Creatine nitrate – your ‘cutting edge’ supplement is over 100 years old
by Anthony Roberts
It’s funny that so many things we think are “unique”, “novel” or cutting edge, were actually discovered, synthesized, and described over a century ago. Recently, I happened to find out that Creatine nitrate falls into this category. I’ll preface this information with the note that I am not a fan of this stuff – nitrate supplementation can be potentially hazardous, and now that more literature is coming out on the topic, it appears that the purported ergogenic effects of some nitrate enriched foods and supplements, are not actually a result of increasing nitrate levels in the blood.
That being said, Creatine nitrate, which has recently become the subject of a patent-based lawsuit, was first described in scientific literature as far back as the 1850s (M. Dessaignes, The Chemical Gazette, CCLXXIX, Scientific and Medicinal Chemistry; Examination of some products of the transformation of creatine, pages 201-204, June 1, 1854):
It’s interesting that this so-called cutting edge supplement was first synthesized well over a century ago. And using Creatine nitrate to enhance performance by taking creatine (a known performance enhancer) while combining it with nitrate (purportedly enhancing water solubility, which again is a well established property of nitrate salts), to form a compound that is over a century and a half old, would appear to be something less than novel.
I recently had the opportunity to check out another book that Google has made available online for free, called “The Simpler Natural Bases, Collection on Gastronomy” By George Barger and Katherine Golden Bitting, published by Logmans, Green and co., in 1914. In this book, we find that Creatine nitrate was not only described over 100 years ago, but it was examined for solubility and found to be less soluble than creatine hydrochloride (almost a century ago!):
So clearly the idea of using nitrate of creatine to enhance the solubility of creatine is not a new idea. Although it’s interesting to note that these researchers found it to be less soluble than the hydrochloride version….while recent advertising I’m left scratching my head as to how it was patentable, given the numerous examples of prior art that predate it for a century, and given the obviousness of using a(ny) creatine salt for bodybuilding purposes…
In 1923, we find that this compound has been experimented with, in a book called Chemistry, inorganic, with experiments, by Charles Loudon Bloxam:
Another reference to this compound occurs in a book published in 1928, which cites data from 1907, again, over a century old:
It’s even mentioned in the very beginning of a book written by (Sister) Mary Claire McNamara, published by The Catholic University of America, in 1938: