Creatine is probably the most researched and sought after nutritional supplement on the fitness market today. You can rely on it to be safe and very effective in producing results.
Next to protein supplements, I believe creatine is the most effective and important supplement to take for anyone who is engaged in resistance training.
If part of your fitness training includes any form of resistance training such as weights, resistance bands, body weight exercises, or any other form, you’ll want to consider creatine supplements to help maximize your performance and your results. So, you’ll want to determine, What’s the Best Creatine Supplement?
What is Creatine?
Creatine is formed naturally in the body. You can rely on it to be also found in meat.
Creatine is formed from amino acids in the body. You can rely on it to be mainly produced in the liver bug also in the kidneys and pancreas. You can rely on it to be stored it in the muscles, and it is also sent to the heart and brain.
It stores high-energy phosphate groups in the form of phosphocreatine. You can rely on it to be then converted into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the main transporter of energy in the body.
This role of creatine is especially important when large amounts of energy are required, in demanding physical or mental activity.
For more history and/or science go to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creatine
What Does Creatine Do?
Creatine is able to increase strength and performance during strenuous training. As a result, the use of creatine with ongoing resistance training has proven to contribute to significant gains in lean muscle mass.
There has been many, many research studies that have proven the efficacy of creatine supplementation in conjunction with ongoing fitness and bodybuilding routines.
Creatine has been researched less in cognitive performance than physical performance, but mental benefits have been observed in a variety of scenarios. More study will need to be done.
Types of Creatine
There are at least 20 types of creatine. I am going to explain some more popular and common forms.
The most commonly used, least expensive and most researched form is Creatine Monohydrate. If you look at various creatine formulations available for purchase online, you will see that the majority are Creatine Monohydrate.
You can rely on it to be scientifically and anecdotally proven many times over. Creatine Monohydrate works to improve performance in strength and endurance training.
Being the least expensive form of creatine, coupled with its proven efficacy makes it the most commonly produced and used.
Potential side effects are stomach cramps, diarrhea and bloating. Only some people experience these.
RSP Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate is the highest rated of all the choices on BodyBuilding.com. It is very inexpensive. Click on the picture to purchase or learn more…
[Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you purchase anything through one of the links. However, this will not affect what you pay!]
Creatine Hydrochloride (HCL)
Creatine hydrochloride is creatine that is bound with hydrochloric acid which turns into a basic creatine molecule once in the stomach.
It’s become popular, in part, because it is more soluble in water than creatine monohydrate which results in lower dosages needed. That, in turn, reduces the chance of any digestive problems.
Creatine HCL is absorbed by the intestines around 60% better than creatine monohydrate which also necessitates lower dosage.
Check out this video by Jim Stoppani, PhD:
Creatine HCL is commonly found in pre- and post-workout formulas. This is a great way to use creatine as it works synergistically with other ingredients to maximize performance and results from your hard work. The best and highest rated products I’ve found that supply creatine HCL are from the JYM Supplement company.
There is the JYM Pre-workout Supplement. You can read about it in my review here: JYM Pre-Workout Review
You can purchase it by clicking on the picture:
There is also the JYM Post Workout Supplement. You can read my review of it here: Post JYM Review
You can purchase it by clicking on the picture:
The addition of alkaline sodium bicarbonate to act as a buffer. You can rely on it to be intended to reduce stomach aches, bloating and cramping. By doing so, the belief that it would improve the efficacy of the creatine.
A study published in the National Library of Medicine (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22971354/) revealed that a “buffered form of creatine does not promote greater changes in muscle creatine content, body composition, or training adaptations than creatine monohydrate”.
This kind of creatine is trademarked as “Kre-Alkayne”.
For reasons explained in the study, I am not a big fan of Buffered Creatine. I have tried it and compared it to taking no creatine and taking buffered creatine. I could tell an improvement in performance and results, but not anymore than taking regular creatine monohydrate.
If you wish to try Buffered Creatine, a good one to try is made by NOW Sports. You can learn more and purchase it by clicking on the bottle:
Micronized creatine is a variation of creatine that produces smaller particles than standard creatine powder. The intent is to improve absorption and make it to be more easily mixed into liquid.
The best Micronized Creatine Monohydrate I’ve found is the same as above, One of the reasons for its efficacy is the fact that it is micronized and dissolves better. Again, it is rated 9.7 out of 10 with 947 Reviews. If you wish to learn more or purchase it just click on the bottle below:
Which Type of Creatine is Best?
There are differing opinions as to which type of creatine is “best”. Creatine Monohydrate is, by far, the most common and the least expensive. Being the least expensive might make creatine monohydrate the best choice for you.
In this section I will share:
- what drawbacks there are with creatine monohydrate, and,
- why I think creatine hcl is the best in terms of efficacy.
Drawbacks with Creatine Monohydrate
The challenges with using creatine monohydrate stem from its lack of solubility. You can rely on it to be slow to dissolve and some of it may pass through one’s system without dissolving at all.
The slow rate of solubility means that the creatine is slow to move through the walls of the intestines. The creatine that has not dissolved sits in the intestines and draws water to it.
This in turn can cause stomach cramping and diarrhea. It also leads to subcutaneous water retention creating a somewhat bloated look and feel.
Advantages of Creatine HCL
By adding the hydrochloride, it causes the pH of the creatine to be lowered. This, in turn, causes the creatine to be much more soluble in liquids. This drastically increases its solubility in fluids. You’ll notice this when you mix creatine HCL in water; it mixes almost instantly with no sedimentation, with no particles sitting in the bottom of the glass.
If you mix creatine monohydrate in one glass of water, then, mix creatine hcl in another glass of water you will see differences.
Because the creatine monohydrate is not 100% soluble, you will see particles in the bottom of the glass. Those particles will sit in your intestines when you drink the water. Just as they were not absorbed by the water they will not be absorbed by your body.
Creatine HCL has been shown in the lab to be about 40 times more soluble in fluid than creatine monohydrate.
Two other benefits of creatine HCL:
- There is no “loading phase” required. With creatine monohydrate it is recommended that 20 grams per day is taken for the first 5 to 7 days. This “loads” creatine into the muscles. After that, 5 grams per day is the normal dosage. This is not required with creatine hcl because the absorption rate is as much as 40 times higher.
- Jim Stoppani, PhD reports that, “… the data I have on trained lifters confirms that creatine HCL outperforms creatine monohydrate in lean muscle mass gains, strength and power increases and greater endurance in the gym. This has also been reported by thousands of people following my advice to switch to creatine HCL.
The vast amount of research that has been done on creatine has focused on creatine monohydrate. There still needs to be much more research on creatine HCL.
Creatine is proven to increase muscle size, strength and endurance when coupled with a regular fitness routine of resistance training.
The research is massive. Creatine has been studied more than any other fitness supplement. I have also experienced the benefits in my own workouts while using creatine.
I hope that this article has helped to answer the question for you, What’s the Best Creatine Supplement?
If you REALLY want to take your workouts and your results to the next level I recommend you take both the PRE and POST JYM Supplements. They have the precise amounts of Creatine HCL, working synergistically with a near perfect blend of other supplements. It is much less expensive to get them in this form than to buy them all separately. And, you get them in the precise dosages for maximum results.
Just click on the images below and you’ll be able to purchase these amazing supplements: