Creatine is one of the most popular performance enhancing supplements. If you don’t already supplement with it, it’s only a matter of time. And when that time comes, and it will come, there will be only one decision left to make. Pills or powder?
To make that decision a little easier, Myprotein product developer Katie Brown has taken the time to break down the differences between creatine in pill and powder forms. Here’s the facts — all you need to do is choose. You can thank her later.
We're not going to bore you with yet another deep dive into creatine. We’ve covered that extensively before. But here’s a quick refresher: creatine is a molecule found naturally in the body and composed of three amino acids — glycine, arginine, and methionine. It helps the body create more ATP, which is our source of energy. This can improve performance by allowing you to train for longer periods of time. Find out more about that here.
Pills to us just scream convenience — put them in your pill dispenser with the rest of your daily supplements and there’s nothing more to think about. But that’s just my opinion. Let's see what Katie has to say.
In pill form, creatine must first be digested before it can be used by the body. But does the speed of creatine absorption actually matter? In short, not really. Or at least there isn’t currently enough conclusive evidence to give a definitive answer. But one thing we do know for sure is creatine doesn’t have an immediate effect.
When you first start taking creatine you should go through a loading phase to saturate your cells. Take three times the recommended daily amount for two weeks. From then you should have enough stored to see the benefits in future workouts. How quickly creatine is then absorbed into your system doesn’t alter your workouts. Rapid digestion doesn’t have a huge effect, but consistency does — it’s key to seeing the effects of your creatine supplementation.
And the other option: powder. It’s obviously not as convenient — you need to lug a pouch around with you, dig for your scoop, a shaker handy, and your dosages will never be as accurate as they would be with a tablet.
But enough of the negativity. Creatine powder costs less per serving than creatine pills — so that’s a win. And the benefits don’t stop there. Powders offer a bit of variety, which is always nice, and they’re more versatile. You can’t go wrong with adding creatine to a smoothie. In fact, here’s a recipe.
Take home message
Katie has spoken, so now it’s up to you. What will it be? Pills or powder? Or both. There's no rule that you need to choose one and stick to it. Go wild, mix it up.
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