Creatine types and forms - picking the best creatine product
Creatine has a positive effect in the form of gaining muscle mass and strength. With so many creatines on the market it can be difficult finding the right one for you. It is not easy to find the right creatine, as there are so many types of forms and brands that offer different formulas. First, I'll explain a little about the different types of creatine and their benefits and then I'll give you a breakdown about the best products to pick from and where to buy them.
Creatine is a well known substance, and while offering benefits in terms of muscle and strength gains, it also can generate an energy boost that assists muscle recovery and decreases muscle fatigue. All those benefits of creatine have long been known and proven in many studies and reviews. Creatine is the most studied supplement so far on the market!
It doesn’t matter if you cycle creatine or take it all year long as it will not have any negative effects on you. Creatine is a substance that is found in our bodies naturally and is a critical component in providing fuel for the muscle tissues to contract and relax during exercise. Creatine is also found in small amounts in red meat and fish, but most of it is destroyed after cooking and is not enough to absorb fully into the cells .
I personally love creatine and I use it constantly. I love the extra strength boost and fullness it provides to my muscles. I see no reason to cycle it so I take 5-10 grams daily before or after my workouts. Personally I take double the recommended dose however you should experiment with the recommended serving of 5 grams a day if you are new to taking the supplement.
There is typically only one creatine form that I recommend: Monohydrate (the classic) but there are others as well, Conjugated (concentrated), and Buffered creatine (Kre-Alkalyn) for example. At the bottom of this page you can find three well known products that contain those formulas and consider to be one of the best on the market. I personally stick to plain Creapure Monohydrate which is the most cost effective creatine.
If you haven’t tried creatine yet, I recommend starting off with the plain monohydrate to see how your body reacts to it. Some people react very well to monohydrate while others are non-responders and need to supplement with a more complex formula (perhaps). Creatine monohydrate is the most cost effective: it works and it's cheap, so it is easily the best to start with. You can buy creatine in different forms such as powders, pills, capsules, and liquid.
Note that creatine monohydrate can cause bloating and more of a watery look to your muscles, while Conjugated or Buffered creatine will not.
The golden rule about creatine in general is to drink plenty of water throughout the day since creatine pulls water from the body into the muscles.
Some people do a "loading" of creatine. For example, taking 20g of creatine a day for a week to saturate their muscles. This enables them to start utilizing the creatine quicker than having to wait for the muscles to be saturated with creatine by only taking 5-10g a day. Loading phase is not necessary as recent studies have showen, but It wont hurt you if you take 15 or 20 grams at the beginning of your cycle as it might speeds up the process. After a week or two you can go back down to the regular dose at around 5-10 gram per day. Me personally I take 10g a day on a daily basis.
It is also recommended to take creatine monohydrate with a simple carbohydrate source to help it absorb more quickly. A good time to take creatine would be right after your workout with a shake and high glycemic carbohydrate perhaps. I just take creatine pre workout with water.
Note that not everybody responds to creatine, there are about 5 to 10% that don't respond or can't really estimate the effect, but creatine should work for most people.
Below you'll see some examples of popular creatine products out of the three different creatine types that I've mentioned. I'll also give you direct links to find these supplements on Ebay and Amazon. If you want to read more about what other supplements I take, visit the My Supplements Page.
Probably the best creatine on the market so far. Con-Cret is a concentrated high quality conjugated creatine with excellent absorption, easy dosing with no side effects. It can be taken before and after a workout. Does not cause bloating and no loading is needed. Offered in pill or powder form for a reasonable price. Try it out and you won't be dissapointed.
The most basic and least expensive form of creatine. Monohydrate is onsidered as the original creatine, useful for beginners and those who have not tried a creatine product yet. Some bloating may occur and a loading phase is recommended to achieve maximum resaults. Optimum Nutrition Creatine is a cost effective, plain and simple product that just works. Optimum Nutrition is a top brand when it comes to bodybuilding supplements. They also make the best high quality whey protein.
Buffered Creatine, also known as Kre-Alkalyn. It has the world's highest pH value because its molecules are synthesized using a patented manufacturing process to buffer its acidity. This allows the body to utilize 100% of the Kre-Alkayn as well as to improve tolerance in the digestive tract. It is a top product indeed and has no side effects like water retantion or bloating.