Creatine is a type of amino acid your muscles use for energy that's found naturally and in supplements typically used to improve athletic performance. Kre-Alkalyn is a trademarked form of creatine that claims to work even better — and here are its potential benefits.
But first, the basics: Your body makes small amounts of creatine naturally and it can be found in foods like red meat and seafood, according to the Mayo Clinic. You can also take creatine supplements for their potential ability to improve athletic performance and increase muscle mass.
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Kre-Alkalyn is a creatine supplement that has been buffered to an alkaline pH, which is supposedly more effective and produces fewer side effects than non-buffered alternatives, according to September 2012 research in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
It's available from multiple supplement companies, including EFX Sports and Now Foods.
However, there is no clinical evidence to indicate that Kre-Alkalyn's effects differ from those of the most heavily studied form of creatine, creatine monohydrate. Still, it's possible that Kre-Alkalyn (and other creatine supplementation) has certain perks.
Talk to your doctor before trying creatine or any supplement, as the FDA doesn't require these products to be proven safe or effective before they're sold, so there’s no guarantee any supplement you take is safe, contains the ingredients it says it does or produces the effects it claims.
Creatine vs. Kre-Alkalyn
According to manufacturers who sell the trademarked Kre-Alkalyn in their supplements, its patented pH-buffered formula may improve the potency of the product. However, that was not proven in the September 2012 research in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
The study included 36 people, who were given either standard creatine monohydrate or Kre-Alkalyn. Ultimately, the researchers concluded that there was no difference in results for either group: both had higher levels of serum creatine throughout the course of the study.
But although Kre-Alkalyn has not been proven to show greater benefits than the most common form of creatine (creatine monohydrate), the "no difference" findings mean Kre-Alkalyn seems to be equally effective as creatine monohydrate.
The takeaway: Both supplements may have similar effects on your athletic performance. So in the absence of any other compelling reason to choose one supplement type over the other, price and availability are two logical factors to consider.
There also needs to be more and larger studies to better understand the effects of creatine versus Kre-Alkalyn.
Don't take Kre-Alkalyn or other creatine supplements if you have kidney problems, as these products may be unsafe for you, per the Mayo Clinic.
Potential Kre-Alkalyn Benefits
As previously stated, there's no compelling evidence to suggest that Kre-Alkalyn creatine is any more effective than creatine monohydrate. That's why the following Kre-Alkalyn benefits are also typically true of other common creatine supplements.
1. It Can Improve Athletic Performance
A June 2017 article in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition concluded that creatine supplements can help improve high-intensity exercise performance and possible improvements to post-exercise recovery, injury prevention and rehabilitation from injuries.
2. It Could Support Health as You Age
Per the 2017 Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition article, there's also some evidence to suggest that creatine supplementation can protect against age-related changes.
Here are some of its potential effects:
- It may minimize age-related bone loss
- It may increase strength and/or muscle mass
- It may help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- It may improve function for people with osteoarthritis in the knees
3. It May Support Brain Health
Another Kre-Alkalyn creatine benefit is that it may have possible neuroprotective effects.
For instance, an August 2016 analysis in International Immunopharmacology found that while the majority of creatine is stored in skeletal muscles, there's also a significant pool of creatine in the brain that may help protect against neurological disorders and trauma to the brain.
Similarly, creatine may improve performance during cognitive tasks, particularly in older adults, according to the Mayo Clinic.
4. It May Help Mediate Inflammation
According to the International Immunopharmacology analysis, creatine may also help modulate inflammation, although the mechanism for this effect remains unclear.
Ultimately, more research is needed to fully define and validate the potential benefits of taking creatine supplements, whether as Kre-Alkalyn or in other forms.
5. It May Lead to Weight Gain
Curious about the best creatine weight gainer? Indeed, creatine supplementation can help you bulk up, per the 2017 Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition article.
The best creatine to gain weight may vary from person to person, so talk to your doctor about which product is best for you, as some supplements are designed specifically for adding mass.
However, this may not be a benefit for some: Creatine can make you retain water, which may lead to unintended short-term weight gain, according to the same article. That's why weight gain is listed as one of the most common side effects of the supplement, per the Mayo Clinic.
If you're looking for creatine that doesn't cause water retention, it's also a good idea to talk to your doctor to determine the right supplements for you. Many products claim to contain creatine that doesn't retain water, but common forms of the substance — like creatine monohydrate — have osmotic properties that attract some water, per the same research.
Does Creatine Increase Height?
A March 2021 study in Nutrients found that taller children (ages 2 to 19) had a higher daily intake of food sources of creatine than shorter children. However, this is just a link: It doesn't necessarily show that creatine causes increased height.
What's more, this doesn't mean you or your child should take a creatine supplement to grow taller. In fact, people under the age of 18 shouldn't try the supplement, as it's effects on children are not well-studied.
Appropriate Creatine Dosage
The 2017 Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition article found that supplementing with up to 30 grams of creatine per day over five years has been shown to be safe and well-tolerated in individuals with no underlying health concerns.
The researchers also theorize that habitual low-level intake over a longer term — for example, 3 grams per day — may provide additional benefits.
To most effectively increase muscle creatine stores beyond those of a typical diet, the researchers recommend an initial loading phase of 5 grams taken four times daily for five to seven days.
What about Kre-Alkalyn dosage on off days? Well, once your muscle creatine stores are saturated, the researchers recommend a maintenance dosage of 3 to 5 grams per day, although larger athletes may require higher dosages.
They also reaffirm that buffered creatine supplements — like Kre-Alkalyn — have not been shown to promote greater creatine retention than typical creatine monohydrate.
- Mayo Clinic: "Creatine"
- EFX Sports: "Kre Alkalyn EFX"
- NOW: "Kre-Alkalyn Creatine Capsules"
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: “FDA 101: Dietary Supplements”
- Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition: "International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine"
- Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition: "A buffered form of creatine does not promote greater changes in muscle creatine content, body composition, or training adaptations than creatine monohydrate"
- International Immunopharmacology: "Beyond Muscles: The Untapped Potential of Creatine"
- Nutrients: "Relationship between Dietary Creatine and Growth Indicators in Children and Adolescents Aged 2-19 Years: A Cross-Sectional Study"