The study found significantly high levels of plasma creatine concentration after trialling new micro-encapsulated forms.
The micro-encapsulated forms of creatine are aqua- and acid-stable, meaning, unlike powdered creatine, it does not degrade into creatinine before absorption - "a completely different compound with no benefit to the body,” said Dr Sinéad Bleiel, who led the study.
“Essentially the study showed three things: encapsulated creatine is in fact stable in water and in the final product; it is stable against stomach acid; and it gets into the blood stream,” she added.
The researchers found that using this form significantly elevated intramuscular creatine and contributed to gains in lean body mass.
Liquid stable for the first time
Creatine monohydrate is a nitrogenous organic acid which recycles adenosine triphosphate in muscle tissue, and represents one of the largest sports supplement markets.
However, it is not stable in water and until now could only be used in powdered forms.
Anabio Technologies found a way to encapsulate the creatine to protect it from water.
Dr Bleiel explained, “If you think of encapsulation as making micron sized Smarties, the creatine is where the chocolate is and we put special coatings around it. We don’t use anything synthetic or artificial… Our particles are so small you need a microscope to see them, so they just look like powder. Under a microscope you can see that they are actually like little Smarties – it has a coating and it has the material embedded inside it and protected by it”.
Anabio Technologies partner, Future Nutrition, has been able to use this new encapsulation technology to formulate a creatine shot.
CreaOne is the first stable liquid creatine shot and is a clinically proven performance enchancer.
The ingredient is aqua- and acid- stable and is the active ingredient in Future Nutrition’s ‘Little Dragon Extreme Pre-workout Shot’.
In this formula, the creatine is delivered straight to the blood stream for increased muscle fuel.
Dr Bleiel said this technology could lead to many new opportunities for creatine as a supplement.
“The study revolutionises the sports nutrition industry because it provides a lot more versatility for creatine. Before, creatine could only be used in a dry format if you wanted it to be stable, but now we’ve opened a door for creatine material,”
“It’s now stable in an aqueous environment, whether it’s in a beverage, a shot or a long drink – and there’s no question about it bioavailability… this is a huge innovation for the sports nutrition industry and I think you will see a lot more creatine ingredients in the future as its very popular but has always been limited by its instability in liquid.”
The study tested the effects of microencapsulated creatine versus placebos in ten physically active male volunteers.
The study was conducted in a double-blind design, with five of the participants receiving the placebo and the remainder receiving the creatine.
All ten were given the formulas in 70mL ready-to-drink formats.
After three hours of consumption, plasma creatine concentrations were unchanged for the placebo group.
For the group who consumed the microencapsulated creatine, a significant increase in plasma creatine concentrations was observed after half an hour, representing a 2.3 fold increase over the placebo group.
After the initial spike, the plasma creatine concentrations gradually decreased but still remained high.
The study concluded that microencapsulated forms of creatine monohydrate remains bioavailable when delivered in aqueous conditions.
Source: Journal of Dietary Supplements
“Plasma Creatine Kinetics After Ingestion of Microencapsulated Creatine Monohydrate with Enhanced Stability in Aqueous Solutions”
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1080/19390211.2016.1267060
Authors: Michelle Hone BSc, Robert M. Kent PhD, Alessandro Scotto di Palumbo PhD, Sinead B. Bleiel PhD, Giuseppe De Vito MD, PhD & Brendan Egan PhD.