Creatine monohydrate represents one of the largest sports supplement markets. Enhancing creatine (CRE) stability in aqueous solutions, such as with microencapsulation, represents innovation potential. Ten physically active male volunteers were randomly assigned in a double-blind design to either placebo (PLA) (3-g maltodextrin; n = 5) or microencapsulated CRE (3-g creatine monohydrate; n = 5) conditions. Experimental conditions involved ingestion of the samples in a 70-mL ready-to-drink format. CRE was delivered in a novel microencapsulation matrix material consisting entirely of hydrolyzed milk protein. Three hours after ingestion, plasma creatine concentrations were unchanged during PLA, and averaged ∼45 μM. During CRE, plasma creatine concentration peaked after 30 min at 101.6 ± 14.9 μM (p < 0.05), representing a 2.3-fold increase over PLA. Thereafter, plasma creatine concentration gradually trended downwards but remained significantly elevated (∼50% above resting levels) 3 hr after ingestion. These results demonstrate that the microencapsulated form of creatine monohydrate reported herein remains bioavailable when delivered in aqueous conditions, and has potential utility in ready-to-drink formulations for creatine supplementation.
Keywords: bioavailability; creatine; microencapsulation; milk protein; plasma kinetics; supplementation.