by Matt Weik
It’s been some time in the making and quite controversial to say the least, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally accepted creatine nitrate as a new dietary ingredient. The patent for creatine nitrate is held by Ron Kramer, owner of ThermoLife International and Muscle Beach Nutrition. Will this new form of creatine blow up or fizzle out quickly?
Years in the making
Creatine nitrate is nothing more than creatine bonded to a nitrate. How does it differ from creatine monohydrate from a structure standpoint? Creatine monohydrate is creatine with a single water molecule. One thing is for certain, though, and that’s creatine monohydrate is the most studied supplement on the planet and around 98% of creatine monohydrate is absorbed by the body. Honestly, that’s good enough for me. Some think creatine monohydrate is the bees knees, while others are non-responders and don’t see any benefits from using this form—it comes down to individuality and how your body handles each form of creatine.
Back in 2011, Kramer filed for New Dietary Ingredient Notification (NDIN) with creatine nitrate, but was denied due to concerns raised by the FDA. Kramer decided to continue researching the ingredient based on the feedback from the FDA that he needed more studies backing the ingredient.
As asked, more research was done and in 2016, a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition was found to show creatine nitrate’s safety and efficacy. The backer of the study was supplement giant, Nutrabolt International, who owns Cellucor, FitJoy, and Scivation in the sports nutrition industry.
The CEO and president of the Natural Products Association (NPA) said, “The new dietary ingredient notification (NDIN) process is an important part of the regulatory system and we’ve always encouraged all of our member companies to submit NDINs, even if they believe their NDI is exempt.”
There is some speculation, however, with how creatine nitrate compares to other well-studied forms such as creatine monohydrate. The CEO and co-founder of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), Jose Antonio, was quoted saying, “Certainly the ‘nitrate’ part of it may offer an ergogenic effect, but the data on it, versus creatine monohydrate, is sparse—and that’s being generous.”
Should you jump on the creatine nitrate bandwagon?
Not so fast…
It appears that while creatine nitrate is more soluble than some other forms of creatine, there aren’t any true studies out that show all of the benefits associated with this version over any other version. One thing that we should know is that due to creatine nitrate being more soluble (thanks to the nitrate), it is more easily absorbed which means you are able to take less of it and get the same effects as you would from another source at a higher dose. For instance, if you take 5g of creatine monohydrate, you should be able to get the same results with 2.5g of creatine nitrate.
While having a nitrate as part of the product, you might be able to attain a better pump from workouts as well since the nitrate helps increase oxygen levels in the blood.
The cost, however, might be of concern to some people. Many are saying that the difference in what is absorbed by the body when comparing creatine nitrate and creatine monohydrate is only 2%—again, more studies are needed to confirm/deny. That being said, creatine monohydrate is the least expensive form of creatine on the market these days and you can find just about every brand under the sun carrying a powder or pill version.
If you are a non-responder to creatine monohydrate, then it is recommended that you try something such as a creatine HCl or a creatine nitrate. But, personally, I always recommend everyone try creatine monohydrate FIRST and see how they respond. If you can get benefits from that version, I’d simply stick with it and save yourself some money. Sure, you would need to have a higher dose to absorb enough, but even with a higher quantity needed you’d still be saving money in the long run.
Some products you might not even have a choice if you want creatine nitrate or not. As many brands are utilizing blends of creatine that contain creatine monohydrate, creatine HCl, as well as creatine nitrate all in one product. Only you can decide if the lemon is worth the squeeze and if you are fine with shelling out more money on such a product. Personally, I’m a fan of plain old creatine monohydrate, but if I can catch a deal on creatine HCl and get it for the same price as monohydrate, I’m all over it.
1.) Menayang, Adi. “Creatine Nitrate Patent Holder ThermoLife Claims Successful NDI Submission.” NutraIngredients-USA.com, 21 Aug. 2017.