woman boxing

The Power of Creatine

With its potential consumer base continuing to expand, creatine is a popular supplement for its key role in the muscles during exercise. See what creatine does for the body, who it might benefit, and how to overcome common stability challenges with creatine.

What Is Creatine?

Creatine is an organic compound made from three amino acids: arginine, glycine, and methionine. While the body naturally produces creatine, people can also take in creatine through the diet (from meat) and through supplements in the form of creatine monohydrate.

Creatine plays a role in supplying energy to the cells, especially the muscle cells, during anaerobic activity. During an aerobic exercise such as resistance training, after ATP is quickly used up for energy, the body begins to break down creatine to make more ATP. This is why creatine is a favorite supplement ingredient among sports performance consumers, as they seek ways to increase their exercise capacity to make greater gains in muscle mass and strength.

Populations Who Might Benefit from Creatine

Sports Performance & Energy  Consumers

Sports performance consumers are the most likely to use creatine supplements. Nearly 70% of creatine users exercise seven or more hours per week, and they’re much more likely to do bodybuilding or competitive weightlifting than the general population (28% vs. 14%).1 They’re also more likely to participate in team sports such as football, basketball, hockey, and soccer (36% vs. 21%) and combat sports like martial arts, boxing, and wrestling (25% vs. 15%).2 While improving performance is the main goal, some also use creatine for recovery benefits.

man pouring creatine in shaker

Active Aging Consumers

Beyond targeting those looking to improve their sports performance, brands can also consider focusing on active aging consumers. Some studies have shown that resistance training along with creatine monohydrate supplementation enhances muscle gain, strength, and functional performance in older adults compared to resistance training alone.3 Increased anaerobic exercise capacity that allows an older adult to exercise for longer can help stave off the loss of muscle mass (myopenia) and strength (dynapenia) that occurs with age.

Stability Challenges with Creatine

Despite the popularity of creatine, products in the market have traditionally been limited to dry formats such as ready-to-mix (RTM) beverage powders and pills. This is due to the instability of creatine in water, which has impeded its expansion into trending formats like ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages. When creatine is mixed with water, it breaks down into creatinine (a compound with no benefits to the body) within a few days. Creatine also has poor solubility—a problem even for RTM beverages.

The CreaBev® Solution

CreaBev is a cutting-edge, encapsulated creatine monohydrate that addresses both of these issues. CreaBev is known for its superior solubility and stability in water compared to traditional creatine monohydrate. In a long term stability study over a 12 month period 70% of the creatine monohydrate in CreaBev remained stable verses the standard creatine monohydrate material that degraded completely.4 It can be used in neutral pH or acidic RTD beverages, as well as in RTM beverages, where its improved dispersion is a key benefit for the consumer.

man flexing muscles

As research continues into this important ingredient, brands may find even more applications for creatine beyond sports performance, energy, recovery, and active aging products. Glanbia is here to help. To expand the possibilities for your products, learn more about CreaBev and our other sports performance bioactives.

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References

1-2. Glanbia Nutritionals CINT Survey (creatine users N=283, general population N=1014), November 2018.
3. Devries, M.C. & Phillips, S.M. Creatine supplementation during resistance training in older adults—a meta-analysis. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2014). 

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