Which Form of Creatine is Most Effective? | Muscle For Life

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Which Form of Creatine is Most Effective?

Which Form of Creatine is Most Effective?

If you’re confused by the many forms of creatine available and want to know which works and which doesn’t…and which is best…then you want to read this article.


You’ve probably heard that creatine is one of the few supplements that don’t suck…and you’ve heard right.

It’s the most well-researched molecule in all of sports nutrition–the subject of hundreds of scientific studies–and its benefits are clear:

What isn’t so clear, though, is which form you should take and why.

Is something fancy sounding like creatine nitrate worth it?

What about ethyl ester or hydrochloride?

Liquid or powder?

Buffered or micronized?










Or can the old faithful creatine monohydrate give you everything you need?

Well, this article is going to answer all these questions and more, and by the end, you’ll know how to get the most bang for your creatine buck.

What is Creatine?

what is the best type of creatine to take

Creatine is a molecule produced in the body and found in fairly high amounts in foods like meat, eggs, and fish.

It’s comprised of several amino acids–L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine–and it’s present in almost all cells and acts as an “energy reserve.

It does this by accelerating a process through which cellular energy (ATP) is generated, which increases the amount of work cells can do.

The vast majority of creatine is stored in the muscle cells, which is why supplementation with it is particularly effective for improving strength and power and anaerobic capacity.

How Does Creatine Help You Build Muscle?

what is the best kind of creatine to take

There are several ways that creatine helps you build muscle faster.

1. More strength and muscle endurance in your workouts means more effective workouts.

The harder you’re able to train, the more muscle you’ll gain over time.

2. Better muscle recovery means better workouts, too.

The faster your body is able to recover from a workout, the better it will perform in the next session.

This is obviously true of individual body parts but is applies systemically as well.

That is, if you do a heavy deadlift session on Monday and heavy squat session on Wednesday, the faster your body can recover from Monday’s workout, the better Wednesday’s will be.

3. Creatine has a “cellular swelling” effect.

Research shows that creatine supplementation increases the amount of water held in muscle cells.

This makes your muscles appear bigger, but more importantly, it positively affects nitrogen balance and the expression of certain genes related to hypertrophy.

4. Creatine has anti-catabolic properties.

Studies show that creatine can reduce protein degradation rates, which can help with muscle gain over time.

And the best part is there are really no downsides to supplementing with creatine.

Claims that it’s bad for your kidneys  have been categorically and repeatedly disproven, the bloating complaints of the past are more or less a non-issue now, and it doesn’t “shut down natural production” a la steroids.

(That said, it’s worth noting that people with kidney disease are not advised to supplement with creatine.)

So, as you can see, I highly recommend that you supplement with creatine because it’s safe, cheap, and effective.

Which type do I recommend, though?

Keep reading!

Use this workout and flexible dieting program to lose up to 10 pounds of fat and build muscle in just 30 days…without starving yourself or living in the gym.

Which Type of Creatine Should You Take?

best creatine

If you want to take creatine, you need to know which forms work, which don’t, and which are overhyped and overpriced.

Well, that’s what we’re going to cover in this section of the article.

Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine monohydrate is the form used in the majority of studies demonstrating creatine’s benefits. It’s the gold standard of creatine and a time-proven winner.

Creatine Citrate

Creatine citrate is creatine bound to citric acid and research indicates it’s more water soluble than creatine monohydrate but no more better in terms of absorption and effectiveness.

Creatine Ethyl Ester

Creatine ethyl ester is a form of creatine that is supposed to convert back to usable creatine in the body.

It’s usually marketed as having better absorption properties than creatine monohydrate, but research shows it’s actually less effective than monohydrate, on par with a placebo.

The reason for this is once creatine ethyl ester enters your body, it’s converted into an inactive substance known as “creatinine.”

Liquid Creatine

Liquid creatine is simply a form of creatine–usually monohydrate–suspended in liquid.

Studies show that it’s less effective than creatine monohydrate because, when suspended in a solution for several days, creatine breaks down into the inactive substance creatinine.

Micronized Creatine

Micronized creatine is creatine that has been processed to reduce the particle size of the powder. The most form most commonly sold as micronized creatine is monohydrate.

Micronization increases water solubility but changes nothing in terms of absorption or effectiveness.

Creatine Nitrate

Creatine nitrate is a form of creatine bound with a nitrate group.

This increases water solubility and nitrates do have ergogenic properties, but no studies have been conducted comparing creatine nitrate to monohydrate, so we don’t know yet if it’s a better choice.

Creatine Magnesium Chelate

Creatine magnesium chelate is a form of creatine bound to magnesium.

Magnesium plays a role in creatine metabolism and thus, theoretically, supplementing with it alongside creatine may increase its effectiveness.

However, one study found that creatine magnesium chelate is more or less the same as creatine monohydrate in terms of ergogenic effects but may result in less water weight gain.

More research is needed on creatine magnesium chelate to determine if it offers any reliable advantages over creatine monohydrate.

Buffered Creatine

Buffered creatine is a form of creatine touted to outperform monohydrate due to a higher pH level.

Research indicates otherwise, however: it’s no more effective than monohydrate.

Creatine Hydrochloride

Creatine hydrochloride is creatine bound with hydrochloric acid.

It’s turned into a basic creatine molecule in your stomach while it may be more water soluble than creatine monohydrate, no research has yet proven it to be any more effective.

Creatine Malate

Creatine malate is creatine bound with malic acid.

While malic acid alone may enhance performance, it hasn’t been researched in conjunction with creatine.

Creatine Pyruvate

Creatine pyruvate is creatine bound with pyruvic acid.

Research shows it may produce higher plasma levels of creatine than monohydrate, but this doesn’t translate into greater muscle absorption or performance enhancement.

The Bottom Line on the Best Form of Creatine

most effective creatine product

Don’t overpay for “fancy” forms of creatine pushed by million-dollar ad campaigns and steroid-fueled bodybuilders.

As you can see, creatine monohydrate is the best bang for your buck, and remains the standard by which all other forms of creatine are judged.

That’s why I chose it for my post-workout supplement, RECHARGE.

recharge-single-600 (1)

This product is part of LEGION, my line of science-based, naturally sweetened workout supplements.

It gives you the proven strength, size, and recovery benefits of creatine monohydrate plus the muscle repair and insulin sensitivity benefits of L-carnitine L-tartrate and corosolic acid.

Each serving of RECHARGE  contains:

  • 5 grams of creatine monohydrate.
  • 2100 milligrams of L-carnitine L-tartrate.
  • 10.8 milligrams of corosolic acid.

Furthermore, RECHARGE is naturally sweetened and  flavored, and it contains no unnecessary fillers or other artificial junk.

What’s your take on the different forms of creatine? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

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  • Rob Noyer

    Great article. I am a creatine user and I know all about “loading” creatine prior to it’s use during a training phase. My question is about any benefit to “cycling” creatine over the long-term. Should it be used for an 8-week training phase then dropped off during my rest week? How is it used effectively long-term?

    • Thanks Rob! Yeah loading is a good idea when you first start taking creatine, but then all you need is 3-5 grams per day.

      No, you don’t have to cycle it. That’s broscience. Keep it in on your rest week as well–you want to keep your intramuscular creatine levels elevated.

      Effective long-term use=take it every day forever. 😉

  • I have the optimum nutrition microionized creatine. I mix 5g in with my pre-workout smoothie but I’m thinkin of going to 10

    • I use the same. No need to go to 10 grams though. 3-5 grams per day is enough for maintenance.

  • Whats the skinny on Creatine Micro-dosing “con-cret”

  • Littlerock

    Used creatine monohydrate regularly for about 3 months. Took too long purchasing between bottles and found that my size and strength had diminished. So, are creatine results temporary?

    • Kind of. What happens when you stop taking it is the creatine levels in your muscles go back to a “normal” level, and thus you lose the benefits of supplementation.

      That said, the reason you take creatine is because it enables you to push yourself harder in the gym and lift more weight, which results in more muscle growth, which you will keep regardless of whether you continue to supplement or not, of course.

      But if you take creatine and don’t make good use of its benefits (push yourself to lift more), it’s pointless.

  • Love concert creatine

    • What’s that?

      • Tim Bolin

        Concret – it’s a creatine HCL by ProMera – it’s not bad, I prefer Crea-Core though

        • Michael Matthews

          Ah Concret. Yeah. Over-hyped but HCL is good if mono upsets your stomach. I just use mono.

  • Love your articles Mr. Matthews.

  • Felipe Nogueira

    Is there a difference confirmed by evidence in efficacy between creatine monohydrate brands?

  • James O

    Great article Mike. Couldn’t have come at a better time. Was just looking at what creatine supplement to use yesterday and got completely confused 🙂

  • What about Kre-alkalyn? I use it because its easier on my stomach. Any word if it is as efficacious as regular creatine monohyrdate?

    • Kre-alk is buffered creatine, which is more water soluble and thus easier on your stomach. Not more effective than mono though.

      • Mo

        Evox creatine HCL. Does it work?

  • Jamieyz

    Hi Mike,
    My monohydrate creatine bottle says not to mix it with caffeine. I also prefer to workout in the morning, putting coffee and creative time fairly close together. What are your thoughts on this?

    • Hey Jamie,

      I’ve seen one study that showed that caffeine might interfere with creatine’s effects (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8929583) but this might just be a fluke as it hasn’t been reproduced yet, and mechanisms are totally unknown.

      So until further evidence emerges, combine away. 🙂


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  • Dan

    Hey mike I’m having trouble with on micronized creatine finding it hard on the stomach. any tips on taking it? Warm water, letting it fully dissolve ?

    • Michael Matthews

      Hey Dan,

      Some people’s stomachs don’t do well with plain ol’ mono. Try one of the following forms and I bet you’ll be fine:

      Creatine nitrate

      Creatine citrate

      Creatine hydrochloride

      These forms are more water soluble than mono and usually handle the stomach issues.

      Hope this helps!


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  • Tony Parrett


    What’s the proper way for the loading phase when first beginning creatine supplementation?


    PS – have 3 of your books and love them!

    • Michael Matthews

      The normal clinical program is 20 grams per day for 7 days, and then 3-5 grams per day for maintenance.

      Thanks on the books! I’m really glad! 🙂




    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! I’m glad to hear it!

  • Guest

    I recently stopped taking creatine because i have heard that once you stop taking creatine, the muscle bennefits you have gained from the creatine are lost. So is it true that order to keep the improvements that i have made from the creatine, i would have to continue regularly using creatine for the rest of my life?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Nope that’s not true. You use the creatine to help you push more weight, which in turn builds more muscle, which you keep.

  • Luke Saintignan

    Good stuff as always Mike! Right now, I’m using Body Fortress Whey Protein that actually has creatine mixed in. I’m not exactly the amount, but many folks have said it’s 3 Grams per scoop…whether that’s 100% correct I’m not sure. I’ve thought about getting just straight up creatine, but I don’t want to “overload” on it. Anyways, thanks for the cited, helpful info!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Luke! Cool on the protein. I’m a bit sketched out by that brand because it’s so cheap.

      Personally I would get a pure whey isolate and supplement the creatine separately.

      • Luke Saintignan

        Yeah, you’re right it is cheap. Honestly, that’s the reason I’ve been using it. Times have been tough and money is tight, but the old saying might be right, you get what you pay for. Eventually, I hope to buy a higher quality protein and creatine!

        • Michael Matthews

          Yeah I understand. I would recommend just spending the money on whole food protein instead. You might find this article helpful:

          https://www.muscleforlife.com /how-to-eat-healthy-foods-on-a-budget/

  • Glen G Harrison

    I take creatine micronized by Optimum. I take about 5grams in my pre workout shake. I remember taking creatine years ago, and i noticed a big difference, but i don’t know now im back on it feels the same off and on. No really difference that i can notice.

    • Michael Matthews

      Me too. It works. I’d recommend doing it in your post-workout shake (with carbs–helps absorption).

      And if you’ve just started, do a loading phase first.

      • Glen G Harrison

        Yeah sorry i do have it in my post, I have 2 bananas and 2 cups of rice milk as my post. i don’t know why i typed pre lol. I did do the loading phase. I remember going off it for a few days for some reason a few months ago, but i wouldn’t need to load again i assume because iv been taking it everyday since.

        • Michael Matthews

          Ah cool. Some people feel it more than others, but I think it’s a good idea to keep it in simply because of the amount of scientific evidence of its benefits.

  • Jake

    Great informative article Mike! I’ve never really lifted much weights (which might explain my slim 130 figure) but been meaning to make a change in my life. I would love to gain 20 pounds of muscle by starting to hit the gym but need some creatine help. I heard anything with Creapure is good. Any particular creatines that are healthy and effective but also EASY on the stomach you recommend? Once again, thanks for the information Mike.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Jake! You can easily gain 20 lbs if you lift and eat properly. 20 pounds of muscle should take about 8-12 months.

      Regarding creatine, check this out:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /which-form-of-creatine-is-most-effective/

      Oh and you should also check out my book Bigger Leaner Stronger!

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /books/bigger-leaner-stronger/

      It lays out EVERYTHING you need to know about diet and training to build muscle and lose fat effectively…

      I hope this helps!

  • Cassio Schittini

    Hey man, very good article. What is your opinion about creature of beast brand!? Thanks.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! I think their products are okay. I’m not impressed, but they’re okay. It’s usually hard to judge an entire brand though as most brands have a product or two that are good, and a handful of garbage…

  • jorge

    What’s the best crea mono on the market? I heard At large was good.

    • Michael Matthews

      Hard to say really. I just stick with a respected brand like ON–it’s cheap and I can be certain I’m getting a good quality product.

  • Weakling

    what about older women who are losing muscle mass in spite of body building exercise?

    • Michael Matthews

      Hmm I would guess that this is a dietary issue–not enough protein, and not enough calories.

  • Logan Dulmus

    Hey Mike. What do you think about Creacore by Muscletech? It’s $30 for 80 “super concentrated” servings. I’ve been using it for a little while. It has an extremely potent flavor. I think it’s worth it, but you’re the expert. Right?

    • Michael Matthews

      It’s a decent product. Overpriced and there’s nothing special about the creatine Hcl but the fenugreek extract helps with absorption.

      My creatine product will be similar, but will give you a LOT more for your money without all the artificial junk (sweeteners and food dyes).

  • bud741

    i have read that it is best to take creatine in a juice such as apple to help with delivery…. insulin helps deliver it to the muscles …. one is this true and second can i put it with water and eat the apple or grapes (not an acidic fruit or juice) what ever it would be and get same results.

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah it’s true that carbs help with absorption. Any will work though–doesn’t have to be liquid, and the creatine doesn’t have to be mixed into anything specific.

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  • kyle swanson

    There is creatine in my pre workout but doesn’t say exactly how much (1750mg creatine, glutamine beta alanine mix). Can I mix in more/pure creatine in with my pre workout drink or after workout protein?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah you can do that but it’s best to have creatine post-workout.

  • juan

    hi Mike, I have started the routine in your book. I have been doing low weight and a lot of reps. I started overloading like your book says. I am alittle confused on creatine. do I need a loading period? like 20 grams every day for 5 days? then 5 grams every day? I selected to lift three tines per week acording to the report. how should I use creatine on non lifting days? by the way, I started with the cutting phase.

    • Michael Matthews

      Great on starting!

      I like to load when I first start taking it, and yes have creatine on your off days as well to keep levels elevated.

      Hope this helps! Lemme know how it goes!

  • Alan

    Hey Mike. I am new in that, can you tell me any commercial name for a gain volume product?, what about Maximuscle Cyclone?.

    • Michael Matthews


      Honestly I would just stick with a simple creatine mono and focus on training and eating properly, as that’s what really produces gains…

  • Raduna

    Hi, im 33 years old, 172 cm 68 kg I am very slender figure, former cell advise yaks creatine is right for me? and what extras should be with creatine? I am totally inexperienced, thank you in advance

  • Radek Uhlir

    Hi, im 33 years old, 172 cm 68 kg I am very slender figure, former cell advise yaks creatine is right for me? and what extras should be with creatine? I am totally inexperienced, thank you in advance

    • Michael Matthews

      Hey Radek!

      Yeah creatine is a great supplement. You don’t really NEED anything else, but protein powders are convenient.

      Hope this helps!


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  • Jmaynard

    Hi Mike, I get acne if I take Creatine Mono. Would the other types of creatine make a difference? Thx.

    • Michael Matthews

      Hmm you’ll have to try other forms I guess. I would try buffered, citrate, or hydrochloride…

    • Devan

      I have no idea how Creatine could possibly give you acne. It doesn’t mess with your hormones or skin.

  • MarekGeso

    Mike in this blogpost you say “CREATINE+ contains no artificial junk like maltodextrin” whereas the ingredients sticker (image downloaded from the Legion product page) says maltodextrin is in there…

    • Michael Matthews

      Ah thanks for pointing that out. The copy was written before the flavor house said they have to add a little to neutralize the bitter taste of fenugreek.

      There’s less than 1 gram of malto per serving, and it’s only there for taste reasons. When malto use is a PROBLEM is when it’s used in large quantities to just give you a carb kick, such as with junk pre-workouts.

      I’ve made a note to update the copy. What it should say is no unnecessary fillers.

      • Steve

        A serving is 7 grams right? So isn’t 1 gram out of 7 a pretty large proportion?

  • Mj

    What are your thoughts on KreAlkalyn? Also, does Creatine really cause “bloating” or excess water on the muscle?

    • Michael Matthews

      KreAlk is just buffered creatine. Not worth the price point IMO. No, bloating isn’t really an issue anymore. It does increase the water intake in the muscles though, but that’s a good thing.

  • siddarth

    this creatine+ will help me out to reduce weigth my weight is 92kgs i want 2 reduce 20 kgs

    • Michael Matthews

      No, creatine doesn’t help you lose weight. Check out this article of mine:

      https://www.muscleforlife.com /how-to-lose-weight-fast/

  • otis

    hey mike…..whats the purest form of creatine mono?

    • Michael Matthews

      Micronized is good.

  • crazzy

    Hey mike! I have a couple quick questions please. would powdered form creatine be better or capsule form? and how much grams is optimal without having to cycle off products. I’m looking at promera con-cret powder which is hcl creatine that has a dosage of 1.5grams per two capsules or powder form (they offer both variations). Is that sufficient? also, is taking it before a workout or after matter? please and thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      Either form is fine. Powder is generally cheaper.

      You don’t have to cycle.

      Take it after your workout, with your post-workout meal.

  • crazzy

    awesome article Mike! I wrote one question a few minutes ago, but I have one more as well if thats okay. The optimal nutrition micronized creatine. If i was to take 5grams every day, would I have to cycle off the product? would it be safe to take everyday for a long duration of time? Thankyou. Would love to have my questions in this post and the previous posts answered, would really appreciate it. Thanks again!

    • Michael Matthews


      No, you don’t have to cycle creatine. You can just take for as long as you want!

  • Uri Kleiman

    Hi Mike,

    I have 3 questions:

    1. I’ve been taking 3g of creatine for 3 months now ( as I read on the net) but, I didn’t do the loading period. Should I do it now anyway or I just missed it 🙂

    2. You write to take 3-5g . Are there any considerations/ preferences for the exact amount ( If I remember right there was some study that said there was no significant difference between taking 3g and larger amounts of it…)

    3. If I understand right : taking creating preworkout helps you lift harder and at postworkout it helps for recovery. You mostly recommend it for postworkout, but what about the benefits of taking it preworkout?

    Thanks a lot in advance!

    • Michael Matthews

      1. Nope, not necessary.

      2. Yeah the research is a bit vague on whether 3g is better than 5g. I do 5g/day just for the hell of it. 😉

      3. No, that’s not true. You will not notice an immediate boost like a preworkout.

  • Harsh

    Hey mike. What do you think about Pro-lab’s creatine monohydrate, also i have been working out since a year now and i will be turning 18 in 4 months should i start this supplement. Is it true that creatine monohydrate could cause erectile dysfunction ?

    • Michael Matthews

      That’s probably a good product as most companies are straight up on their creatine monos.

      No, I’ve never seen any scientific evidence of CM causing erectile dysfunction.

      • Jeb

        Monohydrate has definitely killed my boner for a couple weeks. I stopped taking it and it was back in full form. Never had that problem even while blackout drunk. Tried Monohydrate again and it killed it dead again. Like playing baseball with a garden hose. I think it is really really rare though, I have never heard anyone else have this problem.

        • Michael Matthews

          Wow that’s really weird! Never heard of that…

  • Eduardo Silva

    Dear Michael, good night:

    I have a question regarding creatine when I take it. Now I began training the night, and after several hours I sleep. I know that for creatine do no harm to health should take enough water. But how do I train the night and not be able to sleep after taking a lot of water after ingestion of creatine post workout. My question is: Can I take creatine after your workout or night is best for health takes her day.

    Thank you for your excellent help.

    Good night.

    Eduardo – Brazil / Bahia

    • Michael Matthews


      I would just take it after your workout.

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  • deepak

    how much creatine mono take in 1 day or how many times we take it in a day

    • Michael Matthews

      5 grams per day is good.

  • tico torres

    i don’t know which creatine Im taking, but I know I feel terrible ever since I started taking supplements.

    • Michael Matthews

      Shit that’s not good. I would drop them then…

  • adam

    Do you know anything about Nutrabio creatine. Its the only kosher creatine i can find

    • Michael Matthews

      AFAIK that’s a good company. I would trust their products.

  • Silvano

    Is decacor a good creatine?

    • Michael Matthews

      What a ridiculous name. It’s just a combination of a bunch of forms of creatine, and some are crap. Stick with plain mono.

  • vrk1975

    Should it be taken during bulking or during cutting phase or both?

    • Michael Matthews


  • Ed

    Hey Mike. I am 17 years old and have been lifting weights regularly for about a year now. I’m interested in creatine but my parents are worried that it could be harmful for my health. Do you have any input on whether it is safe for someone my age to take this supplement? Appreciate your help.

    • Michael Matthews

      Hey Ed!

      I don’t know of any reason why you couldn’t take it. All the research I’ve seen show it to be 100% safe.

      In the end, though, it’s your parents’ call. If you can’t convince them, it’s not a big deal. You can do great without it.


      • Ed

        Alright thanks!

        • Michael Matthews


  • Micheal Duncan

    any word on Con-Cret

    • Michael Matthews

      It’s just creatine HCL.

  • Cristiano

    Mike thanks so much for the info. Great info and totally on the money! I have been hearing such different advice that it would literally make my head spin. To lifting!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks man!

  • Dusty

    Mike what is your take on Nitric oxcide creatine stack?

    • Michael Matthews

      Which product exactly?

  • Tommy

    Hey mike. Awesome article. I personally have been taking mono for a month now and love it. My friend is scared to take it seeing though as he wants to cut back on some weight and will be afraid of gaining added weight instead of losing fat. Any suggestions?


    • Tommy

      And also, I take 5g daily. I take C4 as a preworkout which obviously has creatine in it as well but I don’t know how much since FDA doesn’t regulate it. So do you think the 5g is sufficient? And does timing really matter? Or just as long as I drink plenty of water for it to get into the cells?

      Thanks again!

      • Michael Matthews

        Yeah that’s enough. Timing isn’t too important but post-workout is probably best.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Creatine is great for cutting as it helps you preserve strength and muscle.

  • Robin

    Would you recommend the same for women?

    • Michael Matthews


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  • igor melinetskiy

    Hey Mike, what do you think of the German Creatine.. Is there any difference between the others? And also, I read in other comments, and you were saying that if I begin using creatine then I have to stick to it? Or else my body will just go back to the usual if I stop taking it? Last question, what do you think of a teenager around 16 taking creatine?

    • Michael Matthews

      Nothing particularly special to it that I know about.

      Yes if you stop using creatine the intramuscular levels will go down, but you’ll still keep the muscle you built while using it.

      I don’t know of any research indicating it’s risky for teens. Just make sure you drink enough water.

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  • Serge

    Hi, Mike!

    Since your Creatine+ is out of stock, which brand would you recommend to use meantime?


    • Michael Matthews

      ON micro or Now Foods micro.

      • Serge

        Thanks, Mike! On Friday I visited local GNC store and bought ON micro. Sales rep, by the way, told me that ON micro is “cheap creatine, does not work” and “waste of money”. I knew where he was heading and asked him what is a “good creatine”. His answer – something called “M5” or MuscleTech Cell Tech. Just out of curiosity, I looked into label of these “good products” – ingredient list was about 50 lines. At the end the sales rep was upset (in my opinion) that I didn’t go with his recommendation and didn’t accept a coupon I had. Probably, they make a good commissions by promoting specific products.

        • Michael Matthews

          What an asshole. Never go back to that store. He was just trying to make more money off you.

  • akuiso

    That’s interesting post. Very informative. Thanks for sharing….


  • Sarah

    So I’m starting to workout for the first time ever really(age 25 lol). I’m naturally super thin but I’ve had two kids and I need to tone up. I prefer to gain to weight and muscle so I’m doing weight training and barely any cardio. What brand and dosage to you suggest for me? I believe you said take it for 4-6 weeks, then what? So many brands and forms of creatine, it’s overwhelming. Also, should I be using protein powder too?


    • Michael Matthews

      Nice! You can just go with ON’s or Now Foods’ micronized creatine. My product will be back in a couple of months as I’m actually re-working the formulation to make it even better.

      You don’t have to use protein powder but it does help hit daily protein requirements.

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  • Tobias

    Hola Mike, I’m trying to find the absolute best creatine product to buy. I’ve tried a few recently, like Decacor, Creatine+, ON creatine (noticed small strength gains), and Beast Creature by BSN (small strength gains). But going into my Senior year of high school, I’m trying to find the absolute best. I need a product that is going to help me make all types of gains! In every way possible. I’m a 160lb, 5’9″ Wide receiver and Defensive back. I run a 4.5 forty, jump a 9’9″ broad jump, bench 245, squat 360, run a 4.3 in the pro shuttle, and run a 4.8 in the 30yd backwards run. With this being my last year of high school football, I’m in desperate need of help. I have a few months before the season starts, and I have no time for error. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I won’t lie, I’m beginning to realize how possible the Pros are. I always secretly doubted myself because of my weight and height, but now I’m realizing that I have the upper hand on several teams and players, despite my size. I’m pleading for help. I’ve tried several companies, and experienced little, or no gains, whatsoever. I know that you are extremely educated in Sports Science, please. I have one more year to grasp this dream. And its for reasons that are far greater than myself. It’s for God, and both my Present and my Future Family. Please help.

    • Michael Matthews

      Honestly any creatine micro is going to work equally well. Go with ON’s micro and you’ll be fine.

      A proper diet and training program will be more useful…

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  • Ginny

    Is creatine nitrate not as good as monohydrate?

    • Michael Matthews

      As far as we know it’s equally effective.

      • Danny

        Hey mike is cellicore monohydrate. A great creatine what your opinion

        • Michael Matthews

          Yeah it’s fine

  • Connor

    Which form of creatine is most recommended to maximize protein synthesis and recovery? HCL supposedly does not cause water retention, however no one seems to talk about the recovery benefits of HCL, only strength. I have a feeling mono would best suit my purpose however most recommend cycling on and off of mono. I would prefer to maintain muscle definition and avoid over bloating or easily lost size from water retention if possible. I would just like what would offer the best recovery and anabolic benefits. Due to the fact that I am a vegetarian, it is highly likely I will see a response due to the new creatine intake into my body.

    • Michael Matthews

      Monohydrate is the way to go. Water retention isn’t really an issue these days. You don’t have to cycle.

  • Raymond Avalos

    Currently taking Arnold’s Cre3 and my workouts are intense. I definitely see strength gains and improvements on my endurance, but muscle gain not so much. Would it be a smarter decision to take BEAST Creature to gain more size? And drop Cre3?

    • Michael Matthews

      Cool. Honestly all you need is creatine mono. Pick up some micronized mono and save the money.

  • Maria Cristina Solano

    Hi mike

    • Michael Matthews

      I don’t like that company at all but their creatine might but okay.

  • ryan

    i was wondering if creatine is good for sprinting? i run the 400 m in my high school and I’m the 2nd best and our number 1 runner takes creatine and is 3 seconds faster. i was wondering if creatine could really help with my running? also i was wondering what a good age is to start taking creatine i am currently 16 years old.

  • Andres

    Hey Mike, nice article. I’m actually about to start using creatine tomorrow so I found it helpful. I bought UNIVERSAL nutrition creatine, it was only like $5 for 200g and has nothing but micronized Creapure. I will do the loading phase of 5 days starting tomorrow but I’m not sure for how long should I do the “maintenance” phase?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! Maintenance is basically for as long as you want to continue using it.

  • Samuel Sander

    Quoting from http://www.musclehack.com/activate-genes-for-increased-muscle-size-in-the-next-3-days/

    “…Cribb suggests we do this best with short term ‘creatine loading‘ following by ‘creatine abstinence’ ad infinitum. The pattern goes like this:

    1) Load for 3 Days
    2) Abstain For 3 Days
    3) Repeat Steps 1 and 2

    Theoretically this strategy accomplishes the goal of maintaining high muscle creatine concentrations and prevents what’s known as ‘creatine receptor down-regulation’.”

    Your thoughts? BS? 😀

    Many thanks in forward! :))

    • Michael Matthews

      Interesting. I’ll have to look more into that but what I can say for sure is 5 grams per day has been thoroughly studied and works…

      • Samuel Sander

        Awesome, ok – I’ll go with that right now! :))

        • Michael Matthews

          Cool 🙂 Can’t go wrong.

  • Chuck

    I’m wondering if you have an ETA for your Creatine product. Trying to decide if I should purchase a different product to get me through until yours is available again. If it’s going to be a few weeks before yours is available, do you have another creatine brand you’d recommend?

    • Michael Matthews

      It’s a couple months away as I’m reworking the formulation. Doh. Sorry about the wait. In the meantime you’ll be fine with some ON micro (mono).

  • Steve IceHockey

    If i want to build my body (not like a bodybuilder). What do you recomend to me ??? (something safe)! I am training and i am very athletic person , but i never tried something like protein or creatine…( i am 1,85 and 75kg) What do you think?

  • Brian Giffin

    Mike I have been having some issues with rashes, irritation, dehydration and constipation. I was told that I may be experiencing an allergic reaction to my creatine. I’m going to stop for a while to see if my symptoms improve, have you ever heard of something like this before? I’m super bummed because i feel like the creatine was definitely working, but if I feel better in a week or so and my symptoms subside I will definitely stay off. I hope I don’t shrink or something. Can I still continue to grow without it? Could you provide me with a suggestion for a substitute?

    • Michael Matthews

      Interesting! No I haven’t but let me know how it goes.

      Yes you can do fine without it. There is no substitution really.

      • Brian Giffin

        I wounder if it was just cheep creatine?


        • Michael Matthews

          Very possible. What brand?

  • Matt W

    Mike, two quick questions. How many grams of sugar is sufficient for an insulin spike to transport the creatine? Also how many days of loading is best before transferring to just 5gms a day. Thanks for all of your helpful advice.

  • Josie

    Hi Mike, I’ve been following your fitness and diet regime guidelines (spec. 6 d weight training and 4 d HIT cardio/week; 1400 cal/day) in your books for 3 months now, with the aim to build muscle and loose weight at the same time. I have recently added supplements into the mix; I like to do my workouts on a fast, so have targeted this with caffeine and BCAAs, and then as I experience muscle soreness I’ve started taking creatine, l-carnitine, and glutamine to aid in muscle recovery. With this in mind, can I still loose weight using these supplements, provided I am sticking to my calorie restricted diet? Thanks.

    • Michael Matthews

      Great on what you’re doing. I like it. Yes those supplements will not get in the way of weight loss at all.

      How has it been going so far?

      • Josie

        I maintained my weight after the first 8 weeks; although, I’ve reduced my carbs calories and increased my cardio sessions for the 8 week training block I’m on at the moment, so hopefully I’ll see a little bit of weight loss this time round.

        • Michael Matthews

          Hmm your weight hasn’t changed at 1400 cal/day? You’ve followed a proper meal plan and know you’re eating that much? How often have you been cheating?

          • Josie

            I started out on 1600 cal/day in the first 8 weeks, which was when I maintained weight. I plan and record everything I consume, BUT I am a big cheater when it comes to the weekend unfortunately (It’s going out Friday night and Saturday that does it!) That’s one of the reasons I’m not too bothered that I haven’t been losing yet (along with evidence of inches lost, lifting more, muscle tone) as I’m still working on reducing the extent of my cheating.

          • Michael Matthews

            Ah okay well that’s the problem then, haha. You can easily undo a week’s worth of weight loss by eating too much on the weekend…

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  • Danielle Morr

    How much do you reccomend a woman take daily? Also, is there a better time to take it? Before/During/After workout? Thanks again!!!

    • Michael Matthews

      5 grams per day taken with your post-workout meal is good.

      • Danielle Morr


        • Michael Matthews


  • AlexPKeaton72

    Mike, do you recommend taking creatine pre-workout? I do intermittent fasting and sometimes have a pre-workout meal but often prefer to do fasted training supplementing with BCAAs pre-workout. That said, would you say creatine in a post-workout shake would work well? Really digging BBLS, thanks man.

  • Cjphysique

    Good read. I only have 1 problem. A lot has been shot down about the other creatine forms but there is no listed articles showing me otherwise listed here. It almost seems like personal opinion. Regardless, the body creates 2 grams of creatine daily and using creatine MH, the body only can absorb 2-400 mgs approximately depending on skeletal structure. And the rest turning into creatinine. So why take 5 grams after a loading phase when it would be a waste. Almost makes every creatine seem pointless. But buffered creatine is usually in measurement of 1.5 grams so it seems like the buffered would be a better deal. Not trying to argue just wanting to get your opinion on my research.

  • Chelsea Sawyer

    Definitely switch from powder to creatine pills. My husband used to take the Creatine Powders but it was bad on his stomach and his breath was ALWAYS horrible. He switched to the Dr Max Powers Creatine Pills, and he doesnt have the stomach pain, bad breath – and I have even seen an increase in his muscle size.

  • Zulfiqar Hussaini


    • Michael Matthews

      It’s fine. A bit more water soluble than monohydrate so if mono bothers your stomach, nitrate could be better.

  • jeg

    What happened to Creatine +??

    • Michael Matthews

      We’re actually combining it with Recharge to make the new Recharge. 🙂 It will be out soon.

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  • Elmert

    Hi Mike,
    Ive only used creatine once and it left me bloated, but back then i wasnt following your routines and methods. I bought your book 3 months ago and im in the best shape of my life!!! Thanks a lot man! I think im ready to try creatine again and to my understanding, there is a 1 week loadin phase of 20gm per day. Once that completed then its only 5gm per day postwork out. Should i do the 5gm per day even on rest days? And the 20gm per day (during loading phase) on rest days too?

    • Michael Matthews

      Some people still get bloated with creatine. It’s not much of an issue these days though.

      Thanks so much! That rocks! I’mr eally glad to hear it.

      You don’t have to load. You can just do 5 gm per day, every day, and see how your body responds.

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  • Irelands own

    Hey mike when you say micronized do you mean it will be suspended in water, i have previously purchased a so called micronized Creatine and all it did was sink to the bottom of the glass. The only excellent Creatine i tried was Twinlab (mono) which was probably 15 years ago, That suspended in water so there was no gritty creatine left in the bottom of the glass, made good gains to 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      Creatine mixes decently well with water. Just shake it up.

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  • Adel-Alexander

    Does creatine cause acne?

  • Fernando

    can i take creatine while i am intermittent fasting?

    • Michael Matthews


      • Fernando


  • Kloe Kariki

    The Dr Max Powers Creatine 3X Elite is insane lol. You can feel it activate in your body. Your muscles start naturally blowing up / twitching and that’s when you know it’s time to start lifting. Perfect weight lifting supplement. . .

  • Aditya Manocha

    hey mike awesome article…(Y)
    just wanted to ask ya which brand wud u suggest for creatine monohydrate?

    • Michael Matthews


      ON makes a simple monohydrate that gets the job done.

      • Aditya Manocha

        One thing more i am also lactose intolerant like you…
        m taking SAN whey isolate currently so do you suggest some other whey isolate?

        • Michael Matthews


          Have you tried egg protein?

  • Mo

    Does evox creatine HCL work in gaining muscle mass?

    • Michael Matthews

      Creatine HCL works but no better than monohydrate.

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  • Mo Hezwani

    Is it normal too see some weight gain when you start taking creatine? I have put on about on about 1-2 lb of body weight after 2weeks of supplementation, could be just water retention? I don’t see much change in the mirror though? M

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah, more water in the muscles. Totally normal.

      • Mo Hezwani

        Thanks man. M

        • Michael Matthews


  • Michael Matthews

    Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

    Feel free to comment below if you have any questions. I do my best to check and reply to every comment left on my blog, so don’t be shy!

    Oh and if you like what I have to say, you should sign up for my free weekly newsletter! You’ll get awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious “guilt-free” recipes, articles to keep you motivated, and much more!

    You can sign up here:


    Your information is safe with me too. I don’t share, sell, or rent my lists. Pinky swear!

  • Wigster

    Hi Mike,
    Sorry if this has been asked before, but is it okay to just keep taking creatine, or should you take a break from it every now and then?

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  • David

    Hi Mike, I’ve heard different ways of taking creatine. Mixing it with warm water, juice, shake, etc. Some say you must mix it with juice otherwise it won’t absorb properly. What’s your take on this?

    • Having with carbs does help absorption but doesn’t have to be juice. I just have mine in water with my post-workout meal.


    Morning Mike….. 45 year old in great shape here….. best way to stack Body Fortress 100% pure creatine HCI and Body Fortress SUPER NOS BLAST? Using home gym with minimum weights(2 30lb dumbbells and curl-bar 60 pounds) but lots of bodyweight exercises. AWESOME ARTICLE

    • Hey!

      I would do the pre-workout before training and creatine with my post-workout meal.

      Hope this helps! Talk soon!


        Awesome..YES SIR! Tried it…Worked! Going every other day with it this week. Awesome feeling!

  • THage10

    Is it best to take recharge or other creatine products before or after workouts? Or would anytime during the day still do the job?

  • Pedro

    Hey man! Im ussing a combination of monohydrate, phosphate and ethyl ester and have been experienced a lot of disconfort in my stomach with ton of gases and pain, and also water retention. Im cutting right now and can’t see the progress because I’m holding water every day.

    Despite that, my strenght is amazing since that. Honestly, if I switch to yours or any pure monohydrate, those side effects will dissepear?

    Please respond!

    Thanks and love all your job.

    • Hey!

      It’s possible. Some people just don’t do well with creatine and get GI problems no matter what form…

  • Elle Swaisland

    Just curious about the use of L-creatine prior to fasted cardio to help ensure fat over muscle catabolisme. Any personal thoughts or research you know of that supports or refutes this?

    • Creatine is great but you don’t have to take pre-workout. You can take with your post-workout meal.

    • laurieh

      Elle I think you are getting L-carnetine confused with creatine?

  • Jay

    Hey man went to buy legion recharge but not sure if u ship to the UK yet? What other brand would you recommend instead?

    • Yes we do ship to the UK! I would recommend something simple like ON’s creatine mono.

  • Austin

    Hey Mike I noticed in this article you don’t address kre-alkalyn like hypergain. What is your opinion on that?

    • Nothing special in terms of final results. No better than mono.

  • Halim

    I have been told by several people who claim solid knowledge in nutrition that creatine fills your muscles with water and that you don’t really gain muscle mass..
    Please advise.
    And kindly inform me of your background since nowadays anyone can post anything on the net.

    • They’re wrong. Did you read this article and check the studies I reference?

  • Derek

    Hey Mike id love to know more about what L-carnitine L-tartrate and corosolic acid are….im also 15 years old is this an ok thing for me to be taking?

    • Hey man,

      I’m not 100% sure creatine is recommended for teenagers and would have to look into it further, so no, I don’t recommend you take Recharge.

  • Sanampreet Singh

    Yo mike my friend told me about German creatine. What is that?

  • Ross

    Does it matter what company sells the monohydrate ?

  • matt

    Hey Mike I just began the bls program this week. I was wondering if at this stage it’s ok to start with recharge or maybe wait a month or so into the program? I’m nursing a lower back muscle strain so I’m starting off light and slowly moving up in the weights

    • Great! Yeah you might as well start now. It will help you make gains quicker!

      • matt

        Ok thanks! I’m turning 20 in 2 months would you say I’m at a safe age to use it?

  • Milo

    Hey Mike, I’m a fighter which requires me to cut serious weight, most of it water, from time to time. I’ve never been a creatine user, but I’ve decided to give it a try and see if it enhances my training. However, I’ve heard and read a lot of information regarding the monohydrate form of the supplement and I’m kind of worried that it will make me hold water and hinder my weightcutting process. I’ve heard that the hydrochloride does not make you hold water. What are your thoughts on this?

    • It can increase water retention in the muscles yes but I would give it a go and just see how your body responds.

  • John O’Brien

    Hey Mike, I read the article you cite comparing the mono hydrate and CEE to placebo and my take on it was that neither was significantly better than the placebo when assessing mass or strength gains. In your opinion is there really any benefit in using Creatine at all, do you need to load up with larger amounts first (and if so how much) and do you know a free access published paper which demonstrates the benefit?

    I’m an older guy (55)and don’t want to waste my money on unnecessary supplements.

    Great website by the way.

    • Yeah creatine definitely works and is something all weightlifters should be taking. Just stick with mono and you’ll do fine.

  • Alex Wunder

    When the creatine runs out do you recommend buying more and continuing the maintenance phase? Is there any benefit to stopping the maintenance phase, waiting a while and then doing another loading phase?

    • Yeah, I recommend being consistent with your creatine intake.

      No benefits in stopping.

  • Jonathan Martinez

    Hey Mike,

    Two quick questions. Should I mix my creatine with my whey protein drink after my workout? Can I make my protein shake with Orange juice or V8 juice?


    • I don’t recommend mixing the Whey+ and Recharge. There’s nothing wrong taking them together. It just won’t taste very good.

      Fine on the juice and V8 juice as well. 🙂

  • John M

    Mike…Recharge is currently not availableout of stock and I’m finishing up my latest container. Do you have another recomendation?

    • Sorry about that John!

      Recharge is shipping from the manufacturer today so it should be in stock in 7-10 days.

      In the meantime, any creatine monohydrate is fine.

  • Sonja Butler

    I’ve heard it argued that creatine causes bloating, water weight/retention, etc. And now with everyone and their brother creating blogs on this stuff its hard to sift through to find reliable sources. What has been your experience with creatine, and does it cause some water retention or bloated feeling?

  • Morgan


    I workout late and like to take creatine with my post workout meal. I feel the need to drink lots of water even if I have had plenty during the day which leads to waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. Is it helpful to drink lots of water around the time I take creatine or should I be more concerned about water consumption over a 24 hr period?

  • Stephen

    Hi Mike,

    I’ve decided to start taking creatine and bought a tub of 240 x 700mg capsules. The guidelines on the bottle are sparse and advise to take 6 caps daily; 3 before workout and 3 after, which is of course 4.2 grams. However, on many of the sites discussing creatine the advice to begin loading with 20 grams per day seems to crop up again and again, which seems a huge leap from under 5 grams. Is the bottle referring to a maintenance phase rather than loading (neither is mentioned)? At this rate, to hit 20 g per day I’d need to take 28.5 capsules, which doesn’t seem right. I don’t want to risk overdosing.


    • If you want to load creatine, that’s correct. 20g per day for the first week. You can then maintain at 5g a day. Or you can just start with 5g a day. Check this out:


      • Stephen

        Thanks. Probably just seems a ludicrous amount because it’s capsules and not used to taking that many at one time. Might move onto powdered form for convenience and mix with glucose. Cheers again

  • Fran G

    I’m 78 yrs old, and weigh 150 lbs. I can still almost bench my body weight, but would like to add more muscle weight. I used to weigh 165 lbs and would like get close to that again. I’m in good health and shape, but feel a little skinny. Would creatine monohydrate along with the working out help?

    • The key things to get in will be proper training and dieting. After that, creatine is a very well-researched ingredient, and it can definitely help you reach your goals.

  • Kev

    Im 17 turning 18 in weeks , Could I take recharge ? If so Do i take whey and that as my PWO ?

  • ryan

    hi michael,
    i just have one question. im about 3 weeks into a bulking phase, and i’ve read many times in your articles about keeping the weight gain to about 1lbs per week.. i just started to use creatine about the same time i started bulking, and this week, i think i gained anywhere from 3-5lbs from last week’s weight. im kind of concerned that most of it was fat, but upon checking the US navy bodyfat % calculation, and the YMCA calculation, im only at 8.43% this week, while i was 8.2% last week.. what gives? is it the creatine?

  • Anish

    Hey Mike,

    Any research that shows that creatine might have any side effects on the eyes? If it puts water in your muscles cell would it add more water in your eyes like your cornea and produce issues?

  • Cory

    I was reading your article and I like how you sited where some of your information came from. This make your article much more credible. More importanlty the statement that CEE is not anymore effect than regular creatine. My only concern with that statement is the research done on it was 15-16 years old now. With as fast as technology moves, who’s to say that CEE isn’t now more effect after the last 15 years? Is there any sort of research that proves it is STILL not as effect? The only reason I ask is I am still seeing many articles, from what I would call trustable sources, claiming that CEE is the best route to take (not including HCL).

  • Michael Scarry

    Should I use creatin mono and L Carotine with puris d pol? I don’t train heavy and I’m 56 years old . Spent many years in the gym . And still gaining!! Mike . Cheers.

    • I’m not sure what DPol is but it sounds stupid, haha.

      This may help you too:


      • Davey McCrazy

        “I’m not sure what DPol is but it sounds stupid, haha.”

        I gotta give you credit Mike… I realize you ARE here in the name of trying to sell yourself & your products, but you sure don’t bother being overly formal about it!

  • Phil La Mere

    Hi Mike,

    Any truth to Creatine raising BP?

  • laurieh

    Could you please tell me how you would recommend women take creatine? There are so many different ideas. The labels for suggested use aren’t even the same from product to product. Should a women take the same dosage as a man? Can you take it pre workout or as an intra workout? I know in your book you said you take it post workout. I would just like some clarification from you since I think you know more that the guy putting recommended dosage on the package. lol

    • Hey!

      3 to 5 grams per day is fine for women as well. Take it with your post-workout meal and you’ll be good. 🙂

      • laurieh

        Thank you!! I really appreciate such a quick response.

      • Mariya

        Hi I have loose skin on the bottom part of my legs near my calves as they always jiggle and I want to make them toned what type of excersises could I be doing to achieve this, I also have excess skin on my neck it looks like I have a spring neck and makes me really insecure about myself, other than that I have armpit fat that hangs which really iratates me, I am a girl with a petite figure but all this excess skin makes me feel fat what could I do to get rid of this.

  • Cesar Rafael Ruiz

    Yo mike i wanted to ask if taking creatine monohydrate and whey protein was a good idea. Im actually new to the whole protein thing but ever since i started taking creatine ive actually managed to cut down in weight. But now i want to build some muscle and well i was wondering if taking whey protein would be a solution to that. Please help me out man i would really appreciate it.

    • Yep, I’m a big fan of them.

      The protein won’t be a solution to build muscle. You do need to make sure you’re eating enough protein, but you have to be in a calorie surplus to gain weight.

      Check this out:


      LMK what you think.

  • Michael

    Hello please i habe body mass but i want to get cuts any form of creatine i can use to arrive at a well cut body…any ideas guys ..any drug that can give me a well cut muscle body..reply asap

  • Luis Braga

    Hey Mike, can I mix recharge with coconut water?
    And if so, should I take it immediately post workout or can I wait 1 – 1 1/2 hours and take it with dinner?

    • Yep, that’s totally fine!

      Taking Recharge anytime within 1-2 hours of working out is fine too.

  • Frank Desalvo

    Hey Mike, thanks for all you do, including answering these questions! Post workout I immediately have a banana (100g) and Whey+ (50g). Then, 45 minutes later I have a full meal with my recharge. Am I doing that right? Should recharge be taken with my Whey+ immediately post workout?

  • SimmyB

    Hi Mike, today is the first time I came across you website. I’m in love. Lol. For the past 3 years I haven’t eaten bread, pasta, potatoes or rice. I don’t drink juice just green tea and water. Do you think it would be hard for .myself to start taking creatine if I don’t eat certain things? Also I’m not a big meat eater. Do you think that would affect my training process if I wanted to gain note muscle? I train with my partner 2/3 times a week. I’m taking raspberry ketone and green tea extract at the moment too. Thank you

  • Rob

    Hey, Mike! I enjoyed the read, found it very informative. My problem is that regardless of how much i eat and lift, I can’t break 145. I’m 6ft 141lbs right now, lift 3 to 4 times a week, 6 or 7 % bf and i eat as much as i physically can. I don’t know if it’s just my insanse metabolism or what? I’m pretty pleased with my definition but just can’t figure out how to pack on another ten lbs, so I’ve always thought about steroids, but already have had addiction issues in the past and don’t want to go down that road again. Anyway i just wanted to know if you could give some advice to the skinny lifters out there who struggle to keep/put on weight. Thanks

  • Siren Spy

    Hi Mike, I just found your blog and I am amazed truly. Very informative indeed. I have started lifting recently. I am taking whey protein after my work out and eating a good and clean diet. I work out 4-5 days a week. I am 29 year old female with height 5’7″ and weight 60.3 kilos. Fat % is 24. My body overall is pretty lean except my tummy and thighs. I have noticed that I feel washed out during work out. I am planning to add creatine to my diet and want to lower down body fat and get rid of that stubborn tummy and love handles. I also have an over ambitious dream of getting visible abs. Which exercises would you recommend for me? any special diet that would help? Thanks tons.

    • Thanks! Glad you’re enjoying it!

      Thanks for all the info. How much weight are you losing a week? Also, when was the last time you took a deload/rest week?

      For a good routine, you can put one together here:


      Cool you plan on taking creatine! To help with those stubborn areas, take a look at this:


      The abs will come! We just gotta develop your core and get lean enough. 🙂 Check this out:


      For the diet, you can set it up here:


      My pleasure. Hope this helps! Talk soon!

      • Siren Spy

        Hi Mike..thanks for your quick response. I read the articles and they are very informative. I am losing around 0.5 kg per week. I am now down to 22.6% body fat and 59 kg weight. I was off from training for 3 months for my wedding, so I have not taken any rest since I started again in Feb. Is skipping rope a good cardio? Also, should I keep cardio and strength training several hours apart? I usually train in the morning and do 1000 rope skips in the afternoon. Will it help? BTW your son is too much cute…love for him and you 🙂

        • Welcome! Glad you enjoyed them.

          Awesome on the weight loss. You’re right on track.

          Are you resting at least 1-2 days a week?

          Yep, jump rope is great for cardio.

          Yep, you should. The way you have it set up now is great. If it isn’t possible, just make sure you do the weightlifting first.

          Haha, thanks. 🙂

  • Jared

    Hi Mike, I am currently reading your book and I love that everything is backed up with scientific studies. I have been taking creatine monohydrate for a couple weeks and have noted stomach irritation. I have been heating the water I use to get it to dissolve better and that seems to help allot but not fully resolve the issue. I worry that by heating the water it’s causing the creatine to break down into creatinine or another less effective molecule. I am having trouble finding studies in it and wondered if you have experience with this.

    • Hey Jared! Thanks for reading my book and writing! I really appreciate it.

      Cool you’ve been taking creatine!

      Understood on the stomach irritation. Have you tried micronized creatine? Also, make sure you’re drinking enough water. You need more than usual when supplementing with creatine. Check this out:


      Hope this helps! Talk soon!

  • James

    How long does it take for any water retention to go away? I just started taking a cycle of creatine about 3-4 days ago, and I have a gigantic bulbous gut despite getting my waist down to 31 at 5’10, 166 lbs. I am now attempting a lean bulk phase, and I figured I’d give creatine another shot even though it always makes me feel weird. Perhaps I’m just not lean enough, or will this subside in a week or so? Should I just be more patient? Thanks. Love your site

    • Hey James! Hmm. It shouldn’t be causing bloating. How much water are you drinking? Check this out:


      Also, take a look at this:


      Thanks! My pleasure. LMK what you think.

      • James

        I’m Definitely drinking plenty of water. I think my body was just ready for a woosh. I think I just had a food baby and now I feel much better. I named it Carby. Still only 1 week into taking creatine and just switched up programming so no noticeable difference yet. We shall see in a few weeks

        Thanks for the reply

  • carlos carreon

    OK. So the one thing I heard about the most is what the best pure workout now my question is what is the new formula/creatine that is stronger I do not want the old creatine and want to get the right one, what are some pure workouts that have new creatine?

  • ariel

    hey mike, I finally reached 10% bf and am now ready to start lean bulking all thanks to you! Quick question though, when will you set up distribution to Canada? I really want to try your creatine but the shipping costs are out of whack! could you give me a good alternative brand in the mean time? Really appreciate it!

    Best Regards,

    • Nice! Awesome job. 🙂

      I’ll be looking into setting up distribution in Canada in the future. For now, feel free to shoot an email to [email protected], and I’ll have him hook you up with a discount.

      Any creatine monohydrate should be fine.

      NP! Talk soon.

  • Gratitude

    Hi Michael, great site I check it out on a daily basis =]

    Anyway, what about the possible side-effect of creatine that accelerates male pattern baldness because of the DHT conversion? Sounds like a big side-effect to me, if its true ofcourse.

    I would really like to start using creatine but I rather have my hair then being more musculair =]

  • Andy

    Hi Michael,

    Would you recommend using micronized creatine instead of regular CM? I have read elsewhere that it is a good choice for CM non-responders and those that get bloating and cramps with CM use. I get bloated and stomach cramps when I use CM.


    • If CM bothers your stomach then yeah micro might help you avoid the problems. Hydrochloride, citrate, and malate are all options as well.

  • John Triathlete

    Hey Mike, when it comes to the effects of caffeine and creatine, do I need to avoid all caffeine or just not take it at the same time as I take the creatine. For instance, can I have a cup of coffee or two in the morning if I’m taking the creatine after lunch? Thanks!

    • Hey John! Nah, you can still take caffeine, just don’t take it at the same time.

      Yep, that’s totally fine.


      • techstar25

        I’ve looked around and there really isn’t a lot of conclusive research on caffeine with creatine. I’ve been stirring 5g (unflavored, micronized) into my morning coffee (where it dissolves really well) and I’m seeing gains.

  • Phyllus

    hi mike, I am supper skinny and wants to gain weight first before starting going to the gym… I want to know if it is alright to take creatine without intense workout like lifting weights? But I do stretching daily and floor exercises (i.e. push-ups and leg raises) every other day… Do I need to follow a cycle (1wk loading, 3wks maintenance, 4 wks abstinence) or just have maintenance doses only?

  • Jacqui

    Hi Mike,
    Could you explain more about water weight gain from creatine supplementation? You said it’s a non issue now with better processing methods but also that muscles will hold onto more water ?? I’m confused.
    Thanks !

  • Filippo Bonadonna

    Hi Mike, love your article. Not sure if I read this correctly, but I read somewhere that taking Ibuprofen and creatine can be taxing on the kidneys. When I get minor migraines, I usually take Ibuprofen in order to relieve the pain and most of the time it works. Now that I began taking creatine, should I discontinue taking Ibuprofen whenever I have a small migraine or was the article wrong in saying to avoid taking Ibuprofen while using creatine?

  • prince

    Hi Mike I have little more weight 74kg height 5″ 6 so I should take creatine or not I lesions that by using creatine you gain weight

    • Creatine will help with your performance and recovery. You will not gain fat with creatine.

  • Chris Heileman

    I”ve been taking 5g of Creatine Monohydrate PWO for several weeks and just saw your recommendation about the loading stage. Do you recommend the loading stage to do now despite the fact that I’ve already been supplementing with it?
    Thank you

    • No need at this point. Loading gets you to the saturation point fastest, but regular dosing over time will get you there too.

  • Gerald Segismundo

    But creatine monohydrate causes bloating and water retention, so i switched to creatine HCL.

    • That used to be an issue with monohydrate but since processing has improved, it has generally become a non-issue. That being said, if you feel better taking creatine HCL, go ahead!

      • Libor Tvaruzek

        Can you elaborate a little bit on creatine monohydrate processing improvements? There are a lot of different products, brands, manufacturing companies. How can I find out, which ones are good?

        For now I’m supplementing my protein intake with tuna fish, I always liked it’s taste, now I’m just eating it a little bit more regularly.

        • If you want a safe bet, go with ON’s micronized mono. It’s a good product.

  • Antoine Catt

    Hey Mike,

    Was wondering if you give out samples of your supplements

    • Unfortunately, I don’t have samples available at this time. However, I have a great refund policy! Legion will provide a full refund on the first bottle you purchase of a supplement within 60 days. So, you can buy it, and if you don’t like it for any reason, just let me or my team know and I will refund you in full for the product. I only offer this because I have such faith in my products. I’m sure you’ll love them!

      What do you think?

  • Lorenzo

    Mike, I’ve used creatine monohydrate, and switched to Kre-Alkalin. Are you familiar with this type of creatine? If so, what’s your take on it?

    Thanks, Lorenzo

    • That’s all right. No different than regular creatine monohydrate.

  • Neil Gibson

    Hi Mike,
    I’m 4months into a cut following BLS and loving the results so far!! I have avoided taking creatine as I have hypertension and part of my medication is a thiazide diuretic. The opinions on hypertensives taking creatine appears pretty mixed, but the general recommendation appears to be avoid taking it. Just wondered if you had any opinions or research on this?


    • Hey Neil! Thanks for picking up my book! Glad you’re enjoying the results. 🙂

      That’s something that I’d check with your doc on. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

      Definitely keep me posted on your progress though and write anytime if you have any other questions or run into any difficulties. I’m always happy to help.

  • Dylan

    I want to supplement creatine monohydrate but i’ve been told I must take it with juice to promote insulin release or else most of it wont be absorbed? Is this true? Also should I cycle creatine or keep on it?

    Thanks for the help

  • Hi Mike and Roger,

    I mix my creatine monohydrate into my morning tea. But then I got to thinking, maybe boiling water and heat do something unfavourable to creatine. Not sure. Is it okay putting creatine in tea or, for that matter, in anything I microwave? Or does heating creatine negate it somehow? And how long can it sit in liquid before it becomes ineffective, if that happens?

    • Hot but not boiling is fine. I don’t know how long it can sit in water, but there’s really no reason to have it sit long (hours and hours) anyway.

  • Ahmed Fuseini

    creatine monohydrate and creatine blast which is more effective
    thank you

    • What’s creatine blast? Pick up some monohydrate and you’ll be fine.

  • ilija

    i was taking creatin monohydrate but monohydrate cases me bloating so can you recomend me another creatin (it will be great if you recomend me 2-3)
    and sorry for my bad english

  • Brian Freifelder

    Awesome post and love the website Mike! This has been my go to site for bodybuilding info since getting back into it 2 months ago. I recently purchased Whey+, Recharge and Genesis off Amazon. I’m curious of your thoughts on how fast creatine should be drank after it’s mixed with liquid. Typically when I get home from the gym I make a large protein shake (48 ounces – Protein, Carbo Gain, Fruit, Kale, Rice Milk etc). It takes me around an hour to finish drinking all of it. 10+ years ago when I was taking creatine it had been mentioned to me that you should drink creatine within 30 minutes of it being mixed with liquid or it would “go bad.” I’m curious if you think it’s better for me to maybe mix “Recharge” with some apple juice and pound it before making my protein shake or if I’m safe mixing the Recharge in with the shake and possibly taking an hour to drink it?

  • Cuzjudd

    5g of mono a day? Or 10?

  • Robin Westworth

    My husband started using the Dr Max Powers Creatine supplement (we work out togther), and when he started using it, he has very fast gains in strength and size. He within 3 weeks he had almost doubled his 8 rep max.

  • Brian Fernandes

    Hey Mike, have a couple of questions that I hope you’d be able to clear up

    1. I’m 20 years and 11 months ago I messed up a bulk by dirty bulking. Gained 10 kilos from 62kg to 72kg in 3 months most of it fat and went from 12 to 25 percent body fat but made sure my protein intake was 1g a day. That’s when i found your site and honestly the articles and purchasing BLS helped incredibly. I owe you so much.
    Following BLS, I started following the 4 day BLS workout abd have been cutting for 8 months now not with a structured diet but more of following IIFYM and making sure I’m getting a min of .8g per pound of weight and remaining from fat and carbs as following a structured diet is difficult in a college lifestyle. Could you please help me out with some advise on my progress and how to minimise fat gain from when I start my bulk once I hit 10 percent again. That fear of just becoming fat again scares me

    2. Sorry this one is more related to the article. Was thinking of supplementing with creatine. The thing is from my Dad’s family side almost all the males are bald. It hasn’t started yet with me but my father had a full head of hair till the age of 27-28 and bald by the time he was 30. Will a minimum dosage of 3g a day, right from the start have a negative affect on me?

    Also are the benefits gained from supplementing with creatine worth taking the risk?

    Thank you so much for the time you take and hoping you could help me out

    • Hey Brian! I recommend being in a small 10% calorie surplus on your next bulk, gaining weight slowly. This will help minimize fat gain. Shoot for 0.5lbs per week. Check this out:


      Creatine is definitely a solid supplement, but if you’re worried about hair loss and don’t want to risk it, you can always skip it. It’s not like you can’t build muscle without it. There’s not a proven, definitive link between creatine and accelerated hair loss, but it is possible. We just don’t know yet.

      I discuss it a bit more in this article:


      I hope this helps!

  • Jose Luis

    Hi Mike, I have a question. I just bought your product “recharge” and I have two days taking 4 scoops for a loading phase. The problem is that due to my job I have decrease the frequency of my gym routines, meaning that I will only be able to go once or twice in the next two months so my question is: should I keep taking recharge or should I wait until I resume my regular gym routine? And should I start over or these two days still count as a loading phase?? Thank you very much, I enjoy very much all the content and value you share.

    • Hey Jose! Creatine is pretty much always worth taking, so I’d recommend continuing even though you’re not getting to the gym quite as much as usual.

      You don’t have to load creatine, as it will still accumulate in your muscles with 5g/day, just more slowly. If you stop taking creatine, you will need to load again (assuming you want to load it) if you want it to saturate your muscles more quickly. Ultimately, it’s up to you.

      Thanks for your support! Lemme know how it goes 🙂

      • Jose Luis

        Thank you very much Mike, I appreciate the time and effort you dedicate to your followers. Thank you for your answer, I intend to keep buying your products and watching your videos.

        • No problem! Thanks for the support and keep me posted!

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