First off, you will want to make sure that yout creatine product actually contains a significant amount of creatine, as you need a minimum of 3-5g daily to see significant results from creatine. Many creatine products hide the creatine in a proprietary blend so you don’t know exactly how much you are getting. If your creatine product lists creatine near last on the list of a proprietary blend totalling only 5g, there’s probably not much creatine in the product! We suggest moving on to a different product that you KNOW has at least 3g of creatine in it.
Once you have determined that your product does indeed contain a minimum of 3-5g of creatine, you need to look at the types of creatine included. Any good creatine product will either include or be entirely comprised of creatine monohydrate. This form of creatine has the most scientific evidence backing its benefits by a long shot and also has a huge body of anecdotal evidence supporting its use to boost muscle size and performance. One of the common broscience myths you may have had people tell you is that creatine monohydrate will bloat you. The truth is that the “bloating” is largely overblown and you will probably not even notice it unless you are using an excessive amount of 20g or more daily.
Besides creatine monohydrate, good creatine blends will also include other forms of creatine such as creatine magnesium chelate, creatine ethyl ester, and creatine malate. Some forms of creatine are absorbed through different pathways and taking a blend of creatine types rather than only creatine monohydrate may lead to greater creatine saturation of the muscles. There are, however, some forms of creatine to watch out for. Some forms of creatine such as creatine decanoate offer no real advantage over other forms of creatine. Another “type” of creatine that is being bantered around these days is being called tricreatine malate but it does not even exist! This is usually just creatine monohydrate and malic acid mixed together which is NOT what you want! Dicreatine malate, however, does exist and is a valid form of creatine to use in a formula.
So if your formula has at least 3-5g creatine and contains multiple forms including monohydrate…what else do you need? Many formulas add carbohydrates such as dextrose or waxy maize to increase creatine uptake into the muscle. This type of product will also sometimes contain ingredients to increase insulin sensitivity such as momordica to further drive carbs and creatine into the muscle. Products containing these insulin mimickers should only be taken after working out, because if they are taken before working out the user may experience low blood sugar levels during their workout resulting in decreased performance.
There are many many creatine products available on the market today and in the end the best creatine product is one that delivers a sufficient amount of a either creatine mono or a blend of effective forms of creatine along with the nutrients needed to enhance uptake in the muscle. Again, the best creatine is the one that simply gives you enough, 3-5g per serving. At Mind and Muscle we have a large variety of high quality creatine products that meet the standards of the “best creatine” at unbeatable prices!
Check them out here! Mind and Muscles Best Creatine Products