Creatine supplements come in a variety of forms. Although the most popular and extensively studied forms are monohydrate and hydrochloride, they all (in theory) increase the muscle’s ability to absorb creatine. The tiny chemical variations between these two types could have a significant impact on your outcomes.

In order to assist you in choosing which is ideal for your needs, in this article, we will compare creatine HCL and monohydrate. Before making a choice, it is critical to comprehend the differences between these two substances because each one has certain advantages and disadvantages.

We will cover the chemical makeup, applications, and side effects of both of these substances, as well as everything else you need to know. Let’s get started.

What Is Creatine?

A chemical called creatine is naturally present in muscle cells. Your muscles can produce more energy when you exercise vigorously or move large objects. The best substance for enhancing performance in the gym is creatine.

Creatine helps you gain muscle and improve workout performance making it one of the most preferred supplements in athletes. In terms of chemistry, amino acids, vital substances in the body that aid in the synthesis of protein, and creatine have a lot in common. From the amino acids glycine and arginine, your body can make creatine.

Numerous avenues exist for creatine to boost physical well-being and athletic performance. Its main function during intense activity is to boost your muscles’ phosphocreatine reserves. ATP is the primary fuel for heavy lifting and high-intensity activity; therefore, the extra stores can be used to make more of it.

Long-term and short-term muscle growth are both stimulated by creatine. It benefits a wide range of people, including elite athletes, senior citizens, and those who are sedentary.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that creatine won’t show instant results infact it takes 5-7 days to start working in your body and you need to be consistent with the intake as abrubtly stopping creatine dose may result in declined strength, fatigue, and decreased creatine production.

Creatine HCL vs Monohydrate

What Is Creatine Monohydrate?

What Is Creatine Monohydrate?

The most common type of creatine supplement, creatine monohydrate, is just creatine with one molecule of water attached—hence the name monohydrate. Usually, 88–90% of the substance’s weight comprises creatine. The assertion that creatine is an anabolic steroid may occasionally be heard.

But creatine is not a steroid; it is entirely distinct from them and functions in a completely different way. It is also not a stimulant, despite the fact that pre-workout supplements occasionally combine it with stimulants like caffeine.

According to studies creatine monohydrate has always showed ergogenic benefits and more significantly consider safe than any other kind.

When it comes to enhancing workout performance, creatine monohydrate is more efficient than the liquid and ethyl ester versions. It is at least equally effective to the buffered and magnesium chelate versions.

Creatine is present in supplements in a variety of forms. But because creatine monohydrate has been utilized in the majority of trials, the majority of the advantages are known to exist.

Creatine monohydrate is the most accessible form as a solo substance. It is offered by a large number of online merchants and retailers. The least expensive form of creatine available right now is monohydrate. Other varieties are more expensive or more challenging to locate as a single ingredient.

What Is Creatine HCL?

What Is Creatine HCL?

In order to increase the stability and solubility of base creatine, creatine HCL is created by adding a hydrochloride group (the HCL). Because of its poor solubility, creatine monohydrate falls short despite being a good supplement.

The increased solubility is also attributed to the pH being brought down to the more acidic side, which greatly aids in the process of dissolution. Better mixability makes it simpler to incorporate into quick carbohydrate drinks, protein shakes, or even simply drink on its own.

Increased strength and muscle mass, quicker absorption, less bloating and puffiness, and a lower dose as compared to creatine monohydrate are some of the benefits that have been asserted. With extremely few adverse effects in a very small percentage of the population, creatine HCl is a relatively safe product.

Creatine HCL Vs Monohydrate | Which Is Better?

Creatine monohydrate is the most widely used and extensively researched type of supplement. As a result, we are more familiar with how it can stimulate muscle development. Benefits include a higher 1-rep max for squatting, a higher vertical jump, and faster 30-meter sprints.

Out of all the kinds, creatine monohydrate has undergone the most research, and it has been found to be particularly helpful in increasing muscle mass, strength, and power output. Because it doesn’t require loading which helps avoid bloating caused by creatine and in turn increases absorption rate.

Although creatine monohydrate is the most researched and well-liked form of supplementary creatine, it is by no means the only choice available. Despite the novel, exotic forms of creatine, creatine monohydrate constantly seem to outperform them.

Monohydrate has high solubility and better bioavailability, making it extremely difficult to compete with it for skeletal muscle absorption effectiveness. However, this does not imply that the other forms of creatine are absolutely useless.

Simply put, it indicates that the evidence at this time does not demonstrate their superiority to the original, least-priced version of the supplement.

Do you have any memories of adding water to your creatine monohydrate powder only to find a large amount of sediment still present? That clearly shows that the substance is poorly soluble in water. Since there is poor absorption after consumption, much is really squandered.

You don’t need to load, which is HCL’s biggest advantage versus monohydrate. This translates into quicker outcomes and a lack of any potential gastrointestinal problems that can emerge from loading. HCL is a more recent type of creatine, so additional studies are required to demonstrate its long-term safety and efficacy.

Creatine’s capacity to pass the intestinal barrier is determined by its cell permeability. Since most of the creatine that is consumed is not actually absorbed, some forms of it have a low permeability, which causes them to be expelled in urine.

Out of all the forms of creatine now on the market, creatine HCL has one of the greatest rates of absorption. The issue with creatine HCL’s apparent superiority is that the claims are, at best, weakly supported. It appears superior in almost every way.

Anecdotal evidence is one thing to go on, but it is insufficient to establish the truth of the matter beyond a reasonable doubt. The prospect of the creatine being separated from the hydrochloride moiety and returning to just plain old creatine is also a possibility.

Although many individuals will probably continue to use regular monohydrate, others who loathe that form may find comfort in the HCL version. At least, many people initially make the transition for that reason.


One of the best supplements for enhancing exercise performance is creatine. Although there are several forms, from which monohydrate is currently the best form. It is at least as effective as any other form available, has the best safety record, and has the most scientific support.

Additionally, it is frequently the most affordable and generally accessible. Overall, it is obvious that creatine monohydrate is the best type to consume.

Frequently Asked Questions

Creatine HCL is believed to be easily absorbed by the body as compared to other forms, which makes people believe that it can lead to increasing muscle size and strength, but more research is needed to confirm this.

According to a 2009 study, the use of creatine supplementation led to increased conversion of testosterone to the more active dihydrotestosterone or DHT in college-aged rugby players. However, there is no evidence to suggest that creatine HCL has any direct effect on testosterone levels in the body.

Several forms of creatine are available, including creatine monohydrate, creatine HCL, and micronized creatine. However, the best form of creatine for muscle gain will depend on individual preferences and needs.

But only taking creatine will not result in muscle gain. You need to combine use of creatine supplements along with a well-balanced diet plan to see the desired results.

Creatine HCL is generally recommended to take in cycles. The cycle consists of two parts “on” cycle and the “off” cycle. During the “on” cycle, taking 3-5 grams of creatine HCL per day is generally recommended. During the “off” cycle, you can either stop taking the supplement completely or reduce your daily intake to maintain a level of about 3 grams daily.

Several studies have found that creatine supplementation does not harm kidney function in healthy people. However, it is important to note that individuals with pre-existing kidney problems or those who are at risk for kidney disease may be more susceptible to potential side effects of creatine.

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