What is creatine monohydrate?
Creatine is the ergogenic substance with most scientific support as a supplement that boosts the athletic performance. It is made up by the amino acids: L-arginine, glycine and L-methionine.
Our body produces around 2g of creatine daily and we can get more from food and specially from supplementation.
Around 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, although the most common one is creatine monohydrate. Each creatine monohydrate molecule is made of an 88% of creatine and a 12% of water. Its format is a white, tasteless and water-soluble powder. It is highly effective and many athletes choose it because it is cheaper than the rest.
Properties of creatine monohydrate
Creatine works on the phosphocreatine energy substrate. In other words, its task consists of keeping the ATP (Adenosine TriPhosphate) deposits saturated, in order to have immediate cell energy for high energy demands.
One of the main reasons people buy supplements and specifically creatine monohydrate, is to make up for 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 resynthesized. If we use creatine monohydrate supplementation, we will be shortening the time it takes to recharge these deposits.
Benefits of creatine monohydrate
The main benefits of creatine monohydrate are:
Increasing the muscle mass and strength
Creatine monohydrate enhances our ability to build muscle tissue because it increases the cell hydration. This means that the muscle will have a better permeability, resulting in a better amino acids absorption towards the cells.
Shortening the recovery processes
Creatine monohydrate helps to reduce the cell damage and muscle inflammation after a hard workout. Apart from supporting the recovery processes in strength and power workouts, it can also be beneficial for endurance sports.
Enhancing 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. Consequently, this will provide more strength and lean mass gains. Thanks to this extra energy supply, the athlete can increase the number of repetitions in a set, sprint faster, or perform in sports where the strength component is a determining factor.
Improving the cell hydration
This property allows the body to stimulate the protein synthesis through water retention at an intracellular level, since it produces an ionic attraction effect, increasing the nitrogen retention.
New studies have given information about the beneficial effects of creatine for our brain, protecting it from possible neurodegenerative diseases while providing cognitive support.
Reducing the sarcopenia
This disease triggers the loss of muscle mass with the passing of time. One of the possible uses of creatine would be precisely to relieve this phenomenon, as well as for its therapeutic benefits for muscle loss.
Controlling the glucose levels
This important benefit can be useful for those who suffer from diseases like diabetes, since combining training and supplementation with creatine can improve the 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 creatine itself.
What is creatine monohydrate used for?
Creatine mainly supports type IIB muscle fibres, which are fast-twitch fibers, used in short and high intensity efforts.
The contraction of these fibers is enhanced through this energy support, which allows the athlete to increase the number of repetitions, sprint faster, and even to increase the strength, regardless of the sport discipline.
The benefits of creatine monohydrate is that it allows athletes to store more of this type of energy.
ATP is released to support the muscle contraction when the body needs it. 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 we have to perform a loading phase.
Creatine can be taken with:
- Protein shakes
- Juices or other drinks
A creatine monohydrate loading phase will take around 5-7 days, taking 4-5g daily.
After the loading phase, we have to follow a Maintenance Phase, when the dose is reduced to 5g daily approximately for 3-4 weeks.
Is a loading phase necessary?
The loading phase is optional and it is done to obtain all the benefits immediately. If you choose not to do a loading phase, it is advisable to start with the following intake from the very first day:
- 0.1g of creatine per Kg of body weight
Creatine and Whey Protein
Both supplements can be perfectly combined in the same shake. Moreover, you can also make a 'stack' or combo with impressive results. It would be a post-workout shake:
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 good to take creatine during a cutting phase, since it can help to increase the muscle tone.
On the other hand, its side effects are mostly related to the loading phase, when we may experience 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 both online and in physical stores.
We have a wide range creatine products at HSNstore.com. There, you can find their prices, apart from information about the quality and reviews from our clients, all to help you choose the best product 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 available in powder or capsules. There are also different types in terms of their molecular structure. The most important ones are:
- HCI Creatine
- Creatine Ethyl Ester
- Other formulas that include several types of creatine and other ingredients
You can also choose a pre/post workout supplement that includes creatine, as well as other active ingredients. The only inconvenient of these formulas is that the amount of creatine is not always enough. Most experts advise purchasing an unflavored 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 grade, such as Creatine Monohydrate Creapure®. It is tasteless and blends very well with all kinds of sport drinks.
Creatine and price
The price of creatine monohydrate supplements varies a lot depending on many factors, such as the type of raw ingredients, quantity, the manufacturing process, brand, format, and so on.
HSN has a special line called HSNraw, where you can buy pure Creapure® creatine for less than 6 euros.
Unlike other brands, we do not compromise the quality of our raw ingredients in order to lower their cost. We can provide the highest quality at truly affordable prices, due to the lack of intermediaries. The products are shipped directly from our factory to your home.
Creatine is one of the most effective supplements for physical exercise. There are several types available, but the monohydrate is actually the best format.