Creatine Monohydrate it is the cheapest form of creatine on the market; within it each creatine molecule is associated with a water molecule, hence the term “creatine monohydrate”. It comes in the form of a granular, white, tasteless, odourless powder.
In 100 grams of product we find about 88% of pure creatine, while in the other types – already more expensive in themselves – this percentage is much lower (because the size of the associated molecules, e.g. citrate or phosphate, is larger than water). This means that by taking five grams of creatine monohydrate, we guarantee the body a theoretical intake of 4.4 grams. In reality, the absorbed amount is much lower, as we will see later.
In an equal dose of creatine citrate we find only 2 grams of creatine, so less than half of the traditional monohydrate.
This creatine was one of the first forms to be introduced on the market; it is the most used, and therefore the most studied.
DISADVANTAGES OF CREATINE MONOHYDRATE
Creatine monohydrate is poorly soluble in water; if we try to dissolve about ten grams of it in a glass, we realise that a part inevitably settles on the bottom. Also for this reason, during loading periods, it is advisable to divide the total dose into four or five individual daily intakes, one of which should take place 30-60 minutes before training and one immediately at the end.
As in the glass, the amount of unsolvable creatine monohydrate is deposited in the stomach and intestine, recalling water for osmotic effect. All this can cause abdominal pain and have a laxative effect, resulting in dehydration, predisposition to muscle cramps and decreased performance.
Since only a minor part of the absorbed creatine is transported to the muscle, a significant amount remains in the extracellular space, causing water retention.
The muscle will therefore be more voluminous but less defined.
More innovative forms of creatine promise to solve the problem of poor solubility, reduced absorption and water retention, but the only absolute certainty in this respect is that the cost is much higher than traditional creatine monohydrate.
The intake of creatine monohydrate with a source of carbohydrates (a banana or fruit juice) and a small dose of milk protein, maximises anabolic stimulation and helps to improve the entry into muscle cells (thanks to insulin). The limiting factor, in fact, often is not the intestinal absorption, but the objective difficulty in getting creatine into the muscle fibres, which increases as cellular stocks become saturated (which is why it is necessary to cyclize the intake of creatine monohydrate).
Discover all the qualities of creatine in our article Creatine: 9 Things to Know Before Take It