Creatine – An Overview
Before understanding the workings and uses of creatine monohydrate, it is necessary to gain a clear comprehension of creatine.
Creatine is a nutrient that is found naturally within the human body. The hidden factor is that creatine that is produced within the body must be provided with the necessary diet for this process to flourish.
More importantly, from the amino acids that are introduced to the body through the use of creatine monohydrate.
The human body uses these amino acids and creates creatine. This is necessary to providing an abundance of energy to the muscles for all types of movements including weight and strength training.
Introducing creatine monohydrate for the purpose of working out, you can clearly understand how it would benefit the human body.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is naturally produced by the body to enhance muscle growth and development, and provides muscles with necessary energy.
That simple statement shows the significance in creatine monohydrate supplements. Muscle strength is dependant upon a substance called adenosine triphosphate or ATP.
The body’s ability to produce ATP is entirely dependant upon the individual creatine that is present. Adding creatine monohydrate provides the body with the necessary creatine to create ATP to feed the muscles with the maximum potential available.
Creatine gives you energy, increases lean muscle mass, builds muscle faster and improves your endurance abilities. Anyone who participates in intense physical activity, experiences physical stress and fatigue, and in looking for amazing results should try supplementing their diet with creatine monohydrate.
Best Creatine Supplement
With so much hype in the market about the best creatine supplement, one needs to know all the options available to make an ideal pick.
There are many products who claim to be quite effectual to build strong muscles but one thing that has to be kept in mind is that the composition is clinically proven one.
If one explores the muscle building supplements in the market then one can easily come to know about the much required nutrients and the exact percentile in the product.
How to Find the Creatine That Meets Your Needs
Let’s face it the amount and type of creatine a 225 lb. professional athlete will be far different then the type that a 110 lb. female gymnast would take. This is part of the reasons for building this interactive comparison chart. Rather than reading an advertisement in your bodybuilding magazine or taking advice from the guy benching 300 lbs. next to you at the gym it is wise to take a more scientific approach before selecting the type of creatine that you need.
With this being said, below you will find the The Ultimate Creatine Guide to help you find the best product for your needs.
What to Look For in a Creatine
There are 2 things you should be looking for in a product:
- Sugar content: Many people will tell you (especially salesmen) that you need sugar to absorb creatine. This is actually just a common myth. You can take pure creatine by itself and absorb about as much of it as you can. There is one exception, if you have a TON of sugar (90 grams+), it will raise creatine absorption, as found in this study. No product obviously includes that much, so while you can buy a product with sugar in it if you want, it’s far from necessary (plus you can always just mix in some at home).
- Type: There are two main types of supplements: powders and pills. Powders obviously have to be mixed in a drink, and personally I find them to be less convenient than pills. However, if you have difficulty swallowing pills, or just prefer powder, there’s no difference in the quality of products, just the form. On top of this there are other types of creatine other than creatine monohydrate, but this is the cheapest and most effective form currently on the market.
The Ultimate Creatine Supplement Comparison Chart
Use the table by clicking the headings at the top of the table in order to easily manipulate the database of products to find what you are looking for, whether it’s a certain price, size, or type. There is a detailed explanation below the table if you need help.
I’ve only included the highest quality and most popular brands in this table. If you have a lot of experience with creatine and would like more options, check out my complete list of creatines.
You’ve seen the table by now, so what exactly is this table? It’s the culmination of my research on different creatine products.
The Best Creatine Supplement – Top 3 Creatine Supplement Reviews
At this point you know quite a bit about supplementing with creatine! You should be able to use the table above to help pick the best creatine supplement for your individual needs. However, if you aren’t too picky here are 3 brief reviews on the most popular products.
Optimum Nutrition Creatine Powder
Optimum Nutrition is one of, if not the most well-known supplement company there is. This is because all of their products ranging from protein to creatine are some of the best in the market.
For this particular product Optimum Nutrition focuses on creating a simple but effective product. There aren’t any additives, no bad taste, and it mixes great with juice.
Optimum Nutrition Creatine, one of the highest rated creatine products. Optimum Nutrition as a company is known for being a leader of different supplements ranging from pre-workout supplements to creatine to protein powders.
I expect that this will actually be a very short review just because it’s a simple product. There is 5g of creatine monohydrate in a serving, and literally nothing else. I don’t really know what else to say about it, it is pure creatine, of the highest quality.
A final note about the product is that it comes in 1 and 2 pounds if you go with the powder, but Optimum creatine can be found in Capsule Form or powdered form depending on which one you prefer. If you’re not sold on Optimum, feel free to browse our favorite creatine supplements.
NOW Foods Creatine Powder
Another well-known company is NOW Foods. They are probably the best known company for making a quality product on a budget.
This is a vegetarian product and very simple just like Optimum Nutrition, with very little added substances. Once again it mixes well in juice, but water works find as well if you prefer.
Now Foods Creatine Monohydrate 750 mg Capsules
Like the other products, this supplement is pure and contains no preservatives.Each capsule contains 750 milligrams of creatine.
A person needs to take six capsules to equal the same effects as one tablespoon of the powders. This means that the bottle will only last for 20 servings.
In under one month, it will be necessary to buy more. It definitely costs more to use this supplement than the powders.
As with the All Max product, some users have complained about bloating issues as well. However, it is reported to work well, especially when a person is in the loading phase
This supplement also contains creatine monohydrate, one of the most efficient ways to build lean muscle. However, there is a big difference between the delivery of the product.
Unlike the other two products mentioned , this item comes in capsule form. Many people like the convenience of a capsule over a powder. For example, it is very simple to throw the bottle in a gym bag, and pop a capsule without the worries or mess of mixing.
All American EFX Kre-Alkalyn EFX Capsules
All American is a company with a pretty solid reputation in the creatine market of supplementation. They are also the highest rated creatine capsule manufacturer, even higher than Optimum Nutrition. Based on this reputation I did a full review of Kre Alkalyn Creatine. Not only is this a quality product, but because it comes in capsules it is highly portable and convenient!
The product we’re looking at here is All American EFX Kre-Alkalyn EFX, which is a creatine product sold in capsule form.
This is going to be a really short review, but for a good reason. Kre Alkalyn Creatine is literally made of creatine. There’s no other crap in it like you sometimes get in powdered creatine because capsules don’t need to mix, you just swallow them.
In each capsule you’ll get 750 mg of buffered creatine monohydrate, and it’s important to note that buffered creatine has shown to be 28% more effective than normal unbuffered creatine in studies done in Bulgaria on weight lifters.
Finally we can look at the price, and if you look at the price per serving you can’t really beat this.
You can get 240 capsules for about $25, and a serving is defined as 2 capsules. You’ll probably want 2 servings per day depending on your size (or 4 capsules), which works out to $0.42 per day.
Compare this to pretty much anything you eat or drink and it’s basically negligible.
That’s really all there is to All American EFX Kre-Alkalyn EFX, a simple but highly rated and effective product because it delivers what it promises, creatine.
Here are some of the most basic product types for the best creatine supplement to meet your needs.
Powdered Creatine Monohydrate
Powdered creatine monohydrate is the original form of creatine available to the public. Most scientific studies have been done using this form of creatine.
The very best creatine supplements and highest quality products will have Creapure listed on the label somewhere. This form is manufactured in Germany and is the highest and most pure form available.
The lower quality, and usually cheaper priced products, will not have the Creapure trademark and are most likely made in China.
The main problem with this powdered form of creatine is that is not very soluble, meaning it won’t dissolve in liquids very easily. This may upset your stomach, and give you a bloated feeling.
You will probably only get a one percent absorption rate with this product, which means you will need to take a lot of it for it to be effective.
Powdered creatine monohydrate has years or proven research behind it and has been proven to be safe if taken properly. Also, if other forms of creatine give you undesirable side effects then switch to creatine monohydrate.
Who is creatine monohydrate for?
It’s for any athlete that is looking to increase muscle mass, strength, and energy. Make no mistake though, creatine monohydrate is not some “fat burning” diet supplement. It’s for people that are physically active and looking to put on lean muscle, grow their strength, and have more energy for their workouts. Simply put, ingesting creatine and then waking up the next day with bulging muscles is not going to happen. In order for creatine to be effective, you need to work out.
How does creatine monohydrate work?
Creatine monohydrate when ingested is then spread to muscle around your body via the blood stream. Once it reaches the muscles, creatine monohydrate is converted into creatine phosphate. Creatine phosphate is then converted into ATP. ATP or adenosine triphosphate which is the central factor for muscle development and energy restoration in the muscles is then used up by your muscles. Common effects of ATP on muscles include: more energy for muscle contraction, longer + more intense workouts. Overall pretty much increased power and muscle size. Not a bad deal eh?
Tri and Di Creatine Malate
Malic acid and creatine monohydrate work together to form creatine malate. The energy cycle for your muscle cells relies on the Krebs cycle, of which malic acid is directly involved.
The main benefit of creatine malate is that it increases muscular energy and endurance over just taking powdered creatine monohydrate, and sometimes can make the best creatine supplement.
Creatine malate is more water soluble and the body absorbs it at a much higher rate. Another main benefit of creatine malate is that is does not require a loading phase.
Creatine malate is probably the best form of creatine to use, although you may experience some undesirable side effects when using it.
Creatine Ethyl Ester
CEE, also known as creatine ethyl ester, has been reported to have a much higher rate of solubility and stability compared to creatine monohydrate.
It is also supposed to be easier on the stomach and has a significantly lower acidity. These are the marketing claims for CEE, although academic studies to support this have generated mixed results.
Not one study has really demonstrated that CEE has a significantly higher rate of solubility in the digestive system, but it can be proven that it is more soluble in water than standard creatine monohydrate in it’s powdered form.
The best creatine supplement usually does not contain CEE.
Pros and Cons of Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE):
- CEE has a better absorption rate in the body. So you need to take less of it to have the same affect as creatine monohydrate.
- It does not cause bloating and gases that creatine monohydrate might cause in certain users.
- More expensive compared to creatine monohydrate.
- Tastes well… terrible. Battery acid would be an alright way to describe it.
- In OUR experiences when using creatine ethyl ester – although gains were similar to that of creatine monohydrate supplements once off of CEE the gains dropped faster and below that of creatine monohydrate gains. Basically – in our experience when using creatine monohydrate supplements once we stop using a supplement our original weight gains drop around 10-20%. So say you gained 10 LBS, normally on creatine monohydrate we would see around 8-9 LBS of that weight/muscle gain remaining after a 4 week cycle off the supplements. With creatine ethyl ester the results were often a 40-50% weight drop. Of course this is just our experience, other people feel free to give your experiences in the comments below.
When to use Creatine Ethyl Ester instead of Creatine Monohydrate:
As stated above we generally favor and recommend creatine monohydrate supplements above creatine ethyl ester supplements. Hopefully we made it clear why. But don’t completely cross of creatine ethyl ester – it is still without a doubt effective. Here is when you should consider using CEE:
1. You have gases and/or bloating using creatine monohydrate – yet you’ve tried quite a few creatine monohydrate supplements and the problem persists.
2. Creatine monohydrate has not given you any gains. This might mean your body simply isn’t absorbing it, and its worth it to try and see if creatine ethyl ester will be more readily absorbed
Overall, we like to stick with what has had the most studies conducted and what has been proven to work: creatine monohydrate. But make no mistake creatine ethyl ester is still DAMN effective and fulfills it’s intended purpose – there’s just a few drawbacks with it (mainly price).
Micronized creatine monohydrate is a form of creatine that has had it’s basic unit size significantly reduced. This is effective in increasing the overall surface area of each creatine unit, which is supposed to result in much better bodily absorption.
This form of creatine is much more effective than standard creatine monohydrate, and the best creatine supplement will be in this form.
You will take much less of this product, compared to creatine monohydrate, to achieve the same results. Micronized creatine has lower side effects, but it still requires a loading phase.
Creatine orate is derived from oratic acid, and is created when creatine bonds to an orate molecule. Orate is a pre-cursor to the nucleic acids which are needed to build up ATP in body cells.
ATP is the universal energy agent in muscle cells, and the nitrate has special energy properties as a result of this. The primary benefit of creatine orate is that it is supposed to rapidly increase energy available to muscle cells in the best creatine supplement, but there have been no studies to prove this as of yet.
One drawback to these types of products is that they are very expensive relative to creatine monohydrate.
There you have it, the best creatine supplement available can be found in these forms. Using this information should help you when reading creatine product labels.
Are you ready now to increase muscle mass and strength, and get that ripped look?
Tips To Find The Best Creatine Supplement
If one adopts a research oriented attitude towards a body building supplement, one can surely settle on a reliable product.
Efficient Product: – When it comes to efficacy of a body building supplement, one need to check out that the product contains ingredients that enhance the production of insulin in the body. It can be said that the presence of this kind of ingredient increases the efficacy of a product and makes it a best creatine supplement.
Intended Results: – Intended results of a body building supplement are to provide muscles with the energy to grow and this is what one needs to check on.
Help In Workout: – A best creatine supplement is the one that increases the muscle cell energy so that the person does not feel lethargic or tired after the intense workout sessions.
Clinically Proven: – If any body building supplement has been clinically tested for safety and efficacy then it is a fair idea to go for this without much hesitation.
Additional Miraculous Ingredients: – If one is eager to gain muscle mass, then one thing is to be checked and that is the presence of other additional ingredients. One has to see that the extra ingredients help the body take in the creatine content and accept it comfortably.
Conjuct Products: – There are many body building supplements that if taken in conjunction with other products work great.
People eager to take in any body building supplement need to know that only a best creatine supplement would help them acquire them the results they have been longing for long.
Natural Resources Of Creatine
Creatine monohydrate is a great alternative to eating excess amounts of tuna, salmon, cod beef or pork. Creatine exists naturally in these products and is typically the source of creatine in the diet.
However, it isn’t a great idea to consume too much meat as they contain high levels of saturated fats and cholesterol. This can result in clogged arteries or excessive body fat.
Taking creatine monohydrate can significantly reduce these risks and can also satiate the body’s need for extra creatine for bodybuilding or weight training.
Bodybuilding supplemental creatine monohydrate is perfect for maintaining those added nutritional elements instead of trying to pack more steak into the day!
It should be noted that vegetarians have a lower level of creatine levels due to the fact that they don’t consume meat, which is a high provider of creatine.
These are the people who most benefit from creatine monohydrate because there is a concentrated amount with virtually no fat content.
Vegetarians like others, use approximately two grams of creatine per day except for those who are active in weight training, bodybuilding or athletes consume a much higher amount of creatine per day.
Creatine monohydrate can balance the scales and provide that much needed creatine to the body to enhance muscle growth and strength.It may seem like a difficult task to incorporate that much creatine into a diet without eating a whole cow!
Creatine monohydrate provides a full source of creatine to the body without the added downfall of fat content. One of the best creatine supplements that have proven to be most beneficial is the creatine monohydrate.
It is affordable and wholesome as creatine is a substance that the human body produces naturally.
Creatine is extremely popular among athletes worldwide, and has a well-documented past. Discovered by a French scientist in 1832, creatine sat by the wayside until 1923 when scientists discovered that over 95% of creatine is stored in muscle tissue.
In 1926 The Journal of Biological Chemistry published a report documenting creatine’s bodybuilding effects. Creatine was made popular after it’s use in the 1993 Olympic games in Barcelona, Spain.
Creatine Monohydrate: A Proven Supplement That Produces Massive Muscles
What Are the Benefits of Creatine Supplements?
- According to sellers of creatine supplements, it significantly increases lean muscle mass, improves performance in high-intensity exercise, increases energy levels, and accelerates recovery rates.
- It helps you to recuperate faster and shed that little bit of extra stubborn fat.
- It is reputed to hydrate muscle cells with water and boost muscle-growth by making muscle fibers bigger and stronger.
- Several studies have been done on creatine to establish how it works. There have been over 20 double blind placebo-controlled studies conducted on creatine in the past five years.
- They appear to show that creatine supplements increase energy levels, resulting in increased strength, endurance levels, and recovery rates.
- Also, it appears that creatine may accelerate fat loss, while building lean body mass.
Do Creatine Supplements Cause Side Effects?
- Creatine may cause increased urination, but this is simply due to the extra volume of liquid you drink after mixing your Creatine.If you do not wait three to four hours between doses, you may experience some stomach discomfort. This is easily resolved by spacing out your dosages during the day or cutting dosages in half for one to two days.
- Some reports suggest that creatine supplements may promote more muscle strains or pulls. But to our knowledge no study has documented a specific increased rate of injury following creatine supplementation.
- Some reports suggest that hard training in hot or humid conditions may cause severe muscle cramps for athletes, although no definitive link with creatine appears to have been established.Even so, if you take creatine supplements in these conditions, you should be aware of this possible side effect and take additional precautions to prevent the risk of dehydration.
- Lastly, some reports suggest that creatine supplements may be linked with deterioration in kidney function, although this remains unproven.To our knowledge, no study has conclusively demonstrated that creatine supplements cause significant increases in liver damage or impaired liver function.
In the absence of long-term trials of creatine, it is not possible to know whether creatine supplementation has any long-term side effects.
How to Take Creatine Supplements and Dosage
You can take creatine monohydrate supplements in two different ways.
- Creatine Loading This method is ideal if it is your first time taking creatine. You are essentially saturating your muscles with creatine. For the first 4 days to a week, take 20-30 grams each day, mixed with non-acidic juice or water. Following the initial loading period, take between 5 and 15 grams daily to keep your muscles saturated.
- Gradual Creatine Intake Bypass the loading phase and supplement 5 to 15 grams per day, everyday. For the best results, combine creatine with a high carbohydrate base (such as dextrose or glucose) half an hour before training.
Note: Please speak to your doctor or sports nutritionist before taking creatine supplements. Also, it is not recommended to over-supplement once your muscles are saturated with creatine. So follow the recommended dosages.Sample PriceCreatine sports supplements – $20.00-$90.00
Advanced Creatine Cycling Schedule
Many people find that after a few weeks, the gains they make on creatine monohydrate begin to taper off or even disappear altogether. There’s an increasing belief among hardcore trainers that cycling creatine intake may help one experience continued progress with this proven supplement.
Here’s a typical creatine cycle you might try adding to your supplement program:
week 1: load (20 g / day)
week 2-4 : maintenance (10 g / day)
week 5: load (20 g / day)
week 6-8: OFF
You’re basically “on” for 5 weeks (higher than average doses), then “off” completely for 3 weeks. This seems to work well and can help give you continual progress with creatine supplementation.
What are the Most Popular Bodybuilding Supplements?
There are literally thousands of different bodybuilding supplements on the market, all of which claim to have different benefits to aiding in the progression of your bodybuilding regimen.
There are some great bodybuilding supplements out the, but unfortunately there are also some bad body building supplements on the market as well.
Some supplements do as they claim and some are nothing more than fillers that produce little to no anabolic, muscle building results at all.
Finding Bodybuilding Supplements That Work…
So how do you sift through all of these bodybuilding supplements and find the best supplements that will produce the dramatic physique transformation you are dreaming of?
It’s hard to say, some bodybuilding supplements work great for some people and do nothing for others as everyone’s bodies are different and will react differently to anabolic substances.
Some bodybuilding supplements will be used as a basic supplement to your bodybuilding routine and diet, such as a good multi-vitamin, protein powders and even creatine supplements.
The purpose of this site is to provide information on some of the very best bodybuilding supplements on the market today.
Is Creatine safe to use?
There have been many different side effects reported from the use of Creatine, however, after many different studies had been undertaken, there have been in fact little to no adverse effects reported on the use of Creatine, yet mostly positive results have been found.
Creatine is safe to use and you should not be concerned about any side effects – however, with every supplement that you take, you should never exceed the recommended amount.
Creatine is a fantastic way of giving your body that extra boost of energy when it comes to working out – unlike most supplements, it actually has positive results reported and can be picked up relatively cheap.
If you aren’t using Creatine to take your workouts to the next level, you’re missing out!
Bodybuilder’s Grocery List
In addition to the use of bodybuilding supplements, a well planned high powered anabolic diet can do wonders. Not only will it energize your body and put it in an ideal state to grow and heal, a proper diet can also help the bodybuilding supplements you take more effective.
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
- Tuna (water packed)
- Fish (salmon, seabass, halibut)
- Extra Lean Ground Beef or Ground Round (92-96%)
- Protein Powder
- Egg Whites or Eggs
- Ribeye Steaks or Roast
- Top Round Steaks or Roast (aka Stew Meat, London Broil, Stir Fry)
- Top Sirloin (aka Sirloin Top Butt)
- Beef Tenderloin (aka Filet, Filet Mignon)
- Top Loin (NY Strip Steak)
- Flank Steak (Sir Fry, Fajita)
- Eye of Round (Cube Meat, Stew Meat, Bottom Round , 96% LeandGround Round)
- Ground turkey, Turkey Breast Slices or cutlets (fresh meat, not deli cuts)
- Oatmeal (Old Fashioned or Quick Oats)
- Sweet Potatoes (Yams)
- Beans (pinto, black, kidney)
- Oat Bran Cereal
- Brown Rice
- Farina (Cream of Wheat)
- Multigrain Hot Cereal
- Rice (white, jasmine, basmati, Arborio, wild)
- Potatoes (red, baking, new)
- Green Leafy Lettuce (Green Leaf, Red, Leaf, Romaine)
- String Beans
- Bell Peppers
- Brussels Sprouts
Other Produce & Fruits
- Green or Red Pepper
- Fruit (if acceptable on diet): bananas, apples, grapefruit, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
- Lemons or Limes
- Natural Style Peanut Butter
- Olive Oil or Safflower Oil
- Nuts (peanuts, almonds
- Flaxseed Oil
Dairy & Eggs
- Low-fat cottage cheese
- Low or Non-Fat Milk
- Bottled Water
- Diet Soda
- Crystal Light
Condiments & Misc.
- Fat Free Mayonnaise
- Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
- Reduced Sodium Teriyaki Sauce
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Chili powder
- Mrs. Dash
- Steak Sauce
- Sugar Free Maple Syrup
- Chili Paste
- Extracts (vanilla, almond, etc
- Low Sodium beef or chicken broth
- Plain or reduced sodium tomatoes sauce, puree, paste)
Note: With creatine it’s best to avoid generic powders (the cheap stuff), as its purity is often in question and it doesn’t seem to work nearly as well as the quality formulas on the market.