Creatine supplements Uk
Which creatine supplements are the best?
Creatine comes in many forms, creatine monohydrate, creatine ethyl ester, creatine hydrochloride
We go into more detail here on which creatine would suit your needs
Creatine is one of the most widely studied dietary supplements in the world.
Your body naturally produces this molecule, which serves a variety of important functions, including energy production
In addition, some foods contain creatine, particularly red meat.
Despite the presence of these two natural sources, consuming it as a dietary supplement can increase your body’s stores
This can improve exercise performance and may even help combat disease
Many types of these creatine supplements are available, making it hard to choose one.
This article reviews the research on the six most studied forms and makes a science-backed recommendation on which is best.
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What Is Creatine? Creatine is a molecule that’s similar in structure to amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Because meat is a primary dietary source of creatine, vegetarians typically have lower amounts of it in their bodies than non-vegetarians But even for non-vegetarians, consuming it as a dietary supplement can increase muscle creatine content by up to 40% Creatine’s use as a dietary supplement has been extensively studied for many years, and it’s consumed worldwide. Its effects include improved exercise performance and musculoskeletal health, as well as potential benefits for brain health SUMMARY of creatine Creatine is a molecule found in the cells of your body. It plays a critical role in energy production, and supplementing with it can increase its content in your cells. How Does creatine Work? Creatine, in the form of creatine phosphate, plays a critical role in cellular energy production That’s because it’s involved in the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is a major source of cellular energy. here’s strong evidence that these supplements can improve exercise performance Some research has found that they may increase strength gains from a weight training program by about 10%, on average Others have stated that improvements in strength are about 5% for chest exercises like bench press and about 8% for leg exercises like squats Overall, exercise scientists widely agree that supplementing with creatine can improve strength and power production, or how much force can be produced in a certain amount of time, during exercise. Furthermore, some research has reported that it can improve sprinting and swimming performance, but other research has failed to demonstrate consistent benefits (12Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source). Also, researchers have found that taking creatine may reduce mental fatigue (21Trusted Source). These health and performance benefits are typically experienced when the creatine phosphate content in your cells is increased after supplementing with it. However, several different forms of the supplement are sold, which can make choosing one confusing. The remainder of this article will help you learn which form is best. SUMMARY: Consuming creatine supplements can increase the amount of it in your cells. This can aid energy production and improve exercise performance. 1. Creatine Monohydrate The most common supplement form is creatine monohydrate. This is the form that has been used in the majority of research on the topic (8Trusted Source). This means that most of creatine’s beneficial effects, such as improved upper and lower body exercise performance, have been observed almost exclusively when creatine monohydrate was used (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source). This form is made up of a creatine molecule and a water molecule, though it can be processed in a few ways. Sometimes, the water molecule is removed, resulting in creatine anhydrous. The removal of water increases the amount of creatine in each dose. Creatine anhydrous is 100% creatine by weight, whereas the monohydrate form is about 90% creatine by weight. Other times, the creatine is micronized, or mechanically processed to improve water solubility. In theory, better water solubility could improve your body’s ability to absorb it (22). Despite these minor differences in processing, each of these forms is probably equally effective when equal doses are given. In addition to increasing strength, creatine monohydrate can increase water content in muscle cells. This may lead to beneficial effects on muscle growth by sending signals related to cell swelling (23Trusted Source). Fortunately, a large amount of research indicates that creatine is safe to consume, and no serious side effects have been reported with its use (24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source). When minor side effects do occur, they typically involve an upset stomach or cramping. These side effects may be relieved by consuming several smaller doses, rather than one larger dose (26Trusted Source). Because it’s safe, effective and affordable, creatine monohydrate has long been the gold standard for this supplement. Any new forms need to be compared to it before they can be recommended (27Trusted Source). SUMMARY: Creatine monohydrate is the most studied and most commonly used form. A large amount of research indicates that it’s safe and effective, and new forms of the supplement should be compared to it. ADVERTISING Weight management options have evolved Take our quiz to learn more about techniques and tips that will help you achieve your goals. START NOW 2. Creatine Ethyl Ester Some manufacturers claim that creatine ethyl ester is superior to other forms of the supplement, including the monohydrate form. Some evidence indicates it may be better absorbed than creatine monohydrate in the body (28Trusted Source). Additionally, due to differences in muscle uptake rates, some believe that it could outperform creatine monohydrate. However, one study directly comparing the two found that it was worse at increasing creatine content in the blood and muscles (29Trusted Source). Because of this, using the ethyl ester form is not recommended. SUMMARY: Creatine ethyl ester may have different absorption and uptake rates than other forms. However, it does not appear to be as effective as the monohydrate form, and it’s not recommended for use. 3. Creatine Hydrochloride Creatine hydrochloride (HCl) has gained considerable popularity with some manufacturers and supplement users. Initial excitement about it was probably due to reports of its superior solubility. Because of its superior solubility in water, it’s speculated that a lower dose can be used, reducing relatively common side effects like an upset stomach. However, this theory is only speculation until it is tested. One study found that creatine HCl was 38 times more soluble than the monohydrate form (30Trusted Source). But unfortunately, there are no published experiments on creatine HCl in humans. Given the large amount of data supporting the effectiveness of creatine monohydrate, the HCl form can’t be recommended as superior until the two have been compared in experiments. SUMMARY: While the HCl form’s high water solubility is promising, it needs to be studied more before it can be recommended over other forms. 4. Buffered Creatine Some supplement manufacturers have attempted to improve the stability of creatine in the stomach by adding an alkaline powder, resulting in a buffered form. Supposedly, this could increase its potency and reduce side effects such as bloating and cramping. However, a study directly comparing buffered and monohydrate forms found no differences in regards to effectiveness or side effects (31Trusted Source). Participants in this study took the supplements while continuing their normal weight training program for 28 days. Bench press strength and power production during cycling increased, regardless of which form was taken. Overall, while buffered forms weren’t worse than monohydrate forms in this study, they weren’t better either. Since there isn’t any good evidence that buffered forms provide unique advantages, creatine monohydrate is the winner. SUMMARY: Although a very limited amount of research indicates that buffered forms could be as effective as monohydrate forms, there isn’t enough information to recommend them. 5. Liquid Creatine While most creatine supplements come in powdered form, some ready-to-drink versions have already dissolved the supplement in water. The limited research examining liquid forms indicates that they’re less effective than monohydrate powders (32Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source). One study found that the work performed during cycling was improved by 10% with a monohydrate powder, but not with a liquid form (32Trusted Source). Additionally, it appears that creatine may break down when it remains in liquid for several days (32Trusted Source, 34Trusted Source). This doesn’t happen immediately, so it’s no problem to mix your powder with water right before you consume it. Most research has used powders that are mixed soon before use. Based on the research, this is the recommended way to consume creatine supplements. SUMMARY: Liquid forms of the supplement appear to break down and become ineffective. They do not seem to improve exercise performance or produce other benefits. 6. Creatine Magnesium Chelate Creatine magnesium chelate is a form of the supplement that’s “chelated” with magnesium. This simply means that magnesium is attached to the creatine molecule. One study compared bench press strength and endurance between groups consuming creatine monohydrate, creatine magnesium chelate or a placebo (35Trusted Source). Both the monohydrate and magnesium chelate groups improved their performance more than the placebo group, but there was no difference between them. Because of this, it seems that creatine magnesium chelate may be an effective form, but it isn’t better than standard monohydrate forms. SUMMARY: Some evidence shows that creatine magnesium chelate is as effective as the monohydrate form. However, limited information is available, and it doesn’t appear to be superior.