Quick Creatine Nitrate vs Creatine Monohydrate Summary Points
- Creatine nitrate is an example of a new form of creatine created largely to offer an alternaitve to the immensely popular creatine monohydrate
- Unfortunately, there are no rigorous clinical trials of creatine nitrate in humans and therefore its efficacy is largely anecdotal when compared with creatine monohydrate
Creatine is a non-essential nutrient and compound that is naturally found in high concentrations in skeletal muscle, which is the muscle mass required to move body parts. It is also a compound which is vital for helping to assist with quick energy production in the form of ATP via the body’s natural phosphocreatine system. Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you already know a bit about what creatine does and why supplementing with creatine is an excellent idea for a variety of people; from bodybuilders and athletes to the elderly and the frail.
By far the most widely researched of creatine supplements has been creatine monohydrate, which has also long been one of the most popular creatine supplements. However in the last decade, many other creatine forms have surfaced promising better absorption, less side effects and generally better results than regular creatine monohydrate. One of the newer creatine forms is creatine nitrate. Let’s take a look at both these supplements in detail so we can help you decide which one you should take.
What is Creatine Monohydrate?
Creatine Monohydrate as previously mentioned is the most heavily researched out of all forms of creatines and is seen by many as one of the most effective supplements around, both for the general and sporting population. Creatine monohydrate is simply a molecule of creatine bound to a molecule of water, which will dissociate in water or other solutions into creatine and water.
Creatine Monohydrate Benefits & Negatives
Creatine monohydrate has the main benefit and advantage of being the creatine form most often used in clinical studies for its effectiveness as a performance enhancing supplement. Creatine monohydrate has also been utilised for a variety of other health conditions such as neuromuscular diseases and for mental cognition and performance. As a performance enhancing supplement, creatine monohydrate has been shown to support:
- Lean muscle mass gains
- Strength and power improvements
- Improve high intensity exercise capacity
With all these excellent benefits however, some of the more prevalent side effects and negatives of creatine use is bloating, stomach cramps if supplemented with too little water and diarrhoea with too much creatine at the one time. For a more detailed examination and review of creatine monohydrate including details on creatine dosing, creatine loading, creatine cycling, creatine side effects and a guide on how to use creatine, read our article “Creatine Monohydrate Review” and “How to Use Creatine”.
What is Creatine Nitrate?
Creatine Nitrate is a relatively new and novel form of creatine in which a creatine molecule is bound to a nitrate molecule. As it is so new, few studies have been conducted on its effectiveness as a supplement and how it compares to good old, reliable creatine monohydrate. The only study on creatine nitrate is that it has a much easier solubility than creatine monohydrate, meaning more of it can be dissolved in solution.
Creatine Nitrate Benefits & Negatives
As so few studies on creatine nitrate are available, it’s hard to really make a comment on the many benefits of creatine nitrate. Essentially, one would expect to experience the benefits of regular creatine but also of nitrates, which is another ingredient considered to have ergogenic (performance enhancing functions). Nitrates have been shown to support:
- Improved cardiovascular exercise efforts
- Power output
- Enhanced oxygen consumption kinetics
Coupled with the beneficial effects of creatine listed above, one would expect creatine nitrate to be a much more ergogenic substance than just creatine monohydrate. With all this in mind though, creatine nitrate has had its fair share of concerns, especially with rumours that the FDA had banned the use of the ingredient. However, those rumours aren’t 100% accurate. Instead the product isn’t banned per se, but it is listed as a supplement that can be considered adulterated due to a lack of information regarding its safety. Lack of information however does not necessarily equate to an outright dangerous ingredient and one that is banned. Simply it means that there needs to be more studies on creatine nitrate, otherwise it needs to be produced in a facility that is FDA approved.
Creatine Nitrate vs Creatine Monohydrate
With all the above information in mind, which creatine form should you take? If you’re new to creatine supplementation, it’s best to start off with creatine monohydrate as it is the most reliable option backed by plenty of research. If however you find creatine monohydrate use results in too much bloating or other unwanted side effects, then creatine nitrate may a better option.
Creatine Monohydrate Supplements
There are plenty of supplements that contain creatine monohydrate but by far the best kind of creatine is a German produced creatine known as Creapure creatine. You can easily find this type of creatine in supplements such as Elemental Nutrition Creapure, Reflex Creapure and Black Widow Creapure Creatine to name a few.
Creatine Nitrate Supplements
Creatine nitrate is currently rarely used as a single or core ingredient of any supplement. However APS Nutrition’s Creamorph as well as the new MusclePharm Arnold Schwarzenegger Series Iron Cre3 are two supplements that base their formula around this form of creatine.Buford TW, Kreider RB, Stout JR, Greenwood M, Campbell B, Spano M, Ziegenfuss T, Lopez H, Landis J, Antonio J. ‘International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise.’ J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2007 Aug 30;4:6.
Pandit A et al "Equilibrium solubility studies of creatine nitrate, creatine monohydrate and buffered creatine" AAPS Poster Presentation 2010.
Hall M, Trojian TH. ‘Creatine supplementation.’ Curr Sports Med Rep. 2013 Jul-Aug;12(4):240-4