What is creatine monohydrate?
Creatine is the ergogenic aid with most scientific evidence as a nutritional supplement to boost athletes performance. This substance is formed by the amino acid trio: L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine.
Our body produces around 2g of creatine daily and we can consume more through food and especially through supplementation.
Approximately a 95% of creatine is stored in the skeletal muscle, however, it can also be found in other tissues, such as the brain.
There are several types of creatine available for purchase, and the one that is mostly used is creatine monohydrate. Each creatine monohydrate molecule is made of a 88% creatine and a 12% water. It is available as a white, tasteless, water-soluble powder. It is highly effective and many athletes choose it because it is cheaper than the rest.
Properties of creatine monohydrate
Creatine acts on the phosphocreatine energy substrate, in other words, its task consists on keeping the ATP deposits saturated (Adenosine TriPhosphate), in order to have cell energy immediately accesible for high energy demands.
One of the reasons to buy supplements and specifically creatine monohydrate, is to deal with the limited ATP reserves in the body. In this way, the maximum duration can be prolonged around 10 seconds. When we reach this point we must wait while more ATP is resynthesised. If we use creatine monohydrate supplementation, the time it takes to recharge these deposits will be shortened.
Benefits of creatine monohydrate
The main benefits of creatine monohydrate are:
Increasing mass and muscle strength
Creatine monohydrate boosts the body's ability to develope muscle tissue because it increases cell hydration. This means that the muscle will have a better permeability, resulting in better amino acids absorption for the cells.
Creatine monohydrate reduces recovery times
Creatine monohydrate helps to reduce cell damage and muscle inflammation after a hard workout. Apart from supporting recovery processes in strength and power workouts, it can also be beneficial in endurance sports.
Increases the athletic ability for explosive efforts
The amount of ATP that we have can be increased by using creatine monohydrate supplements, which will allow the muscles to store more of this energy molecule to provide greater strength and lean mass gains. Thanks to this extra energy supply, the athlete may increase the number of repetitions in a set, sprint faster, or perform in sports where the strength component is a determining factor.
This property allows the body to stimulate protein synthesis through water retention at the intracellular level, since it causes an ionic attraction effect, thereby increasing the nitrogen retention.
New research has given information about the beneficial effects of creatine for our brain, protecting it from possible neurodegenerative diseases and promoting cognitive support.
This disease causes the loss of muscle mass in people of a certain age with the passing of time. One of the possible uses of creatine would be precisely to mitigate this phenomenon, and also for its therapeutic benefits for muscle wasting diseases.
This important benefit can be useful for those who suffer from diseases like diabetes, since the combination of training and supplementation with creatine can improve insulin sensitivity by increasing the activity of the glucose transporter (GLUT-4), produced by growth factors IGF-1 and IGF-2, which are stimulated by the creatine itself.
What is creatine monohydrate for?
Creatine mainly supports type IIB muscle fibres, which are the fast-twitch fibers, used in short and high intensity efforts.
The contraction of these fibers is reinforced through this energetic support, which helps the athlete to increase the number of repetitions, sprint faster, and even to maximise strength, whatever the sport may be.
The benefits of creatine monohydrate is that it allows sportspeople and athletes to store greater quantities of this immediate use energy.
ATP is released to help with the strength of muscle contraction when it is required by the body. At this point, ATP is transformed into ADP (Adenosine DiPhosphate), an exchange energy unit.
How to consume creatine monohydrate
Creatine works by means of cell saturation, which means that a loading phase is neccessary.
Creatine may be mixed with:
- Protein shakes
- Juices or other drinks
- Simply with water
A creatine monohydrate loading phase will take around 5-7 days, consuming 4 - 5g daily.
After the loading phase comes the Maintenance Phase, where the amount is reduced to approximately 5g daily for around 3-4 weeks.
Is a loading phase neccessary?
The loading phase is optional, however, the benefits will be immediate. If you choose not to do a loading phase, it is avisable to start with the following intake from the very first day:
- 0.1g of creatine for every Kg of body weight
Creatine and Whey Protein
Both supplements can be perfectly combined in the same shake. You can also make a 'stack' or combination of products with impressive results. It would be consumed as a post-workout shake:
- Glutamine + BCAAs + Creatine + Whey Protein
Side effects of creatine monohydrate
We can divide its side effects into two categories:
First of all, creatine retains water, but at an intracellular level and not subcutaneously. Therefore it will not compromise aesthetic goals; it can even be positive to consume creatine during a cutting phase, since it can help to increase the muscle tone.
On the other hand, creatine side effects are mostly related to the loading phase, where there may be certain stomach problems, such as diarrhea or even nausea. To avoid this problem, it is advisable to choose another another supplementation protocol.
Where to buy creatine monohydrate
Creatine is available to buy both online and in physical stores.
We have a wide range of products based on creatine at HSNstore.com. There you can find several types of creatine available at different prices, apart from information about the quality and reviews from our clients, all to help you choose the best choice according to your needs.
What creatine should I buy?
Due to the wide range of creatine types, deciding which one should you buy can be complicated. It is also availbable as powder or capsules. There are also different types in terms of their molecular structure, among which the most important are:
- HCI Creatine
- Creatine Ethyl Ester
- Other formulas that include various types of creatine combined with different ingredients
You can also choose a pre/post workout supplement that includes creatine, as well as other active ingredients. The only drawback of these formulas is that the amount of creatine is not always enough. Most experts recommend to purchase a neutral-tasting product in its isolated form, so that we can prepare our own drinks.
This option, apart from being cheaper in the long run, gives you the ability to adjust the amount of creatine depending on your personal needs, in order to create an ideal pre/intra/post workout drink.
A highly recommended option is to buy a pure creatine with pharmaceutical degree quality, such as Creatine Monohydrate Creapure®. It is tasteless and blends very well with all kinds of sports drinks.
Creatine and price
The price of creatine monohydrate supplements varies a lot depending on many factors, such as: type of raw ingredients, quantity, the manufacturing process, brand, format, and so on.
HSN has a special line called HSN Raw, where you can buy pure Creapure® creatine for less than 6 euros.
Unlike other brands, we do not compromoise the quality of our raw ingredients in order to reduce costs. We can provide the highest quality at truly affordable prices, due to the absence of intermediaries. The products are shipped directly from our factory to your home.