With so many different forms of creatine, it’s important to find the right type to deliver the most effective results. Insert Creatine HCL vs Monohydrate. Creatine hydrochloride, much like Kre-Alklayn is an advanced form of creatine and has become a prominent option when it comes to creatine supplements. However, studies have shown that most advanced forms of creatine don’t produce any better results than creatine monohydrate. We’re going to talk more about the differences and the science about creatine HCL vs monohydrate.
How Does Creatine Work
When creatine is digested, it is stored as creatine phosphate. Creatine can improve performance, promoting power and strength, by replenishing ATP during high-intensity exercise. It also increases lean body mass, cognitive function, and strength.
By supplementing creatine, you will thus increase creatine phosphate stores within the muscle tissue, giving your body greater creatine stores, for better athletic performance and power output.
What Is Creatine Monohydrate
Ultimately, all advanced forms of creatine will start with the base ingredient of creatine monohydrate. At the molecular level, however, creatine is a naturally occurring compound, within the human body. Creatine is a combination of three amino acids, glycine, arginine, and methionine. 95% of creatine is stored in skeletal muscle and the remaining 5% is distributed in the brain, liver, kidney, and testes. Creatine is produced endogenously and predominately occurs in the liver, kidneys, and to a lesser extent in the pancreas. Creatine is utilized during high-intensity physical activity for energy output. Creatine generates adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to maintain a constant supply of energy during exercise, to keep up with the production of your working muscles.
What Is Creatine Hydrochloride (HCl)
Creatine HCL is created by adding a hydrochloride group to the base ingredient creatine monohydrate. Hydrochloric acid is a principal constituent of stomach acid. Manufacturers suggest that the addition of hydrochloride, improves creatine stability and solubility, increasing absorption. Creatine monohydrate as compared to other forms or types of creatine has poor solubility and is one of the primary advantages and differentiators of advanced types of creatine such as HCL and Kre-Alkalyn. However, do the studies back up the claims?
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Is Creatine HCL Better Than Monohydrate
Creatine HCL was created as another option to promote greater bioavailability, reducing relatively common side effects such as upset stomach due to loading protocols with creatine monohydrate.
Preliminary studies have shown good results thus far. An animal study found that Creatine HCl was 38 times more soluble than creatine monohydrate [R]. However, even with this one determination there are no human clinical trials further assessing the solubility of creatine HCL in humans. Therefore, more research is needed to verify actual clinical results.
With that said, while creatine HCL is claimed to have better bioavailability, due to the hydrochloride, and your stomach, contains hydrochloric acid. Creatine HCL is more soluble in water than creatine monohydrate, however once exposed to the hydrochloric acid in your stomach, acid has been shown to increase creatine solubility, making creatine monohydrate stable in stomach acid.
Thus, solubility differences will be negligible once creatine HCL is ingested or supplemented.
Additionally, creatine HCL claims that it solves for stomach issues such as bloating and cramping. When creatine monohydrate is loaded with 20g or more per day, this can decrease the amount you are absorbing, which can cause gastrointestinal discomfort. If taken at a normal 3-5g dose per day, over the course of a month, as opposed to loading, you will not experience and should not experience gastrointestinal issues.
A study with 36 subjects, divided into four groups, (1) 20g of creatine monohydrate, (2) 3g of creatine monohydrate, (3) 3g of Creatine HCL, and (4) placebo, were all evaluated for physical performance changes after seven days of supplementation. The results showed that there were no significant differences between the effects of 3 and 20g of monohydrate and 3g of creatine HCL [R].
However, seeing that creatine does not produce acute effects, and that creatine must be taken for a period of time before results can be accurately assessed, time of supplementation is a major downfall in the methodology of this study. s
Creatine HCL Vs Monohydrate: Takeaway
No studies or peer-reviewed research has shown that creatine HCL produces better results or outcomes than traditional creatine monohydrate. When it comes to performance gain in muscle, strength, and power output, there is little to no difference between creatine HCL and monohydrate. Those that may experience bloating, or gastrointestinal issues, should simply take 3-5g of creatine monohydrate per day, and avoid loading, to bypass any stomach issues. Studies have shown that supplementing with creatine monohydrate can improve and garner greater results in resistance training and aerobic training protocols. Current research is lacking with flaws in methodology, specifically study duration, and number of participants. Studies still favor creatine monohydrate, as the preferred form of creatine supplementation.
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