Those who are into bodybuilding, might sometimes require some external aid that will help to get their goal achieved. Sometimes, after you have worked out for a long time, you might find yourself gaping for breath. This is because your body runs out of energy. This is where energy supplements step in!
Creatine is a supplement which can help to enhance the athletic performance of the body. It is a popular and effective supplement which is used for muscle building and imparts strength to the body.
How do creatine supplements work? Creatine helps to increase the phosphocreatine stores in the muscles. This phosphocreatine helps in the formation of adenosine triphosphate, popularly known as ATP. This ATP is then broken down for energy production.
It is when your ATP resynthesis is limited that your body fails to perform in a continuous intensity. When you take creatine supplements, your phosphocreatine stores are increased, and your body can produce more ATP. This fuels your body muscles with more energy so that you can indulge in high-intensity exercises.
In this article, we will discuss two variants of creatine- Creatine Monohydrate and Micronized Creatine and draw a comparison to see how one is different from the other. Read on to find out.
Difference Between Creatine Monohydrate and Micronized Creatine
To begin with, it is worth mentioning that the chemical profile of creatine monohydrate and micronized creatine are the same.
What mainly differentiates them from one another is the fact that the particles of micronized creatine are smaller than that of creatine monohydrate, which makes it easily soluble in water or any liquid.
Another factor is that monohydrate creatine is available in the form of powder, capsule, or pill. On the other hand, micronized creatine powder is sold in powdered form.
Ease of Solubility
Ease of Absorption
Hope this gives you a brief idea. Read on to find all the information in detail.
Creatine monohydrate is a popular kind of creatine which is found ideal for athletes, sprinters, bodybuilders, or anyone who requires some extra after he is exhausted after a long period of exercising. The supplement helps to boost the physical performance of an individual. It is ideally suited for anyone who is indulging in high-intensity exercises and is willing to improve his physical performance.
Although items like fish and meat are good sources of creatine monohydrate, consuming such food items may also lead to an increase in the body’s fat content. Therefore, this supplement is best consumed as powder, pill, or capsule. To experience the best of its effectiveness, it is ideal to consume a creatine monohydrate pill just before you start working out.
Discussed below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of consuming creatine monohydrate.
The advantages of taking in creatine monohydrate are as follows:
- Increases endurance and muscle strength: Due to the intake of creatine supplements, the availability of creatine in the muscles increases, which boosts the body strength and lean body mass of individuals. This results in an improved athletic performance, which enables the athletes and bodybuilders to perform all kinds of high-intensity exercises and witness a hard and rich exercising experience.
- Safe to consume: Studies have claimed that creatine monohydrate is safe for consumption. It has been scientifically proven that consumption of creatine monohydrate for a couple of years, or upto five years at most, has no adverse effect on the body. Even if consumed at higher doses, this component does not pose any threat to the body. Although a daily dose of 3-5 grams is ideally recommended, people have consumed doses as high as 30 grams a day and haven’t faced any concerns with respect to safety.
- Easily available and cheap: The ease of availability and being pocket friendly are two of the most striking features why creatine monohydrate is one of the most sought after supplements.
Some of the disadvantages of creatine monohydrate consumption are as follows:
- Mild gain in weight: A common side effect of consuming creatine monohydrate supplement is that you will witness a minor gain in weight. This is due to the fact that the creatine monohydrate elevates the level of water in the muscle cells, causing the muscle mass to increase. Therefore, you should not mistake this for body fat and unhealthy.
- Cramping: Although there is no clinical evidence in support of this statement, it has been witnessed that supplementation of creatine monohydrate can lead to problems like cramping.
This is the form of creatine which is made into small, minute particles that enable faster absorption. What differentiates micronized creatine from creatine monohydrate is that micronized creatine is a diminished, about 20 times smaller, size of creatine.
Consumption of micronized creatine provides the athletes with stamina at the time of sports and workouts. This compression helps to increase the surface area and aid in better and quicker absorption.
Although there are benefits of taking in micronized creatine, there might also be some disadvantages associated with it such as bloating, gas, upset stomach, dehydration, muscle cramps, etc. Discussed below are the advantages and disadvantages of micronized creatine.
- It is one of the purest forms of the supplement: As creatine has to undergo a suppression process to make sure that its size is reduced, micronized creatine is one of the purest forms of this supplement. Some micronized variants of this supplement can also sometimes offer 100% of creatine monohydrate in each serving of this supplement.
- Better solubility and increased metabolism: As the particles of micronized creatine are extremely small, they are absorbed in the body very easily. As a result, they are synthesized easily and energy is released much more efficiently.
- Does not sediment at the bottom of the container: When you mix a supplement in any liquid of your choice, chances are that the supplement particles will settle at the bottom of the glass. As a result, your body gets fewer supplements than is required. This is not the case with micronized creatine. Due to its minute size and high solubility, it mixes well in the liquid and forms a uniform solution. The particles do not settle at the bottom of the glass. Therefore, you can consume a maximum amount of supplements at a time!
- It has all the benefits of creatine monohydrate: Micronized creatine is nothing but a fine-milled variant of creatine monohydrate. Therefore, you get all the benefits of creatine monohydrate, along with some additional benefits.
- Bloating: Creatine users, during their loading phase or in the initial days of their supplement consumption, tend to experience some kind of bloating. At the time of the loading phase, one consumes 20-25 grams of micronized creatine each day, which is then slashed down to 3-5 grams during the maintenance phase. In the loading phase, the muscle mass as well as the water absorption of the body increases, which leads to bloating.
- Diarrhoea: Undigested creatine is stored in your intestines. The supplement then draws water from different parts of your body. This water is then soaked into the muscle tissue, resulting in accumulation of water in the intestines. If this continues for a prolonged period, then there might be a risk of diarrhoea.
- Lightheadedness and dizziness: One of the side effects of micronized creatine consumption is that you might feel lightheaded. Although this is not extremely common, some people are likely to experience this.
- Irregular heartbeat: While using micronized creatine, people might experience irregular heartbeat. This might result due to imbalance of electrolyte and dehydration. If you experience such kinds of symptoms, you might have to stop consuming these supplements.
Creatine Monohydrate vs Micronized Creatine: Head-to-Head Comparison
Creatine Monohydrate: The chemical formula of Creatine Monohydrate is C4H11N3O.
Micronized Creatine: The chemical formula for micronized creatine is the same as that of creatine monohydrate because micronized creatine is nothing but a compressed form of creatine
Creatine Monohydrate: Creatine Monohydrate is highly effective as it helps to boost energy levels and increase the stamina in the body so that one can improve his athletic performance.
Micronized Creatine: Micronized Creatine, due to its easy solubility, forms a stable solution when mixed with any liquid. As a result, micronized creatine is better absorbed in the body and is far more effective as compared to creatine monohydrate.
Creatine Monohydrate: Since it is larger in size, it may sometimes be left over as sediment at the bottom of the container in which it is mixed. As a result, individuals end up consuming less quantity of supplement than is required.
Micronized Creatine: Micronized creatine is approximately 20 times smaller than creatine monohydrate. Therefore, it mixes better with any kind of liquid, and provides the fullest benefits to the body.
Creatine Monohydrate: When you try to consume Creatine Monohydrate for the first time, you might want to begin with a loading phase. This phase consists of 5-7 days of loading with a quantity of 20-25 grams of creatine monohydrate each day. This has to be consumed nearly 4-5 times a day at intervals of 3 hours, with a dosage of 5 grams each.
Micronized Creatine: For the consumption of micronized creatine, you will have to follow a pattern. When you first start consuming creatine monohydrate, for the first five days you will have to consume 1 teaspoon, weighing 5 grams, approximately 3-5 times each day. Dissolve the supplement in 250 ml of liquid of your choice. This is known as the loading phase.
In the second phase, which is the maintenance phase, you have to take 1 teaspoon, weighing 5 grams, and consume it once or twice everyday for the next three weeks. After you are done with the loading and maintenance phase, one should completely stop the consumption for the next 3 weeks.
Creatine Monohydrate: Although this is extremely safe to consume, one might experience discomforts like dehydration, diarrhoea, bloating, etc.
Micronized Creatine: Since this has the same composition as creatine monohydrate, the effects and side effects that it has on the body are nearly the same.
Creatine Monohydrate: Since this is the crude form, this is a cheaper option to resort to.
Micronized Creatine: Due to the process that it has to undergo in order to be made into finer particles, micronized creatine monohydrate supplements are slightly more expensive.
When to Use Creatine Monohydrate?
There is quite a debate about when to consume creatine monohydrate supplements.
On days when you plan to workout, you might want to take creatine monohydrate supplements right before your exercise, and not long after or long before exercising.
When on rest, it may be beneficial to consume it with any liquid of your choice during meals.
When to Use Micronized Creatine?
If you are wondering when you should take your micronized creatine powder, it is ideally suggested to consume it approximately 30 minutes before you start working out.
This will deliver the best results. You can also plan to include this supplement in your post-workout meal and recovery shake so that the supplement can work on your rebuilding muscles.
Which is cheaper, Creatine Monohydrate or Micronized Creatine?
As has been already mentioned above, creatine monohydrate is cheaper compared to micronized creatine.
What Is Better Creatine Monohydrate or Micronized Creatine? The Verdict
This is a tough question to answer, since both have their own set of pros and cons. Also, there is no universal rule that holds true for everyone.
Since micronized creatine is extracted from creatine monohydrate, there isn’t any variation in the chemical composition of the two.
Nevertheless, users opt for the two based on their own convenience.
Reasons why people opt for Creatine Monohydrate:
- It is cheaper.
- It is easily available.
Reasons why people opt for Micronized Creatine:
- This is a finer version of the supplement which is easily soluble in water.
- This does not form lumps when dissolved in water.
The Bottom Line
Hope this gives you a fair idea about the differences between creatine monohydrate and micronized creatine.
Based on your preferences, whether you wish to take in your supplement in the form of capsule, tablet, or powder, how much you are willing to spend on your supplement, and other such factors, make a choice that suits you the best. When are you getting yours?