Comparing The Effectiveness of 3 Types of Creatine

Comparing The Effectiveness of 3 Types of Creatine

Let's get straight to the point...

What is the best type of creatine considering price vs effectiveness? We tested the 3 most common creatine types - Kre-alkalyn, Creatine Monohydrate, and Creatine HCL for several months each and discovered they have significantly different benefits and drawbacks. Let's get going!

Our Recommendation

Go with a reputable brand that claims "Made in the USA." Avoid cheaper options on Amazon because Amazon is loaded with Chinese manufacturers with zero quality assurances. 

There are many sellers who import and claim "Made in America from international ingredients," meaning they package it in the USA but buy from China.

Many brands offer discounts in order to sell more product and rank higher. They also incentivize buyers (violating Amazon's terms of service) to leave reviews by offering free giveaways.

Chinese manufacturers offer tainted and sometimes dangerous supplements to the world market. Over time, once a Chinese brand receives a handful of bad (and real) reviews, the manufacturer shuts down its listing only to create a new listing offering the exact product under a different brand name and the whole process starts over again. 

Creatine Monohydrate

Monohydrate is ubiquitous (a big word meaning easy to find) and the most studied version of creatine. Most brands of monohydrate are private-labeled in large manufacturing facilities so we believe they are identical if made in the USA. Now, there is some questionable marketing concerning the particle size of monohydrate with newer brands claiming their version of monohydrate dissolves in water and consequently increases absorption. But the evidence supporting those dubious claims is sorely lacking.

Most creatine monohydrate is micronized, which simply means smaller particles that may equate to better bioavailability. We tested several leading brands over the course of 12 months using 5 grams as a serving.

Pros of Monohydrate

  • Massive strength gains
  • Massive Size Gains

Cons of Monohydrate

  • Bloating
  • Stomach disruption, Diarrhea
  • Large serving size

Popular Brands

NOW Sports (made in the USA)
Muscle Feast (made in the USA)

Creatine HCL

HCL is monohydrate bonded with hydrocloride making it dissolve in water. HCL brands claim this type of creatine is 38 times more bioavailable than simple monohydrate. We tested 2 brands of creatine HCL over a 3 month period using 750 mg, and a double dose of 1.5 grams over a 3 months period.

Pros of Creatine HCL

  • Inexpensive at 750 mg but expensive at 1.5 grams
  • Decent Strength Gains @ 1.5 grams
  • Decent Size Gains @ 1.5 grams
  • No stomach issues
  • No bloat
  • Small serving size

Cons of HCL

  • Less size and strength gains compared to monohydrate
  • More expensive than Kre-Alkalyn
  • Harder to find

Popular Brands

Con-Cret (made in the USA)
Kaged Muscle (made in the USA)


Kre-Alkalyn comes in pill form and is the result of combining monohydrate with a "buffer" which is typically baking soda. The theory is that baking soda buffers (raises) the PH of your stomach acid (decreasing the acid in your stomach) thereby making the monohydrate more bioavailable. We took 2 pills (750 mg each = 1.5 grams) over a 6 month period.

Pros of Kre-Alkalyn

  • Least Expensive
  • No stomach issues
  • No bloat
  • Small serving size

Cons of Kre-Alkalyn

  • Less size and strength gains compared to monohydrate & HCL
  • Harder to find

Popular Brands

NOW Sports (made in the USA)
EFX (made in the USA)


Cool Hack For MORE Benefits and ZERO Side-Effects

Our testing shows a combination of monohydrate and HCL causes intense size and strength gains without any of the negative side-effects.

That's right, mixing a small scoop of 750mg of HCL and 2 grams of monohydrate allows the absolute absorption of BOTH creating a superior form of creatine you cannot currently buy on the market.

The best part is that even though monohydrate is more expensive, using less than half the serving size now makes it the least expensive and boosts performance over both HCL and Kre-Alkalyn.

I hope someone releases a hybrid monohydrate + HCL in the near future! Maybe we will!

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