Kre-Alkalyn is a proprietary form of creatine that is attached to an alkaline buffer. Unlike other forms of creatine, like creatine monohydrate which has a neutral pH of 7, Kre-Alkalyn is claimed to have a highly alkaline pH of 12, which it is said to maintain through the process of dissolution, ingestion and absorption into the muscles. The manufacturers of Kre-Alkalyn claim that this confers beneficial properties over and above other forms of creatine.
The alkaline pH of Kre-Alkalyn is claimed to prevent the creatine from converting into creatinine, a derivative of creatine which the body cannot use, and excretes as a waste product. Kre-Alkalyn is said to be more efficient at reaching the muscle tissue, which means it is taken in smaller doses than creatine monohydrate. On top of this, the manufacturers say that Kre-Alkalyn does not require a loading phase, and that compared to creatine monohydrate, users can expect a reduction in side effects, such as bloating, water retention and digestive disturbances.
There has been little peer-reviewed study of Kre-Alkalyn, but early research does not support these claims, instead showing that Kre-Alkalyn is equivalent to creatine monohydrate in terms of dosage and efficacy (1).
Kre-Alkalyn Side Effects Review
Use of Kre-Alkalyn over creatine monohydrate did not make any difference to creatinine levels, body biochemical parameters, or proportion of body water. The amount of creatine in the muscle was also found to be proportional to the amount of creatine, Kre-Alkalyn or monohydrate, that was ingested, regardless of type (1).
These findings have not been validated by further study, but combining this research with anecdotal evidence, people taking Kre-Alkalyn can expect to experience similar side effects to people taking creatine monohydrate. Side effects such as stomach cramps, diarhoea and water retention are the most common, albeit infrequently reported side effects amongst Kre-Alkalyn users.
It is important to note that the recommended daily dose of Kre-Alkalyn is lower than the recommended dose of creatine monohydrate, so it is likely that Kre-Alkalyn users using the recommended dose will experience a more moderate version of both the side effects and benefits of creatine monohydrate. Many people who have switched from creatine monohydrate the Kre-Alkalyn often report a reduction in side effects, but this is almost certainly due to the reduced dosage.
Kre-Alkalyn and Dehydration
Kre-Alkalyn, like all types of creatine, pulls water into the cells in which it is stored. This is the reason for the immediate increase in muscle size that occurs after creatine supplementation is commenced, and for the water retention and bloated feeling that some people report. Because of this, supplementing with Kre-Alkalyn increases the body's requirement for water. If water intake does not increase, water will be drawn from other cells and tissues, leading to dehydration. This can have health consequences.
Kre-Alkalyn Side Effects Acne
Kre-Alkalyn, or any type of creatine for that matter, will not cause acne, but taking in insufficient water can cause the skin to become dehydrated. This can make the skin more vulnerable to acne. Drinking enough water will help keep the skin hydrated, healthy, and clear.
Kre Alkalyn Side Effects Alcohol
Alcohol is a diuretic, and affects the body's water balance. Many of the effects of a hangover are the result of dehydration, caused by the body losing more fluid through urination than it has taken in. While drinking excess alcohol is generally a bad idea, in addition to possessing many effects that are at odds with most training goals, the increased fluid requirement of a creatine user combined with the dehydration caused by alcohol can exacerbate these negative effects. Drinking in moderation is particularly important for people using Kre-Alkalyn.
Kre-Alkalyn is still a relatively new supplement, and although we know it is safe, there is a lack of peer reviewed research into the benefits and side effects of alkaline buffered creatine relative to creatine monohydrate, which has been the subject of intensive study over many years. People suffering from chronic conditions, particularly kidney disease, or who are taking medication are strongly advised to consult their doctor before using Kre-Alkalyn.
(1) Jagim AR, Oliver JM, Sanchez A, Galvan E, Fluckey J, Riechman S, Greenwood M, Kelly K, Meininger C, Rasmussen C, Kreider RB. A buffered form of creatine does not promote greater changes in muscle creatine content, body composition, or training adaptations than creatine monohydrate. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Sep 13;9(1):43.