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   Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine 1 - Creatine Monohydrate
Creatine 2 - Creatine Effects
Creatine 3 - Types of Creatine
Creatine 4 - Using Creatine
Best Creatine Supplements - 1
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Cellucor M5 Extreme
Creatine monohydrate info.
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So Many Different Types of Creatine, What Should You Choose? (3)

Creatine monohydrate is the predominant creatine type that is available on the market - it is one of the earliest creatine supplements that gained wide popularity. Over the years, different types of creatines have emerged - some are effective, others, not so much. Some of the more common varieties of creatine you might've come across include creatine serum, micronized creatine, creatine ethyl ester (CEE), kre alkalyn creatine, and tri creatine malate. Aside from pure creatine powders, there is a myriad of creatine supplements such as creatine delivery supplements, and creatine / NO matrices.

With so many choices out there, many users get lost when it comes to choosing what type of creatine to use. Not to worry, because we have reviews on many of the top creatine supplements that can help make your buying decision easier. As for this guide, we will discuss most of these different creatine types, and include a comparison guide on the many types of creatine supplements available.

Different creatine will have different costs, and generally speaking, creatine monohydrate is the most cost effective. Some of these creatine are time tested with clinical studies backing up its effectiveness, while the effectiveness of others are debatable at best. At the same time, there are certain creatine supplements that manufacturers have spent big marketing dollars to promote; however, clinical studies posted findings that show no support for the claims made. We'll discuss all of these here. First of all, we'll start off with micronized creatine.

Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Powder 

So, what's the difference between micronized creatine and creatine monohydrate? The fundamental difference between the two is that micronized creatine, as the name suggested, is much much smaller than monohydrate. The micronized creatine particles can be up to 20 times smaller than regular creatine monohydrate - making micronized creatine much finer, easier to absorb, and with higher purity. Because the processing, micronized creatine costs just slightly more than regular creatine.

ATP Creatine Serum vs Creatine Powder

There's always the question asked by some beginners whether creatine serum is better or creatine powder is better. I think many know that pure creatine powder beats creatine serum. If ask for my personal opinion, I will say that pure creatine powder is better. So what is creatine serum? In short, creatine serum or liquid creatine is just the liquid form of creatine monohydrate. So instead of ingesting a creatine powder, you're taking in a liquid solution of creatine. Liquid creatine claims to have the same benefits as powder creatine.

  • Provides extra energy to your muscles during workout
  • Gives you a energy boost through ATP regeneration
  • You can gain weight, size, and strength

There are many claims made about creatine serum, and most of the claims are not substantiated, and in fact, studies have proven creatine powder to trump serum when it comes to performance improvements. A few notes about liquid creatine:

  • it is not instantly absorbed
  • there is no apparent benefits of taking liquid creatine over powdered creatine - in fact studies show that the opposite is true
  • creatine serum is not stable as powder where there is a conversion of creatine to creatinine
  • there is no need to spend extra money for serum when powder works better

There have been many lab tests where commercial creatine serum products were tested for creatine levels. The results of these lab tests confirmed that creatine degrades to creatinine in solution, and the actual amount of creatine in the serum is much less than what the label claimed. In a New Zealand study, effects of creatine serum and creatine powder was tested on performance in repeated maximal sprint cycling tests. 11 competitive male athletes were supplemented with two different creatine supplements - a creatine powder and a creatine serum. The results of this study found that cycle sprint improved significantly after creatine powder use; however, there was little to no change with creatine serum use, indicating that creatine serum does not affect sprint cycling performance. The study goes on to state that "a substantial conversion of creatine into creatinine has been reported in many formulations and may explain the present findings." [1] In other words, the poor performance results from creatine serum use may be attributed to the fact that creatine degrades to creatinine in a solution.

Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE)

Creatine ethyl ester or CEE, is a newer form of creatine that has been heavily promoted as being a superior alternative to creatine monohydrate. It is a derivative of creatine monohydrate that has an ester attached that claims to have greater absorption, higher potency, and gives faster results. The ethyl ester attached is claimed to promote a much better absorption rate than regular creatine in the body. However these claims are not supported by scientific studies, and in fact some studies have actually found CEE to be less stable than regular creatine.

In a British study, the researchers found that creatine ethyl ester is unstable and does not work as well as regular creatine. These researchers presented their findings at the 4th International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) annual meeting in Las Vegas. This study is also one of the first studies to put creatine ethyl-ester to the test.[2] This study assessed the availability of creatine from 3 different commercial creatine supplements during degradation in acidic conditions similar to those that occur in the stomach. Two of these products contains CEE as the main ingredient (San CM2 Alpha and CE2). The results found that after 120 minutes, 72% of the creatine ethyl ester from CE2 was available, but only 11% of the creatine ethyl ester was available from San CM2 Alpha. At this point still 99% of the creatine remained available from the creatine monohydrate product. Hence, the addition of the ethyl group to creatine actually reduced it stability, and accelerated its breakdown to creatinine.

Aside from its apparent lack of stability compared to creatine monohydrate, CEE also costs more. There are anecdotal evidence where users report good results from using CEE. However, after my personal experience with CEE, I'm more inclined to spend less and get something more proven such as a micronized creatine. You can read about creatine ethyl ester in more detail here.

Kre Alkalyn Creatine Supplements

Research has shown that creatine's speed of conversion to creatinine is related to the pH of the liquid used for mixing. The lower the pH, the faster creatine converts to creatinine. It also found that conversion rate to creatinine slows as the pH of the creatine itself is raised above 7. At a pH of 12, creatine stops converting to creatinine. Kre Alkalyn Creatine is a pH buffered creatine with a pH above 12. As a result, it remains stable when mixed with liquid. What significance does this have for bodybuilding? With a buffered pH, the Kre Alkalyn creatine we consume remains completely stable and reaches muscle cells at full strength.

I've personally had good results using Kre Alkalyn creatine supplements. I've used it on many cycles and did not experience any bloating or upset stomach with it. You can read more about Kre Alkalyn creatine here.

>> Click here for Optimum Nutrition Creatine
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Part 4: Using Creatine and Loading >>

<< Part 1: Creatine Monohydrate
<< Part 2: Effects of Creatine Supplements


1. J Strength Cond Res. 2004 May;18(2)272-5.
Creatine serum is not as effective as creatine powder for improving cycle sprint performance in competitive male team-sport athletes.
Gill ND, Hall RD, Blazevich AJ.

2. Child R1 and Tallon MJ2. Creatine ethyl ester rapidly degrades to creatinine in stomach acid. Department of Life Sciences, Kingston University, Penrhyn Rd, Kingston-upon-Thames, United Kingdom. 2University of Northumbria, Sport Sciences, Northumbria University, Northumberland Building, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.


Mar 2010