Over the years countless forms of creatine have been touted as the “best” form ever discovered, capable of far surpassing the benefits and eliminating the theoretical negatives of creatine monohydrate. Creatine HCl is the most current version of this, as it is quickly rising in the ranks of creatine popularity within the dietary supplement industry.
Creatine HCl is a creatine molecule bonded to a hydrochloric acid molecule which is theorized to increase bioavailability and therefore provide the same benefits with a lower dosage than one would need with creatine monohydrate.
What it does
Since creatine HCl hydrolyzes into free creatine and free hydrochloric acid in the stomach, creatine HCl provides the same benefits of creatine monohydrate which include: increase a user’s power/strength output, their lean body mass, anaerobic running capacity (endurance), and fight fatigue during exercise.
Creatine HCl has one unique aspect to it which shows it to be more beneficial at reducing body fat in weightlifters than its competition creatine monohydrate.
How it works
Creatine HCl is theorized to be more effective than creatine monohydrate thanks to the added hydrochloride group lowering the pH of the compound itself, making it more acidic. This higher acidity level increases the solubility in liquids, which is clear to see when mixing creatine HCl in water, as it does mix much easier than most forms of creatine.
Creatine HCl works via its ability to donate phosphate molecules to ADP (adenosine diphosphate), creating the molecule ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). Each of the cells in our muscle tissues use ATP to power muscular contractions, so having more creatine in our body allows more of our cells to contract during a given exercise (bigger contraction = more strength). More creatine also allows our cells to recycle ADP into ATP at a faster rate, thereby driving increased levels of endurance/stamina.
Although the common belief that creatine HCl can and should be dosed at a lesser amount than creatine monohydrate, recent science, however, shows this may not be the case. In a study comparing 5g creatine monohydrate with 5g creatine HCl and 1.5g Creatine HCl, the science found “there was no statistically significant difference in between groups”, leading many to see a study comparing 1.5g creatine monohydrate versus 1.5g creatine HCl.
With this in mind, it is highly suggested to mirror your creatine HCl dose with how you would take creatine monohydrate, with an average daily dose of 3-5g/day.