Being a fitness enthusiast isn’t easy! It comes with numerous challenges, from developing a proper training regimen to selecting the best creatine. Yes, you read it right. Unfortunately, not every creatine supplement on the market is designed to nourish your body.
But, What Is Creatine?
Creatine is an indispensable part of a nutritional plan for many athletes and gym rats. This organic compound has been around since 1832 and is primarily known for its composition of rich protein fragments. Creatine comprises three amino acids: glycine, methionine, and arginine.
All these amino acids are primarily responsible for storing large amounts of ATP energy. Additionally, creatine is responsible for simulating protein synthesis and inhibiting myostatin (a protein that limits muscle growth).
So now that we have an idea of what creatine is about, let’s look at the different aspects of choosing the best supplement in the following sections of our blog.
Creatine: Why It’s Important?
Creatine has been one of the most favorable supplements for athletes and bodybuilding enthusiasts for over two decades and for a good cause. The body’s phosphate energy system is different after creatine intake. This allows the user to exert more energy and work out or stay at the top of their game for extended periods.
What’s more? Creatine also enhances a body’s capacity to tap into more energy when the body feels drained out during heavy workouts. Additionally, clinical studies proved that creatine before and after a workout enhanced strength and lean muscle mass.
However, these are just a few basics of what creatine can do. So to help you better, we’ve listed a few benefits of using creatine and how it helps push good health in the long run.
Benefits Of Creatine Supplements For Good Health
- Creatine helps prevent Alzheimer’s Disease: When consumed as powder or pills, creatine reduces homocysteine levels in the blood. This is helpful as high blood homocysteine levels generally result in several mental and neurological diseases. Some of these ailments include dementia, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Creatine acts as an antioxidant: Recent research has shown that creatine is very potent. Glutathione and creatine are almost equal in their ability to neutralize free radicals. Therefore, when taken in the correct dosage, creatine becomes a potent antioxidant apart from the naturally created glutathione inside the body.
- Creatine use with B vitamins: The vitamins B2, B9, B6, and B12 are necessary to properly produce creatine inside our body. When supplementing creatine with B vitamins, the body tends to optimize the process of cellular methylation. This way, regular creatine intake promotes muscle growth, while proper methylation helps in healthy cell proliferation.
- Creatine helps avoid heart disease: Coronary Heart Disease, or CHD, has been one of the leading causes of mortality across the US. Today, over 13 million Americans are dealing with CHD across the country. However, they have a better chance of preventing CHD when supplementing with creatine powder. Regular creatine intake decreases serum homocysteine levels and maintains regular blood pressure.
- Creatine improves cognitive function: In addition to preventing muscular fatigue, creatine also supports healthy brain function. Research suggests that using creatine supplements directly enhances short-term memory and problem-solving skills. This way, regular intake of creatine helps improve lifestyle.
So now that we have a proper idea of the perks of creatine consumption let’s look at some of the best creatine supplements in the market.
Creatine Supplement: Which Is The Best?
Over the years, we’ve encountered many ‘improved’ versions of creatine, each marketing itself to be better than the authentic creatine monohydrate. Most of these newly launched variants, whether micronized, liquefied, buffered, or esterified, claim to produce better benefits, often with far lower doses than those recommended for the monohydrate form.
So to help you better, we’ve shortlisted the most commonly available creatine supplements and their advantages. Let’s check them out:
Advantage: Inexpensive and proven
First on our list, we have creatine monohydrate, the most prevalent form of creatine in Canada. It is the oldest and the most researched form of creatine. It offers your body 99.1% of creatine monohydrate, leaving few for the other, newer brands.
Some common examples of creatine monohydrates are Allmax creatine, C4 Sport Pre Workout Powder, TC Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate Powder, and Evlution Nutrition Creatine5000, among others.
Buffered Creatine: Kre-Alkalyn
Advantage: No loading needed
Next, we have the creatine supplement Kre-Alkalyn, a form of creatine slightly mixed with alkaline powder like bicarbonate. Manufacturers assert that by adding this “buffering,” a little more alkaline molecule is produced, which might lessen stomach-borne creatine breakdown and enhance muscle absorption of creatine.
Some common examples of buffered creatine are-alkaline are Blue Star Nutraceuticals CREA-TECH, EFX Sports Kre-Alkalyn | PH-Correct, and Muscletech Creatine Powder, Cell-Tech Creactor Creatine HCl, which is mostly marketed as the best creatine for women.
Creatine Hydrochloride (HCL)
Advantage: Less water, minimal bloating
Last on our list, we have creatine HCL, a supplement often marketed with a better advantage over creatine monohydrate, even at lower doses (usually between 1-2 grams per day). Additionally, the makers of HCL claim that since creatine is in a micronized form, users must consume less of it to get similar results.
The argument is that consuming less requires less water, alleviating the bloating and other gastrointestinal side effects that taking monohydrate might cause. Although there isn’t any evidence to back up such claims that this type of creatine is better than monohydrate, you should try it if you have cramps or bloating when taking monohydrate.
Some common examples of creatine hydrochloride in Canada include Clean Creatine HCl, ProLine HCL Creatine Capsules, and Ballistic Supps Creatine HCL, among others.
Common Myths & Facts Around Creatine Supplements
Myth 1: Creatine is a steroid
Fact: No. There is no additional hormone in creatine. It is neither a prohormone nor a precursor to testosterone. Instead, it’s a naturally occurring chemical acid that aids in giving muscles energy.
Myth 2: Side effects of consuming creatine supplements include hair loss, among other side effects
Fact: No. Clinical studies on creatine have never revealed any major adverse effects like creatine hair loss or blood loss. However, you can experience decreased energy after cycling off of creatine. Therefore, you must be well-hydrated to use creatine supplements.
Myth 3: Creating makes you fat
Fact: No. Creatine helps you gain lean muscle mass by drawing out water from the muscle. This way, creatine helps reduce your weight instead of adding water weight to your body.
Myth 4: Teenagers shouldn’t take creatine
Fact: There is no proof to back up the claim that teens who use creatine in a reasonable amount have any negative side effects. A tried-and-true and secure supplement is creatine. Yet, as creatine has only recently entered the market, it is still possible that using it by youngsters might have unintended consequences.
Myth 5: There’s no such thing called vegan creatine
Fact: No. Creatine is by no means limited to non-vegetarians. Vegans can choose from a wide range of available vegan creatine.
Now You Know!
This brings us to the end of our article on everything we need to know about creatine supplements. So now that we have a detailed idea of the types of creatine supplements in the market, we hope you have no struggles finding the one that’s best for you.