Backed by dozens of peer-reviewed journals and clinical research, creatine is proven to increase strength and muscle mass, by improving power and force, through the stimulation of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), the body’s natural energy source for intracellular energy transfer. Despite the clinical research however, creatine monohydrate does contain attenuated effects such as bloating, cramping, water retention, and poor bioavailability. Because of these negative drawbacks, other forms of creatine have been created to address these side effects, in order to deliver a more potent dose of creatine, as well as improve performance measures.
We’re going to investigate the clinical research backing these claims to find out which form of creatine is the best.
Creatine HydroChloride [HCL]
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.
A rat 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.
Further evaluations involving human clinical trials are needed to determine solubility of Creatine HCL compared to creatine monohydrate.
Kre-Alkalyn [pH Corrected]
Kre-Alkalyn is a patented pH correct form of Creatine phosphate. Kre-alkalyn was created to address the negative side effects of creatine monohydrate, namely the toxic conversion to the by-product creatinine. Creatinine is a corollary of creatine metabolism and can cause negative side effects such as water retention, bloating, and muscle cramps.
By adding an alkaline powder such as (soda ash, magnesium glycerol phosphate, bicarbonate) to ordinary creatine monohydrate, it stabilizes the acidity level between 7-14, making it more bioavailable and inhibiting the process of creatinine conversion.
In a study published in the International Journal of Pharmacology, pH and stability testing was conducted to see how Kre-Alkalyn compared to creatine monohydrate, in regard to creatinine conversion. Both real-time and accelerated testing were conducted to determine shelf-life stability. Only after 150 days or the equivalent to 5 years of real time during the accelerated testing was there a diminutive amount of creatine converted into creatinine and 0.1% after 180 days, which is equivalent to 6 years in real time. Creatine monohydrate has a pH between 2-3 as soon as it is dissolved in water, resulting in a highly acidic environment. Since the environment is more acidic, it immediately converts to creatinine, which causes side effects such as bloating, water retention, and cramping. This also means your body needs more creatine monohydrate since it’s less bioavailable. [R]
Other studies have shown that when compared to creatine monohydrate, Kre-alkalyn is superior to monohydrate and improves endurance, VO2 Max, and strength [R,R,R].
RELATED ARTICLE The Definitive Guide To Kre-Alkalyn Creatine
Joel Te from As Many Reviews As Possible, puts it best when comparing Kre-Alkalyn to Creatine Mononydrate.
“Another reason I like kre-alkalyn is the lesser amount of bloating aka water retention. Some would say you don’t get any compared to monohydrate, but my tummy would beg to differ. To be fair, that could be the cookies though since I’m not much of a clean bulker anyways. Either way, I feel like I look less “soft” as compared to when I’m on a normal creatine cycle. Which is great if I were to decide to start a cycle during pool party season.
Finally, you don’t have to worry about cramping – which I think is the biggest one for anyone doing CrossFit. Ever find yourself doing a workout like “Kelly” on a creatine cycle? Cramp-city. Gym-bro’s don’t usually need to worry about cramping as much, but if you’re going high intensity for a ton of reps, for time…cramping mid-workout is the worst thing that can happen. You’re safe with Kre-Alkalyn and you get the extra ATP and VO2 max to help you push through said workout.
A recent review from BoxLife Magazine also noted Kre-Alkalyn’s added benefit of improving VO2 Max.
“Where Swolverine’s Kre-Alkalyn shines is its ability to improve VO2 Max and in turn, endurance and exercise performance. Recent studies have shown that while there is not much difference between creatine monohydrate and KRE-ALKALYN in their ability to increase muscle mass and strength, there is a notable difference in KRE-ALKALYN’s ability to improve VO2 Max. Other notable differences were that Kre-Alkalyn actually lowered cholesterol and triglyceride levels over creatine.
RELATED ARTICLE Kre-Alkalyn Vs. Creatine Monohydrate
John Bric, from The RX Review also commented on the differences between creatine monohydrate and Kre-Alkalyn creatine.
- No Bloating: On several occasions I noticed stomach bloating, as well as other internal issues using Creating Monohydrate. However, I didn’t experience any of these issues when using Swolverine: Kre-Alkalyn Creatine.
- No Loading Phase: Kre-Alkalyn Creatine doesn’t require a loading phase, meaning you don’t have to spend up to a week loading up on the supplement before noticing the benefits (as is the case with Creatine Monohydrate). It also doesn’t require a de-loading phase.
- No Cramping: Many athletes have reported and increase in cramping when taking Creating Monohydrate and other forms of the supplement. Personally I didn’t cramp at and stage while training with Swolverine: Kre-Alkalyn Creatine.
- More Efficient/Smaller Serving Sizes: Kre-Alkalyn Creatine only requires athletes to take a fraction of the dose you would normally take with the Monohydrate version. One serving of Swolverine Kre-alkalyn is 3g which in turn is equal to about 30g of normal creatine. So your tub will last a long longer than other forms of the supplement!
- Easy to Mix: Kre-Alkalyn comes in a white powder form that is easy to mix into water and doesn’t require any excessive stirring or blending.
RECOMMENDED PRODUCT Kre-Alkalyn, 100 Servings, (Unflavored)
Although similar in strength, power and muscle mass improvements, Kre-Alkalyn is superior to creatine monohydrate with improvements in endurance, VO2 max, and exhibiting greater bioavailability. Time accelerated testing on pH stability reveals that Kre-Alkalyn does not degrade to creatinine as compared to creatine monohydrate.
Creatine Ethyl Ester
Much Like Kre-Alkalyn, creatine Ethyl Ester was created to maximize creatine absorption and reduce the negative side effects such as bloating and cramping.
In a study published in the Journal Of The International Society of Sports Nutrition conducted in conjunction with The University of Baylor, Purdue University and Texas A&M, creatine monohydrate was compared head to head to creatine ethyl ester, to determine the effects on bioavailability. The study concluded that creatine ethyl ester did not show any additional benefit to increase strength and performance. Results also indicated that creatine ethyl ester showed no significant increase in serum and total muscle creatine content and concluded that a large portion of the creatine ethyl ester was being degraded within the GI tract after ingestion as compared to creatine monohydrate [R].
When compared to creatine monohydrate, creatine ethyl ester was not as effective at increasing serum and muscle creatine levels or in improving body composition, muscle mass, strength, and power.
Creatine Magnesium Chelate
Aptly named, Creatine magnesium chelate is ‘chelated’ with magnesium, meaning that a magnesium molecule is attached to the creatine phosphate group.
A double-blind placebo controlled study conducted at The Ohio State University and published in the Journal Of Strength And Conditioning evaluated a one rep max on bench press after 10 days of creatine supplementiation. The study found that creatine monohydrate and creatine magnesium chelate demonstrated similar performance outcomes, with no difference demonstrated between either [R].
Further clinical research is needed to determine whether Creatine Magnesium Chelate provides superior performance measures.
Creatine Pyruvate combines creatine monohydrate with pyruvic acid. Claims suggests that creatine pyruvate can foster improvements in exercise endurance, peak power, and promote greater bioavailability.
A double-blind placebo controlled study, published in the Journal of Sports Nutrition examined the effects of creatine monohydrate and a combination of creatine monohydrate and creatine pyruvate on 42 American Football players. The results indicated that 5 weeks of creatine pyruvate plus creatine monohydrate supplementation elicited no change in performance benefit as compared to creatine monohydrate [R]. A beligan study also concluded that 7g of creatine pyruvate did not beneficially impact on endurance capacity or intermittent sprint performance in cyclists [R].
Further clinical evaluation is needed to determine whether Creatine Pyruvate provides elicits superior performance outcomes than creatine monohydrate.
Creatine Nitrate is bonded to a nitrate group to potentially increase solubility thus greater bioavailability, sound familiar? Another benefit of adding a nitrate group to creatine, is an increase in oxygen levels to the bloodstream for greater muscle pump.
A study conducted at Texas A&M University conducted two seven day crossover double-blinded studies to determine efficacy of creatine nitrate vs. creatine monohydrate. Surprise, surprise, the study concluded that 3g of creatine nitrate was equivalent to 3g of creatine monohydrate in performance measures and outcomes, with no difference in solubility [R].
Studies indicated that Creatine Nitrate is not superior to traditional creatine monohydrate in performance measures.
What Is The Best Type Of Creatine: Takeaway
Based on the evidence, Kre-Alkalyn is the only alternative creatine type that demonstrates superior performance measures, in bioavailability, endurance, and performance outcomes as compared to creatine monohydrate.
Kre-Alkalyn proves to have greater bioavailability, and solving for negative effects such as bloating and cramping.
Looking For The Best Type Of Creatine?
Swolverine's Kre-Alkalyn® is a patented pH correct form of creatine phosphate. With the addition of creatine phosphate (PCr) into the muscle cells, the body increases its immediate energy supply, by facilitating the production of ATP which increases power output and strength. High-intensity training programs require the body to go under strenuous aerobic and anaerobic conditions. By supplementing the body with creatine, you will induce a greater improvement in exercise endurance and athletic performance, resulting in improved times, more peak power, and stronger lifts.*
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Spillane, Mike et al. “The effects of creatine ethyl ester supplementation combined with heavy resistance training on body composition, muscle performance, and serum and muscle creatine levels.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 6 6. 19 Feb. 2009, doi:10.1186/1550-2783-6-6
Gufford BT, Sriraghavan K, Miller NJ, et al. Physicochemical characterization of creatine N-methylguanidinium salts. J Diet Suppl. 2010;7(3):240-52.
Selsby JT, Disilvestro RA, Devor ST. Mg2+-creatine chelate and a low-dose creatine supplementation regimen improve exercise performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2004;18(2):311-5.
Golini, Jeff. “Improved Creatine Stability and PH Profile for Kre-Alkalyn.” OMICS International, OMICS International, 15 Nov. 2015, https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/improved-creatine-stability-and-ph-profile-for-krealkalyn-2155-6210-1000187.php?aid=63751.
Stone et al. (1999): Effects of in-season (5 weeks) creatine and pyruvate supplementation on anaerobic performance and body composition in American football players.
Schuylenbergh et al. (2003): Effects of oral creatine-pyruvate supplementation in cycling performance
Galvan E, Walker DK, Simbo SY, et al. Acute and chronic safety and efficacy of dose dependent creatine nitrate supplementation and exercise performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2016;13:12.
Afgerinos A., Vodenicharova, K., Shishmanova D., Goranov D., Stroychev K., Clinical Trial Comparison of Kre-Alkalyn -vs- Creatine Monohydrate. Dr. I.S. Greenberg Medical Center, Sofia, Bulgaria (2006)
Golini J., A CONTROLLED ENDURANCE STUDY WITH KRE-ALKALYN-VS-CREATINE. BioCeutical Research & Development Laboratory. (2009)
Stroychev K., Terziiski N., Comparison of Kre-Alkalyn to Creatine on body composition, muscular performance, & safety: Dr. I.S. Greenberg Medical Center, Sofia, Bulgaria (2006)
Afgerinos A., Vodenicharova, K., Shishmanova D., Goranov D., Stroychev K., kre-alkalyn toxicity study in humans. Dr. I.S. Greenberg Medical Center, Sofia, Bulgaria (2006)