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Is Creatine Ethyl Ester Better than Creatine Monohydrate?

March 06 2009

Is creatine Ethyl ester better than creatine monohydrate to increase muscle growth & strength? A study was done to see if creatine ethyl ester is indeed effective in increasing absorption than creatine monohydrate. Let’s see what the study found out about creatine ethyl ester:

Why Creatine?

Creatine is one of the very few supplements scientifically proven to work. Almost 70% of the studies on creatine have shown significant increase in performance, in the form of muscle, strength ,or endurance. And almso all of them used creatine monohydrate

Why Different Formulations of Creatine?

Intramuscular stores of creatine saturates at 160 mmol/kg dry mass; however, only 20% of users achieve this amount.

Creatine Ethyl Ester vs creatine Monohydrate

Due to this variation in creatine uptake, it has been suggested that creatine alone is not absorbed well enough into the muscle. Hence, instead of just plain creatine monohydrate, several formulations of creatine have been developed in the hope of bypassing the creatine transporter and thereby increasing creatine absorption.

Effervescent creatine, creatine with magnesium, creatine serum were all studied and was shown to be ineffective compared to creatine monohydrate. 

Why Creatine Ethyl Ester?

Creatine Ethyl Ester is a new formulation claiming to be better than other creatine forms. Esterification is commonly done in pharmaceutical industries to increase the bioavailability of drugs. Hence Creatine Ethyl Ester is claimed to be abosorbed better than creatine monohydrate or other creatine blends.

Though esterified creatine is unstable in low pH conditions and has been shown to be rapidly degraded to creatinine in stomach acid, manufacturers of creatine ethyl ester claim that it is superior to other forms of creatine ( including creatine monohydrate).

What did the Study Find about Creatine Ethyl Ester?

The study compared 3 groups: creatine ethyl ester, creatine monohydrate, & a placebo (dextrose) group.

  • The study found no added benefit of creatine ethyl ester over creatine monohydrate. In fact, even after ingesting twice the amount of Ethyl ester, the serum creatine ( blood levels) levels were significantly higher in creatine monohydrate group than ethyl ester group.
  • Also the total muscle creatine levels showed no benefit of creatine ethyl ester over creatine monohydrate.
  • In addition, creatine ethyl ester supplementation showed a large increase in serum creatinine levels throughout the study, it was concluded that a large portion of the creatine ethyl ester was being degraded within the GI tract after ingestion.

To make a long story short, stick with creatine monohydrate.

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Mumford | Sat March 07, 2009  

just what i was looking for! great article. thanks, anoop!

Anoop | Sat March 07, 2009  

Hi Mumford,

Thanks. Hope you checked the new forum.

John | Sun March 08, 2009  

This was really a nice article. Lot of good information.

Anoop | Mon March 09, 2009  

Hi John,

Thanks for the comment.

Jim @ Total Body Fitness | Sun March 15, 2009  

I will concur from experience that ethyl ester does nothing more that CM than taste bad. I tested 500mg tub on myself and noted zero difference besides facial expression when I used the ester.

Anoop | Sun March 15, 2009  

Hi Jim,

I just can’t buy into the concept of of “try it and see if it works”. Where do you start and stop? Atleast, I don’t think I have the time nor money to try and see if the different formulations of creatine (or whatever supplement) works for me or not.

Even if it does, it’s hard to tell, unless you have a real sensitive way to measure your muscle gain, and your diet and exercise have been perfectly tracked and consistent. 

And the more the people (or product claims) talk how good a product is, the higher your expectations. And that’s when the placebo effect creeps in.

Jim @ Total Body Fitness | Fri March 20, 2009  

I agree, however when I tried CEE it had been around for some time and the research “appeared” sound. But,like with any supplement it is all subjective when it comes to the individual. My own rule is to wait for a product to be out at least a year. Spent too much money of gimmicks when I was a kid.

Anoop | Sat March 21, 2009  

Hi Jim,

Most people, especially college kids worry more about supplements and less about their diet. My philosophy is if you are concerned about that 1% improvements with supplements, you better worry a lot more about your diet which contributes to 80% of your improvements.

If you have your diet prefect, then start worrying about supplements and stuff.

Before I forget, let me go have my Alpha Keto Gluterized Amino Glutamine Creatine stack.And of course with dextrose added.

Jim @ Total Body Fitness | Sun March 22, 2009  

Isn’t that the same product pro bodybuilders use to gain their insane muscle mass? LOL

Anoop | Sun March 22, 2009  

really? I was just trying to come up with something which sounded really silly (:-

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