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Why Is There a Creatine Shortage

Creatine is a popular supplement that’s a staple in many athlete routines. In recent times, you may have found it harder to find your favorite creatine - here's why.

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Creatine monohydrate is a popular dietary supplement that’s been a staple in the routines of many athletes. In recent times, you may have found it harder to find your favorite creatine supplements in-stores or online due to a shortage. We’re going to give you the inside scoop on the benefits of creatine, how it’s made, and some factors contributing to the fluctuations.

What is Creatine?

Creatine is an organic compound comprised of amino acids: arginine, glycine, and methionine. Creatine plays an important role in the production of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) the cellular energy currency of our cells.

Creatine pairs with the electrolyte phosphate to form phosphocreatine (PC), phosphocreatine functions like a cellular energy piggy bank in our muscles. Phosphocreatine donates phosphate groups to ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate) to form ATP (our energy tokens). These energy tokens are what fuel our bodies during explosive movements like a one-rep max lift, a 40-yard dash, or a medicine ball slam.

The Sourcing & Supply Concerns – How Creatine Is Made

The manufacturing process of creatine involves adding pre-cursor compounds into a reactor (this is a large vessel where chemical reactions can occur) where it can be cooled so that it crystallizes into creatine. From here the crystalized creatine can be centrifuged (this process involves spinning the material at high speeds to separate the fluids from the creatine crystals) and then dried so that it can be packaged.[1]

As you can see, this process involves a lot of chemistry and some high-tech equipment. If there are any constraints along this supply chain for chemicals or equipment parts, the entire process can get delayed.

Benefits of Creatine

Creatine is one of the most popular sports nutrition supplements because of its many benefits. [2,3]

Some benefits of creatine monohydrate supplementation include

  • Improved maximal power and strength
  • Improved single effort sprint performance
  • Improved repeat effort sprint performance
  • Increased lean muscle mass

Creatine monohydrate is considered among the most effective dietary supplement currently available for increasing high intensity exercise performance and lean mass during training.[4]

The Creatine Shortage – Behind the Fluctuations

The high demand for a proven supplement like creatine combined with various supply chain factors have contributed to its shortage.

Our Director of Product Development Frank DiLorenzo had this to say:

The benefits of creatine are well known; it helps to keep the demand high with consumers already buying those products as well as consumers entering the performance nutrition category. The supply constraints are multi-faceted. There is a backlog at the ports slowing the unloading of shipments, there is a shortage of drivers to deliver shipments once containers are unloaded, there have been fewer people working at the warehouses to unload shipments once it arrives, and fewer people working at manufacturer sites, slowing production, all of which contribute to less available supply and longer turnaround. Which I think most consumers are somewhat aware of these staffing challenges. The other constraints are on the raw material production side of things where some factories had reduced output or were shut down leading up to the Olympics. Further, compounding the issue was precursor material shortages leading to less available production capacity.”

And our Head of Customer Loyalty and Influence Greg Tetzlaff added:

“Fortunately, as an organization that has several products including Creatine Monohydrate, we’re able to work with our ingredient partners to secure large amounts. This is an advantage because it allows us to maintain inventory of this important ingredient and pass along meaningful savings to our customers – even during periods of shortage.”

Looking for creatine monohydrate to add to your supplement stack? Check out COR-Performance Creatine.

COR-Performance Creatine

Featuring the premium micronized version of Creatine Monohydrate, COR Performance Creatine delivers superior mixability and absorption, allowing you to reap the benefits of increased performance, lean muscle, and strength.

References

[1] http://eknygos.lsmuni.lt/springer/602/291-307.pdf

[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29214923/

[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12701815/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2048496/

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