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  • Ingredient Explained: Creatine Monohydrate

    Step 1: What is it?

    Creatine is a compound derived from amino acids. Your muscles utilise creatine to produce energy during heavy lifting or quick bursts of intense activity.

    Step 2: What does it do?

    Creatine converts into a compound called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the body’s main energy source for the phosphate energy system. The phosphate energy system is recruited when conducting short, sharp muscle contractions such as sprinting or lifting a heavy weight.

    By increasing your bodies creatine levels through supplementation, you’re effectively improving the ability of your muscles to contract with more power and for more repetitions. Thereby, creatine can allow you to train harder, with heavier loads and more volume, which ultimately leads to muscle growth over time.

    Step 3: How do I take it?

    • Dosage

    5g per day. The will allow for peak creatine saturation levels in approximately 2 weeks.

    • Timing

    It doesn’t matter what time creatine is consumed. However, we recommend consuming it around the same time every day. 

    • Frequency

    Every day - 5g. No need to cycle off.

    Step 4: What are the top products?

    We recommend that you find the best value for money creatine monohydrate product, i.e. look for a cost-effective price point! Just be sure to check the product's ingredient profile to ensure that it’s 100% creatine monohydrate and nothing else!

  • Creatine Types: Everything You Need to Know

    When supplementation first started to see a dramatic rise in popularity decades ago, your options were limited. Now, you can literally spend days going over all of your options. One of the classic supplements has evolved over time as well. Creatine has become a staple to every type of fitness enthusiast from the athlete to the weekend warrior.  The difference is that you have more to choose from than just Creatine Monohydrate.


    Let's take a look at the different types of creatine, their differences, and which one will serve you best.


    Proven Benefits of Creatine


    Before we discuss the differences between each form of creatine, let's quickly review the benefits that have been shown by science.


    Many studies have confirmed that creatine is an effective means of supplementation when it comes to supporting athletic performance. Creatine is used during high energy demands such as exercise. 5 grams of creatine a day has been shown to support these energy demands, improving intra-workout performance.


    Creatine is famously used by bodybuilders as a means to support lean muscle mass. Creatine does NOT directly increase muscle size. What it does is improve performance. Through better performance, your strength and power levels will increase. From this, you'll see better results in terms of muscle size. (1, 2)


    Now that we have our benefits laid out, let's take a look at the highlights between each type.




    This is the classic form of Creatine. Through leaps and bounds in supplementation technology, we now have a monohydrate without the bloating side effects that were commonly reported years ago. This is the subject of most studies so you can't go wrong with Monohydrate as it's extremely effective and inexpensive.


    Micronized Creatine


    Micronized is famous for having a smaller particle size. You're still getting Creatine Monohydrate but you'll need less of a dose. You'll notice the serving sizes are very small. It offers the same benefits as Monohydrate and it's been reported by companies to have a better absorption rate but this has never been proven in an official study. It's usually a bit more expensive than Monohydrate.


    Ethyl Ester


    This is Creatine Monohydrate that has an organic compound known as an Ester attached to it. Does this mean it's better for you? No. Creatine Ethyl Ester has been shown to be less effective than Monohydrate. It's reported to have a higher absorption rate but again, this has never been shown. Price wise, it's usually much more expensive than Monohydrate.


    Tri-Creatine Malate


    As the name suggests, Malate is made up of three Creatine Monohydrate molecules and they are combined by one molecule of malic acid. So what does this mean for you? Although studies have yet to prove this, it's been reported that the molecule of malic acid greatly increases absorption and assimilation resulting in better recovery, energy, and performance.


    Buffered Creatine


    You don't see Buffered Creatine as much but those few companies swear that it's superior to Monohydrate. It's claimed to be fully absorbed by the body without resulting wasting of the creatine product. One popular study proved this to be untrue. It was tested against the classic Monohydrate. The results showed Buffered Creatine was inferior to the bodybuilding original. (3)


    Liquid Creatine


    Finally, we have Liquid Creatine. You'd think being in liquid form would be beneficial for absorption and effectiveness but this isn't the case. Creatine is faster to breakdown in its liquid form, making it less effective.




    Despite the big claims made by supplement companies, Creatine Monohydrate is still king. With Monohydrate you know what to expect because all of the studies have been based on it. It's proven and it's inexpensive so what more could you ask for? If I had to pick one more type of creatine to buy, it would be Tri-Creatine Malate but only if it's on sale.




    1. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.


    1. Robert Cooper, Fernando Naclerio, Judith Allgrove, and Alfonso Jimenez. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9: 33. Published online 2012 Jul 20. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-33.


    1. Andrew R Jagim, Jonathan M Oliver, Adam Sanchez, Elfego Galvan, James Fluckey, Steven Riechman, Michael Greenwood, Katherine Kelly, Cynthia Meininger, Christopher Rasmussen, and Richard B Kreider. A buffered form of creatine does not promote greater changes in muscle creatine content, body composition, or training adaptations than creatine monohydrate. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9: 43. Published online 2012 Sep 13. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-43.
  • The Best Creatine Supplement to Build Muscle

    There are so many creatine supplements available - which one do you choose? How do different creatine products differ? Let's take a look at some various powders and discuss the best creatine supplement for your muscle building goals.

    A quick background on creatine...

    Okay, so you've decided to take creatinecreatine in detail previously, so you may wish to search this up). So, here goes:

    Creatine does not directly facilitate muscle growth. However, it does saturate muscle cells and thus increases your muscle's ability to lift more weight. More weight lifted can induce greater trauma leading to further hypertrophy (or muscle growth).

    As I said, a very general overview!

    So many types of creatine - what is the best form?

    With creatine monohydrate, creatine malate, creatine ethyl ester, kre-alkalyn creatine and other creatine's now available on the market, it's no wonder that the world of creatine supplementation is a confusing one!

    You may be very happy to know that creatine monohydrate is the most comprehensively researched creatine product available on the market. Other forms have minimal (and sometimes no) objective scientific backing to confirm that your investment will pay off.

    You may have heard of kre-alkalyn, which gained a lot of popularity a couple of years ago. In mid 2007, the ISSN conference in the United States concluded:

    Kre-alkalyn supplementation has no beneficial effect on creatine-to-creatinine conversion rates.

    This compared Kre-alkalyn to standard creatine monohydrate. The additional investment was a complete waste, according to these findings.

    Consequently, we do not sell kre-alkalyn supplements in our store.

    Considering that creatine monohydrate has been so well researched and practically proven to be effective for the majority of the population, this would be a great investment. Other forms of creatine may have been shown to be effective, but not to the same extent.

    Creatine - mixed or pure powder?

    So the question becomes whether to invest in a pure creatine monohydrate powder, or spend the additional money on a pre-mixed product.

    A creatine monohydrate powder, such as the Dymatize Creatine is a very popular product because:

    • It is highly cost effective
    • It has solid scientific evidence backing up it's effectiveness
    • It's a great product

    However, if you do intend on supplementing with creatine monohydrate from a pure powder, you should consider consuming it with a high glycemic index carbohydrate, such as dextrose or glucose. This causes an insulin spike that enhances creatine uptake.

    A pre-mixed creatine supplement is also a very popular choice because:

    • Most taste great
    • Many contain high GI carbs and other ingredients to enhance uptake
    • They are more convenient than standard creatine monohydrate powder

    One of our best sellers, BSN NO-Xplode does contain creatine (along with many other ingredients). Gaspari SizeOn is also a very popular creatine product.

    Other creatine notes

    Creatine won't always work for everyone, so it may be worthwhile giving this supplement a go and seeing how it works for you.

    Initially, you may experience some minor stomach discomfort, which is quite common.

    You may experience weight gain after supplementing with creatine after a few days. This is normal and is due to a greater amount of water being retained within muscle cells. Be sure to drink plenty of water when supplementing with creatine!

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