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I'm new to creatine and lifting. Apparently, Creatine-monohydrate requires a loading period, while Kre-Alkalyn does not.

Can one start with Kre-Alkalyn then switch to the cheaper old school Creatine monohydrate without requiring the standard "loading period" required?

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    There are no shortcuts in fitness. The loading period is pretty short, why do you want to get around it?
    – JohnP
    Jan 12, 2023 at 15:31

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Kre-Alkalyn can be used to predrain your wallet.

Greg Nuckols has a great article on creatine over at StrongerByScience called "Not Another Boring Creatine Guide: Answers To FAQs And Lesser-Known Benefits". The relevant bit for your question here can be found in the section Which type of creatine is best?:

Every time a new form of creatine comes around, it comes with technical explanations of why it could or should outperform creatine monohydrate. So far, none of them have been shown to consistently and substantially increase creatine retention, performance, or anything other than price, in comparison to creatine monohydrate. More importantly, these various creatine “solutions” seem to be addressing a non-problem. Creatine monohydrate is quite effective at saturating muscle creatine storage and increasing performance; even if a more effective type of creatine were to come along, it’s hard to imagine it’d do much beyond allowing slightly quicker saturation, a slightly higher (but physiologically irrelevant) degree of saturation, or saturation at a lower daily dose. Despite my skepticism, I’m always open to changing my mind if some incredible form of creatine comes along. But for now, creatine monohydrate is the most well-studied, effective, and affordable type of creatine on the market.

The only thing these alternate forms of creatine are good for is prematurely separating you from your money. None of them have been shown to be better than monohydrate at anything, and many of them have been shown to be worse than monohydrate for several reasons. The case for alternate forms of creatine is 100% marketing and 0% evidence. Stick with monohydrate - 5 grams a day, every day, for the rest of your life. Loading isn't necessary, and may cause intestinal distress. In the section Maximizing Muscle Creatine Saturation: Loading, Cycling, and Timing, Greg writes:

The point of creatine supplementation is to saturate muscle creatine storage, but there are two common methods for achieving saturation. Loading is a popular method, which involves taking very high creatine doses (20-25 grams per day, split between 4-5 doses) for 4-7 days in a row. After this loading phase, muscle creatine storage is saturated, and a maintenance dose of 2-5 grams per day is taken thereafter. While loading is certainly effective, it is not necessarily required. Research has shown that moderate daily doses of 3 grams per day can saturate muscle creatine storage after about 3-4 weeks of supplementation (Figure 2). When deciding whether or not to load, the primary factors to consider are time and gastrointestinal comfort. If you really, really need your results to be maximized within seven days of supplementation, loading would be the way to go. However, mild gastrointestinal discomfort is often observed with creatine supplementation; if your stomach struggles with taking in 20-25 grams of creatine over the course of a day, then loading would not be your best bet, and a more patient approach would be preferable.

Think about it this way: resistance training is a habit that you should be aiming to establish and engage in for the rest of your life. Two years from now, what benefit do you expect to realize having reached full muscle creatine saturation in 7 days two years ago versus reaching saturation in 21 days two years ago? Nothing.

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  • Well said. Loading is really unecessary and I doubt someone would really notice the difference in the first week already.
    – Luciano
    Jan 16, 2023 at 13:50

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