Types of Creatine Supplements

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If you’re asking yourself ‘Which creatine supplement should I take?’ you’re in the right place. It has been extensively researched for its benefit for increasing strength, gaining muscle and to supplement intense exercise. In fact, The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (Buford et al, 2007) mentions that “creatine monohydrate is the most effective ergogenic nutritional supplement currently available to athletes in terms of increasing lean body mass during training.” We decided to break it down so you can understand the benefits of creatine and the different types of creatine available.


CREATINE MONOHYDRATE

Creatine Monohydrate is the most common and most popular supplement form of creatine on the market. It is made up of a creatine molecule bonded with a water molecule. Creatine monohydrate is water soluble, has good intestinal absorption and can be taken as a powder mixed with water, or in tablet format – here at Bulk we offer both.

Our powdered creatine monohydrate is available in unflavoured (luckily this has a relatively mild taste!), mixed berry flavour and apple & lime flavour. Each serving of our unflavoured version offers 5g of creatine monohydrate while the flavoured options contain 4g.

Our creatine monohydrate tablets contain 1g of creatine per tablets and we recommend taking 3-5 tablets a day depending on your individual needs.

Most of the research on creatine supplements has been done on creatine monohydrate. Extensive research has shown that creatine monohydrate supplementation increases physical performance, increases muscle strength, muscular endurance and muscle mass, and improves maximum power output. The research also suggests that creatine monohydrate is just as effective as other forms of creatine.

Many Creatine Monohydrate products have been shown to contain up to 5% impurities. Our Creatine Monohydrate Powder is refined to 99.9% purity, so you’re getting nothing but nutrition. 

CREATINE MONOHYDRATE (CREAPURE®)

Creapure® is a patent protected form of creatine monohydrate which undergoes a process of HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography), making it a form of micronized creatine.  This process is undertaken to remove contaminants such as Creatinine, Dicyandiamide & Dihydrotriazine and guarantees 99.95% pure material. At Bulk we sell this in the form of an unflavoured powder.

CREATINE HYDROCHLORIDE (CREATINE HCL)

Creatine Hydrochloride is creatine bonded with a hydrochloride salt, designed to enhance the absorption of Creatine. It’s most commonly in powder form, such as our Bulk Creatine HCL, and is an ideal addition to your post-workout formulas and protein shakes. 

CREATINE ETHYL ESTER

Often referred to as CEE, Creatine Ethyl Ester is simply creatine with an ester attached. This esterification occurs when carboxylic acid and alcohol react. Anecdotally, CEE users report less water retention when using this supplement, achieving a leaner look. However, we no longer sell this product because, despite anecdotal evidence of less water retention, there’s also a LOT of anecdotal evidence to suggest that the taste of CEE is… less than pleasant.

CREATINE GLUCONATE

Creatine Gluconate is creatine bonded with glucose (sugar), designed to enhance uptake in the muscles and intestinal absorption.

WHICH CREATINE IS RIGHT FOR ME?

Without doubt, the most popular form of is Creatine Monohydrate. If you’re thinking about using Creatine for the first time, this form is recommended. Since it’s the subject of the most research, you can rest easy knowing the claims about creatine monohydrate are backed by science. A recent review of the research also suggested that other forms of creatine are not superior to creatine monohydrate in terms of how much creatine is absorbed, their impact on creatine levels in skeletal muscle or their impact on athletic performance.

LOOKING FOR ABSOLUTE PURITY?

If you want the absolute purest Creatine Monohydrate and budget is no issue, Creatine Monohydrate (Creapure®) is a great choice. This delivers all the benefits of Monohydrate but with the assurance that the supplement is 99.9% pure – free of impurities such as Creatinine, Dicyandiamide & Dihydrotrizine.

CONSCIOUS OF WATER RETENTION?

If you’re conscious about water retention (NB: the retention of water in muscle cells actually plays an important role in performance) then consider Creatine Ethyl Ester or Creatine Ethyl Ester Malate. Both forms are metabolised differently to regular Creatine Monohydrate, theoretically reducing the level of retained water. 

That being said, while there is some evidence to suggest that creatine supplementation increases water retention in the short term, there are several studies that suggest that in the long term, creatine supplementation does not increase total body water relative to muscle mass. It’s best to see how you feel after several weeks or months of supplementing.

WARY OF HIGH LEVELS OF CARBOHYDRATES?

If you need to be careful of the level of carbohydrates you consume, Creatine Gluconate or Creatine HCL might be good alternatives to standard forms. Due to how these forms are bonded, their respective absorption rates are perceived to be enhanced – meaning that, in theory, less carbohydrate is required in order to aid the process of delivering the nutrients to the liver and muscle cells. That being said, there is limited research to support how effective these are vs. a carb ingested variant. 

 

TO SUMMARISE

There are many different creatine products available on the market designed to aid your performance. The most common is creatine monohydrate – it’s the most popular and the most well-researched. If you’re a beginner in the gym or just looking for a reliable creatine supplement, it’s a good place to start. However, all types of creatine supplements will increase your muscle creatine content to some extent and have beneficial effects on your exercise performance – so if you prefer one over the other for any reason, you’ll still be reaping the benefits. 

Tell us which type of creatine you use by tagging #TeamBulk on socials and keep your eyes peeled for more nutrition tips.

Looking for more info? Check out our blog posts on creatine loading, protein vs creatine, or how to take creatine.

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