Are you keen to build muscle but frustrated with the slow progress? Perhaps you’ve found this page because you heard that a compound called creatine can help? The good news is that you heard right, but not all products are equal.
So what is the best creatine for muscle growth?
Before I get into that there’s something you need to know, so please take a few minutes to read this short guide. The purpose of this page is to help you make the right choice for you and your needs.
The most important thing for you to know is that not all creatine supplements are the same. It’s true, not every product does what it says it does, despite the claims.
The Best Type of Creatine Supplements
I’m going to show you how to choose the best type of creatine supplements. Here’s a quick breakdown of what you’ll know by the end of this guide:
- What is creatine—exactly?
- How does creatine work?
- What’s the best creatine for building muscle
- How to take creatine
- The downsides to creatine supplements
Once you have a better understanding of the above points, you can then shop for creatine supplements with confidence. Okay, let’s start with what creatine is and how it helps muscle growth.
What Is Creatine and Why Use It?
Creatine is what scientists call a “naturally-occurring amino acid”. (Not to be confused with BCAAs) Without getting too technical, amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They’re “essential” as they form the basis of all life processes.
We get around half of all our creatine from animal foods, i.e. meat and fish. Your body’s natural processes makes the other half in the liver and Kidney.
So the human body creates its own creatine, and it’s also in certain foods. The question, then, is why would you even bother to take supplements? It’s a reasonable question, but there’s a good answer.
For every kilogram of muscle, the average body contains between 3.5g and 4g of creatine, but it has room for 5g. Quality creatine supplements can provide the extra 1-1.5g. Why is this important?
Maximum creatine in the body results in maximum potential for muscle growth.
How Do Creatine Supplements Work?
Creatine in muscle cells helps to produce something called ATP, or Adenosine triphosphate. Your body uses ATP as its constant supply of energy. Biologists refer to ATP as the energy currency of life.
ATP is also your body’s primary energy source during high-intensity exercise. More ATP means less fatigue and faster recovery after a workout, but that’s not all.
The four main benefits of creatine supplements for bodybuilding and strength training include:
- Augments muscle strength and muscle size
- Boosts recovery time after training
- Enhances sprint performance
- Improves brain function (an added benefit)
- Many other advantages
The Best Creatine for Building Muscle
There’s a lot of hype out there and plenty of claims on product labels. If you trust everything you read, then shopping for creatine supplements would be simple and reliable, but it’s not!
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you first start to look for creatine supplements. You will come across many products and product names.
Some of the most common creatine supplements for sale include:
- Creatine Monohydrate
- Creatine pills and Capsules
- Liquid creatine
- Buffered creatine
- Creatine nitrate
- Citrate and hydrochloride
- Many others (new, often overhyped products arrive all the time)
Creatine Monohydrate Powder
The oldest form of creatine is the first one on the list above: Creatine Monohydrate. It’s also the most scientifically researched of them all. The newer forms have little or no research, yet plenty of claims.
It’s never a good idea to take any supplements that lack thorough research. Creatine Monohydrate powder is also the cheapest of them all. No one promotes it using bling or outrageous claims either.
It’s also wise to choose a pharmaceutical grade Creatine Monohydrate like Myogenix. This removes the risk of any impurities or toxins that might be present in some non-pharmaceutical grade products.
In the US alone, there are over 400 million sales of Creatine Monohydrate annually, and that’s because it’s tried and trusted. It will provide your body with 4.40g of active product.
How to Take Creatine Monohydrate
It’s not complicated to take Creatine Monohydrate powder, but there are a few rules to take note of. The common recommendation is to take between 3-5g with a pre or post-workout shake.
For those of you who want to load up, take 5g of Creatine Monohydrate four times a day for six consecutive days. After the six day period you will want to drop down to 3g per day.
Point to note: It’s always a good idea to inform your doctor before you make any health changes to diet and lifestyle. Yes, this even applies to over-the-counter supplements.
The Downsides to Creatine Supplements
You can find many myths on the negative side effects of creatine supplements. But with Creatine Monohydrate, there’s no clinical evidence to support any serious health issues in healthy adults.
As for non-dangerous side effects, one concern—for some—is an increase in weight gain. One cause is the development of additional muscle tissue. Another cause is the extra water in muscle cells.
If you partake in a sport that has strict weight categories, then you need to take Creatine supplements with extra care, or not at all. For everyone else, the extra bulk is most likely a welcome side effect.
That’s it folks. I hope I’ve answered your question: what is the best creatine for muscle growth?