Creatine is the most researched sports nutrition supplement on the market today. The most common kind of creatine found on the market today is Creatine Monohydrate. It is also the one that has been around the longest and has the most clinical research to back it up. However, there are different forms of creatine and depending on your body one may be better for you then the other. Let’s find out!
First, let’s look at where creatine comes from and what it does. Creatine exists naturally in our muscle cells and is used to produce energy during periods of stress or exertion. Studies show that taking Creatine before or after a workout can increase endurance, muscle mass, strength, and promotes muscle recovery from soreness. Its main purpose is to deliver water to the muscles, which aids in a successful energy cycle, increased anabolic hormones, reduced protein breakdown, and lower levels of myostatin, the protein known to inhibit muscle growth. There are many different opinions and debates on the effectiveness of Creatine as well as the comparison between its different forms.
The most common form of Creatine that you can find on the shelf is Monohydrate, which is made by combining one molecule of creatine with a molecule of water. With Creatine Monohydrate being the most popular, there is extensive evidence from studies proving that Creatine Monohydrate is effective in increasing energy, strength, and stamina during workouts.
However, more recent studies have begun to compare monohydrates' effects with other creatine products, and shows that monohydrate lacks efficient solubility. And while athletes swear by the effectiveness of this product (and the price), some users may experience digestive discomfort or bloating when supplementing with monohydrate.
Another option that may suit you is Creatine HCl, a product that's newer to the market but shows promise to those serious about achieving peak performance. Creatine HCl is made by adding hydrochloride to the creatine molecule, reducing the pH of the substance and making it acidic, a.k.a. more water soluble. This solubility level transfers to the digestive system as well, making this product highly bioavailable and easing the process of digestion. For those who experience bloating and discomfort when taking monohydrate, HCl is a better choice as it is easier for the intestines to absorb and process.
While there is less research on Creatine HCl, the effects of it have been recognized to show decreased digestive discomfort and bloating for those who experience it when taking Monohydrate.
Which One Should I Try?
If you're just beginning your muscle building journey, it's recommended that you start by trying out Creatine monohydrate. since this formula is less complex, it's best for those who want to test the waters and see what creatine can do for them. Due to the way it's processed, Creatine Monohydrate is also the cheapest form you can find.
If you have tried Monohydrate and experienced discomfort and bloating, or are concerned with looking "puffy", Creatine HCl may be better suited for your body. With its high bioavailability and solubility, your digestive system won't be struggling to process it during your workout. If you're serious about muscle gain, and ready to build lean muscle faster, Creatine HCl may be a better option.
Because Creatine HCl can be absorbed in higher doses, this product is prepared to handle higher levels of exertion and keep you energized for longer. Different forms of creatine affect different bodies in different ways. If you're unsure of how your digestive system may process creatine monohydrate, we recommend giving both a try to see what works best for you.