When you think of ingredients that can complement creatine, you would most likely think of absorption boosters. There are many ingredients out there but surely you wouldn’t add something weird like, say, Fenugreek, right?
The guys at EPIQ sure did when they came out with CREATINE – X5. We kid you not, they really did add Fenugreek on a creatine blend. Yeah, talk about lifting while in the mood.
Was this a good decision? Let’s find out in this review.
About EPIQ CREATINE – X5
EPIQ’s CREATINE – X5 may seem like any ordinary creatine blend but our researchers would never have considered reviewing it if it was “normal.” No, this one piqued our interest because of adding unusual ingredients and labeling them as uptake boosters. We sure hope this product won’t be an EPIQ fail. Formula notes:
- 5x Creatine: We’re writing it here in case it wasn’t obvious enough for you.
- Odd ingredients: Fenu-freaking-greek! And some Russian plant and a Prickly Pear.
- Small doses: First impressions tell us you’ll need more than 1 scoop.
EPIQ CREATINE – X5 Supplement Facts
|Serving Size: 1 Scoop (4 g)|
Servings Per Container: 60
|Ingredients||Amount Per Serving|
|Total Carbohydrates||1 g|
|EPIQ™ CREATINE – X5 Blend||1750 mg|
|Creatine monohydrate, Magnesium creatine chelate (Creatine MagnaPower®), Creatine Phosphate, Creatine hydrochloride, Creatine anhydrous)|
|Advanced Uptake Amplifying Blend||575 mg|
|Fenugreek extract (as Trigonella foenum-graecum) (seed), Russian tarragon extract (as Artemisia dracunculus) (herb), Prickly pear extract (as Opuntia ficus-indica) (aerial parts)|
|Other Ingredients: Citric Acid, Natural & Artificial Flavors, Malic Acid, Beet Root (Color), Sucralose, Silicon Dioxide, Calcium Silicate, Acesulfame-Potassium.|
|Directions for use: Mix 1 serving (1 scoop) with 8 oz. of water and consume once daily. For full effects, mix 2 scoops with 8 to 16 oz. of water. On workout days, consume immediately after your workout. Read the entire label before use and follow directions provided. As with all creatine products, maintain an adequate state of hydration during use. This product is suitable to stack with other EPIQ™ products.|
CREATINE-X5 plays on insulin sensitivity but lacks the dose to back it up
The theory behind CREATINE X-5 is utilizing insulin sensitivity to increase creatine absorption without ingesting large amounts of simple carbs. The ingredients used were meant to reduce the amount of creatine in your blood and instead place them where they should be: your muscles. Too bad the doses are way off. Let’s break down the ingredients in this formula:
- Creatine Monohydrate. For those who don’t know (wow, seriously?) this is the form that has hundreds of studies surrounding it with most of them all in favor of its performance, endurance, and recovery and growth benefits. If you can afford just one form of creatine then this should be it.
- Magnesium Creatine Chelate as MagnaPower®. It’s a form that performs just as well as monohydrate but might also possess creatine-protective properties when it comes to creatinine conversion.
- Creatine Phosphate. This is the form of creatine found in the skeletal muscles. Not much is known about it except it performs just as well as monohydrate.
- Creatine Hydrochloride. This form is said to allow users to skip the “loading phase” associated with monohydrate use. This is due to its increased solubility in water but its effects on users aren’t really all significant when compared to monohydrate.
- Creatine Anhydrous. It’s simply monohydrate minus one water molecule which makes it more creatine-dense per gram. Regardless, evidence suggests no significant difference between this and monohydrate.
- Fenugreek. This usually belongs to a T-booster (used in one of our top-ranked T-booster stacks for anabolic growth) so we were simply weirded out the moment we saw it. Fortunately, it does seem to have some creatine-uptake boosting properties. The study says “Creatine plus fenugreek seems to be just as effective as the classic creatine plus carbohydrate ingestion in terms of stimulating training adaptations.” Its reputation as a performance enhancer for intensifying workouts and packing on muscle mass might be limited by a dosage that looks too small on a clinical perspective.
- Russian Tarragon. This herb is new to us but apparently not in studies related to creatine. It works by improving insulin sensitivity, a necessary factor when it comes to creating the environment that maximizes creatine absorption. Dose is likely too small since studies use at least 500 mg.
- Prickly Pear. It works like Russian Tarragon but more on blood-sugar control. Don’t forget ingestion of glucose or simple carbs is the traditional way of spiking insulin production in the body and users have to find a way to reduce blood-sugar spikes. Unfortunately, doses used in studies are in grams and any less is most likely next to useless.
CREATINE X-5 could sure use more doses.
Here’s the thing: CREATINE X-5 had all the right ingredients but not the right dosages. The multiple-creatine blend, while pretty trendy nowadays, lacks that oomph in dosage. Come on, not even two grams?
Their uptake blend is the same story. All three ingredients passed the “science says it works so we added it” test but EPIQ needs to read the fine print on what science said, particularly on just how much they should add in their formula.
The angle on boosting insulin sensitivity to increase creatine absorption is sound and grounded on great evidence but the execution just didn’t catch fire with dosages provided to CREATINE X-5. The lack of dosing made this practically an EPIC fail.
The X-factor is that amplifier blend. If it helps the formula’s nutrition to act like it’s more concentrated and powerful (which I kinda doubt), then the lower doses might not seem so bad.
EPIQ CREATINE – X5 Benefits
Creatine, no matter what form it takes, is credited for endurance, power output, and recovery benefits. With that said, we’re not sure just how much of a boost you’ll feel given the less than desirable dose. Will the uptake blend help? Only your body can tell you that. So I say, take it pre workout and monitor your muscle performance. Gauge your strength. When looking at exotic ingredients like in this formula, there’s a risk-reward issue — you may see results that others do not.
Who Takes It?
Probably for the adventurous bodybuilding types or those who heard about the benefits of boosting insulin sensitivity. Also for users who won’t mind doubling or tripling the scoop for maximum benefits.
Any Side Effects?
One serving shouldn’t have any side effects but double or triple that and you can say hello to your old friend Mr. Bloats.
EPIQ CREATINE – X5 Summary
- Smart formula. They got the science on this blend.
- Unique blend. Who else uses Fenugreek in a creatine blend?
- Carbs. Works well with insulin boosting ingredients.
- Underdosing. Need to double or triple scoop.
- Too different. Users may be skeptical on trying this.
- Pricey. Can’t see any old guys buying this.
Pricing & Buying Info
- 1 bottle (60 servings): $39.99
- Available to buy online (inc. Amazon) and in retail stores
Final Word on EPIQ CREATINE – X5
The formula provided by EPIQ on CREATINE -X5 is founded on sound science. It may look weird at first but the ingredients added to support creatine uptake really works…if properly dosed. Do we recommend it? Not really, that price is too steep even for experienced users and tripling the dose, to really feel the benefits, would make it too expensive — hence the middle-of-the-road rating. Still there is some quality formulation behind this creatine product, and we appreciate their innovative approach.