Taking creatine is one of the more common nutritional supplements that are around today. In this article we’ll be looking at what creatine is, why you should consider taking it and comparing a few so you can choose the best creatine supplement for you.
What is creatine and why is it useful?
Creatine is a natural substance and turns into Creatine Phosphate within the body. We can get creatine naturally through eating meat and fish so if you’re a vegetarian or vegan you might find that your levels aren’t as high as others and might benefit from being supplemented.
Creatine feeds the muscles so while you’re getting those reps in the creatine will help you push to go farther and do that little bit more.
The main benefits of creatine are
- It helps to increase strength
- It increases muscular endurance
- It improves recovery time
What different types of Creatine are there?
There are a few different types of creatine on the market at the moment. I’m focusing on the more popular types as there are more studies about these.
Creatine Monohydrate is the most popular type of creatine you’ll find on the market – you can get it in powdered and tablet form. Normally you’ll start with a loading phase (you’ll take more of it at the start) which loads your muscles with creatine so that you can get the effects of it a little quicker. Then you’ll move on to a maintenance phase where you’ll take a smaller amount regularly.
Micronised creatine is creatine that is a much tinier particle. The smaller the particle the better it is at being absorbed by your body and more effective it can be.
Kre-Alkalyn is what is known as ‘buffered’ creatine and is a patented product. It’s basically a different PH to other forms which allows it to to be absorbed better and doesn’t need a ‘loading’ phase.
Creatine Hydrochloride (HCL) is much more water soluble than others again allowing it to be absorbed more readily and reduce wastage. Like the Kre-Alkalyn there’s no loading phase.
What’s the best time to take creatine?
There is some debate on this one and no current studies that give a definitive answer. Most people believe that creatine is best taken post workout when your stores are low and more receptive to being replenished. Others think that you’ll get better benefits before a workout. I say – give it a try and see what works best for you!
Top 10 best creatine supplements on the UK market
This table shows some of the 10 best selling creatine supplements on Amazon at the moment. When comparing bear in mind that some products have smaller serving sizes stated on their pack and if you know you want to take, for example, 5g per serving, then you’ll need to readjust the amount of servings in the pack.
|Name||Form||Type of Creatine||Pack size||Servings per pack||Price|
|Optimum Nutrition Micronised Creatine Powder||Powder||Micronised Creatine Monohydrate||317g||88 (3.6g serving)||£|
|Muscleform 500 g Micropure Creatine Monohydrate||Powder||Micronised Creatine Monohydrate||500g||200 (2.5g serving)||£|
|BULK POWDERS Creatine Monohydrate Powder | 100% Pure & Micronised||Powder||Micronised Creatine Monohydrate||1kg||200 (5g serving)||£|
|MyProtein Creatine Monohydrate 500g ||Powder||Creatine Monohydrate||500g||100 (5g serving)||£|
|MuscleTech 400mg Platinum Micronized Creatine Supplement ||Powder||Micronised Creatine Monohydrate||400g||80 (5g serving)||££|
|Reflex Nutrition Creapure Creatine Monohydrate - 90 Capsules||Tablets||Creatine Monohydrate||90 capsules||90 (700mg per tablet)||££|
|Optimum Nutrition Creatine 2500 Capsules Pack of 200||Tablets||Creatine Monohydrate||200 capsules||200 (2.5g per tablet)||££|
|All American EFX Kre-Alkalyn EFX 750mg 240 Capsules||Tablets||Kre-Alkalyn||240 capsules||120 (2 tablets per serving. 1500mg per tablet)||££|
|CON-CRET 48 SERVINGS - PURE CONCENTRATED CREATINE||Tablets||Creatine HCl||50g||48||£££|
Please note that if you have existing medical conditions it’s worth checking with your doctor before taking any sports nutrition supplements. This guide is not intended as dietary or medical advice.