Consumer Lab tested some creatine and bcaa supplements recently. Two of the creatine supplements were creatine serums which is basically creatine in a liquid suspension. These creatine serums have been shown time and time again to not contain the amount of creatine claimed and to have degraded to creatinine. I'm actually surprised they are still being marketed. What's more the suggested serving amount of creatine on the product labels were ridiculously small.
Creatine Serums are worthless. Don't buy them. I want to talk about one of the products on the report though because it is a case study in "muscle supplement bullshit".
This is Muscle Marketing USA® ATP Creatine Serum™. Bodybuilding.com at the top of the product page proclaims them to be "Inventors of world's only stabilized creatine liquid." Not just bodybuilding.com I'm sure I'm just using them as an example.
Stabilized? There was twice as much creatinine in the product as usable creatine..of which there was very little. But we don't know how much creatine there was supposed to be because the product does not disclose the actual amount of creatine. Instead we have the "proprietary complex":
"250 mg of a proprietary creatine phosphate serum complex per 5 mL serving".
There was NOT 250 mg of creatine in the product..and 250 mg of creatine is a VERY LOW AMOUNT. CL found 20.7 mg in the product. We have a worthless "serum" claiming to be "stabilized" with a marketing bs "proprietary complex". See there is nothing to suggest that this "complex" contains all creatine. You can put a mg of creatine in with 250 mg of vitamin c and call it a proprietary creatine complex. If a product does not list the exact amount it is supposed to contain of the ingredient you are looking for don't buy it!
The proprietary complex or proprietary blend, I'm sure, rarely has anything to do with protecting a proprietary formula. It is usually nothing more than a blatant hiding of the actual amount of ACTIVE INGREDIENT. Many times these complexes contain up to 50 ingredients.
Say you have 2 grams of a proprietary blend with 50 ingredients having something to do with creatine. Say one of the ingredients is creatine monohydrate. You have no way of knowing how much creatine is in the product. And what's more there are so many ingredients that it is quite impossible for most of them to contain a big enough dose to be useful.
There is no such thing as a stabilized creatine serum. Do not buy these either.
The creatine monohydrate powders they tested all contained the specified amount of creatine monohydrate.