What Is The Best Creatine?
WHAT CREATINE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
How the pick the right creatine for your needs!
It can be hard right now to pick creatine these days with so many on the market.
Back in the day, it was simple. You walk into the store, grab creatine monohydrate and walk out.
But nowadays you got creatine monohydrate, creatine HCL, buffered creatine, micronized creatine, pills, capsules, powders, flavored powders, and the list goes on. With prices ranging from 15 bucks to 80 bucks.
Let's start with a few basics.
WHAT IS CREATINE?
Eat Meat For Creatine
Meat has highest content of creatine!
Creatine is a naturally occurring substance that is 95% stored in your muscles and the other 5% in other parts of the body like brain and kidneys.
Creatine helps produce energy during heavy lifting and strenuous exercise which in turn will help build and retain muscle.
The creatine amount stored in your cells is based on things like diet, especially meat intake, muscle size, and hormone levels.
Now, this not some magic muscle potion that all of a sudden will turn you into a beast.
Think of creatine more like a 2% gain to your workout. Yes, that sounds small but over time it adds up to a decent amount of gains.
"Creatine absorbs better with carbs" - Studies are supporting this but there are also studies showing it doesn't make a difference. At the end of the day, I promise you that you WILL NOT notice any difference taking creatine on its own, with carbs or some other magic Jesus juice that's promising a drastically better absorption.
"Cycle creatine or it will stop working" - That is false again. Keep those creatine cells saturated as long as you can afford it and you will reap the benefits of it. It would be like saying "Hey bro, you gotta eat meat for 6 weeks on then 6 weeks off so that your creatine levels can take a break." See how stupid that sounds?
There have been instances where I simply didn't have creatine so I would miss 4-6 weeks and go back on. It didn't magically turn me into a beast. I was simply happy to keep cells full of good old creatine!
"You need to front-load creatine" - I have tried front loading and not front loading creatine. I did not notice any difference at all. You end up taking creatine for such long durations that the difference would be negligible.
“Women shouldn’t use creatine because it will make them bulky!” - That is furthest from the truth. Women need creatine in their muscle bellies just as men do! You will not become the hulk overnight from taking creatine, your biology won’t allow it!
UNFLAVORED VS FLAVORED POWDER VS CAPSULE CREATINE?
Powder vs Capsule
Let's say you are looking to get 5g of Creatine HCL, you can get it in powdered form and capsule form.
The active ingredient is the same and the results will be the same. There is no better absorption from one or the other.
The only benefit I see in capsule vs powder is that capsule can be more convenient when traveling.
So this answer comes down to preference. Would you rather take 2-3 large capsules or just add a scoop to your BCAA's, water, juice or pre-workout?
Unflavoured Powder vs Flavored Powder
Same as with capsule. Active ingredient amount will be the same so the dosage can be adjusted to your needs. Want more? Add more powder.
I dislike flavored creatine drinks. I already drink pre-workout, BCAA's, protein shake and tons of water. The last thing I want to worry about is adding MORE shakes and crap I have to drink daily.
To me, there is nothing more convenient than just adding a scoop of unflavoured creatine to my pre-workout, BCAA's or a protein shake.
Not to mention the prices of flavored creatine drinks are a lot higher.
WHICH FORM OF CREATINE IS BEST?
To avoid giving you information overload I will only discuss the three best and most popular creatine compounds out there.
Has been around the longest and is the most researched form of creatine. It is the original compound that created the name for creatine.
This is my favorite form of creatine and is what I use to this day.
Best value for money and most researched form of creatine.
Possible side effects like bloating, water retention and gas. These side effects can more often than not be fixed by lowering the dose and slowly tapering back up.
Personal Favorite Creatine Monohydrate Products
Links for Canada and USA
Micronized Creatine Powder
This one will be short and simple for you. Micronized creatine is quite literally creatine monohydrate micronized to make it more soluble in your drinks.
It's that simple. So the pro's and con's are essentially the same.
If you can find micronized creatine on sale for the same price as creatine monohydrate then grab micronized if not grab the monohydrate.
I promise you won't notice a difference.
Here are couple Micronized Creatine Powders that tend to go on sale.
Links for Canada and USA
Creatine hydrochloride is molecularly bound with hydrochloric acid which is supposed to make it more soluble and increase absorption rates.
In terms of results, you won't see a real difference in terms of muscle or strength gains.
Personally, the only time I suggest Creatine HCL to clients is if they are having side effects from other forms of creatine.
Lower chance of side effects. Mixes easily in anything if you can find it in unflavoured powder form.
Price is high and hasn't been as researched or proven as creatine monohydrate.
Below are my favorite Creatine HCL products
Links for Canada and USA
I hope I was able to simplify it enough for you to make an easy choice. Let me know in the comments below what you would want me to cover next.