Creatine monohydrate, creatine for short, is a natural supplement that’s widely used to ramp people’s athletic performance up a gear. The beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 3 g of creatine.
One of the reasons why it’s got such a massive following is because research has proven it time-and-again to be one of the most popular supplements for exercise performance.1
What is creatine exactly?
Well, we’ve told you it’s a natural supplement, but it would be useful to know what it’s made of and why it’s natural, wouldn’t it?
When it comes to understanding creatine monohydrate’s make-up it’s important to look at it from two perspectives – the body’s version of creatine and the creatine that’s manufactured synthetically.
The creatine that’s naturally produced by our bodies is made…
In our kidneys and our livers by the amino acids, glycine, arginine and methionine. Our body converts this trio of amino acids into creatine phosphate and phosphocreatine, which is then stored in our skeletal muscles and used for energy.2
More specifically, it’s creatine that’s responsible for making something called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) which provides our bodies with energy for muscle contractions.3
The creatine that’s manufactured is made…
By combining sarcosine, sodium salt, and cyanamide, an organic amide compound, in a steel reactor. They’re heated under pressure to create creatine crystals.
The crystals are further refined and any unwanted particles are filtered out before the crystalline creatine is passed through the milling process.4
What does creatine do?
It does a lot to support your energy! Creatine benefits include:
- Improved strength
- Increased lean muscle mass
- Faster muscle recovery during exercise
It’s because of this that creatine’s often taken to achieve short bursts of speed and energy, for activities such as weight lifting and sprinting.
But for all the widespread usage and adoration, the scientific research that’s been done on creatine’s impact is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, studies have found that it can help improve performance during short bursts of activity. While on the other, there’s no evidence of its ability to help with endurance pursuits. In the meantime, research has also revealed that not everybody’s muscles respond to taking it either.5
What’s the best creatine for you?
As is the case with all supplements, deciding on the best creatine for you very much depends on personal preference. For instance, how often you want to take it, how you want to take it (e.g. as a capsule or by drinking it) and whether you want it to be pre-combined (if available) with anything else.
You may want to try: Precision Engineered Creatine 240 Capsules 700mg (£17.49)
Why choose them? These capsules contain ultra-pure creatine monohydrate to provide even more of an energy boost.
Our customers have given them a 4.5 out of 5-star rating. According to Stepgym, they’re:
‘Easy to take … and improve my endurance and make me feel good about my work-outs and that I made the effort to take it.’
Also check out: PhD Creapure 90 capsules (£10.99)
You may want to try: Optimum Nutrition Micronised Creatine Powder 634g (£29.99)
Why choose it? This powder contains 3g of creatine monohydrate per serving and mixes easily with juice or water.
Our customers have given it a 4.2-star rating. Robert M says: ‘It’s the best. It’s strong creatine and good quality, if you try this product you will see more power!!!’
You may want to try: Vox Creatine Chews Mint 100 (£19.99)
Why choose them? They’re a quick and easy way to get your creatine hit.
You may want to try: Maxi Pre Workout Pink Lemonade 300g (£24.99)
Why choose it? Get your muscles ready for exercise and get the most out of your physical activity.
Our customers are loving Grenade’s Berry Blast. Bruce Mac says it’s ‘rocket fuel’, while Lori90 ‘loves the kick she gets from it before work-outs and the noticeable lift in energy.’
What about vegan creatine?
There are vegan creatine supplements on the market too. They include Reflex XFT’s Creatine powder, which is ideal for putting into protein shakes and smoothies.
Vox’s creatine chews are also suitable for vegans too. Each chew contains 5g of creatine and can be consumed alongside other creatine supplements.
Still curious about creatine? Check out this article, ‘What creatine is and why you should use it.’
Last updated: 18 August 2020