Creatine Monohydrate: Benefits, Side Effects, Dosages & FAQ

Everything you want to know about creatine monohydrate: what it is, how to use it, is it right for you, what benefits come with creatine monohydrate supplementation, and more.
  1. 1. What is Creatine Monohydrate?
  2. 2. How Does Creatine Monohydrate Work?
  3. 3. Benefits of Creatine Monohydrate
  4. 4. How to Take Creatine Monohydrate
  5. 5. Creatine Monohydrate Side Effects
  6. 6. Best Creatine Monohydrate Products
  7. 7. FAQ
    1. 7.1. Is Creatine Monohydrate Loading Required?
    2. 7.2. What is Creapure® Creatine Monohydrate?
    3. 7.3. What is Micronized Creatine Monohydrate?
    4. 7.4. Does Caffeine Affect Creatine Monohydrate?
  • How creatine helps to provide more workout energy, improving performance and potential gains.
  • What benefits you may receive from creatine monohydrate supplementation.
  • How much creatine monohydrate to take per day, and when.
  • About Creapure, and why it's considered the industry gold standard.

Creatine Monohydrate is one of the most popular supplements used by people looking to build lean muscle mass, maximize performance and increase strength. According to survey data, over 40% of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletes reported that they have used creatine.

Despite being one of the most scientifically studied sports supplement ingredients available, there’s still a huge array of misinformation that exists in gyms and on the internet. This guide will give you the creatine monohydrate facts and answer any questions you have.

If you have any questions about creatine monohydrate after reading this guide please post them in the comments below.

What is Creatine Monohydrate?

Creatine monohydrate is a natural substance that turns into creatine phosphate in the body. Creatine phosphate helps make a substance called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP provides the energy for muscle contractions.

The body is able to product some creatine by itself, and can also get creatine from some foods like red meat and oily fish. However, levels of creatine in food sources may be reduced during the process of cooking.

Creatine monohydrate supplements are products that contain a very pure form of creatine and are often taken pre/post workout and/or with other supplements like whey protein.

How Does Creatine Monohydrate Work?

To understand how creatine monohydrate works you first need to know what ATP is and what it does. ATP is the immediate source of energy for muscle contraction. Muscle fibers only contain enough ATP to power a few twitches, additional ATP must be drawn from the body’s ATP “pool”. Creatine monohydrate is converted into creatine phosphate in the body to keep the ATP pool filled.

What does this mean in the real world? Having a good reservoir of ATP available may help you lift heavier weights for more reps by providing your muscles with enough the fast-converting energy it needs for maximum performance. You’ll often hear this referred to as “explosive energy”.

Benefits of Creatine Monohydrate

Now that you understand how creatine monohydrate works you can probably already see some of the benefits of using it. Here’s a list of the possible benefits of taking creatine for someone who is doing intense resistance training (weight training) or a sport which requires high amounts of instant energy (for example a sprinter).

  • Enhanced muscle mass/strength
  • Increased muscle energy availability
  • Increased power output (more sets/reps)
  • Weight gain
  • Enhanced recovery after exercise

How to Take Creatine Monohydrate

The general recommended dose of creatine monohydrate is 3-5g daily. There’s no general consensus on the best time of day to take creatine. Many people mix creatine powder with other supplements they’re already taking like whey protein. Creatine can also be mixed with warm water (improves solubility), fruit juice or caffeine-free tea. It’s important to note that creatine monohydrate should be prepared fresh when you need to take it. Do not pre-mix you creatine powder ahead of time.

No long term studies have been conducted on creatine monohydrate so it’s generally recommended that you cycle it. An example of a creatine monohydrate cycle might be 8 weeks on and 4 weeks off.

Creatine Monohydrate Side Effects

Creatine monohydrate is generally safe when used at recommended doses. Remember that “less is more” when it comes to taking creatine. Taking more doesn’t mean it’s going to work better. Once your ATP pool is full, excess creatine is excreted (wasted) by the body. As creatine draws water from the body into muscle cells it’s very important that you drink adequate fluids when taking it.

Creatine usage is generally not recommended for people under the age of 18. This is because of the lack of research of creatine supplementation in teenagers.

Best Creatine Monohydrate Products

Looking for some quality creatine? Look no further, here's a top ten list of the best creatine supplements on our store right now. For a list of all creatine monohydrate supplements check out the all creatine supplements page.

FAQ:

Is Creatine Monohydrate Loading Required?

When creatine monohydrate first became a popular sports supplement many manufacturers recommended that you “load” their products for 5-7 days in order to get your muscles saturated with creatine thereby speeding up the results. This theory has never been proven in any scientific research and today most manufacturers recommend that you simply take 3-5g of creatine monohydrate daily.

What is Creapure® Creatine Monohydrate?

Creapure® is recognized in the supplement industry as the “gold standard” of creatine monohydrate manufacturers. Creapure® brand creatine monohydrate is manufactured in Germany and can be found in hundreds of creatine products sold worldwide. To find out if your creatine monohydrate powder or capsules have Creapure® just look for “Creapure®” in the nutritional information.

What is Micronized Creatine Monohydrate?

As the name suggests, micronized creatine monohydrate is regular creatine monohydrate powder that has been micronized. Micronizing is the process of grinding the powder to an ultra-fine form, usually about 20 times finer than regular powder. What this means is the creatine will dissolve in liquid much faster, and in theory, be absorbed by the body easier. If you’ve ever tried non-micronized creatine you’ll know that there can be a fair amount of “grit” in the bottom of the glass or shaker. This is creatine that hasn’t dissolved. This is vital creatine you need in your body, not in the bottom of a cup.

Most creatine monohydrate supplements are now micronized. It’s recommended you always used a micronized product to get the best results.

Does Caffeine Affect Creatine Monohydrate?

According to Creapure, one of the most respected manufacturers of Creatine Monohydrate in Germany, large doses of caffeine may affect your performance results from taking creatine. However smaller doses of caffeine such as coffee and most pre-workout powders should be OK. Here’s a quote from their website:

“Taking large doses of caffeine (5 mg per kg body weight per day) cancels the ergogenic (performance enhancing) effect of creatine. Smaller amounts of caffeine (for example, 1–2 cups of coffee), on the other hand, do not seem to have an adverse impact on the effects of creatine.”

References:
  1. John W. Kimball. Fueling Muscle Contraction. (http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/M/Muscles.html#creatine)
  2. Balsom PD, Söderlund K, Sjödin B, Ekblom B. Skeletal muscle metabolism during short duration high-intensity exercise: influence of creatine supplementation.
  3. Balsom PD, Söderlund K, Ekblom B. Creatine in humans with special reference to creatine supplementation.
  4. Casey A, Constantin-Teodosiu D, Howell S, Hultman E, Greenhaff PL. Creatine ingestion favorably affects performance and muscle metabolism during maximal exercise in humans.
  5. Terjung RL, Clarkson P, Eichner ER, Greenhaff PL, Hespel PJ, Israel RG, Kraemer WJ, Meyer RA, Spriet LL, Tarnopolsky MA, Wagenmakers AJ, Williams MH. American College of Sports Medicine roundtable. The physiological and health effects of oral creatine supplementation.
  6. Effects of creatine supplementation on oxidative stress profile of athletes (http://www.jissn.com/content/9/1/56)
  7. Official Creature website http://www.creapure.com/en/creapure-in-athletics/intake-recommendations
3.6 STARS
21 VOTES
RATE THIS

146 Comments+ Post Comment

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 08/16/2015 - 12:18
Biren

Can I take creatine with milk ?

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 06/07/2015 - 02:07
SHUBHAM KUMAR

Hello Sir I am Shubham from India. I have to say that i am 19 years old and my weight is 79 kg.I want to slim body. I take mono hydrate from 10 days. is mono hydrate is useful for me? please reply !!!

MikeWines's picture
Posted Mon, 06/08/2015 - 09:13
MikeWines

Shubham,
Most definitely my man. Creatine monohydrate is well documented and quite beneficial for most lifters.

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 04/13/2015 - 12:23
Yvonne Tema

Well it says that some of the benefits is weight gain...but I'm not looking to gain weight ...I wanna build lean muscle and at the same time lose weight. Is micronized creatine monohydrate not the right product for me to use?

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 03/11/2015 - 03:23
Ntuhuthuko Percy

Percy here, I've just started to use the product for about two weeks now and I see the result at best ,even during intensive training ,Creatine provides me with Stamina ,strength and gain. It work not exactly like steroids but plays a huge role in gaining the muscle

No Profile Pic
Posted Sat, 02/28/2015 - 03:24
Gurwinder Singh

I am using creatine of ssn company. May i use creatine with ssn Anabolic Muscle Builder (Gainer).

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 02/23/2015 - 09:11
Mike

Does Creatine Mono help lose body fat?

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 02/23/2015 - 09:58
Matt

No, creatine doe not help with fat loss. It's for strength and power. If you want to lose fat you'll need to look at your diet.

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 02/06/2015 - 16:53
Sully

two questions: 1. should I take the creatine on off days? 2. what about post work out? My bottle only say before work out.

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 01/28/2015 - 05:43
sarath

I am 17 and now am 47 kg, ultimate creatine monohydrate[300g] is safe for me for weight gain?

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 01/19/2015 - 11:02
charles eatmon

i just purcheased creatine monohydrate 5000,i want to gain musle mass but loose belly fat too ,but i am prone to blood clots and have to take warfarin every day is this safe for me to use and will it help me get rid of this belly fat ,i am 50 years old and iam just starting back lifting weights again and jogging

No Profile Pic
Posted Thu, 01/15/2015 - 05:50
Corina

Do creatine capsules have a shelf life?

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 01/14/2015 - 01:40
anand

creatine should be taken as perworkout or postworkout supplement?

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 01/13/2015 - 06:53
Rahul

Strong case that creatine is safe and I appreciate the documentation. But, I would never presume to advise on supplements. I prefer to present the info, as you have, for parental consumption and let my clients decide what is best for their young athlete.

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 01/07/2015 - 04:10
Sam

I am 18 years old. I am little skiny .. Will creatine monohydrate help me gain body.. And build muscles.? Will it help me to gain the bulk size muscles?

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 09/26/2014 - 21:27
Louis

Does creatine cause kidney stones and does it raise your blood pressure?

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 09/24/2014 - 06:43
Dev sachdeva

I m age of 19 .. Cn I take creatine ? Plz Rpy I m in confusion .. Plz any1 help me

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 08/29/2014 - 05:59
Raquel

I am trying to build muscle and lose weight at the same time. Is creatine recommended or is it just going to make me gain weight and bulk up? thanks

Raquel

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 08/22/2014 - 21:22
Sean

Hello.. I'm 19 and i started taking the creatine tablet 3 days ago, 4 doses before and after work out, i have encountered enhanced work out sections but no much gain in my muscles as expected, am i on the right track ???

No Profile Pic
Posted Thu, 08/21/2014 - 13:20
veda agaswi

Can creatine help to lift heavier weights than before?

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 08/15/2014 - 22:53
Suraj Vaidya

I m starting to take a creatine. can u tell me dosage timming and numbers of doges and how much powder daily we want to get.

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 07/27/2014 - 11:10
sunny

will u be able retain your body mass after you have stopped your creatine intake???

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 07/09/2014 - 10:15
Khan

What's the source of creatine ?

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 06/20/2014 - 03:16
Jezin

I am a girl and am on fat loss program am doing lot of cardio n gym my target i to develop lean body muscle and slim body had undergone many supplimentation but nothing is working will u suggest creatine mono with whey isolate?

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 05/25/2014 - 04:19
gg

does creatine lean muscles and weight loss

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 05/06/2014 - 11:22
Dante

Is this work also for runners like me, I have muscle injury a sharp pain under my cap when I do long run. And I've been running but this pain is different from shin splint. Will these help me get better? I bought it just to try and see if it work.

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 03/24/2014 - 13:37
Viral

Hii guyz m 23 n my metabolism is very high..m taking protien sence vry long time but cant c any result so N nw i've also started creatine but m fumble like how much to load everyday....1st 1week i loaded 20grms and i sow a very wounderful result then after dat i started takin 5grms daily after workout but cant c that great effect like previous....so is it okie to load 10/15 grams daily or u guys plZzz suggest me what to do...????

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 03/24/2014 - 11:13
Pratul

Hi,

I am a vegetarian and was looking for Creatine Monohydrate which is veg, I found this product on the website of Vegan Essentials named as Creatine Monohydrate by Now sports. Can any one please suggest on whether can this be taken? Also was very curious to know until when should be creatine monohydrate consumed, and whether results vanish/ disappear once the consumption/ workout is stopped.

I am 172 cms in length and my weight is 60 kg and I look forward to increase muscle mass and body strength.

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 03/12/2014 - 07:04
ashok kumar

i have belly fat can i use creatine with whey protine its work

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 03/12/2014 - 05:50
daniel

I've been taking creation mono hydrate for four days now and it has me on the toilet A bit and upsets my stomach

No Profile Pic
Posted Thu, 03/06/2014 - 21:33
Carol

I want to have bigger muscles on my legs, I'm a mom of 3 kids so I really want to lose belly fat can I take creatine with out making a big muscle tummy? What can I do? Thanks

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 02/28/2014 - 14:01
Robert

Reading the literature on creatine it says your muscles will retain water. Does anyone know if water is retained around your heart muscle. Retaining water around the heart could cause cardiac problems.

No Profile Pic
Posted Sat, 02/08/2014 - 09:18
George smith

I was wondering, I have recently started taking creatine tablets and I have read online that it is advised to load at the start, is this true? Also another question it says to only take a maximum of 7 tablets a day and that is 7.3 grams, should I take more than 7 to load?

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 02/02/2014 - 10:46
gurmukh singh

Is creatine monohydrate hold water?

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 01/17/2014 - 12:32
akhter

age 28, can i use your product for increasing my breath because i want to run 1500 m in one chance pls reply

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 01/08/2014 - 06:39
ummer

Anyone please help me.............:( that i want to use creatine which one is better creatine monohydrate or creatine hydrochloride.

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 01/05/2014 - 17:51
Mel

Is creatine best taken pre or post workout? I was told to take post workout and do so with my whey protein but was wondering if it may be more beneficial for my workout to take before!?

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 01/05/2014 - 16:24
Tom

It is suggested to drink fruit juice with your creatine because it spikes your blood sugar and helps absorb the creatine into your muscles mor efficiently.

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 12/23/2013 - 13:31
ashfaq

i am using creatine but while using cretane i lost my weight so tell me frnd what can i do

No Profile Pic
Posted Sat, 12/21/2013 - 06:53
mzi

this product is amazing,i hve gained tremendious amount of wieght,since am a bouncer my job requires size,i hve gained over 10kgs since i started using this pure creatine.its the best

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 12/11/2013 - 13:52
sue

im 13 stone and just started taking monohydrate capsules 15mg for a week does it help you loose weight coz im exactly same weight

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 12/11/2013 - 06:33
Satish

Hi, I had used it 03 months ago (Couldn't be regular though) & saw some good results. I felt that results were not as per the reviews & recommendations so I thought I should stop it. I did, but I found I wasn't able to lift up more weight & repetitions also reduced. I started it again but one thing that I'm still confused about is - How, when & how much to take. I generally workout for a one hour. Could you please guide me?

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 11/24/2013 - 21:32
Stan

i have a very serious question that i am sure many others have.. Does creatine make your penis smaller?

No Profile Pic
Posted Sat, 11/23/2013 - 06:22
Mac

hi i'm 20 yr old ! i"d been working out from past 4 years now without any supplementation. I wanna get some more toned cuts in my body... want to get more lean appearing muscle..planning to try ON Micronized Creatin would this help ? does it has any side effects ?

No Profile Pic
Posted Tue, 11/05/2013 - 18:41
Aaron

I'm about to start taking creatine, when is the best time to take a creatine shake? Before/after a workout? Mornings? And also, how can I take creatine whilst I am taking whey protein, is this good? I was thinking taking creatine for the 8 weeks as it says and then moving to whey protein for the 4 weeks and so on

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 10/27/2013 - 05:52
jaydo

sounds like some good gear......but i heard a story that if creatine is taken when ur younger, ur body can stop taking the amount that u get in red meat when u get older (and stopped taking it) resulting in having to have injections of it etc. for the rest of ur life...???????? is this true?
sounds like a lot of people take it, so it obviously cant b that bad.
any advice/tips is apprieciated...
thanks

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 10/25/2013 - 05:36
VishwaViraat

Why So Many Dislikes for Everyone's Comment? :O Whats Wrong With you People? :O

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 10/25/2013 - 01:43
tom

Can you stop taking creatine on your rest day or will the ruin the cycle?

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 10/18/2013 - 12:33
William Onyango

Hi, I have used creatine powder USN for a week now, unfortunately I feel like my energy is gone I do think train for long, I have this frequent thirst in Essex and I take too much water, are those the side effects?

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 10/09/2013 - 05:35
harshpreet singh

does it contain any non-vegetarian material for e.g like egg,fish etc..