Creatine is one of the most widely researched and popular sports supplements worldwide, famous for improving muscle strength, increasing endurance, and boosting athletic performance. And because of its lower side effects, everyone can take creatine supplements, from teenagers to adults.
But with so many different types of creatine on the marketplace, it can be hard to know which one suits you best.
In this article, I will break down the various forms of creatine, its benefits, and its side effects. It will help you choose the best option for your unique fitness goals.
Different Types of Creatine With Their Benefits
Among creatine supplements, many types are available with their unique benefits and cons. Not every type is suitable for everyone, so we need to know their types. There are popular 5 types of creatine I will talk about today so you can choose the right one for you.
The human body produces creatine naturally from different types of foods. With this, our body works many functional activities. But to promote athletic performance and grow muscle strength, taking creatine supplements works like magic.
So, let’s learn about the 5 most common types of creatine available.
Creatine Monohydrate: Best Supplement Overall
Creatine monohydrate is most commonly used and famous among athletes. Its cost-effectiveness and lesser side effects make the type popular.
Scientists have researched so far and claimed its benefits overall. Creatine monohydrate mainly increases muscle levels of phosphocreatine, which is essential for ATP production during intense exercise.
Creatine monohydrate combines water and creatine molecules, consisting of 90% of creatine. By removing the water molecule, there remains only anhydrous, 100% of the creatine in weight. It’s also available in micronized form.
Whichever creatine you use, they are equally effective with the same dosage. Both powder and tablet forms are incredibly water soluble, and taking 3 to 5 grams daily can increase performance amazingly.
This type of supplement mainly increases the performance of the upper and lower body part. It also helps to reduce fatigue and improve recovery time.
Creatine Hydrochloride: A Great Alternative Of Monohydrate
Creatine hydrochloride can be an excellent alternative for those who suffer from upset stomachs due to taking creatine monohydrate supplements.
Hydrochloride is considered to have great water-soluble bioavailability.
Creatine hydrochloride is an N-methyl guanidinium salt of creatine. In this form, creatine is chemically bonded with hydrochloric acid, which forms a salt. The resulting creatine hydrochloride molecule has a positively charged N-methyl guanidinium group and a negatively charged chloride ion, making it more soluble and easily absorbed.
According to a study, creatine hydrochloride is 38 times more soluble than monohydrate.
This supplement also improved strength, endurance, and faster recovery after workouts.
Buffered Creatine: A Safe Supplement to Consume
A Buffered Creatine supplement is a form of creatine monohydrate modified for the body to absorb easily. It’s a ‘kre-alkalyn’ form of creatine mixed with magnesium, raising its pH level.
However, a study suggested no significant differences in effectiveness and side effects between buffered creatine and monohydrate.
This supplement is often considered safe and is easier on your stomach due to the higher pH. Fitness enthusiasts or athletes who experience cramps taking monohydrate prefer to consume it to improve endurance and power.
It is also believed to have a more sustained release than regular creatine, providing longer-lasting benefits during workouts. However, more research is needed.
Creatine Magnesium Chelate: A Unique Supplement with Essential Mineral
Creatine Magnesium Chelate (CMC) is a dietary supplement that combines both the benefits of creatine and magnesium. Creatine indeed improves athletic performance, while magnesium enhances body functions, such as energy metabolism and muscle contraction.
Over traditional creatine supplements, creatine Magnesium Chelate offers several benefits by mitigating several side effects. For the chelation process, the body can absorb more easily.
Research says that creatine alone may not be sufficient for all athletes to achieve their desired results, and including magnesium may help fill any gaps.
The study suggests that the unique blend of Creatine and Magnesium may offer advanced absorption and improved athletic performance.
Ethyl Ester: A Less-recommended Form
Ethyl ester is believed to have better absorption than creatine monohydrate because it is more lipophilic (fat-soluble) and can easily penetrate cell membranes.
Others claim that there is less water retention even compared to monohydrate.
However, there is limited research available to support Ethyl Ester’s effectiveness. Studies have shown that it may not be as effective as creatine monohydrate.
I do not recommend this type of creatine because of lackings of enough evidence. And when you have monohydrate, you really do not need to rely on this type of creatine supplement.
Which Supplement Is Suitable for You?
While using creatine supplements, people often feel confused about which one fits them according to age, usage, and many other things.
Here I have highlighted some points to help you choose the right one.
However, the dosage will vary depending on an individual’s health status and fitness level. Older adults could take anywhere from 3-4g of creatine daily. But, you should always consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner beforehand.
Age is a big factor when taking creatine supplements, also the dosage. How the adult’s age body reacts is not the same as a teenager or old age.
For teenagers (13-17 years)
Many teenagers nowadays are taking creatine for weight gain or improved athletic performance. They can start with creatine monohydrate with a dosage of 2 to 3 grams per day. But consulting with a physician is a must.
However, a study suggests that creatine is only recommended to teens doing athletic training or activities, not all.
Learn about the effects of creatine under 18.
For adults (18-50 years)
The recommended dosage is typically between 3-5 grams per day, taken before or after exercising. This dosage has been proven to improve athletic performance for high-intensity and low-intensity exercises.
Adults can take any creatine supplement, such as a monohydrate, hydrochloride, or magnesium chelate, as recommended.
For older adults (50 years and above)
After turning 50, males and females lose up to 1% of muscle mass each year. So, intaking creatine can be helpful to people aged 50 and over.
Creatine Magnesium Chelate can be more beneficial for older people as there is magnesium for maintaining various body functions.
Learn the effect of creatine on 60 years olds.
For Long Time Usage
For long-term usage, creatine monohydrate is proven to be more effective with fewer side effects. But Buffered creatine is also safe if you tend to consume it.
With Fewer Side Effects
Creatine Monohydrate, Creatine Magnesium Chelate, and Buffered Creatine are three types of supplements with fewer side effects. All of these types improve performance incredibly. So, if you plan on going on creatine, you can choose any.
Learn about the benefits and drawbacks of taking creatine.
The expense depends on the making mechanism and solubility, mainly on the manufacturer. However, creatine monohydrate is the most available, chosen, and affordable creatine.
Try to pick creatine supplements from known manufacturers with good reviews, as it is related to your health.
Creatine is a very effective supplement for increasing muscle strength, size, and endurance. But which is most effective and affordable among the different types of creatine?
Well, creatine monohydrate is the most researched and commonly used form for its more beneficial functionality. But other types of creatine, such as creatine hydrochloride, buffered creatine, and creatine magnesium chelate, are available, safe, and effective.
Different forms have their benefit and drawbacks. So, choose the one that best suits your need.
Read our blogs to learn more about creatine.
I started my professional career as a sports medicine consultant in Rola, Missouri. My primary role was to suggest suitable supplements for my patients according to their pre-existing conditions and lifestyle goals. I believe a healthy lifestyle is the most important if you want to make your life really meaningfull.