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S.M.A.R.T. Creatine Reviews

By: VMI Sports®



Overall
Overall
6.7
Effectiveness
Effectiveness
9.0
Value
Value
7.8
Full-Container Received through SR TROOPs.
Thanks to VMI Sports® for sending it out!
(Show run details )
  October 4, 2017

 Pros:
 Cons:
  • Full Label Disclosure
  • Builds Muscle
  • Pricey
  • Needs Higher Overall Creatine Dosage
  • Horrible Taste

Introduction

38 years old and I lift 4 times a week, and try to do conditioning 2-3 times a week. Creatine is one of the proven supplements in our world, and its something that I try and maintain in my stack. In the last year or so I have been branching out from the traditional Creatine Monohydrate to the more fancier blends. Given VMI's good track record here on SR, once their SMART Creatine V.3 was being offered, I had to try it. Lets see how Smart this Creatine really is.

Ingredient Profile

Pretty simple profile here and fully transparent. We have 1,200mg of Magnapower (Magnesium Creatine-Chelate), 1,200mg of Creatine Citrate, 1,200mg of Creatine Pyruvate, and 200mg of Sodium Chloride. Why all the fancy Creatines versus the standard Creatine Monohydrate? Well, lets break each one down to see what it really does.

Magnapower (Magnesium Creatne-Chelate) - This process bonds magnesium to creatine which means it is absorbed via a different pathway compared to creatine mono. The idea here is that using a different transporter to get the creatine to the muscle cells, less is lost in transport and broken down into waste product creatine. Also, using magnesium creatine chelate can lead to greater absorption of creatine into muscle cells with less bloating and side effects associated with creatine mono. (http://www.predatornutrition.com/articlesdetail?cid=magnesium-creatine-chelate-vs-creatine-monohydrate)

Creatine Citrate - Creatine citrate is a creatine monohydrate molecule attached to a citric acid molecule. Both substances provides increase of energy production on the molecular level. The first one works on anaerobic pathways, the second on aerobic pathways. As the result of these processes, the muscle strength and endurance increases. Creatine citrate also better dissolves in water than the creatine monohydrate. (http://www.muscle-zone.com/creatine-citrate)

Creatine Pyruvate - This is creatine bound with pyruvic acid. This may produce higher plasma levels of creatine thatn monohydrate, but this does not translate into greater muscle absorption or performance enhancement. Studies comparing mono vs pyruvate have shown no difference in regards to muscle strength, size, and power in response to weight training of the two. However, using this over Monohydrate reduces the need to load.

Overall not a bad creatine blend, this gives you a total of 3.6g of Creatine per scoop. Of the three forms the pyruvate doesn't really excite me at all but I do like to see Citrate and Magnapower, as they are proven to be more effective than your standard Creatine Monohydrate. (8/10)

Taste/Mixability/Dosing

Taste - Okay, this is where the product went wrong for me. I recieved the Unflavored version, so I thought it would simply dissolve into whatever I mixed it with and I would not even notice it being there. Wrong!! This had a very chemical taste to it that took a lot of getting used to. I did not enjoy the taste of this at all. (2/10)

Mixability - For the most part this dissolved well in water and when mixed with either a PWO or Protein. However, a couple of times some of the clumps did not dissolve and I would get a clump of this stuff in my mouth towards the bottom of my shaker, which tasted terribly. So 80% of the time it mixed fine, but you had that 20% of the time where it would be a wildcard and give you a bad taste. (5/10)

Dosing - So at my weight of 240, I require about 8-10g of Creatine a day. What I decided to do here is to take 1 scoop on non training days, and 2 scoops (1 pre and 1 post) on training days. This seemed to work out the best and I did see some results which we wil talk about below. (8/10)

So we had some issues here with taste and mixability. As well when I received the tub, the scooper itself had Creatine caked inside it and would not dump out, so I had to take a knife to it to break it up. Not a big deal at all, but something to keep in mind. Also, I did see clumps throughout my usage in the tub, I would break them up and they would seem to form again, was real odd. I have attached a pic of both. Something in this is clumping it up and with my experience with those clumps not dissolving all the way, it did not make me happy.

Effectiveness

Overall this creatine blend did its job. I felt no bloating ever, even on days I used two scoops. I did make some lean mass gains, but was also running an AI and a Mass Gainer for 2 weeks during this run, but i can safely say that some of the lean gains are from this Creatine. What I expect from Creatines are to gain some lean mass and likely a little water weight. I did not seem to gain much water weight, if any, next few days will truly determine it, but a couple days off of this I still have the same muscle fullness that I gained during this run. So in my eyes, this Creatine is very effective, if it was not for the clumping and the horrid taste I would love this stuff. Now lets talk label claims.

Features Triple Stage Creatine Algorithm - Okay, we can see this through teh different creatines in the blend, the idea here is that each one releases at a different pace. Hence the name SMART (Slow, Medium, Accelerated Release Technology). So sure, this is right.

Promotes Skin Tearing Muscle Fullness - Skin Tearing? hah, no, but I understnad its just marketing to say that. Yes, this is where the product did the best in my eyes, as I expereienced some nice muscle fullness.

Anti-Bloat Formula with Sodium-Chloride - Yup, just as I said above, I never once felt bloated. Even with Creatine Monohydrate in the past I have felt bloated when loading or taking multiple scoops. So this is a good benefit of taking the fancy creatine blends.

So, yes this product delivers to what its designed for and I had some pretty good results here. Very effective. (9/10)

Value

Amazon has this product for $14.98 for 30 servings. That comes out to be 50 cents a serving. Thats not a bad price, while not great, but I say about average in the blend world. When comparing this with other Creatine Blend prices its pretty tough because the price ranges quite a bit depending on the product. So since we know this is effective as well, you get good value here. Now what hurts our value at the same time is the taste. I know most people do not care about taste if a product works, but I have had unflavored Creatine Blends in the past that were tasteless, so I know it can be done. (7.8/10)

Side Effects

None on the person, but you will get clumping in the tub, and at times it does not dissolve all the way in the shaker cup.

Conclusion

Very effective Creatine Blend, but something has to be done about the taste especially since this is unflavored. The chemical taste to it was not great, and honestly turns me off the product since I know I can find just as effective Creatine blends out there that do not taste like that at all. If that can be fixed then this is a pretty great product. If that is not an issue for you, then awesome but it is enough for me to make this a borderline product I would likely not purchase. I would be happy to try this again if the flavoring ever gets fixed. Thank you to VMI and the TROOPer program for this opportunity.
Flavors:
  • Unflavored: 2/10



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