By Paul Cribb
Q: I have a question regarding a new product called Creatine Ethyl Ester. The company that sells this product claims that it is delivered to muscles more effectively than creatine monohydrate. Would you please enlighten me on this new supplement?
A: I can't find a single research paper that documents creatine-ethyl-esters. The only information available on creatine-ethyl-esters is the advertising, marketing spin produced by the companies that sell it.
If someone can obtain something science-based that may substantiate some of the claims about this product, I like to see it because some of the claims are quite amusing. One of the claims made by marketers of creatine-ethyl-esters is that it’s proven to be better than creatine monohydrate. In what way, I’m not sure because I can’t even obtain a document showing me this compound is for real, let alone research results that may suggest this product is better than pure creatine monohydrate. If this product is proven to be better than creatine monohydrate then the evidence should be readily available to consumers.
The lack of scientific evidence on creatine-ethyl-esters might tell you something about the integrity of the companies that sell this product. If we take a closer look at some of the other claims about this product then the scientific spin starts to become transparent.
From a biochemical perspective, there is no need to “attach” an ester group to the creatine molecule. This attachment will not make creatine any more bioavailable. Additionally, this attachment won't prevent degradation by the liver; creatine is actually synthesized in the liver.
Another claim is that due to the ester attachment, this type of creatine is able to permeate the muscle cell membrane (outershell) and thus more creatine can enter muscle cells. This is a straight out lie. The only way creatine and other amino acid compounds enter cells is via transporters. The real research shows on the topic of creatine absorption and transport shows that regular creatine is absorbed in to the blood stream without a problem. A 5 gram dose of creatine monohydrate saturates blood plasma for up to an hour. Creatine transport (into muscle cells) occurs when the concentration outside the cell is greater than inside the cell.
I believe the whole “ester” thing is a scam, a by-product of the steroid (make it sound like a drug) stigma and it is you, the consumer who is paying for the sham. When companies advertise claims such as “absorbed faster than regular creatine”, “20 times anabolic that regular creatine” or "40 times more potent and absorbable than regular creatine" - they are making very specific claims. Therefore, the company making the claim should have research that can substantiate the claim. If they can't back this claim up with supporting science that means they are simply making it up out of thin air. As a consumer, you have the power to call the company on their bluff and ask them to produce the evidence.
The truth is that these companies won't accommodate your request. They can't accomidate your request. As with most supplement scams; no scientific research has ever been conducted on the product and there is no evidence to support the very specific marketing claims that are made about the product.