The aim of the present study was to test if the consumption of creatine incorporated in food bars modifies creatine plasma kinetics, erythrocyte retention and loss in urine and in feces when compared with its consumption in the form of an aqueous solution (AS). Seventeen healthy young men ingested 2 g creatine either in the form of AS, or incorporated in a protein (PP)- or in a beta-glucan (BG)-rich food bar. Kinetics of plasma creatine was measured for 8-h duration and urinary excretion for 24 h. Then, the subjects received the same treatment thrice a day for 1 week at the end of which creatine contents were determined in erythrocytes and in feces (n = 4 for feces). The three crossover treatments were interspaced by a 40 +/- 1.2-day wash-out. Absorption of creatine was slowed down by 8-fold in the presence of BG (P < 0.001) and by 4-fold with PP (P < 0.001) whereas the velocity rate constant of elimination and the area under the curve were not modified. Urinary loss of creatine in the first 24 h following ingestion was 15 +/- 1.9% in AS and 14 +/- 2.2% in PP conditions (NS), whereas it was only 8 +/- 1.2% with BG (P = 0.004). Increase in creatine concentration in erythrocyte was similar in whatever form the creatine was ingested. Creatine seems to be totally absorbed since no creatine or creatinine was detectable in feces. No side effects were reported. In conclusion, ingestion of creatine combined with BG facilitates its retention by slowing down its absorption rate and reducing its urinary excretion.