Creatine monohydrate is a very popular supplement used for muscle gain, increase strength, and improve exercise efficiency. Creatine has been researched for many decades as a dietary supplement. In reality, there have been over 1,000 studies that have shown that creatine is the best supplement for exercise and performance.
What is Creatine?
Creatine is a natural substance found in muscle cells. It produces energy in your muscles during heavy lifting or high-intensity exercises. When you ingest creatine; the body converts it into creatine phosphate. Creatine phosphate aids in the formation of a molecule known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP powers muscle contractions. While creatine is a natural substance, the body produces some of the creatine on its own. However, you can also get creatine from a protein-rich diet like red meat or fish. (1)
Summary: Creatine converts into creatine phosphate in the body, which helps in the synthesis of ATP, an energy-carrying molecule that produces energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity exercises. You can also get creatine through a protein-rich diet, such as red meat or fish.
1. Science proves creatine monohydrate
There are many types of creatine such is liquid creatine, creatine ethyl ester, creatine hydrochloride, buffered creatine, and magnesium chelate. Each of these types has been studied. Data on the effects of these types in humans are limited, however, the vast majority use creatine monohydrate.
Studies on creatine monohydrates have shown almost all the effects and benefits of taking creatine supplements. These benefits include muscle gain, enhanced performance, and potential brain advantages. Creatine can increase strength in weight training by 10 to 20 percent on average. In addition, creatine monohydrate is the most safe and efficient for muscle growth. (2, 3, 4)
Summary: There are many kinds of creatine. Most studies on the effects of creatine have used creatine monohydrate. Creatine monohydrate can boost strength by 10 to 20%. It is the most effective and safest supplement for muscular growth.
2. Creatine monohydrate boosts exercise performance
Creatine monohydrate has positive health and exercises effects, including enhanced strength, stamina, and body mass. For their effects on exercise efficiency, several studies compared monohydrate and other types. Studies found that creatine monohydrate had better results than creatine ethyl ester and fluid forms. One study discovered that monohydrate improved blood and muscle creatine content better than the ethyl ester.
Another study revealed that the monohydrate form increased cycling performance by 10 percent compared to liquid creatine. However, some studies have suggested that buffered creatine and magnesium chelate may have the same effects as monohydrate. In particular, these forms can be efficient in strength and energy output. There is no scientific evidence to conclude that you should take any other creatine than monohydrate. (5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Summary: Creatine monohydrate has health and exercise benefits such as increased strength, stamina, and body mass. According to research, creatine monohydrate had better results than creatine ethyl ester and other forms. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that you should consume other than monohydrate form.
3. Creatine monohydrate is the safest form
Many studies have shown that creatine monohydrate is safe. There is no valid scientific evidence to show its short-or long-term side effects. Creatine monohydrate is safe at greater doses. Although a typical daily dose is 5 grams, however, individuals have taken doses of up to 30 grams of creatine monohydrate per day for five years reported no side effects.
Weight gain is the only side effect of creatine monohydrate. This should not, however, be regarded as a bad thing. Creatine improves muscle cell water content, which can increase lean muscle mass. Any weight gain that you may experience as because using this supplement is because of muscle water content increases rather than fat. (10, 11, 12, 13, 14)
Summary: At greater doses, creatine monohydrate is safe, but it can promote weight gain. Creatine increases the water content of muscle cells, which can lead to an increase in lean muscle mass. There is no reliable scientific data to suggest that it has any short- or long-term negative effects. The only side effect of taking this product is weight gain, which is not fat accumulation in the body. People who have kidney disease or high creatinine levels should avoid creatine supplements.
4. Creatine enhances mental health
It has also shown that creatine can improve mental health. Australian researchers gave 45 participants five grams of creatine supplements daily for a six-week. They found many of the participants showed improvement in memory. A decrease in phosphocreatine in your brain may be a major factor for various neurological diseases. This is because creatine can raise these levels and may help prevent or halt the progression of mental related diseases.
In animal study, creatine restored the brain’s phosphocreatine stores by 72 percent in mice with Huntington’s disease. This phosphocreatine replenishment aided in the maintenance of everyday functions and reduced cell death by approximately 25%. Animal studies suggest that consuming creatine supplements may also help treat other disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, ischemic stroke, and epilepsy. (15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21)
Summary: For a six-week period, they gave 45 volunteers five grams of creatine daily. They discovered that several of the individuals improved their memory. Creatine can help prevent or slow the progression of mental diseases. Animal studies show that taking creatine supplements may also aid in the prevention of other mental conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy.
5. Creatine may boost testosterone
It is common that your testosterone decreases once you reach your 30s. You may experience a drop in energy, stamina, strength, and sex drive. Testosterone replacement therapy such as injections or a weekly patch is one option, but there are tons of side effects. According to a study, respondents who took a daily creatine supplement improved their level of testosterone after 10 weeks. Ask your doctor for a blood test if you are worried about your testosterone level.
Summary: When you enter your 30s, it is normal for your testosterone to decrease. Experts believe that creatine may increase testosterone level. However, we need more studies to understand the effects of creatine monohydrate on testosterone.
6. Easy to buy
Most of exercise enhancing supplements are available in multi-ingredient form. These pre-workout supplements contain artificial flavours and are expensive compared to creatine monohydrate. If you buy these, no matter for which ingredient you buy, you will pay extra money. These are often useless ingredients and do not have the same effect as creatine. Therefore, creatine monohydrate are available in a unique form of powder and tablets.
7. Creatine is the cheapest supplement
Monohydrate is not only the simplest, it is also the cheapest. The creatine monohydrate is more accessible than any other form. Many firms produce this supplement. Therefore, the competition keeps the prices low. No matter how cheap the creatine monohydrate supplements are, you still need to look for a well reputable brand and beware of the fake products.
Creatine is one of the most efficient exercise performance supplements. There are several kinds available, but the best type is creatine monohydrate. In addition, creatine monohydrate has the greatest safety record compared to other types.
- 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.
- International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017.
- Creatine Supplementation and Lower Limb Strength Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses. Sports Med. 2015.
- Mg2+-creatine chelate and a low-dose creatine supplementation regimen improve exercise performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2004.
- Gyrate atrophy of the choroid and retina. A five-year follow-up of creatine supplementation. Ophthalmology. 1985.
- Oral creatine monohydrate supplementation improves brain performance: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. 1Discipline of Biochemistry. 2006.
- Efficacy and safety of ingredients found in preworkout supplements. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2013.
- Effect of creatine and beta-alanine supplementation on performance and endocrine responses in strength/power athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006.