What Does Creatine Do | Which Form is Best

What Does Creatine Do | Which Form is Best

What Does Creatine Do | Which Form is Best

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understanding what creatine really is and understanding the different kinds of creatine’s that are out there and all kinds of products really comes down to having a solid understanding of how creatine is created in the body in the first place and what it actually does so in this video I’m not only going to break down the different kinds of creatine so that you can address exactly what is on the label of your favorite products but I also want you to be able to have a solid understanding of literally the physiology behind creatine in our bodies but also what is doing at a cellular level all right so let’s start with generally speaking what is creatine so creatine is something that’s created by the body to ultimately start carrying energy and allow the transfer of energy to occur from the mitochondria basically throughout the rest of the cell what that ultimately means is that creatine is formed by three different amino acids that are non-essential in the liver in the kidneys okay we’ve got arginine we’ve got glycine and we’ve got methionine these three amino acids combined create this wonderful thing known as creatine so right then and there we have to address that creatine is not this unsafe thing it’s naturally occurring in the bodies and our bodies typically know how to get rid of excess amounts of it so what we also have to know is that creatine is predominantly stored in the skeletal muscle tissue that’s why it has such a big role when it comes down to athletes when it comes down to strength training in fact we end up holding about 3 and 1/2 grams of creatine in every pound of our skeletal muscle tissue and we have the capability to hold up to about 5 grams per pound of skeletal muscle tissue so by and large it’s happening right at the source of the muscle ok so now we have to understand what is going on when this creatine actually creates energy if we understand the simple method that really goes behind it it makes everything that much more clear you see it starts in the mitochondria the mitochondria is the energy powerhouse of a cell ok plain and simple the mitochondria is what takes ketone bodies fatty acids glucose and converts them into adenosine triphosphate fancy complex way of saying takes the food that you eat and turns it into energy it all happens at the mitochondria but creatine is behind a lot of the activity there you see our mitochondria don’t really do much until we’re active if a muscle cell is dormant or we’re not moving the mitochondria isn’t really firing and creatine isn’t really working with it but as soon as activity starts something pretty cool happens remember that creatine we talked about the creatine that was made by the liver and kidneys this natural organic compound that’s flowing around through our bodies well it travels over to that mitochondria okay the energy powerhouse of the cell and it goes to that adenosine triphosphate and it steals a phosphate molecule from that okay adenosine triphosphate means adenosine with three phosphate molecules creatine comes in and it takes one of those phosphate molecules away just rips it away kidnaps it so now you’re left with adenosine diphosphate so now you have adenosine and two phosphate molecules but the creatine stole one of the phosphate molecules now becoming creatine phosphate so this creatine phosphate is the magical carrier it is this creatine phosphate system that allows our body to produce energy and to have the strength that we want in the gym or when we’re sprinting so then this creatine phosphate travels to another area of the cell where the actual cell creates more work and actually creates output and it drops off that phosphate molecule it’s like it gave it a bus ride to a different area of the cell and it combines with ADP again to make ATP again so you see the cycle it goes from ATP to ADP back to ATP well where does energy come into this equation energy is actually created when the creatine steals the phosphate molecule it’s the separation of this bond it’s the separation of this happy marriage that creates energy I want you to think of it like a happy couple that’s just going through life and totally harmonious and then all of a sudden someone else comes into the picture and rips a person away suddenly there’s fire suddenly there’s energy that’s exactly what’s happening at the cellular level when the creatine phosphate system is in action that’s how you create energy that’s how it’s restored okay simple science now let’s get down to the different kinds of creatine that are out there because I think it’s important that you know exactly what they’re doing in your body so you can save money to be completely honest let’s start with the main one creatine monohydrate it’s the most basic creatine that’s out there and is 90% creatine in about ten percent water and it’s probably the main of a lot of creatine supplements that you’re used to seeing now it’s been shown that simple creatine monohydrate does dramatically improve strength in fact on average it improves it by about 10% yeah it’s gonna range anywhere from 5 to 8 percent a lot of times depending on whether it’s upper body or lower body or how much actual muscle tissue you have or the power of the sarcoplasm in that general area just a lot of different variables but by and large creatine monohydrate is very powerful at helping improve strength okay then there’s other versions of it okay there’s micronized versions of creatine monohydrate micronized versions of creatine monohydrate are really just instant ice forms where the creatine monohydrate is broken down into smaller particles so it presumably can be absorbed more but there’s not a whole lot of science showing whether or not micronized creatine really does a whole lot okay so let’s talk about the next kind of creatine that you probably see a lot of and that’s buffered creatine or chelated creatine now the whole idea behind chelated creatine or buffered creatine is just to add an alkaline component to it essentially what we find a lot of times is that the stomach is a very acidic harsh environment which means that in theory creatine wouldn’t be able to really survive very well when it’s taken orally so if you attach some kind of alkaline component to it basically in this case magnesium you’re making it a lot easier for the body to handle it now in theory again that makes sense but there’s some science that says otherwise there was a study that was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition that took a look at participants particularly male ones that were going to take a creatine supplement they had them take creatine monohydrate or they had them take buffered creatine well by and large what they found was that yeah both groups saw an improvement in their strength they saw an improvement in their power but there was no difference in strength or power between the monohydrate group and the buffered creatine group okay then there was another study that was published by the strength and conditioning journal that also found very very similar results in this case they took a look at chelated creatine versus creatine monohydrate and they still found in this case that there was very little difference in which one was better at the end of the day both parties ended up finding that they had more strength and more power creatine is creatine plain and simple when it comes to this all right now that leads us into the next one which is ester eyes creatine you might see this in the back of your label when it says creatine ethyl ester or cee all that an ethyl ester is is an ester ester form of creatine and what that simply means is that there is an ester attached an ester is generated from organic compounds usually combining carboxylic acid and a different kind of alcohol to actually form what is known as an ester which is basically making something a little bit more fat soluble you say creatine is what is known as hydrophilic hydrophilic means that it likes to bind with water but it is also semi lipophilic which means it does kind of sort of like to bind to fats every now and then but it’s not very efficient at it so the whole idea behind creatine ethyl ester is actually quite you know sensible basically what it means is you’re taking an ethyl ester and attaching it to creatine to try to improve the absorb ability of it by also trying to help it be absorbed through fats so in theory you would get the absorption that naturally occurs through water but then by adding this ester group you’re also improving the absorption through fats so plain and simple right except Baylor University actually did a study and took a look at this where they took an ethyl ester group they took a monohydrate Group and they took a placebo group and they ultimately found that both the monohydrate and the ethyl ester groups did have improvements in strength and power however it took 20 days for the creatine to actually take effect in the ester group whereas it only took five to six days from the monohydrate to take effect that’s pretty darn amazing now they also found that there were significant increases in the amounts of what is known as creatinine in the blood now creatinine is a useless byproduct of creatine that is actually toxic and can be quite damaging to our kidneys so we really don’t want that so ethyl ester is kind of a no-go in my book okay then we have liquid creatine so we’re talking about like they’re ready to drink things and all that stuff I’m going to keep this one short stay away from those it’s not going to do you any good creatine once it is suspended in water loses its effectiveness in fact once it’s suspended it starts to break down and turn into that creatinine that I said was not good so we don’t need the liquid version let’s just stay away from it next we have creatine hydrochloride now all creatine hydrochloride is is a creatine molecule combined with hydrochloric acid basically what we’re doing here is trying to make it so that it’s a nice even happy marriage in the gut creating aqueous solution that allows the creatine to absorb right into the intestinal tract and never having an issue the thing is it’s too new we don’t have a lot of science at least in human studies to show whether or not it’s effective and it’s also quite pricey so at the end of the day I guess I’m not trying to say all these things are bad I’m just saying creatine monohydrate is the simplest most basic and most well researched form and all these other different variations of creatine are just different variations of creatine monohydrate with other things attached so why would you pay more money to have a more complex model when the simplest thing is just a commodity that’s right there in front of you so as always keep it locked in here on my channel if you have any ideas for future videos make sure you let me know in the comment section below and I will see you soon

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What Does Creatine Do | Which Form is Best | Thomas DeLauer

Creatine Monohydrate

The most common and most studied form of creatine – is made up of a creatine molecule and a water molecule; monohydrate is about 90% creatine by weight

Some studies have found that creatine may increase strength gains from weight training by about 10%, on average – other research has shown, on average, that creatine may help improve strength by about 5% for chest exercises like bench press and about 8% for leg exercises like squats (4)

Micronized Creatine

Essentially creatine monohydrate, except it has been micronized – the nanotech version of creatine, with creatine particles that are up to 20 times smaller than normal creatine powder

Buffered/Chelated with Magnesium

Study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition directly compared buffered creatine against monohydrate in 25 participants that took the supplements while completing a weight training program for 28 days

Bench press strength and power production during cycling increased, regardless of which form was taken, but there was no difference in terms of effectiveness or in regards to side effects (5)

Creatine Ethyl Ester

Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE) is creatine monohydrate with an ester attached – attached to monohydrate to increase the amount of creatine absorbed/enhance the uptake of creatine

Esters are organic compounds that are formed by esterification – the reaction of carboxylic acid and alcohols

Esterification is supposed to increase the lipophilic nature, and thus esterified creatine will use fat more efficiently to permeate the cell wall


Study Baylor University looked to see if creatine ethyl ester is better than monohydrate – study consisted of men who worked out regularly with weights

They were separated into three groups: one that took creatine ethyl ester, a creatine monohydrate group, and a placebo group.

The CEE group had greater levels of creatinine, a worthless byproduct of creatine after it is broken down by your body in their blood (7)

Liquid Creatine

Research shows that creatine may break down when it remains in liquid for several days – it doesn’t happen immediately, so mixing your powder with water before consumption is fine

Due, in fact, because the liquid form breaks down creatine over a period of days into creatinine

One study, from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, found that the work performed during cycling was improved by 10% with a monohydrate powder, but not with a liquid form (8)

Creatine Hydrochloride

Creatine hydrochloride forms into free creatine and free hydrochloric acid in the aqueous environment of the stomach, meaning it is approximately bioequivalent to creatine monohydrate

Initially believed to be better due to its superior solubility and one study – from the Journal of Dietary Supplements – found that creatine HCl was 38x more soluble than monohydrate (9)

However, there’s been no published experiments on creatine HCl in humans


1) Creatine by Jonathan Dietz. (n.d.). Retrieved from

2) Creatine: How Much Should You Be Taking? (n.d.). Retrieved from

3) Creatine: Uses and Side Effects. (n.d.). Retrieved from

4) Top 6 Types of Creatine Reviewed. (2017, May 12). Retrieved from

5) Jagim AR , et al. (n.d.). A buffered form of creatine does not promote greater changes in muscle creatine content, body composition, or training adaptations than creatine mo… – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from

6) Selsby JT , et al. (n.d.). Mg2+-creatine chelate and a low-dose creatine supplementation regimen improve exercise performance. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from

7) Spillane M , et al. (n.d.). The effects of creatine ethyl ester supplementation combined with heavy resistance training on body composition, muscle performance, and serum and … – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from

8) Gill ND , et al. (n.d.). Creatine serum is not as effective as creatine powder for improving cycle sprint performance in competitive male team-sport athletes. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from

9) Gufford BT , et al. (n.d.). Physicochemical characterization of creatine N-methylguanidinium salts. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from 5

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