Creatine Kre-Alkalyn vs. Monohydrate: Part 2

This is the second part of a two-part series comparing creatine monohydrate and creatine kre-alkalyn. If you missed the first part, please read it first by clicking here.

In part 1 of Creatine Monohydrate vs. Creatine Kre-Alkalyn, we discovered the two important things:

  • Creatine monohydrate does not produce much waste product (creatinine).
  • Since stomach acid does not degrade creatine monohydrate, there is no need to PH buffer it like Kre-Alkalyn does.

Now we move into…

So what about Kre-Alkalyn needing a smaller dosage?

Well, as of right now, there are no studies that directly tested the dosage needed for Kre-Alkalyn to reach full muscular saturation levels (which says something right there). However, we do have the next best thing!

A study done by Preen et al. tested “a comparison of loading and maintenance protocols on creatine uptake by human skeletal muscle”. They had 3 groups perform a typical loading dosage of creatine monohydrate (20g per day, for 5 days). Later, they put each group on 3 different maintenance dosages: 0g, 2g, and 5g of creatine per day, for 6 weeks.

After the 6 weeks, they found that “muscle TCr [total creatine] stores were still similar to post-loading values for both the 2 g x day(-1) and 5 g x day(-1) conditions”.1

So they concluded:

…after 5 days of Cr loading, elevated muscle TCr concentrations can be maintained by the ingestion of small daily Cr doses (2-5 g) for a period of 6 weeks…

So, even though this study is done with monohydrate, it still can say something about buying Kre-Alkalyn. If, after an initial loading phase (which isn’t really necessary, but it will saturate your muscles faster), you take 2-5g of creatine monohydrate everyday, your muscles will stay saturated.

So, even if Kre-Alkalyn does absorb better and needs a smaller dosage than monohydrate (which there are no studies that indicate such), after a short period of time, your muscles are already completely saturated by using normal creatine monohydrate, so why spend all the extra dollars to buy something thatmight need a smaller dosage? It just doesn’t make much sense, especially considering all the research that creatine monohydrate has backing it up and all the research that Kre-Alkalyn does not have.

Thus, we now know that:

  • Creatine monohydrate will most likely fully saturate the muscle cells over a short period of time (5 days if you take the loading dosage [20g/day]).
  • There is no evidence to support kre-alkalyn’s claim that it needs a smaller dosage to achieve the same effect, but it’s more expensive anyway.
  • Creatine monohydrate does not need a loading phase either. It will just take a bit longer for the muscle cells to become saturated.

Now the last point we have to examine is the bloating effect of creatine.

LESS CHANCE OF HOLDING WATER OR BLOATING

Well.. This is when people start to misinterpret definitions.

Creatine monohydrate doesn’t “bloat” in the sense that a lot of people think it does. Creatine holds water intramuscularly only, meaning that all of the water being held is inside your muscle. This means that the water is not held under the skin, like many people think. Therefore, it will only make your muscles look a tad bigger, but it won’t make you look fat.

Some people claim that it does make them look fat, though. Normally, this is because people hear that they need to consume a massive amount of carbs and water with creatine (water is a good idea, but there is no need to worry about the carbs). Since each gram of carb stored 4 grams of water with it, this carb-loading will definitely make you hold a lot of water, but most people mistakenly attribute this to the creatine.

As of now, there isn’t a study showing that Kre-Alkalyn does not hold water in the way monohydrate does. However, if you monitor/lower your carb and/or salt intake, the bad looking water weight will drop off. If it doesn’t, the you probably just have fat there, sorry.

 

Now, looking back at the claims that bodybuilding.com wrote, you can make up your own mind for yourself regarding kre-alkalyn:

  1. Ph buffered – Kre-Alkalyn is formulated with a higher Ph than other forms of creatine
  2. Kre-Alkalyn produces less waste product when digested*
  3. Take a smaller amount of Kre-Alkalyn per serving with the same results as other forms of creatine*
  4. No loading phase*
  5. Better absorption by muscle tissue*
  6. Less chance of holding water or bloating

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

 

References:

  1. Preen, David, Brian Dawson, Carmel Goodman, John Beilby, and Simon Ching. “Creatine supplementation: a comparison of loading and maintenance protocols on creatine uptake by human skeletal muscle..”International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism 13 (March 2003): 97-111.