November 1, 2014
What Is the Best Creatine for My Workout?
Since the early 1990s, creatine has been recognized for its ability to increase the amount of energy delivered to your muscle tissue, allowing you to lift more weight for longer periods of time to help build muscle like no other supplement available.
But in the past 20 years, creatine has evolved, with serious advancements. But not everyone is familiar with the options currently available, making it more and more difficult to decide what is the best creatine for your needs.
Creatine users can effectively select a creatine that delivers the most benefits by understanding the different options available:
One of the most standard forms of creatine has almost been around since the dream of creatine supplements was born. This simple form of creatine consists mainly of dehydrated creatine molecules.
Pros: Creatine monohydrate is relatively cheap and can be found for almost nothing in many places.
Cons: This form of creatine is usually cheaper than others because it is unstable when mixed with water and when introduced to the highly acidic environment of the stomach. It quickly converts into the by-product creatinine, which can cause undue stress on your kidneys, and means that you are getting less creatine directly to your muscles.
Instead of being dehydrated by a heating process, creatine anhydrous has its water removed by anhydrous solvents using the Grignard reaction and the Wurtz reaction.
Pros: Because of its more sophisticated removal of water, creatine anhydrous is much more stable when it is introduced to the body. This means that less creatine will be lost by converting to creatinine.
Cons: Creatine Anhydrous is not developed to withstand the highly acidic environment of the stomach and can still be broken down before it is absorbed into your system. This means that you still won’t be able to get as much creatine into your muscles as you put into your mouth.
Its name reveals that this form of creatine has two creatine molecules that are attached to a malic acid molecule. Malic acid is an intermediate in the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate, or the energy that the muscles use.
Pros: This form of creatine has been buffered, meaning that its natural pH levels have been altered to make it more readily absorbed by the body and causing much fewer creatine molecules to be destroyed by the highly acidic environment of the stomach.
Cons: Because 2CM Di-Creatine is essentially 2 parts creatine and 1 part malic acid, you are getting less creatine than other powders that are purely creatine, even though malic acid does play a role in energy production.
Similar to 2CM Di-Creatine, Kre-Alkalyn creatine has been altered by pH buffering so that its molecule can more readily withstand the ravages of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
Pros: Kre-Alkalyn creatine is one of the most advanced creatine powders and is absorbed more quickly and more fully into the bloodstream than almost any other creatine source.
Cons: Because it relies on a patented formula, this form of creatine can be a bit more pricey than others. However, when you consider the fact that more Kre-Alkalyn creatine is absorbed into your system than with other products, the expense evens out a little bit.
Also called Creatine KG, this form of creatine has an alpha-ketoglutarate attached to each creatine molecule.
Pros: Since alpha-ketoglutarate is an intermediate in the Krebs cycle, it can help your body work aerobically for longer periods of time. When your body is working aerobically, it can process oxygen and use energy more efficiently.
When you are working anaerobically, however, your body has to work without oxygen and produce the by-product lactic acid, which builds up in your muscles and causes the burning, shaky sensation that causes you to get tired more easily.
Cons: Not only is this creatine powder more expensive, but Creatine Alpha-Ketoglutarate is also not purely creatine.
So, What Is the Best Creatine Source?
As you have probably surmised, different types of creatine can offer different benefits to different parts of your workout; making it even harder to make a choice.
One thing you can do is to choose a product that has different forms of creatine, giving you more of the benefits of different kinds of creatine without having to give up the benefits of others.