My Journey With Creatine: And Why I Recommend it
By now and regardless of being an athlete or not I am sure you have heard of creatine. Other than whey protein, it is the most consumed supplement on the market. I personally have supplemented with creatine off and on for just over 15 years and I have always loved the results. I am a firm believer that you should always research what you are putting into your body and always weigh the risk vs rewards of any performing enhancement drug or nutraceutical. That being said, I think it is safe to say that creatine (with long term evidence of no major harmful effects to the human body) is worth trying. It is relatively safe (when used properly), it is affordable, and it is virtually available everywhere. The one downside to creatine is marketing. Creatine has been marketed repeatedly and a consumer may not no what type of creatine or what brand to purchase. Well i am here to help. When it comes to creatine, simplicity is always best!
100% Pure Creatine Monohydrate Works Best
There are multiple types of creatine out there and yes they do work but clinically studies have shown that that creatine monohydrate works best.
Creatine monohydrate is the form used in the majority of studies demonstrating creatine’s benefits. It’s the gold standard of creatine and a time-proven winner.
Creatine citrate is creatine bound to citric acid, studies show it is no better than creatine monohydrate for effectiveness.
Creatine Ethyl Ester
Creatine ethyl ester is a form of creatine that is supposed to convert back to usable creatine in the body. Research shows it’s less effective than monohydrate, on par with a placebo. It produces creatinine which is flushed out by the kidneys.
Liquid creatine is simply a form of creatine–usually monohydrate–suspended in liquid.
Studies show that it’s less effective than creatine monohydrate because, when suspended in a solution for several days, creatine breaks down into the inactive substance creatinine.
Micronized creatine is creatine that has been processed to reduce the particle size of the powder. The form most commonly sold as micronized creatine is monohydrate. I prefer micronized creatine for absorption with warm water because I find it helps with reducing bloating throughout the day.
Creatine Magnesium Chelate
Creatine magnesium chelate is a form of creatine bound to magnesium. Magnesium plays a role in creatine metabolism and thus, theoretically, supplementing with it alongside creatine may increase its effectiveness.
More research and data is needed to prove this creatine to be effective. There is only one study concluding it works and surprisingly the study is paid for by the company producing the creatine-magnesium chelate.
Buffered creatine is a form of creatine touted to outperform monohydrate due to a higher pH level. Research indicates otherwise, however: it’s no more effective than monohydrate.
Creatine hydrochloride is creatine bound with hydrochloric acid.
It’s turned into a basic creatine molecule in your stomach while it may be more water soluble than creatine monohydrate, no research has yet proven it to be any more effective.
Creatine malate is creatine bound with malic acid. While malic acid alone may enhance performance, it hasn’t been researched in conjunction with creatine.
Creatine monohydrate is only manufactured in a few locations. Its doesn’t appear that way because of quality claims from companies always arguing their product is more superior to the one next to it on a shelf. Do not believe the hype and fall into a marketing trap! Buy cheap 100 percent pure creatine monohydrate and you will have a high-quality supplement for a cheap cost.
Don’t Fall For The Dextrose Claim!
Many companies add huge amounts of dextrose to their creatine blends (typically 50g dextrose to 5g creatine). The argument is, that consuming a large amount of sugar will raise your insulin levels high enough for your body to break down the sugar and help better absorb the creatine. First and foremost, this is not healthy at all and there is no health benefit to consuming that much sugar all at once. Secondly, by simply eating a small meal while taking your creatine your body will provide more insulin than consuming dextrose alone (without sugar crashing afterward).
My only suggestion when creatine is to take it with a warm/hot beverage because creatine is not water soluble and this will help your stomach absorb it better due to it being in a suspension longer. Do not over take creatine! A loading dose of 20g a day is fine if used for 5-7 days only. I personally do not do this because your body can only absorb 3-5g creatine per day. Left over creatine gets excreted as creatinine and has no athletic performance benefits.
Make sure you drink extra water because the creatine is saturating your muscles with extra water and will dehydrate your organs if you aren’t drinking enough h20. I like to drink molecular hydrogen water for the extra boost I need.
Thirty days is where I really notice creatines effects on strength and muscle volume. Creatine will not help you with endurance-based activities. Creatine forms adenosine triphosphate which is the first form of energy the body uses when exercising. The first reps on a bench press or a wind sprint are ATP fueled. Creatine allows for more ATP to be stored in the muscle therefore allowing for strength and slightly faster recovery times.
Creatine is one of the supplements I sand by and believe in. It has always improved my size and strength. Remember to stick with the basics. 100% pure creatine monohydrate: It works the best and is very inexpensive.