Types of Creatine and Recommendations

Creatine is a supplement that can help you to improve your exercise results. If you're thinking of taking it, we'll explain what it's for and the different types of creatine that you can find.
Types of Creatine and Recommendations

Last update: 19 November, 2018

Creatine is a molecule that’s similar to amino acids, which are the building blocks for the structure of protein. Vegetarians tend to consume less creatine since meat is its main dietary source. Still, vegetarians can take it as a dietary supplement and can increase muscle creatine content by up to 40 percent. What’s more, there are different types of creatine.

Also, researchers have studied its use as a dietary supplement and athletes around the world take it. Its main benefits include better exercise performance and improved musculoskeletal health. In addition, it can also help to boost brain health and has a critical role in producing energy. Find out more about the different types of creatine below.

How does creatine work?

Creatine plays a key role in the production of cellular energy. This is because it’s involved in forming adenosine triphosphate, which is an important source of energy.

Types of creatine man in gray shirt with supplements

Many studies have shown that this type of supplement can improve exercise performance. For example, up to a 10 percent increase in strength for weight training.

Other research shows that the boost in strength can range from 5 percent in chest exercises, such as the bench press and about 8 percent for leg exercises like squats.

In addition, some studies indicate that it can improve sprint and swimming performance. However, other studies have yet to show consistent results. Also, researchers have found that creatine can reduce mental fatigue.

These health and performance benefits occur when the creatine phosphate content in cells increases after supplementing it. However, you’ll find many types of creatine in stores which can make choosing one confusing. The following list details the different types of creatine that exist:

Types of creatine: creatine monohydrate

It’s the most common type of creatine, the one that researchers have used for most studies. As such, most of the benefits you can enjoy are from this type, such as greater strength in your upper and lower body.

This type is made up of a creatine molecule and a water molecule, although it can be processed in several ways. Sometimes, the water molecule is eliminated, leading to an anhydrous type.

Further, less water increases the amount of creatine in each dose. The anhydrous creatine is 100 percent pure, while the monohydrate form is about 90 percent pure.

Despite these differences, both are just as effective when you take the same dosage. In addition to boosting strength, it can alter muscle growth. What’s more, studies have shown that it can do all this without any serious side effects.

On the other hand, minor side effects can include cramping or an upset stomach. You can ease side effects by dividing the dosage into smaller ones. Experts have always considered creatine monohydrate to be the best choice since it’s safe, effective, and affordable.

Woman at gym next to supplement jar

Creatine Ethyl Ester

Some manufacturers claim that this type of creatine is better than others, including creatine monohydrate. This is because many experts believe that your body is better at absorbing creatine monohydrate.

Also, due to differences in muscle uptake rates, some believe it could outperform creatine monohydrate. Still, researchers conducted a study where they observed the two types of creatine. They found that it was worse with increasing blood and muscle content. As a result, experts do not recommend using ethyl ester creatine.

In conclusion, creatine is a good sports supplement. We’ve looked at two types; experts recommend the first, while the same isn’t true for the second. Lastly, there are many other types, such as creatine hydrochloride, buffered creatine, liquid creatine, and creatine magnesium chelate.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.