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What Type of Creatine Is Best?

author image Joshua Duvauchelle
Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.
What Type of Creatine Is Best?
Creatine may help you build bigger muscles faster. Photo Credit Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Creatine supplements may help you build bigger muscles faster. It improves muscle contractions during a workout and also helps the muscles retain more water for a bulkier appearance. If you're shopping for a creatine supplement to add to your diet and exercise regimen, the dozens of products on store shelves can be confusing. Know exactly what type of supplement to look for before you select a creatine supplement.

Creatine Form

Generally, you will find creatine health supplements formulated from five kinds of creatine: creatine citrate, creatine ester, creatine malate, creatine monohydrate and creatine phosphate. The monohydrate form of this supplement has been studied the most, reports the McKinley Health Center, and therefore has the most documented results. Additionally, creatine monohydrate comes endorsed as the "preferred" form of creatine by "Men's Fitness" magazine.

Administration Form

Your dose of creatine can be delivered in three common forms: as a powder, as a chewable tablet or as a capsule. If you plan to mix your creatine with a beverage or other health supplement such as a protein shake, the powdered form may pose as the best choice. For convenience, tablets or pills are best.

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Dosage Size

When starting your creatine dosages, aim to take 5 g of creatine four times a day for seven days. After this week-long loading phase, switch to just 5 g a day. Anything more than this may create a health risk. Check the dosage sizes on the bottle of the creatine supplement, and avoid any products that recommend taking exaggerated amounts of this supplement.

Addition of Sugar

Some creatine products come enhanced with simple sugars or starch. Taking creatine in combination with carbohydrates helps enhance how your body absorbs this health supplement. If you don't want to trouble yourself with pairing your creatine with carbs such as fruit juice, you may wish to choose a creatine supplement that comes premixed with a carbohydrate.

Additional Supplements

It's not uncommon to find creatine supplements enhanced with other potentially beneficial substances, including L-glutamine, taurine and vitamins. For some, these may enhance the product's attraction and benefits, especially when comparing two or more different creatine products. Practice caution; to avoid interactions with other supplements or medications that you're taking, or complications with any pre-existing health conditions, consult a physician before adding creatine to your regimen.

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