Creatine is one of the most potent muscle building supplements in the supplement world, and has been around for quite a long time too! An amino acid, creatine is found normally in the body, with 95% of it found in the skeletal muscle tissue. The body receives its creatine from food that is eaten, typically 2 grams per day. The body also makes its own creatine in the liver from other amino acids.
Creatine has also been proven to increase strength, performance, and muscle mass
Every type of creatine is different in composition, solubility, and effectiveness.
But basically, all creatines do the same thing:
- Volumizing muscle (increasing mass).
- Improving strength.
- Increases energy (ATP levels) for activities that require short bouts of quick energy such as lifting, sprinting, and HIIT cardio.
Types such as
1. Creatine Monohydrate:
Is the normal, original creatine that people have been using for decades. It is still the most wide sold creatine product out of all the rest
- Almost all studies conducted concerning creatine used creatine monohydrate, and reached to amazing results and conclusions.
- Most effective type of creatine yet.
- Not very soluble in water.
- Low surface area, which decreases uptake of creatine into the muscle, causing only about 1% to be absorbed into the body.
- May contain impurities if not bought from a reputable company.
- Reports of diarrhea and stomach discomfort because insoluble creatine sits in the stomach attracting water.
- Causes water bloating in some people, which is an extra layer of water under the skin.
- Some people do not respond to this type of creatine (non-responders).
- Unstable in water and should be taken immediately after dissolving it.
- Does not require a loading phase.
2. Micronized Creatine:
Is essentially creatine monohydrate, except it has been micronized, which means the molecules of creatine have been divided or cut up. This increases their surface area 20 times, increasing absorption and reducing stomach discomfort.
- Essentially the same as monohydrate but with a larger surface area and smaller molecules, so the same amazing effects of monohydrate.
- Greatly reduces unwanted monohydrate side effects such as bloating and stomach discomfort.
- More effective than monohydrate, and most monohydrate non-responders should respond to this.
- Purer than monohydrate because it goes through more processes.
- Slightly more expensive than monohydrate
- Requires a loading phase
3. Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE):
CEE is a creatine molecule with an ester attached. Normal creatine molecules are zwitterions, or molecules with one positive end and one negative end. This causes less absorption into the body.
However, the ester counteracts the charges and allows for almost 99% absorption into the body! This removes the need for a loading phase, and is THE MOST absorbent creatine by far yet!
- More effective because of increased absorption.
- All users will respond to this.
- Does not cause any of the side effects of monohydrate such as bloating or stomach discomfort.
- No loading phase or a 1 day loading phase.
- Foul taste in powder form, some users reported it tasted like battery acid! There are capsule forms, however, that eliminate this.
- Expensive compared to monohydrate and micronized.
4. Creatine Serum:
Creatine Serum is arguably the most debated type of creatine every to be introduced to the market. Some users report astonishing results, while others claim no results at all. This is basically creatine dissolved in water. However, users who saw results reported better results with monohydrate. I would not suggest to anyone to use this kind of creatine.
- No loading phase required because it absorbs easily.
- Easy to use, just put a drop under the tongue.
- Usually mixed with other vitamins and amino acids.
- Mounting scientific evidence indicates that serum is useless.
- Creatine is unstable in liquid and breaks down to creatinine if dissolved in liquid for a prolonged period of time. Creatinine is a useless substance which puts strain on the kidneys.
- Extremely expensive.
- Much less effective than monohydrate in aspect of increasing muscle mass, and to a lesser degree in aspect of increasing muscle strength.
5. Effervescent Creatine:
Effervescent Creatine is basically creatine combined with sugar or sodium, and a chemical which causes bubbles in the liquid. This increases absorption and has a better taste.
- More absorption.
- Better taste.
- Extremely Expensive.
- Is combined with sugar and sodium, 2 foods bodybuilders should reduce.
- Debatable whether this is actually any different than monohydrate, or whether it even gives the same results.
6. Creatine Citrate:
Creatine Citrate is another form of creatine bonded with other molecules that increase absorption. Although slightly water-soluble and absorbent than creatine, they require double the amounts than monohydrate does and they are also much more expensive.
- Soluble and absorbent, will cause less stomach discomfort
- Requires double the dosage to be as effective as monohydrate.
7. Tri & Di Creatine Malate:
These are another type of creatine bonded with other molecules (companies seem to love this) which increases absorption. The difference is, these have gotten positive feed back and do work! Tri is the more absorbent and soluble of the two. Tri Creatine Malate is a compound of molecules created from malic acid and creatine. Tri Malatehas 3 monohydrate molecules attached and Di Malate has 2.
- Faster recovery and less fatigue during workout.
- More water soluble and absorbent.
- Cell Volumizing effect.
- Usually very expensive because it is mixed with other chemicals.
- Health effects are unknown.
8. Creatine Kre-Alkalyn:
Creatine Kre-Alkalyn is basically a special protected creatine which does not convert into useless creatinine as readily as other creatines before being absorbed into muscle tissue. It is another form of creatine bonded to a molecule. No clinical trials have been made on this type of creatine yet, but most user feedback is positive.
- No loading phase required.
- Less bloating and stomach discomfort.
- No studies have been carried out on this type of creatine yet.
9. Creatine Orate:
Creatine orate is another type of creatine bonded to a molecule. This time, the molecule is orotic acid. Orotic acid is a precursor of nucleic acids which help optimal cell functioning and energy use from ATP. So this is actually creatine, which has its own energy enhancing properties, and orotic acid, which increases ATP levels in 3 ways.
- More energy than what monohydrate will give.
- Decrease symptoms of fatigue.
- EXTREMELY expensive.
- Its effects have not been proven by studies or tests.
10. Creatine Cocktails
(Mixed With Glutamine/Nitric Oxide, Sugar… )
Creatine cocktails are usually mixed with other amino acids such as glutamine and taurine. Other creatine cocktails are mixed with nitric oxide. These products allow us to gain from both products, which help each other, and allow us to synergistically maximize their effects.
For example, the most famous of this effect is stacking (using at the same time) NO and creatine. They always give their users much more muscle gains than when using nitric oxide or creatine alone! So if you have the cash, and you’re not worried about putting lots of supplements in your body, then this is for you!
- Cheap compared to the amount of supplements in the arsenal.
- Extremely effective as they take advantage of the synergetic effects of combining different supplements.
- Contain creatine transports and transports for the other ingredients which increase absorption. This doubles the effectiveness of these already extremely effective products.
- Uses many kinds of chemicals, not all their effects have been thoroughly studied.
- Means putting a large amount of supplements in the body.
- Expensive as a product.
Here are some of what I believe are the most effective cocktails around:
- Creatine+Glutamine+Taurine: Optimum CGT-10
- Creatine+NO: BSN NO-Xplode
- Other Cocktail: Xyience NOX-CG3
What is the best type of creatine?
Why? Because it is only slightly more expensive than monohydrate, while providing enormous side benefits such as much more solubility and absorption into the body (99% more!), and it is provided in convenient capsule form. CEE has also been proven to be much more effective than monohydrate because massive amounts are absorbed into the muscle without harm.
This is unlike creatine monohydrate, where users reported bloating, stomach pains, and diarrhea from using the product as suggested! CEE allows for higher absorption rate, which means more creatine reaches the muscle, which means bigger stronger muscles, which means better results!
All of this without the negative effects of creatine such as bloating, insolubility, muscle cramps, and stomach pains and diarrhea. CEE has been called the breakthrough and miracle product of creatine, and I agree!
True Facts about Creatine
- Drink lots of water with creatine.
- Creatine should not be taken dissolved in an acid.
- Some people do not respond to monohydrate.
- Creatine causes some people to bloat or retain water.
- Taking creatine with sugar will increase absorption, but taking creatine with sugar and protein will double that!
- Take the creatine with the protein and take the sugar after 1 hour. This will allow the insulin spike, protein spike, and creatine spike to be roughly at the same time. Insulin spikes occur roughly 30 min after ingesting the sugar, while protein and creatine tend to take about 90 minutes to be at their highest concentration in the blood stream.