Creatine synthesis


To carry out the synthesis of creatine from the sarcosine molecule (N-methylglycine).

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Synthesis of creatine from cyanamide and sarcosine


Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that occurs naturally in vertebrates, and helps to supply energy to all cells in the body, primarily muscle, playing a key role in muscle energy metabolism.

It is produced in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys and can also be derived from food and dietary supplements. Creatine provides the energy needed for muscle contraction and substantially improves performance in high-intensity exercise because it improves anaerobic capacity and protein synthesis.

Therapeutically, it has been used to treat some types of muscular dystrophy, ocular atrophy, and some types of sclerosis.

La creatina (un suplemento dietético) muy demandada en el deporte, y no está regulada por la Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos (FDA) ni prohibida por el Comité Olímpico Internacional (COI). El monohidrato de creatina puede sintetizarse en el laboratorio (y comercialmente) a partir de cianamida y sarcosina (N-metilglicina).

Experimental procedure

To a r.t. solution of N -methylglycine (sarcosine, 464 mg, 5.2 mmol) in deionized water (1 ml), add NaCl (304 mg, 5.2 mmol). In another flask, to a solution of cyanamide (412 mg, 9.8 mmol) in deionized water (0.26 ml), add two drops of concentrated ammonium hydroxide (approx. 1.4 mmol).

¡DANGER! "Cyanamide is extremely irritating and caustic when inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin. Do the entire process in a fume hood."

Add this solution to the sarcosine and maintain magnetic stirring at r.t. for 1 h. Leave the reaction mixture at r.t. for one week. After a week, vacuum filter the creatine formed. Recrystallize from water.

International Chemical Identifier

The IUPAC InChI key identifiers for the main compounds used in this experiment are provided to facilitate the nomenclature and formulation of chemical compounds and the search for information on the Internet for these compounds.


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