Updated: Oct 12
TL;DR: Creatine nitrate is potentially dangerous. It may increase the risk of cancer due to the formation of nitrosamines, as well as possibly being contaminated with melamine.
Although creatine nitrate has vastly smaller amounts of research than creatine monohydrate has, the creatine will have similar effects. Although, we must consider that creatine nitrate is essentially like supplementing with both nitrate and creatine.
Creatine nitrate administered at 3 grams was well tolerated, showed equivalent benefits to 3 grams creatine monohydrate, and posed no safety issues. (1)
However, there are some potentially serious safety concerns we must look into.
Creatine nitrate may not be safe, it can increase the formation of nitrosamines, potentially increasing the risk of cancer. Many creatine nitrate supplements are also contaminated with melamine, a hormone-disrupting chemical.
There are a few safety concerns of creatine nitrate that we need to be aware of.
Creatine nitrate nitrites may form cancer-causing nitrosamines when they react with dietary amines in proteins. (2)
Creatine interacted with nitrites in cells under acidic conditions to produce N-nitrososarcosine (NSAR), another cancer-causing compound. (3)
The possibility that creatine nitrate is tainted with melamine and other hormone-disrupting chemicals. (4)
Natural nitrate sources provide vitamin C and other antioxidants that reduce or inhibit the formation of nitrosamines. When using creatine nitrate supplements, a lack of antioxidants may increase the risk of nitrosamine formation. (2)
In terms of adverse effects, there aren't many. Two trials found that taking 1-3 grams of creatine nitrate per day for 28 days was safe and well tolerated.
The following are some of the side effects that have been reported: (7)
Increased heart rate
Is It Safe?
Overall, creatine and nitrate may be safe if consumed naturally via the diet. However, creatine and nitrate interact to produce nitrososarcosine, which is a cancer causing chemical.
When consumed as a supplement, there is a lack of antioxidants, as well as the possible melamine contamination.
Nitrate can increase the risk of cancer via the formation of nitrosamines. Many supplements are also contaminated with melamine, a hormone-disrupting chemical.
On its own, creatine is perfectly safe, but it seems the combination of creatine and nitrate may be a potentially dangerous one and therefore we recommend avoiding it.
If you decide to take creatine nitrate, consider taking extra antioxidants, such as curcumin.
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This evidence based analysis of creatine nitrates safety features 8 reference, listed below.
1. Galvan E, Walker DK, Simbo SY, Dalton R, Levers K, O'Connor A, Goodenough C, Barringer ND, Greenwood M, Rasmussen C, Smith SB, Riechman SE, Fluckey JD, Murano PS, Earnest CP, Kreider RB. Acute and chronic safety and efficacy of dose dependent creatine nitrate supplementation and exercise performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2016, Mar 31) ✔
2. Derave W, Taes Y. Beware of the pickle: health effects of nitrate intake. J Appl Physiol (1985). (2009, Nov) ✔
3. Archer MC, Clark SD, Thilly JE, Tannenbaum SR. Environmental nitroso compounds: reaction of nitrite with creatine and creatinine. Science. (1971, Dec 24) ✔
4. Deldicque L, Francaux M. Potential harmful effects of dietary supplements in sports medicine. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. (2016, Nov) (Review) ✔
5. Pritchard NR, Kalra PA. Renal dysfunction accompanying oral creatine supplements. Lancet. (1998, Apr 25) (Case Reports) ✔
6. Koshy KM, Griswold E, Schneeberger EE. Interstitial nephritis in a patient taking creatine. N Engl J Med. (1999, Mar 11) (Case Reports) ✔
7. Galvan E, Walker DK, Simbo SY, Dalton R, Levers K, O'Connor A, Goodenough C, Barringer ND, Greenwood M, Rasmussen C, Smith SB, Riechman SE, Fluckey JD, Murano PS, Earnest CP, Kreider RB. Acute and chronic safety and efficacy of dose dependent creatine nitrate supplementation and exercise performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2016, Mar 31) (Randomised Controlled Trial) ✔
8. Joy JM, Lowery RP, Falcone PH, Mosman MM, Vogel RM, Carson LR, Tai CY, Choate D, Kimber D, Ormes JA, Wilson JM, Moon JR. 28 days of creatine nitrate supplementation is apparently safe in healthy individuals. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2014, Dec 20) ✔
✔ Citations with a tick indicate the information is from a trusted source.
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