Creatine is often found in the muscles in your body – although it is naturally produced by three amino acids, it is also excreted daily. It can be sourced externally via food in your diet, such as meat and fish or with creatine monohydrate supplements.
It’s important to maintain levels of creatine in the body because the compound depletes rapidly during exercise,. Supplementing creatine can help to prolong depletion when 3g of creatine is consumed daily. Here, we look at how creatine is made, both internally and externally.
How is creatine made in the body?
Creatine is a molecule that the body can naturally produce. It’s made primarily in the kidneys and completed in the liver, by three amino acids: glycine, arginine and methionine. The amino acids are converted into creatine phosphate and phosphocreatine which is then stored in the skeletal muscles and used for energy.
However, the body produces creatine in small amounts and excretes creatine on a daily basis. This is why some people choose to source extra creatine externally. It’s also naturally found in our diet within foods like meat and fish. This is the same kind of creatine that is produced in the body. Again, levels of creatine can still remain low, which is why it can be supplemented into your routine.
How is creatine manufactured synthetically?
Creatine monohydrate supplements are manufactured outside the body from sarcosine and cyanamide. They are generally combined in a reactor with other catalyst compounds. Sarcosine is similar to a salt, and don’t confuse cyanamide with cyanide.
Once in the reactor, it’s heated and pressurised to form creatine crystals. At this point, any unwanted particles will be removed by centrifuge before being vacuum dried. It is usually milled into a fine powder to improve dissolvability. With creatine monohydrate, it’s usually milled to around 200 mesh so that it is an extremely fine powder, meaning it can dissolve and be absorbed easily when mixed with a liquid to make a drink.