Without a doubt, one of the best supplements for boosting muscular strength, power, and size is creatine. What kind of creatine is best for you, though?
Numerous “improved” and novel versions of creatine have been introduced over time, each claiming to be superior than the original creatine monohydrate. All of these variants, whether they have been micronized, buffered, liquefied, or esterified, promise to produce better effects, often with far lower doses than those advised for the monohydrate form.
To assist you understand which form of creatine will enable you to experience the greatest gains, we are here to cut through the hype.
Creatine monohydrate is best form of creatine.
Monohydrate of creatine
Advantage: Affordable and tested
The most prevalent form of creatine, as well as the one employed in most research investigations, is creatine monohydrate. Studies on creatine monohydrate are the source of all the beneficial outcomes we associate with creatine consumption (increases in muscular strength, size, and power).
Other, more recent kinds of creatine are said to increase the amount of creatine that is available to the muscles, according to their manufacturers. However, since up to 99.1% of creatine monohydrate is already in your skeletal muscles, there isn’t much that these newer forms can do to improve on it.
Creatine with a buffer: Kre-Alkalyn
Benefit: No loading is required
- A slightly alkaline powder, like bicarbonate, is included in the creatine supplement known as Kre-Alkalyn. Manufacturers assert that by adding this “buffering,” a little more alkaline molecule is produced, which can lessen stomach-borne creatine breakdown and enhance muscle uptake of creatine. Both standalone Kre-Alkalyn products and pre-workout supplements contain this ingredient.
- The efficiency of this buffered version of creatine has only been examined in one study so far. In the 2012 study, subjects who consumed 5 grammes of creatine monohydrate for 28 days, those who consumed an equivalent amount of Kre-Alkalyn, and those who consumed a low dose (1.5 grammes) of Kre-Alkalyn per day all experienced similar gains in performance. The groups who supplemented with 5 grammes per day also began with a seven-day loading protocol of 5 grammes, four times per day, for seven days.
- Even the group that supplemented with a lesser dose and skipped the loading period saw a substantial improvement in their fat-free mass, body fat percentage, bench press strength, and leg press strength. It is significant to note that after 28 days, participants in the monohydrate group saw a 50.4 percent rise in muscle creatine concentration, compared to a 27.3 percent increase in the Kre-Alkalyn group.
However, whether you use monohydrate or Kre-Alkalyn as a supplement, you’re likely to get benefits—and it seems like you can still get the improvements with Kre-Alkalyn without the loading period.
Hydroxyproline for creatine (HCL)
Advantage: Less bloating and water retention
- Manufacturers of creatine HCL promote it as having more advantages over creatine monohydrate, even at lower doses (usually between 1-2 grammes per day). The creators of HCL claim that because creatine is in a micronized form, you need to consume less of it to get the same result. The argument is that by consuming less, you require less water, which alleviates the bloating and other gastrointestinal side effects that taking monohydrate can cause.
- Although there isn’t any evidence to back up the claims that this type of creatine is better than monohydrate, you might wish to try it if you get cramps or bloating when taking monohydrate. Even while it’s possible that HCL is a better supplement, you should always take anything said without studies to back it up with a big grain of salt.nitrate of creatine
Advantage: Less medication is needed.
- One of the more recent supplement forms that can be found in pre-workouts is creatine nitrate. Manufacturers assert that consumers will benefit equally from a lower dose of creatine nitrate compared to creatine monohydrate since the creatine molecule is bound to a nitrate molecule.
- In a 2016 study, the association between creatine nitrate and improved performance was assessed. Although there was no discernible difference in lifting volume between the nitrate and monohydrate groups, those who supplemented with low-dose creatine nitrate did have greater lifting volume than those who took a placebo, according to the study.
- According to preliminary research, if you’ve been taking creatine nitrate supplements for at least 28 days, they may be just as good at improving athletic performance as creatine monohydrate.
Despite the exotic new forms of creatine, the tried-and-true creatine monohydrate consistently seems to triumph. Due to its superior bioavailability and high solubility, monohydrate is exceedingly difficult to rival for efficiency in skeletal muscle absorption.
Even if several of these supplements have potential, additional research is necessary to assess both their safety at higher dosages and the relative performance benefits of doing so. Only then will we be able to determine if King Monohydrate has been overthrown.