What is Creatine Monohydrate? The Benefits, Side Effects, and More

Published May 2nd, 2022 by Chris Riley
Fact Checked by
Erik Rivera

Creatine monohydrate is a supplement that is made up of creatine and water and it is primarily used to increase lean muscle mass and improve athletic performance in humans.

It is also the most popular form of creatine, and it is considered to be the most effective.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of creatine monohydrate, as well as the side effects and safety concerns associated with it.

We will also provide information on where you can purchase creatine monohydrate supplements.

What is creatine monohydrate?

Creatine monohydrate is a type of creatine supplement taken mostly by athletes.

It is the most popular and studied form of creatine and consists of creatine with water.

Creatine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in your body that helps to supply energy to cells, particularly muscle cells. It does this by becoming creatine phosphate which then forms adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which your cells then use as energy.

Creatine Monohydrate

Typically, creatine is obtained through seafood or meat sources, however, creatine monohydrate is a vegan creatine supplement that is easily accessible in many stores and online.

Other forms of creatine include creatine ethyl ester, creatine hydrochloride, and creatine magnesium chelate; however, creatine monohydrate is the most effective and most researched form of creatine.

Generally, creatine monohydrate is taken orally in pill form or as a powder mixed with water although liquid creatine is available too.

What are the benefits of creatine?

Creatine monohydrate supplementation has been shown by some studies to improve exercise performance and muscular performance among several other beneficial effects.

The benefits of taking creatine monohydrate include:

Improves athletic performance

When taken orally as a supplement, creatine monohydrate can improve muscle mass, exercise performance, and anaerobic performance in high-intensity activities such as sprinting, heavy resistance training, endurance exercise, and weightlifting.

It helps improve your athletic performance by increasing the creatine and phosphocreatine stores in your muscles, which can help to supply energy during intense exercise allowing you to exercise more and increase your muscle mass.

May improve cognitive function

Some studies have shown that creatine monohydrate may improve your cognitive performance, such as memory and intelligence.

The reason is thought to be due to the fact that creatine helps cognitive processing by protecting against cell damage and supports energy production in the brain.

Injury prevention

Creatine monohydrate may also have the positive effect of helping to prevent injuries, as it has been shown to improve the healing process of connective tissue.

The cause is not known; however, it is thought to be due to the fact that creatine helps to reduce inflammation and supports the production of collagen, which is the main component of connective tissue.

Creatine-metabolizing syndromes

It may also help to improve symptoms in those with creatine-metabolizing syndromes. These syndromes are a group of genetic disorders that affect the way your body metabolizes creatine.

The most common symptom is muscle weakness; however, creatine monohydrate has been shown to improve muscle function and help prevent episodes of weakness.

Bone health

Using creatine monohydrate may also improve bone health.

It is thought to help with sarcopenia, which is the loss of bone mass and strength due to aging, and it counteracts these symptoms by helping with bone density and supports the production of collagen, which is the main component of skeletal muscle.

Aging skin

Your aging skin may also benefit from using creatine monohydrate as it can help to improve the appearance of aging skin.

One study showed that a cream that contained creatine along with other substances helped reduce wrinkles in men.

Being the most researched form of creatine

Creatine monohydrate has had numerous studies done on it and is the most researched form of creatine which means that there is a lot of evidence to support its use for various purposes.

Almost all of the studies have been performed using creatine monohydrate and it has even been shown to be the most effective dietary supplement for gaining muscle mass.

Is there scientific evidence to prove these claims?

The evidence for the benefits of creatine monohydrate is mixed.

Some studies show significant improvements in performance, while others show no difference.

The reason for this may be due to body composition and the fact that some people have more creatine stores than others and may not see as much of an improvement.

It is generally agreed that the effects of creatine supplementation do help with athletic performance, but more research is needed to confirm the other claims.

Are there any side effects to taking creatine?

When taken orally, there are no major side effects or adverse outcomes of creatine monohydrate reported although you may experience an increase in body weight, including both short-term creatine supplementation and long-term creatine supplementation.

The weight gain is thought to be due to water retention and not fat as it actually is shown to improve your lean body mass.

It is also recommended to drink plenty of water when taking creatine as it can cause dehydration.

These side effects are usually mild. If you experience any severe side effects, stop taking creatine and consult your doctor.

Is creatine safe for anyone?

Oral creatine supplementation is generally considered safe for most people as there are minimal adverse effects. However, do not take creatine if you have certain conditions, these include:

  • Kidney disease as it could make your kidney function worse
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women as more study is needed
  • Children, although some studies show it may be safe for them, you need to contact your child's pediatrician first
  • Bipolar disorder as it could increase mania
  • Parkinson's disease, as taking caffeine and creatine together has been shown to exacerbate symptoms

If you have any chronic illness, take other medications, or plan to be pregnant or breastfeeding, it is always best to consult your doctor before taking creatine or any other supplement.

Is creatine permitted by sports organizations?

Creatine is not currently banned by any sports organizations. However, it is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) radar and could be banned in the future.

If you are an athlete, it is always best to check with your governing body before taking creatine or any other supplement.

What is the difference between creatine and steroids?

Creatine is a natural substance that is produced in the body. Steroids are synthetic and have been shown to have many side effects, including liver damage, high blood pressure, and increased risk of heart disease.

Creatine has not been shown to have any of these side effects.

Where can I purchase creatine?

Creatine is available for purchase online and in most health food stores. It is important to read the label before purchasing as some products may not be pure creatine monohydrate.

When buying creatine, always look for a product that has been third-party tested for purity and potency which will ensure that you are getting a high-quality product.

Summary

Creatine monohydrate is a natural substance that is produced in the body and helps with athletic performance.

The creatine monohydrate supplements that you can purchase at health food stores are simply creatine and water.

When you take creatine, your body stores more creatine in your muscles, which can help improve your physical performance.

Benefits of taking it include increased strength, improved recovery time, and increased muscle mass.

You may experience weight gain when taking creatine, but this is usually due to water retention and not fat.

Creatine is considered safe for most people, but always consult your doctor before taking it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have a chronic illness, or take other medications.

If you have any more questions about creatine monohydrate, please talk to your doctor or healthcare provider to see if it is right for you.

References and Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2758659

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25946994

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27328852

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