Creatine has long been the frontrunner in the world of sports performance for increasing athletic performance, boosting strength and power, and amplifying lean muscle mass gains. It is the most well-researched sports supplement ingredient in the world, with countless studies demonstrating outstanding benefits ranging from enhanced strength and power/force output, gains in lean muscle mass, reduction in muscle fatigue and increased volume/workload capabilities, and improvements in explosiveness, sprint speed, and even vertical leap. There's even been studies to show creatine holds the ability to increase bone mineral density, especially in individuals who don't eat meat.
These are some pretty incredible and substantial benefits. This begs the question, what is creatine and how does it work to provide such amazing benefits?
Creatine is a molecule that is produced in the body from the amino acids arginine, glycine, and methionine. It's primarily made in the liver and (to a lesser extent) in the kidneys and pancreas, with our bodies naturally producing about 1 gram per day. Creatine stores high-energy phosphate groups in the form of phosphocreatine. These phosphate groups are donated to ADP to regenerate it to ATP, the primary energy carrier in the body. This role in energy production is particularly relevant under conditions of high energy demand, such as intense physical or mental activity.
ATP is your body’s primary source of energy for the phosphate energy system; the energy system which your body uses to power short, sharp muscle contractions and other anaerobic exercises. Creatine allows your muscles to contract with more power for an increased number of repetitions, increasing your anaerobic exercise capacity. Creatine, therefore, allows you to train harder, for longer, and stimulate more muscle growth, resulting in an increase in muscle strength and size.
- Inspired Nutraceuticals CR3 - The Power of 3 has Evolved!!!
Inspired Nutraceuticals is known for and has built a solid reputation in the sports nutrition world for their innovative products and formulas, and this trend continues with the latest version of their powerful creatine formula CR3. Since its creation, CR3 has been one of Inspired's most popular and revolutionary products. The original formula boasted 2 grams of creatine hydrochloride, along with 750 mg of Agmatine Sulfate to induce muscle pumps and boost nitric oxide production, and the duo AstraGin and ActiGin to increase absorption and endurance. This formula quickly grew in popularity, and became a staple for gym goers and athletes of all levels for ramping up exercise performance in the gym and on the field
The newest version of CR3 takes creatine hydrochloride at 1,200mg plus creatine nitrate at 1,200mg and combines it with two very synergistic support ingredients in AstraGin and Senactiv. These additions not only help to enhance creatine absorption and further boost ATP levels, but also provides 2 additional benefits that make this formula truly exceptional and unique - enhanced VO2 max and muscular endurance support!
We're already seeing some amazing benefits and attributes of this incredible formulation, but wait... there's more. With the new addition of Creatine Nitrate (as NO3-T®), CR3 will drastically increase nitric oxide production to increase blood flow, and oxygen and nutrient delivery to muscles. Massive muscle pumps on top of help building lean muscle mass, regenerating cells, ramping up strength and power, pushing ATP regeneration to its absolute maximum allowing you to train longer and harder, all while boosting endurance, explosiveness, and the amount of oxygen your body can utilize during exercise... you can bet that the newest formula will continue to be a staple for gym goers and athletes across the world.
CR3 - INGREDIENTS AND FULL BREAKDOWN OF THE FORMULA
Now that we've discussed the new additions to this sensational formula, let's fully breakdown this performance boosting masterpiece and discuss in detail all of the benefits you can expect.
- Creatine Nitrate (as NO3-T) – 1,250 mg
Creatine nitrate is a relatively new form of creatine which is derived from the molecule that delivers creatine monohydrate. By binding the creatine to a nitrate molecular structure rather than to a monohydrate, creatine will be more soluble and therefore increase the absorbency rate, making it more readily accessible.
The chemical properties of creatine nitrate combine two powerful effects that improve the overall effect of creatine as a sports nutrition supplement. As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, creatine is widely known as the number 1 supplement in the world for strength training and to help build lean muscle mass. Nitrates have been increasingly viewed and studied as offering an even greater boost to the effect of other sports supplements (including creatine).
Nitrates have the distinct ability to reduce oxygen depletion and therefore help you train longer and harder. Nitrates can also increase energy supplies to muscles for increased performance. By binding creatine to nitrates rather than monohydrates, this delivers a double punch for increasing training abilities and increasing athletic performance.
Several studies have demonstrated that this double punch does in fact work. The effects of creatine toward reducing fatigue, building muscle mass, and increasing performance were increased with the addition of nitrates. The effect of nitrates of boosting mitochondrial energy levels served to enhance the already powerful effects of creatine. Overall, these studies found that participants were able to sustain high-intensity training and athletic performance at higher degrees with the use of creatine nitrate. Moreover, these studies also found the benefits of both creatine and nitrates were enhanced when taken together and showed greater effects than when they are taken independently.
Creatine Nitrate as NO3-T is also an incredibly powerful nitric oxide booster that comes along with a long list of other workout and fitness benefits. When you think of your standard vasodilation/nitric oxide boosting ingredients (such as Arginine and Citrulline), you may be able to get through your workout before the effects start to fade, but when you use a potent ingredient like NO3-T, the effects can last as long as eight hours or more. Can you imagine walking around looking swole with a pump for most of your day? Heads are going to be turning left and right, and don’t be surprised when your friends, family, and coworkers start asking what you’re taking.
Here are the benefits of NO3-T:
1. Improved blood flow - Blood flow is what carries not only oxygenated blood to your muscles but also key nutrients that aid in the recovery and muscle-building process. Additionally, during workouts, dilating the blood vessels and increasing blood flow can help remove lactic acid buildup in the muscle to help improve your workout performance.
2. Increased nitric oxide production - In order to enhance blood flow, nitric oxide needs to be produced to help encourage vasodilation of the blood vessels. NO3-T Arginine Nitrate has the ability to help boost nitric oxide production and start the domino effect within the body to allow you the capability to create muscle-swelling pumps during your workout that can last for hours.
3. Amplified energy levels - NO3-T has the ability to naturally boost energy levels without the need for additional stimulants. This can be an incredible benefit to those who are sensitive to stimulants or who prefer to utilize stimulant-free pre-workouts in their regimen. Additionally, being stimulant-free makes NO3-T an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be used in both stim-free formulas as well as those that include stimulants to further increase energy production.
4. Boosting strength and power - While getting swole and muscular is something most lifters look to attain, the last thing you want is to be all show and no go. You want strength and power to match up to the muscle size right? While some people have the ability to grow lean muscle mass fairly easily, that doesn’t mean their strength necessarily matches that muscle size. For other people, the only way they find they build muscle is when they lift heavy and push some serious weight.
The great thing with NO3-T is that it has the distinct ability to help enhance strength and power levels regardless of whether you’re training for strength and size or not. Ultimately, what research has found is that nitrates such as NO3-T Arginine Nitrate can help enhance muscle contraction efficacy during workouts which can lead to significant gains in both muscle size and strength.
5. Enhance recovery - Your ability to recover following intense workouts will be the gatekeeper of your results. Most people have no issue putting in the work at the gym. The issue comes with what happens after you complete your workout and you leave the gym. If you aren’t able to fully recover from your workout, you'll find yourself forever chasing the results you want, and will 100% see subpar results from all that hard work. NO3-T helps shuttle crucial nutrients into the muscles along with oxygenated blood to spark the recovery process and help rebuild torn-down muscle fibers and microtears in the muscle.
6. Increase endurance - Wouldn’t it be nice to increase your endurance and stamina while training? That's a no brainer, of course it would!! By improving your endurance, you can push yourself harder and longer during your training sessions, and get the results you're looking for that much faster.
Recent studies indicate that nitrate supplementation (such as NO3-T), helps improve muscle efficiency by reducing the O2 cost of submaximal exercise and thereby improve endurance exercise performance. It also enhances skeletal muscle contractile function and thereby improves muscle power and sprint exercise performance.
- Creatine hydrochloride – 1,250 mg
Creatine HCL works well because adding the hydrochloride group to the creatine molecule lowers the pH of the creatine, making it more acidic. Research shows that when subjects consume the same amounts of creatine HCL and creatine monohydrate, the creatine HCL is absorbed by the intestines around 60% better than creatine monohydrate. This means that you can take a much smaller dose of creatine HCL to get similar results as creatine monohydrate. With greater solubility in fluid, greater absorption by the intestines, and with a much smaller dose, you significantly reduce the chance of stomach issues and subcutaneous water retention.
- Senactiv®- 50mg
Senactiv® is a 100% all natural plant-based compound that is a blend of Panax notoginseng and Rosa roxburghii, when combined they work synergistically to increase time to exhaustion in high intensity interval training, increase ATP production, speed up recovery by reducing inflammation in the muscle and increasing muscle glycogen levels and eliminate deteriorating muscle cells.
Senactiv® has proven in numerous clinical trials to increase energy production by producing 47% more citrate synthase in the muscle cells. What’s more, this significant increase in citrate synthase was demonstrated during a vigorous 60-minute cycling session where participants were working hard at 70% VO2 max.
Citrate synthase is the pace making enzyme that helps to trigger the first step of the Krebs cycle (the sequence of reactions by which most living cells generate energy during the process of aerobic respiration. It takes place in the mitochondria, consuming oxygen, producing carbon dioxide and water as waste products, and converting ADP to energy-rich ATP) that ultimately goes on to create ATP, the energy provider of our muscle cells.
Adding Senactiv® equals a higher level of citrate synthase, which can trigger more Krebs cycles, which can create more ATP, which provides more energy to the muscles that can then perform harder, for longer.
Not only does Senactiv® help to reenergize the cells by boosting energy production, but it also helps with muscle recovery. It does this by reducing the inflammation that builds up during intense exercise and increasing muscle glycogen synthesis (the main fuel for the muscles during intense exercise).
Furthermore, Senactiv® increases endurance by improving the 80% VO2 max time to exhaustion by 20%. It also helps to improve cellular renewal and regeneration. It does this by speeding up the time it takes for the body to eliminate old, senescent cells so that they can be replaced by new, healthy cells. Benefiting the performance of the muscle cells.
- AstraGin - 50mg
AstraGin is a 100% natural compound that increases absorption of many vital nutrients and that promotes a healthy gut environment. The absorption of nutrients in your body is controlled by transporter proteins. These protein compounds are regulated by mRNA, a molecule that receives and encodes a chemical message for protein products. AstraGin increases the “transporters” and “mRNA” in your body, which are chemicals that work out a number of nutrients absorbed into the cells in your intestines.
Most nutrient absorption takes place in the small intestines. Amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and many other nutrients are taken up from the intestines into the blood via transporter proteins. AstraGin has the ability to positively upregulate these transporter proteins. In fact, AstraGin has been shown in multiple in-vivo studies to increase the absorption of amino acids, such as arginine, lysine, citrulline, and histidine. These studies have also shown AstraGin can increase the absorption of amino acids such citrulline by up to 43 percent and vitamins such as folate by up to 50 percent. AstraGin has even been shown to improve ATP (energy) production by up to 18 percent! That's a massive increase to go along with the already robust CR3 formula.
Chris Waldrum and and his team at Inspired Nutraceuticals have hit a grand slam with this new and improved creatine formula. The new addition of creatine nitrate adds some pretty substantial benefits on top of an already loaded formula.
It is an active pump agent, an active strength agent, an active muscle building agent, an active endurance and VO2 max enhancing agent, and an active recovery agent all rolled into one dynamic formula.
The formula is profound, yet simple, and every ingredient is backed by mounds of research. No matter whether you're an elite level sprinter, a world class bodybuilder, a top competitor in the strongman competition, an endurance athlete looking to get stronger, faster, and improve performance, or even an average gym goer looking to improve your lifts, this is one that you will definitely want in the arsenal.