To start off, what is creatine and why is it always included in different supplements such as pre-workouts, post workouts, protein supplements and mass gainers?
As an amino acid, Creatine is synthesized primarily in the kidney and liver from amino acids absorbed from the food that is eaten, then transported to the muscles via the blood; 95% of it located in the skeletal muscle tissue.
Various Forms: Different in composition, solubility, and effectiveness, all Creatine Supplements do the same thing: Volumizing Muscle, Improving Strength, and Increases Energy.
Creatine Monohydrate: is the purest kind
Pros: Most effective type of creatine, cheap.
Cons: Not very soluble in water, may cause another layer of water under the skin, diarrhea.
Micronized Creatine: is essentially creatine monohydrate, except it has been micronized to increase absorption rate and reduce stomach discomfort
Pros: Purer than monohydrate because it has gone through more processes
Cons: Slightly more expensive than monohydrate, requires a loading phase.
Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE): is a creatine molecule with an ester attached which allows for almost 99% of absorption into the body
Pros: All trainees respond well to it, with no side effects of monohydrate such as stomach discomfort.
Cons: Expensive compared to monohydrate and micronized.
Creatine Serum: This is basically creatine dissolved in water
Pros: No loading phase required, usually mixed with other vitamins and amino acids.
Cons: Scientific evidence indicates that serum is useless; it's unstable in liquid, breaking down to creatinine , leading to abnormally high levels of creatinine thus warn of possible malfunction or failure of the kidneys. In addition for it being extremely expensive, and less effective than monohydrate.
Effervescent Creatine: is basically Creatine combined with sugar or sodium
Pros: more Absorption, better Taste.
Cons: Extremely expensive, combined with sugar and sodium which are to be reduced by bodybuilders.
Tri & Di-Creatine Malate: bonded with other molecules which are more soluble (malic acid, di malate)
Pros: Faster recovery, less fatigue during the workout, cell-volumizing effect.
Cons: UNKNOWN SIDE EFFECTS.
Creatine Kre-Alkalyn: is basically a protected creatine which does not allow it to convert into creatinine
Pros: Less bloating and no loading phase required
Cons: Expensive, NO STUDIES HAVE BEEN CARRIED OUT ON THIS TYPE OF CREATINE YET.
Creatine Orate: attached to the orotic acid, this creatine has shown an increase in energy for trainees than monohydrate and decrease in symptoms of fatigue.
Cons: UNKNOWN SIDE EFFECTS.
Creatine Cocktail: mainly mixed with whey-protein concentrate, glutamine and/or other forms of amino acids... This creatine is widely sold but not tested or studied.
Cons: As a product, it puts, a large number of diverse nutrients (Maltodextrin, Flaxseed, Natural Flavors, Soy Lecithin, Sucralose) in the body.