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Athletes are always looking for ways to naturally support their energy.
One increasingly popular supplement is creatine, which comes in various different forms, including capsules.
Creatine is a type of protein produced naturally in the kidneys and liver and stored for the most part in our bones.
It is formed from a mix of three amino acids: glycine, methionine and arginine.
There are a number of different types of creatine, including creatine ethyl ester, kre-alkalyn and other buffered creatines.
However, the most common creatine supplement is creatine monohydrate.
It can improve our athletic performance by increasing the amount of liquid our cells can hold.
We can also add to our natural creatine production by adding more meat and fish to our diet.
Creatine increases physical performance in successive bursts of short-term, high intensity exercise. This beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 3g of creatine.
Quite how it does that is complex, but as creatine reacts with other organic compounds in our body, it starts to break down.
This process provides a quick and powerful burst of energy.
If you are into the deep science, you might like to check out our article on the Health Hub ‘What creatine is and why you should use it’.
Creatine is a specialist supplement which is useful for anyone doing high-intensity workouts or training.
Many weightlifters and sprinters take it to improve their physical performance.
For anyone wanting to start using creatine, the most important thing to know is that it should be taken daily for best effect.
Some people say it doesn’t matter what time of day you take it, as long as it is every day.
In terms of how much to take, go by the recommendations of the individual manufacturers, usually 2-5g.
If you decide to use creatine long-term, it is suggested that you take a four-week break. every three months.
There are several forms of creatine available as a supplement.
Many people prefer capsules for the convenience – there’s no measuring to be done and you can take them on the go.
However, others prefer powder or chews.
As a powder, creatine can be added to drinks like smoothies, or yoghurt bowls.
With creatine capsules, you can be sure you are taking pure creatine monohydrate – the most studied form of creatine.
And, as one five-star review on our website puts it, the capsules are “easier to take to work or in your shaker bottle than the powder form.”
When it comes to the best creatine capsules, we only select the best brands.
Precision Engineered creatine capsules come in two different bottle sizes, containing either 120 or 240 capsules.
Each capsule contains 700mg of creatine. As the recommended daily minimum maintenance dose of creatine is 2-5g, the manufacturer’s instructions of six tablets per day sits within the upper range.
Precision Engineered recommends taking three tablets pre-workout and three tablets post-workout for maximum effect.
Another of our favourite brands is PhD. They have branded their creatine monohydrate “Creapure”, which PhD claims is “a purer form of Creatine Monohydrate”.
According to the manufacturer’s website, PhD capsules are gluten and soya free and vegan.
PhD Creapure Capsules also contain 700mg of creatine per tablet, with six tablets recommended per day, spread throughout the day.
It is always worth consulting your doctor before embarking on any significant change of nutrition or a new exercise programme, especially if you have any other health conditions.
Creatine capsules should not be taken during pregnancy, by anyone breastfeeding, or by anyone under 18.
It is worth noting that creatine increases the amount of water your cells hold on to, so you should drink plenty of water: at least eight large glasses per day. While there have been claims that too much creatine can cause liver, kidney or heart problems, this does not seem to be related to the amounts found in creatine supplements.