Inspired Nutraceuticals CR3: A Creatine Pill You Can FEEL

Creatine supplements have become a staple in the sports nutrition industry, and rarely get much attention anymore. As the most clinically-studied sports ingredient, creatine should not be neglected – there are simply too many benefits to list, ranging from strength and power to lean mass gains to cognitive improvements. It may no longer be a sexy ingredient to some, but it’s still extremely important to us.

Leave it to branding expert Chris Waldrum of Inspired Nutraceuticals to make creatine attractive again, leaning on two NuLiv Science ingredients:

Inspired Nutra CR3

Leave it to Chris Waldrum and his team at Inspired Nutraceuticals to make creatine pills interesting again, thanks to two synergistic ingredients from NuLiv Science!

Inspired Nutraceuticals CR3: A Creatine Capsule with an Edge

CR3 takes creatine hydrochloride and combines it with two synergistic support ingredients in AstraGin and Senactiv. This not only helps us boost creatine absorption and ATP levels, but adds an experiential benefit that we don’t reliably get from creatine – VO2max and endurance support!

To top it off, we have a nitric oxide boost from agmatine (whose uptake is also amplified by AstraGin), leading to a very unique pre workout stacker to help build muscle, regenerate cells, and push ATP generation to its limits — all while giving a nice little endurance-boosting pump.

If you thought creatine pills were boring, then think again – Waldrum and Team Inspired show how to get more from just four capsules full of synergy. It’s covered below, but first, see our PricePlow-powered coupons and sign up for Inspired Nutraceuticals news updates, since the team has a lot more to come:

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Inspired Nutra’s CR3 Ingredients

Creatine supplements aren’t usually exciting, but this one is. There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s dive in on what’s in each four capsule serving:

  • Creatine Hydrochloride – 2,000 mg

    Inspired Nutraceuticals CR3 Ingredients

    The Inspired Nutraceuticals CR3 Ingredients – Four capsules, four ingredients, all kinds of creatine-driving synergy

    Creatine is the most well-researched sports supplement ingredient, with numerous research studies demonstrating incredible benefits in terms of power,[1,2] weight gain,[2] lean mass,[2-6] sprint speed,[7-9] hydration,[10] fatigue reduction,[11-14] and even overall well-being[15-17] and improved cognition (for vegetarians)[18,19] in various forms of creatine. We’ve even seen slight improvements to testosterone[20-24] and bone mineral density[5] – especially for those who don’t eat meat.

    Many of the studies cited here aren’t one-offs either, several are meta-analyses, consistently confirming that this is a great dietary supplement for nearly anyone.

    The questions are, what type of creatine, and how much?

    Inspired Nutraceuticals takes an interesting approach here, because it’s not the standard “3-5 grams of creatine monohydrate” that is normally recommended. We’ll dig in to their decision, but first, let’s briefly discuss how creatine works:

    What does creatine do?

    Creatine may seem like a “do-it-all” performance enhancer because it has a very general function: it donates a phosphate group where it’s critically needed — for cellular energy production. The recipient of that phosphate group is the adenosine diphosphate (ADP) molecule, which combines to create adenosine triphosphate (ATP),[25-28] our cells’ “energy token”. Realize that our cells don’t care about “calories” — they care about ATP. And creatine enables us to generate more of it, especially when we need it.

    Creatine Benefits

    Various forms of creatine very consistently improve lean tissue mass, chest press strength, and leg press.[3]

    Low ATP levels mean low performance and energy levels. With the help of creatine, we can build more, and it yields the numerous benefits cited above. Supplementing it means that the body won’t need to generate as much of it,[29] saving our organs time and energy to do other things they’re better equipped to do.

    Creatine hydrochloride

    Creatine Hydrochloride (Creatine HCl) is a “creatine salt” in which creatine is bonded to hydrochloric acid, something we see frequently in supplements. Reason being, we get incredible solubility with hydrochloride salts in water, and that’s indeed the effect with Creatine HCl compared to monohydrate.[30] Animal models have shown that it will lead to better oral absorption,[31] but that hasn’t been demonstrated in humans.

    Ultimately, creatine hydrochloride is a good molecule — especially in capsule-based products due to its acidic taste — but our take is ultimately that we don’t care what kind of creatine supplement you use, just get it in every day.

    So now let’s talk about dosage, but to do that, we have to talk about sources and excretion:

    How do we get creatine naturally?

    The next question is, where does creatine come from naturally? Because if we eat a lot, we theoretically don’t need to supplement as much, which is the case.

    Creatine is found most heavily in beef, with roughly 2-2.5 grams per pound of uncooked meat.[32,33] Chicken has a bit less, with 1.5 grams per pound.[34]

    How much creatine do we need?

    In general, the average male excretes two grams of creatine per day[35] – but this ultimately depends on your size and amount of muscle mass. Men lose between 1.6-1.7% of their creatine per day,[36,37] while women lose a touch less.[35]

    The Provision House Sirloin Steak

    More of this means less creatine needed to supplement. Image courtesy The Provision House

    This leads us to believe that creatine should be an essential “vitamin” – we need to maintain saturation, otherwise we cannot perform or even think at our peak.

    With the above data, we can fine tune our dosing strategy. Do we need five grams per day once we’re saturated with creatine? Not if we eat enough meat, and not if we take an amplified, bioavailable form.

    It turns out that this is exactly what we’re getting with Inspired Nutraceuticals CR3 — two grams a day, to cover our “expenditure” on top of whatever meat we’re eating (and we do recommend meat-heavy diets) — but with absorption amplification due to our next ingredient:

  • AstraGin (Astragalus membranaceus and Panax notoginseng) (root) – 50 mg

    AstraGin

    AstraGin is a combination of Astragalus and Panax Notoginseng that’s been shown to increase ingredient absorption, especially of amino acids!

    The first of two novel ingredients from NuLiv Science is AstraGin, a natural absorption-booster that’s made from Astragalus membranaceus and panax notoginseng.

    AstraGin works by enhancing the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and compounds through the intestinal walls. The mechanism is described below, but the important part is that AstraGin has been demonstrated to enhance creatine absorption by up 33% and agmatine absorption by 36%![38] We haven’t yet discussed agmatine, but it’s the next ingredient.

    This theoretically makes our two grams of creatine hydrochloride the equivalent of a 2.66 gram dose, allowing our bodies to absorb more and get it back into the muscle tissue to reach saturation. Should you still eat meat? Always! And if you do, do you need to worry about loading monstrous amounts of creatine? We don’t think so.

    How does AstraGin work? Transporter upregulation

    AstraGin’s mechanism revolves around upregulation of mRNA and three key transporters involved in nutrient uptake:[38]

    AstraGin Creatine

    AstraGin amplifies tons of ingredients, but we rarely talk about how it boosts absorption of creatine![38]

    1. Sodium-glucose cotransport 1 (SLGT1) controls the sodium-dependent glucose uptake across cells.
    2. Glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4) is a primary glucose transporter that helps keep normal glucose levels.
    3. Cationic amino acid transporter 1 (CAT1) moves amino acids throughout the body.[38]

    More ATP Production

    NuLiv Science’s research shows that AstraGin can increase ATP production in HepG2 liver cells by 18%, even without creatine involvement![38] This is a statistic few discuss, and is ultimately the entire goal of creatine in the first place, making for an even more synergistic placement in CR3.

    Added gut health improvements

    AstraGin also helps with general gut health through this upregulation. NuLiv Science’s research has shown that it can lower inflammation in the intestinal wall by 73% in animal research.[38]

    Synergy with Senactiv

    NuLiv Science AstraGin Ingredient Info

    Increase the absorption and effectiveness of your supplements with AstraGin from NuLiv Science!

    Further, we speculate that there is some incredible synergy between AstraGin and Senactiv, as discussed in our article titled Astragalosides and Ginsenosides: Differentiating NuLiv Science’s Ingredients. Senactiv is also included in CR3 and is detailed below.

    Why isn’t AstraGin in more creatine supplements?!

    We’ve seen AstraGin work wonders, but we often only see it in pre workouts and amino acid supplements. While it also has great benefits in those categories, it seems to be forgotten when it comes to creatine absorption or ATP enhancement!

    But Chris Waldrum and his team at Inspired Nutraceuticals didn’t skimp, and when it comes to creatine pills, it’s always worth making room for 50 milligrams of AstraGin.

  • Agmatine Sulfate (AgmaMax) – 750 mg

    Now it’s time to get a little bit of a pump and nitric oxide boost to drive even more nutrient delivery, and what we love is that it comes from an ingredient that’s not in too many pre workout supplements lately.

    Agmatine and Arginine

    Agmatine is simply decarboxylated arginine, but research suggests it may be far better!

    We’re talking about agmatine sulfate, which is a metabolite of the well-known amino acid L-arginine. Agmatine is an arginase inhibitor, meaning that it will prevent the breakdown of arginine, as it inhibits the arginase enzyme from doing that job.[39] We often call this a “defensive” nitric oxide booster – we always get plenty of “offensive” plays in pre workouts such as the DVST8 series, but agmatine enables us to prolong those effects to keep NO around longer, and stacks very well in capsules.

    However, there is some offensive action with agmatine as well – additional research has shown that it also boosts nitric oxide synthase, which is the enzyme that helps generate nitric oxide.[40] This leads us to a dual-pronged approach.

    And as we saw above, AstraGin can help increase agmatine absorption by 36%, so you can consider this roughly equivalent to about a gram of “non-amplified” agmatine — which is right where we like to dose it pre workout anyway!

    More nitric oxide, more blood flow

    AstraGin Agmatine

    On top of its creatine boosting abilities, agmatine can enhance agmatine’s absorption as well.[38]

    With improved nitric oxide levels, we will get a vasodilation effect that expands our blood vessels, improving blood flow and ultimately nutrient delivery.

    Finally, we may even feel a slight focus boost from agmatine, as it has a few neuromodulatory properties and functions as a neurotransmitter![41] While it’s not the most powerful nootropic, it’s an ingredient that can be felt one way or the other, most often with its increase in pumps.

    But finally, the ingredient we’ve really been feeling lately, Senactiv:

  • Senactiv (Panax notoginseng (root) and Rosa roxburghii (fruit)) – 50 mg

    The second of our two novel NuLiv Science ingredients, Senactiv is an ingredient we’ve recently really come to love, given its endurance-boosting properties that we can anecdotally feel considerably well. It’s made from different portions of Panax notoginseng than AstraGin, as well as Rosa roxburghii, with the research taking a different direction – mainly towards endurance and VO2max support.

    A senolytic ingredient

    Senactiv

    Out with the old, in with the new. Regenerate senescent cells and improve performance with NuLiv Science’s Senactiv

    Senactiv is a senolytic supplement, which means that it’s a compound that can help the body replace old, deteriorating cells (also known as senescent cells) by inducing and expedited healthy death and clearance of those less useful cells.[42] This encourages new cell generation and promotes growth and overall health — exactly what we want when taking creatine and generally trying to grow. This may sound a bit alarming, but it’s a natural process and Senactiv just pushes it through faster, enabling for more growth.

    In addition, this process occurs in the endothelial lining of skeletal muscle cells, so it’s a perfect mechanism for a creatine / muscle building supplement.

    NuLiv Science’s research on the ginsenosides in ginseng have been very fruitful with respect to this. A placebo-controlled study showed that prior to exercise, muscle tissue that was exposed to Senactiv’s ginseng extract had enhanced glycogen replenishment and diminished inflammation (via markers) compared to placebo.[43]

    A boost in VO2max: something creatine doesn’t reliably do

    Atop those anti-inflammatory properties, Senactiv’s ginseng fraction boosted VO2 max by 20% versus placebo.[43] This is fantastic to see in a creatine supplement, because it’s one of the few things that creatine doesn’t reliably do! Creatine may help with repeat-bout sprint efforts, but it’s not huge in the endurance world.

    Under the hood, biopsies of muscle tissue show that the ginseng extract in Senactiv can lead to 47% more citrate synthase,[43] critical to the ATP production pathway. This yields even better synergy with creatine and AstraGin! Additional research shows improvements for free radical damage, inflammation, lipid peroxidation, and muscle damage markers.[43-46]

    Senactiv: Regenerate new cells faster

    Senactiv Energy

    Improved VO2 Max from Senactiv means big things for everyone, not just endurance athletes! Image courtesy NuLiv Science.

    Senactiv is meant to help you grow and recover faster by clearing out old cells and encouraging new growth.[44] On the acute front, it can help with muscle tissue glycogen replenishment, working 2.7 times faster,[43] so don’t feel afraid to carb up after your CR3-driven workout.

    Last, research shows that Senactiv boosts the Pax-7 protein and MYf5 gene by 81%,[47] an indication of satellite cell generation in muscles.

    This may sound deep, but the point is that this is a very unique supplement for both endurance and growth, and it’s one that we’ve been feeling throughout our training. You can go on an even deeper dive in our article titled Senactiv from NuLiv Science: Regenerate Senescent Cells and Perform Better.

    Further synergy with AstraGin!

    Finally, we get into how this differs and synergizes with AstraGin in our article titled Astragalosides and Ginsenosides: Differentiating NuLiv Science’s Ingredients, further demonstrating how unique and powerful of a supplement CR3 is:

    “For example, AstraGin and its bioavailability-enhancing capabilities could help raise the effectiveness of something like Senactiv, helping the body better utilize its ginsenosides and rosa extract-derived bioactive constituents.”[48]

Dosage

Inspired Logo

Since 2014, Inspired has been coming out with some of the most innovative products on the market to ‘fuel what inspires you’. United We Inspire!

Four capsules per day is what it takes, and given the nitric oxide boosting capabilities, it should be taken pre workout. Stack with any of the pre workout options from Inspired Nutraceuticals, whether you enjoy stimulants or stim-free.

On off days, we do recommend taking it, as you’re still excreting creatine and need to make up for that loss. Try to take it roughly the same time you would take your pre workout to stay consistent.

If you really wish to get three grams of creatine per day, you can take six capsules, but realize that you’ll be running through your bottle quicker. A better choice is to simply eat more meat!

Don’t miss Chris Waldrum on the PricePlow Podcast!

We recently hosted a podcast with Chris Waldrum where we got to catch up with the insanely talented industry veteran. See it on the PricePlow Podcast episode titled Chris Waldrum: Catching Up with Inspired Nutraceuticals | Episode #046, or watch below:

Subscribe to PricePlow on YouTube!

Takeaway: This is a sneaky good creatine capsule

Inspired Nutraceuticals CR3

Beyond Creatine

Creatine pills don’t get enough attention, but they should. Few brands are putting it into their pre workouts anymore, and it’s such a proven staple ingredient that it’s become a bit… boring… and sometimes gets forgotten! That’s simply unacceptable.

So Chris Waldrum and his team at Inspired did what they do best: they made it sexy again. And not just the bottle, but the formula as well – with two novel NuLiv Science ingredients that lead us to wonder why nobody else is doing this.

Everyone knows AstraGin from their pre workout, and it’s great to see its ATP enhancement and creatine uptake boost. But not everyone has felt the endurance-boosting power of Senactiv, which makes up for one of the few things creatine doesn’t do much of.

If you’re taking one of the many pre workouts that doesn’t have a solid dose of creatine, and want to feel a bit more punch in your day, give CR3 a shot, and take it on off-days too. Chris Waldrum and NuLiv Science will have a sneaky solid surprise here for you, and you might just end up hooked on Senactiv like we are now.

Inspired Nutraceuticals CR3 – Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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About the Author: Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is an n=1 diet experimenter with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several experiments done on himself while sharing lab tests.

Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public.

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