Many bodybuilders are unaware of how supplemental creatine is made or even where it is derived from – natural sources or synthetic sources. I will shed a little bit of light on this subject.
Naturally, creatine is produced in our body from the combination of 3 amino acids – glycine, arginine and methionine also chemically known as a-methyl-guanidinoacetic acid. Creatine can also be found in animal and fish sources but extracting large enough amounts for commercial use would be very impractical as it would be quite expensive.
This leads to me to discuss how the creatine we supplement with is produced. The creatine that we consume is synthetically produced by the manufacturing of 2 chemicals – sarcosine, which is a sodium salt and derivative of acetic acid, and cyanamide, which is an organic amide not to be confused with the similar sounding poison cyanide. Although these are chemicals, at the end of their reaction process is a product that is perfecting fine for human consumption – creatine. Reacting the chemicals sarcosine with cyanamide in a specific amount of water, inside a glass-lined filled vessel known as a reactor is the only way to make synthetic creatine.
Just for an example of how chemicals can be combined for human consumption let’s take a look at table salt. Sodium is pretty much safe to consume in its raw form but chloride is toxic to humans and will burn the skin. This is why it was used during WWI. Chemistry has allowed sodium and chloride to be combined into a new and harmless compound – common table salt.
The process for synthesizing creatine has been the same for many, many years and has not changed. The only thing that may have changed is the advancement in technology, which has improved the process, is regards to quality of the finished product.
The process to manufacturing creatine happens in 4 stages – reaction phase, cleaning phase, drying phase, and the milling phase. At the end of this process is a pure finished creatine ready to be packaged. Pure finished creatine is usually 88% creatine and 12% water because creatine picks up and bonds to water molecules during the initial reaction process.
This, my friends is how creatine is manufactured or ‘synthesized’. Later on we will discuss the brand of creatine – PURPLE•K and why bodybuilders consider it a staple supplement in their bodybuilding program.
Chris Belanger – FUSIONBodybuilding.com