What is The Best Creatine Form?

August 15th, 2008 by Paul Johnson

There are so many different Creatine forms out today. Every supplement company that came out with a new form of Creatine, claimed that there was better than previous other Creatine forms. One reason why new forms of Creatine came out after the original Creatine monohydrate was because some people appear to be non-responders. It was believed that this was caused due to a absorption issue, therefore a lot of it was being excreted in the urine and not absorbed into the muscle tissue.

Creatine loading was invented to increase the absorption of Creatine. During the loading phase, you may have digestion problems such as diarrhea or stomach upset. That was where you took it in higher doses with glucose/dextrose in order to increase it's absorption into the body. This is because not all of the Creatine is digested and the creatine molecule loves to "suck in" a lot of water with it, as it travels through your digestion tract. This is the same reason why creatine works to bloat up your muscles.

Despite creatine loading, many still don't respond well with creatine monohydrate. New Creatine forms came out that claimed to have a higher absorption rate. Then newer forms of Creatine even claimed other benefits due to the extra compound in the molecule bonded with the creatine molecule. I will review every form of creatine on the market today and which is the best creatine form.

Creatine Forms:

Creatine Monohydrate :

This is the very first creatine product. It is a tasteless white powder. Creatine monohydrate is the cheapest form of creatine so is still widely used, but it also appears to have the highest amount of creatine "non-responders" too. The absorption rate is approximately 1% and it's advised to be loading phase. Creatine monohydrate is very unstable in water, so make sure when you put it in water you immediately drink it. Creatine Monohydrate in it's pure form made in Germany, is labeled with the Creapure logo on the tub.

(CEE) Creatine Ethyl Ester :

For years this was the hot new creatine form. Many recommended CEE as the superior form of Creatine, even though there were no substantial valid studies to really back up claims. CEE could be taken in pill form with no loading phase required. In 07, the first real study came out on CEE by 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. The study showed that over 60% degraded to inactive creatinine within 30 minutes sitting in an acidic water solution that mimicked the stomach. This proved CEE was not as good as once claimed.

Micronized Creatine :

This is creatine monohydrate that underwent a new process called micronization. It allows the molecule to have more surface area making it a higher absorption rate. Micronized Creatine still requires a loading phase and only slightly better absorption.

Effervescent Creatine :

This is also just a fancy name for Creatine Monohydrate. The only thing different here is they add add some sugar and salt.

Tri and Di Creatine Malate :

Tri and Di Creatine Malate are made from Malic acid and Creatine. If you remember biology, malic acid is involved in the Kreb's cycle of the cell. This is how all energy in the cell is created at it's basic core. You can see in the diagram below of this cycle how the malate molecule plays a catylst to get the NADH to donate two hydrogens to the malate to convert the NAD to NADH+ and the malate to oxoloacetate.

Kreb cycle malate creatine

This Creatine form was created to give more muscular endurance and energy. Users report that it helps do that. Creatine Malate has a higher absorption rate than Creatine monohydrate and doesn't require a loading phase.

Liquid serum creatine :

This is absolute scam that has been widely debunked years ago. Creatine is unstable and degrades in liquid.

Creatine Orate:

The orate molecule is a pre-cursor to nucleic acids like ATP, used as a basic energy currency at the cellular level. This requires no loading phase. Unfortunately, Creatine Orate is quite expensive and there are no studies on the safety of this form of creatine.

Creatine Kre-Alkalyn:

This is a much higher absorption rate than creatine and doesn't require a loading phase. No studies have been done on the safety of Creatine Kre-alkalyn yet.

Which form is the best creatine?

Considering all the factors together of price, studies, benefits, and side effects I would say the best creatine forms are Creatine Monohydrate, Creatine Kre-alkalyn, and Creatine Malate. All are good choices and each has their own pros and cons. You can't beat the price of Creatine Monohydrate and for many it works fine with little side effects. If you are a creatine monohydrate non-responder or have a lot of side effects with monohydrate, than Kre-alkalyn is a good creatine form to try instead. If you want a possible extra energy benefit during your workout, you should try Creatine Malate.