If you are interested in increasing the size and strength of your muscles, whether for aesthetics or for performance, you should consider using creatine. Creatine is a critical supplement to have on hand when it comes to increasing your muscle size and strength- but it can be difficult to choose between the powdered version and the capsule version.
There are some supplements that are offered in either a powder form or pill form- but you can find creatine in both options. While it’s true that the decision may be as simple as determining which one you prefer, it’s a difficult decision. After all, you want to maximize your gains without making any sacrifices.
In this article, we’re going to explore the topic of creatine in general and make some observations of the differences between the powder or capsule form. The right one can exponentially increase your gains- therefore, the pressure is on to make the right choice. The good news is, it’s really not that difficult to do it. You just need to be educated.
First of all, before you can go any further, you need to know what creatine is. Creatine is an amino acid. It is found in your muscles and brain and predominantly used to increase your overall energy and performance, increase muscle mass and strength, prevent the breakdown of muscle, and retain as much muscle mass as possible for your aesthetics of performance.
Creatine takes adenosine diphosphate, or ADP, which is an energy by-product that is 100% useless for your body, and recycles it. This creates adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, which is the energy source for your body. This increases your energy stores for your next workout session.
While it’s true that your body produces creatine, a supplement will give you a boost when you need to refuel your energy stores so that you can intensify your workouts. It is effective for increasing both size and strength, so it’s really no surprise that athletes use it to increase their gains.
Types of Creatine
Now that we’ve explained more about what creatine is and given an overview of how it works, it’s important to note that there are several different kinds of creatine that you will come across when you start shopping for your creatine supplement.
There are five most common types, which we will review here. The most common one is creatine monohydrate. When you hear someone talking about a study on creatine, monohydrate is most likely the version that was used. Since its most commonly used, it’s been proven most effective. However, there are several others and there are some products that use a combination of these.
As you shop for a creatine supplement, creatine monohydrate is the most common one you will encounter. This is the version that is typically used in research studies. It has been proven safe and effective. Most of the creatine products contain this type of creatine and in some cases, may contain this along with some of the other types as well.
Next, we’ll take a look at creatine hydrochloride, most commonly referred to as creatine HCl, is the second type of creatine we’ll look at. Creatine HCl is made when a hydrochloride molecule is attached to a creatine molecule. Studies show that this increases the water solubility of the creatine, making it easier for the body to digest and absorb. If you typically experience digestive upset when using creatine, you may find that this type is better for you to use.
Creatine Magnesium Chelate
The third form of creatine we’ll look at is creatine magnesium chelate. In this type of creatine, a magnesium molecule has been attached to a creatine molecule. Some of the research studies indicate that when creatine is attached to magnesium, the body can absorb and process it much quicker than it can other forms. However, most research indicates that creatine monohydrate is superior.
Creatine Ethyl Ester
The fourth type of creatine we’ll look at is creatine ethyl ester, or CEE. This form of creatine is created when an ester molecule and a creatine molecule are bound together. Experts cite the reason for this is because it improves bioavailability and it’s much easier for the body to use. Then again, there are some who believe there’s no difference between creatine monohydrate and CEE.
The final type of creatine we’ll look at is buffered creatine. The pH level of this type of creatine is much higher than creatine monohydrate. Since it has a higher pH, it doesn’t break down quite as quickly- it is a sustained release. There are two common brands of buffered creatine on the market: Cre-Trona and Kre-Alkalyn. Some experts believe that the sustained release makes it better than other types of creatine on the market. On the other hand, most of the research seems to confirm that creatine monohydrate is the best.
What are the Benefits of Creatine?
As we mentioned previously, research shows that creatine provides you with increased muscle strength and size, along with a variety of other benefits. Some of the most common benefits of using creatine supplements are:
- Bigger, stronger muscles: offers more muscle pumps and increases blood flow through the muscles to increase growth
- Improved performance: augment power output and refuel energy for growth and recovery support
- Supports metabolism: controls insulin sensitivity and controls glycogen stores for improved fat loss
- Improves cognitive functioning: increases the utilization of oxygen in the brain to increase memory and improve processing speed
Which One is Better: Creatine Capsules or Creatine Powder?
When you are trying to decide between the creatine capsules or creatine powder, the very first question you need to ask is which one you prefer. Some find that they prefer taking capsules along with their other vitamins/supplements. Others prefer to combine powder with a beverage shortly before working out. Therefore, convenience and preference are two of the most important factors in choosing the most appropriate creatine for you.
That being said, price is another factor that you might want to take into consideration. It’s no secret that everyone wants the best. However, this can end up getting quite expensive, so it may not always be possible. Consider both capsules and powder and choose the one that offers the most value.
One thing that you should know is that powder will be easier for your body to digest and absorb. Capsules will take a bit longer. However, capsules are typically more convenient because you won’t need a shaker, water, or powder, and you won’t have to go to all of the trouble of transporting everything and then cleaning up afterward. You can simply pop a few of the capsules and swallow them with water and you’re done. Still, if you’re wanting to get it into your body as quickly and efficiently as possible, a powder form may be your best option, as it is processed quickly and easily.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at what we feel are the best creatine capsules on the market today and the best creatine powder on the market.
Best Creatine Powder
Most of the industry experts would agree that XWERKS Lift is definitely among the top creatine powders on the market today. The reason is because it’s such a great value. It is 100% pure micronized creatine monohydrate- so it dissolves easily into your beverage of choice. It is unflavored, so you can add it to whatever you want without being concerned that it will affect the flavor of the beverage.
According to their website, Lift was created to increase power and strength. When used alongside a strength training program, it has been proven to increase lean muscle mass.
Each container of XWERKS Lift provides 80 servings for $49.00. They do offer a subscription program that drops the price down to $46.55 per container. Everything you order from XWERKS is 100% risk free because of their money-back guarantee.
As a brand, XWERKS has become well-known and well-loved. They have built a reputation for offering strong, pure formulations to their consumers. The best part is, that they never use artificial flavors or sweeteners in their products.
Best Creatine Capsules
Elm & Rye Creatine
Elm & Rye is fairly new to the fitness supplement arena- but they really have worked hard to make a name for themselves. They have an amazing reputation for offering customers everything they could ever need to increase their physical performance and improve their muscle strength. In addition, the balance of nutrients found in the capsules eliminate muscle fatigue associated with intense workout sessions.
Users are instructed to take 2 capsules every day with water. Unfortunately, the dosage of creatine is much lower in these capsules than in powders: only 1,400 milligrams per serving. That being said, it can still effectively help you reach your goals.
A bottle of 60 capsules will cost $44.99. They do offer a subscription program where you can have them auto-shipped every 30 days. The subscription program brings the price per bottle down to $35.99.
We know that creatine is an excellent fitness supplement to increase gains and improve performance. However, there are so many options on the market and many people find it difficult to choose between capsules and powder. Both are effective for increasing strength and improving athletic performance. It is important to note that your body can digest and absorb powders quicker than it can capsules. Also, there’s usually a significant difference in price, with capsules being a bit higher. What it all comes down to is your personal preference and what you find most convenient- and what you’re willing to pay for.
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