Are you taking creatine? Are you considering it? If so, here is a guide to help you choose the best one for your fitness goals.
In a nut shell, creatine supplements are used by athletes to help them perform better. It is very popular among bodybuilders, marathon runners, professional athletes and even the regular gym crowd.
Creatine supplements can help immensely, as researchers have known for many years. This is because it helps with the creation of skeletal muscle and actually increases power and performance by up to 15%. That means that when you use creatine, you are able to build muscle faster and easier than you would without it.
There are many forms to choose from, and experts often disagree about which is the best. The answer to that question is that the best creatine supplement for one individual might not be the best for another. It all comes down to preference, body type, fitness goals and a variety of other tangibles and intangibles.
The 5 Most Popular Forms of Creatine
One of the most popular types of creatine supplements is monohydrate. This type of creatine needs to be taken with sugar or it will not be absorbed by the body. It also requires you to start out with a large amount in your system (called a 'loading phase') before you slow down to an average amount. In the loading phase, you will take 4-5 doses of this type of creatine each day. This phase lasts approximately 5 days before you reduce your intake to one dose per day. Creatine monohydrate does have some side effects such as gastric discomfort however it has also been shown to have great results.
The second most popular method of creatine supplements is ethyl ester. This type of creatine doesn't require the sugar or the loading that monohydrate requires. That means you don't have to start out with a lot of doses. In fact you start out with the same dose you will continue to take, one serving twice a day. Not only that but this type of creatine offers results in all users.
The third type of creatine supplement is tri-creatine malate. With this type of creatine, you are actually getting an energy boost as well as the rest of the benefits. This method also does not have the side effects of monohydrate creatine. Another benefit is that this method only requires one serving each day, which is less than ethyl ester and far less than monohydrate as there is no loading phase. This type also helps you to recover faster after a workout.
The fourth type of creatine, buffered creatine, also has none of the side effects of monohydrate. Most creatine products will turn into a waste product very quickly after being dissolved in water (most creatine products are taken mixed into water) which means they have to be taken immediately after being dissolved into the water. In this type of creatine, the process is slowed. With this product, you take two servings per day.
Finally is micronized creatine. This type of creatine supplement has the advantage of being absorbed better than other types. However, there is a loading phase in this one that is more complicated than that of monohydrate. For this type, you must take one spoonful 4-six times each day for 5 days. Once those five days have passed you, take a spoonful twice a day for 16 days. Stop taking any for three days and then begin again. This type of creatine tends to be more effective than other types however.
All of these types of creatine have proven to be effective for some people. There are many other types of creatine available yet people have stuck with mainly these five. There is a reason for that. However, one of them is considered to be ideal for those looking to bulk up or become better athletes. The type that is most recommended is ethyl ester.
Ethyl ester is believed to be the best type of creatine because it is so effective. It is absorbed into the body much more easily than other types of creatine and also is available in pill form rather than as a powder. This type also does not have side effects and is still reasonably priced.
All of these reasons contribute to why ethyl ester is the most recommended type of creatine supplement for athletes, body builders and anyone else who wants to get a great result from working out. But again, it is a matter of personal preference and you may get better results from monohydrate or another type.