With so many creatine options available, many people are left with paralysis by analysis. How in the world are you suppose to know which one is the best for building lean muscle mass and increasing strength? This article is going to break down the best form of creatine for the hardcore lifter who is seeking tremendous strength and lean muscle gains.
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Why Creatine Works
Creatine is one of the most powerful all natural strength and muscle boosting supplements. The science behind creatine has been around for over 20 years and it has been used since the days of old school bodybuilding. If you want to maximize your performance in the gym you should be taking a creatine supplement – plain and simple!
Regardless of your end game goal with your training (fat loss, muscle building or both) – Creatine can help get you their quicker.
Creatine has been linked to increases in strength and lean muscle gains – which makes it the perfect supplement for any power lifters or fitness goers looking to pack on lean muscle mass.
The science behind the gains is that creatine increases the energy output of your type 2 muscle fibers that are used in explosive activities like strength training and sprinting.
This is why even if your goal is to lose body fat quickly, supplementing creatine before and after a high intensity interval training session works very well.
Creatine has also been linked to reducing muscle damage and soreness from exercise. This means that you can train at maximum intensity and get back in the gym sooner for more gains in less time!
Creatine had a bad reputation in the past and was linked to a lot of side effects. Luckily saner research has prevailed. Creatine has been used for over 30 years and has been deemed safe when consumed properly.
Creatine is nothing more than a naturally occurring amino acid found in red meat and fish. Therefore creatine consumption is 100 percent natural.
Many fitness goers have the false perception that creatine is a muscle building supplement that does the work for you. Creatine without maximum intensity workouts will not give you any kind of results. Creatine prepares your body and fuels it for increases in strength which allow you to push more weight in the gym which allows you to put more overload on your body’s muscles which allows you to gain more muscle mass.
The formula is quite simple:
Take for example an exercise like the bench press or squat. These are obviously essential muscle building compound exercises. Creatine will allow you to exert more force and overload on these exercises and increase your maximum lifts. Even if it only increases your lifts by 5 percent, this adds up to tremendous lean muscle gains over time.
Imagine all of the lean muscle gains you could make if all of your compound muscle building workouts were at peak efficiency and you were lifting a few lbs heavier each and every workout. The compound effect of intense training and creatine consumption can give you tremendous gains over time.
So what is the best kind of creatine to unleash these gains? Lets take a look
Kre alkalyn is also known as buffered creatine and has its own unique patent. Buffered creatine has a PH level of 12, which means that your body can absorb it easier and faster. This translates to less per serving than typical creatine monohydrate.
The truth is that these claims have been proven false and research has shown that no performance advantages were found with Kre-Alkalyn creatine. Kre alkalyn is also much more expensive than regular creatine monohydrate – so save your money!
Creatine HCL is the latest overpriced creatine supplement to hit the market hard. Creatine HCL is creatine bound to hydrochloric acid and is supposedly the most advanced form of creatine available.
The marketing pitch behind this product is that instead of taking 5-10 grams per day, you only need to consume 1-2 grams of creatine hcl.
One hugely important factor you have to realize is that creatine hcl is turned into regular creatine by your stomach acid – so you are overpaying for a fancy variation of creatine.
Bodybuilders and athletes have reported no additional strength or lean muscle gains with this creatine compared to regular monohydrate. They did report some financial losses however – as creatine HCL is up to 10 times as expensive as regular creatine!
Creatine malate is another fancy version of creatine. This type of creatine is formulated by combining a creatine molecule with a malic acid molecule. Malic acid alone has been linked to performance in competitive athletes so this would initially make sense.
Further research has shown that there is no conclusive evidence showing creatine malate is superior to old-fashioned monohydrate.
Liquid creatine is simply creatine monohydrate that is suspended in liquid form. Liquid creatine has actually been shown to be less effective than regular creatine monohydrate. After being in the liquid solution for several days, the creatine is broken down into its inactive form known as “creatinine.”.
Creatine Ethyl Ester
Creatine ethyl ester is another popular form of creatine that has been marketed as having “better absorption” than monohydrate. This is actually not true after further research evaluated this claim.
Creatine ethyl ester has been proven less effective than regular monohydrate by a popular research study. Once ethyl ester enters your body it is quickly converted into the inactive substance creatinine.
Creatine nitrate is water solulable and possibly easier on your stomach than regular creatine monohydrate. You are however paying extra for a fancy variation of monohydrate that yields no strength or lean muscle gains advantages over regular monohydrate.
Not only is creatine monohydrate the most cost effective creatine product on the market – it is also the most effective creatine supplement. There has yet to be a fancy and over hyped creatine supplement that has been proven to be more effective for strength and lean muscle gains.
The research is very straightforward. Don’t overpay for other types of creatine. Creatine monohydrate is by far the best choice and is still the gold standard when it comes to strength and lean muscle gains.
Micronized creatine is a popular variation of creatine monohydrate and is simply creatine monohydrate broken down into smaller particles for easier absorption. If you don’t mind shelling out a few extra dollars per month – this is also a fantastic choice.