What is Creatine

What is Creatine

There are many rumours with regards to creatine and in the following article I will discuss the facts of the supplement while attempted to discredit any rumours surrounding it. Creatine is a naturally occurring element that was first discovered in 1835. Fish, chicken, red meat and other protein sources all contain creatine. It is not a steroids, nor does it have steroid like effects. Creatine is the most researched supplement in history.

What is Creatine?

Creatine is a combination of three amino acids (glycine, arginine and methionine). Creatine monohydrate, the most common form of creatine, is the three amino acids in creatine bonded to a single water molecule. When bonded to the single water molecule, creatine acts to inhibit waters liquid qualities and a fine white powder is formed.

Why Take Creatine?

Creatine’s performance boosting properties were first noticed in 1847. Creatine plays an important role in cellular energy production as creatinephosphate. Adenine Tri-Phosphate (ATP) is the bodies energy source and when your body oxidises carbs, protein or fat, it is doing this so as to produce ATP. In simple terms, creatine helps to maintain high levels of ATP, allowing you to train harder and longer.

Another benefit to creatine is that it can be used by your body as an energy source. Your body will use creatine especially during anaerobic activities (weightlifting for example). As a result, supplementing with creatine should increase your performance during such activities. Creatine also aids performance as it has the ability to hydrate muscles. The most important benefit of this is that it increases protein synthesis.

Is it Safe?

To date there have been no reputable studies that show any dangers in supplementing with creatine. It is a perfectly safe supplement and as mentioned previously, it is naturally in all protein sources and in our own skeletal structures.

Should I Load Creatine?

You may have heard of “loading phases” before with creatine which involve taking between 15-25g of creatine a day for around five days before dropping to around 5g. This may help you see results faster but it isn’t necessary. Incorporating a loading phase may cause gastrointestinal problems as well and cause stomach pains etc. If this is the case, drop to 5g a day and you should have no issues.

When Should I Take Creatine?

There has been a good bit of debate over this, but, I advise to take your creatine post workout. This has been shown to increase insulin-like growth factor-1 to stimulate muscle growth. It will also increase protein synthesis and lower cortisol. Creatine also functions as an antioxidant and can reduce the inflammatory response to training. Creatine should also be taken on your non-training days. Take 5g whenever is handiest on these days.

What’s The Difference Between Creatine Monohydrate And Other Forms Of Creatine?

Creatine monohydrate is the “original” form of creatine. All other forms of creatine are creatine monohydrate bonded with other chemicals.

Creatine Ethyl Ester is creatine monohydrate bonded to an Ethane or Ester. It is suggested to be more soluable than other forms of creatine and can be stored and absorbed more readily that regular creatine.

Creatine Malate is another form of creatine. It is the most costly form of creatine and is mainly found in creatine blends. The benefit of this type of creatine is that it blends with water easier, this can help with gastrointestinal issues. Another benefit is that it is transferred through the body quicker. The downside is that as it is bonded with Malic Acid it is harder for your body to breakdown, as a result it is often just passed straight through the body. This is why it is generally sold in blends and not on it’s own.

Kre-Alkalyn is creatine monohydrate that has a pH buffer. This allows the creatine to stay in its purest form. This may lead to it being absorbed better as there are no fillers or by-products that could hinder absorption.

Creatine Nitrate can increase the “pump” you feel during workouts. Nitrates help increase vasodilation

What Creatine Do You Recommend?

For anyone new to taking creatine, I recommend buying creatine monohydrate. Buy the cheapest form you can that’s still from a reputable source. We stock many different brands of monohydrate including ON Micronized Creatine, ROS Nutrition Creapure Creatine Monohydrate and Kinetica Creatine Monohydrate.

For more serious athlete’s Creatine Ethyl Ester is a good choice. ROS Nutrition Creatine Ethyl Ester HCL is available online or in store.

If you’ve tried creatine monohydrate before and you’re looking to try a blend, or something different there are two products that I’d recommend. Muscle Pharm Creatine has monohydrate as the main ingredient but also contains Creatine Malate, Creatine Nitrate and some other forms of creatine. The nitrate has the added bonus of giving an increased pump during workouts. Another good blend is Universal Storm which contains several forms of creatine, including monohydrate and malate. It also includes beta alanine which when taken with creatine can improve power and muscle pH. It also has arginine and citrulline malate for increased pumps.


I’ve heard creatine can bloat you and make you retain water, is this true?

– When on creatine you should increase your water intake, doing so should see the bloating subside.

I’ve heard I should take my creatine with juice, is this right?

– Taking it with water on your off days or with your post workout shake is absolutely fine.

Will creatine shrink my balls?

– No.

Is Creapure the best type of creatine monohydrate?

– Creapure is manufactured to a certain purity, however, buying a creatine from any reputable source or that is verified by independent testing is fine.

Should I take creatine on a cut?

– Taking creatine on a cut is fine and may help maintain your performance levels and strength during your cut.

How much should I take?

– 5g a day is what I recommend.

Find some more Creatine products on Bodyfirst right here