I reccommended it) and the sales clerk told me to take it with apple juice because monohydrate needs sugar to activate. I guess he thought I didn’t know anything about supplements or maybe he was trying to be really helpful. Either way i’ve never heard of this before.

I googled it a bit but i didn’t find anything super conclusive. Do yall take sugar with your creatine?? As i understood it creatine, either produced by the body or ingested in foods or supplements, fueled the creatine phosphate energy system for short bursts of energy…so it didn’t make sense to me that creatine would need sugar to ‘activate’…

Go to the Biotest store, click the creatine, and read the instructions. It recommends taking with some form of sugar or BCAA’s (which are found in whey).

So really the easiest thing to do is to put it in your whey powder.

I COULD BE COMPLETELY WRONG ON THIS so feel free to correct me but I believe when mixed with the BCAA’s or sugars, it helps drive it to the cells where it is needed better. I believe it acts as a transporter and not an activator.

there could be something to this. i’ve always been a fat muncher and not a carb gobbler and i’ve never noticed creatine to make an ounce of difference; i don’t have the sugar to help with uptake.

H

someone correct me if im wrong but i believe you have to elicit an insulin spike to make sure the creatine gets taken into the muscles where it does it’s work

[quote]rehanb_bl wrote:
someone correct me if im wrong but i believe you have to elicit an insulin spike to make sure the creatine gets taken into the muscles where it does it’s work[/quote]

I remember a discussion about this a while back. It was suggested that Whey, being a High GI protein, caused enough of a spike post-workout to do the job without adding further carbz.

Will edit w/thread link once located…

H

Yes, the whole idea behind the simple carbs was to spike your body’s insulin levels and elicit more uptake of the creatine. ANY food you eat will elicit a rise in insulin, and the whole idea behind downing a huge amount of sugar just to get some creatine in you (I remember an older supplement with 75g sugar per servine, and you were supposed to ‘load’ 3-4 servings a day!) is not necessary in my opinion.

Think about all the creatine in beef. Athletes who eat a lot of creatine-containing red meats undoubtedly get the benefit, and I guarantee you that they’re not drinking simple sugars with their steaks -lol.

S

Stu, we still have products with 80 gr dextrose per serving, with the creatine. And I still wonder how on earth some dudes didn’t got fat-diabetic with consuming 3-4 servings per day from that junk. :slight_smile:

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Yes, the whole idea behind the simple carbs was to spike your body’s insulin levels and elicit more uptake of the creatine. ANY food you eat will elicit a rise in insulin, and the whole idea behind downing a huge amount of sugar just to get some creatine in you (I remember an older supplement with 75g sugar per servine, and you were supposed to ‘load’ 3-4 servings a day!) is not necessary in my opinion.

Think about all the creatine in beef. Athletes who eat a lot of creatine-containing red meats undoubtedly get the benefit, and I guarantee you that they’re not drinking simple sugars with their steaks -lol.

S[/quote]

So do you think creatine is very capable getting into the muscle when just mixed with water?

[quote]forbes wrote:

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Yes, the whole idea behind the simple carbs was to spike your body’s insulin levels and elicit more uptake of the creatine. ANY food you eat will elicit a rise in insulin, and the whole idea behind downing a huge amount of sugar just to get some creatine in you (I remember an older supplement with 75g sugar per servine, and you were supposed to ‘load’ 3-4 servings a day!) is not necessary in my opinion.

Think about all the creatine in beef. Athletes who eat a lot of creatine-containing red meats undoubtedly get the benefit, and I guarantee you that they’re not drinking simple sugars with their steaks -lol.

S[/quote]

So do you think creatine is very capable getting into the muscle when just mixed with water?[/quote]

The beef would cause the insulin spike.

If you’re taking powdered creatiine, you want to take it with something other than just water, but just about anything will do the trick.

[quote]Spartiates wrote:

[quote]forbes wrote:

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Yes, the whole idea behind the simple carbs was to spike your body’s insulin levels and elicit more uptake of the creatine. ANY food you eat will elicit a rise in insulin, and the whole idea behind downing a huge amount of sugar just to get some creatine in you (I remember an older supplement with 75g sugar per servine, and you were supposed to ‘load’ 3-4 servings a day!) is not necessary in my opinion.

Think about all the creatine in beef. Athletes who eat a lot of creatine-containing red meats undoubtedly get the benefit, and I guarantee you that they’re not drinking simple sugars with their steaks -lol.

S[/quote]

So do you think creatine is very capable getting into the muscle when just mixed with water?[/quote]

The beef would cause the insulin spike.

If you’re taking powdered creatiine, you want to take it with something other than just water, but just about anything will do the trick.
[/quote]

A rise, yes, but not a “spike.”

People need to stop talking about insulin “spike” when they haven’t a clue what they are taking about.

Carbs are not required by most people to get the full benefits of Creatine. This is evident by some of the early research on Creatine as a sports supplement where it was mixed in warm tea (without any significant carb load).

Some people have theorized that non-responders my require high-GI carbs to get the most from creatine, but to my knowledge this has never been proven.

If anything, I suspect that sodium plays a more important role in Creatine absorption.

I’m fairly confident that taking 5g of creating with anything will be fine. Again, this is something that is naturally occurring in meats, fish, you name it (usually food without sugars in 'em!). So I would imagine that the simple rise in insulin levels associated with ingesting something is perfectly suitable. Besides, unless you’re eating a diet that is seriously devoid of creatine containing foods (not common amongst serious bodybuilders and trainers), you won’t notice 10 lbs of miracle muscle gain from creatine anyway. Is it a waste of money? Not really,… but I don’t spend my money on it.

S

[quote]HK24719 wrote:
If anything, I suspect that sodium plays a more important role in Creatine absorption.[/quote]

It does. My brother used to mix salt with his PWO!

S

Creatine itself is insulinogenic from what I understand, but not as much as sugar or other high GI foods. So, it’s probably not a necessity.

Only thing I would add is that creatine without simple carbs seems to lead to more stomach discomfort in me.

I mix my plain creatine with in with my protein shake (one scoop whey, 8 oz of skim milk). This gives me some sugars that IF needed will help with the uptake.

I agree, I don’t think you need all that sugar just to load up the creatine, also research shows that steady use of it and you don’t need to load it up either.

Anything that tells your body to release insulin is what it should be taken with. This means things such as simple sugars, and BCAAs. Insulin aids in the transport of creatine into the muscle tissue.

The apple juice idea isn’t so good because of the fructose, get cheap dextrose from a supplement site, and when dieting down I just mix it with BCAAs which has an ok insulin output. I’ve heard of peanut butter being used as well.