Creatine is otherwise known as beta-methylguanidinoacetic acid, a chemical compound of organic origin. It is one of the most popular dietary supplements used by people attending the gym and leading an active lifestyle. It is great even for beginners. Creatine is produced to some extent by our body. Part of it is transported through the bloodstream to the muscles, and the rest is excreted through urine. However, the demand for creatine is much higher in the case of active trainees, so it is important to ensure that the right amount is supplied to the body. This can, of course, be done with food, but requires a great deal of effort. A much simpler solution is to take creatine in the form of a dietary supplement. This is a safe method with satisfactory results.

How does creatine work?

Creatine gives your muscles more energy and makes your body more efficient, which is especially noticeable during intensive strength training. It increases our endurance, so we can perform better and work on building muscle tissue more efficiently. All this is due to the chemical reactions that creatine undergoes when it reaches the muscles with the blood. It then triggers the process of resynthesis of ATP, or in simple terms, the energy carrier. During this process, creatine is transformed into phosphocreatine and participates in the supply of phosphate radicals responsible for the generation of energy during exercise. In addition, creatine has a positive effect on the synthesis of proteins and therefore helps to increase muscle mass.

Creatine – benefits

Due to its properties supporting energy production and muscle mass gain, creatine is a supplement used by many endurance athletes. However, there are actually many more advantages to using creatine. These include, above all:

  • improved recovery after intensive training,
  • the possibility of also using creatine during muscle tissue reduction (when losing weight, calorie restriction and creatine can help provide energy for further training),
  • a guarantee of safety (there are no side effects as long as the correct dose is taken – nausea, diarrhoea and abdominal pain may occur if too much creatine is taken. However, these are not serious risks),
  • it works both before and after training,
  • positive effects of combining creatine with carbohydrates and other supplements (e.g. taurine, magnesium, vitamin B6),
  • high bioavailability to the body,
  • convenient forms of application.

Available forms of creatine – in which form can it be taken?

Creatine can be found in several different forms, each with slightly different characteristics. Some of the most popular forms include:

Creatine monohydrate

This is the most popular and simplest form of this supplement. Here, creatine is combined with water molecules and takes the form of capsules or powder. It helps with protein synthesis and ATP transport. It also reduces muscle fatigue after training.

Creatine malate

This form is formed by combining creatine monohydrate with malic acid. This compound is characterised by its increased bioavailability to the body. It is most commonly found in powder form. It has similar properties to monohydrate, but additionally promotes the storage of glycogen in muscles, which is responsible for their performance.

Creatine orotate

Formed through the synthesis of creatine and orotic acid, which helps to produce increased amounts of ATP, resulting in better and faster results. Creatine in this form is well absorbed by the body and increases glucose utilisation.

Creatine hydrochloride

This form of creatine is formed by combining with hydrochloric acid. It is highly absorbable and has a neutral effect on our digestive tract, does not overload the stomach and there is no need to take breaks from its use. It is ideal for people with gastrointestinal problems and for women in training. This compound is also characterised by a high content of creatine itself (approx. 77%).

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