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What is creatine
What is creatine?

What is creatine?

  • Reading time: 9 min.

Creatine is a popular supplement among strength athletes. A lot of athletes swear by this 'white gold' and just can't get on without their little jar of creatine. What exactly is creatine? helps improve performance during explosive strength training. But what is creatine exactly? In this XXL Nutrition blog we are going to tell you more about creatine as a substance, the best sort of creatine (creatine monohydrate) and discuss a number of creatine facts and myths!

What exactly is creatine?

Creatine is one of the most widely sold supplements in the world. There are strong chances that you've already added a jar of creatine to your shopping basket in our shop. Because creatine has been extensively scientifically researched, you can find lots of information around the place on its benefits as well as on potential creatine side effects. Are you curious about what creatine actually is? Then read about it in this blog!

You may already be familiar with creatine in powder form. But creatine is also a substance that the body produces itself and that is stored in our muscles. It plays a part in supplying energy to our muscle and nerve cells. Our bodies produce creatine in the liver and kidneys. They use the amino acids arginine, glycine and methionine for this.

Our liver and kidneys produce about 1 gram of creatine a day. Of course, there's some variation from person to person and it's always dependent on the availability of the necessary amino acids.

Creatine formula

We have further information about what creatine is for the chemistry and formula buffs among you. Alternate names for creatine include; (α-methylguanido)acetic acid, methylguanidine acetic acid and N-amidinosarcosine. It is an organic nitrogen compound and its molecular formula is C4H9N3O2.

Okay, so we make our own creatine and our body stores it in our muscles. But this quantity is actually too low for us to take advantage of creatine's benefits. Therefore you can add to the quantity of creatine in your body with supplements or particular foods.

How do you consume creatine?

Creatine can be found in animal products such as meat, fish and dairy. To supplement your creatine supplies your body requires approximately 1 to 3 grams a day. Your body makes part of this itself with the help of the amino acids arginine, glycine and methionine. These amino acids are transformed in the kidneys, liver and pancreas. You get the rest of your creatine from your food. But what foods contain a lot of creatine?

  • Red meat like beef (approximately 5 grams of creatine per kilogram)
  • Pork (approximately 7 grams of creatine per kilogram)
  • Salmon (approximately 4.5 grams of creatine per kilogram)
  • Chicken (approximately 3.4 grams of creatine per kilogram)
  • Herring (approximately 6 grams of creatine per kilogram)

Therefore, you can consume more creatine by eating large amounts of fish and meat. But really, next to no one consumes a kilo of fish or meat a day in practice. And how about if you don't eat any animal products at all? As a vegan, how do you get enough creatine?

The solution can be found in creatine supplements, taken in either powder or pill form. By taking creatine you can increase your creatine supplies easily, without having to depend on large quantities of fish or meat. Taking creatine is easier and what's more, it's a lot less expensive too.


Hopefully, you now have a clear answer to the question of what creatine is. But within the creatine supplement category, there are a variety of types, including creatine monohydrate, ethyl ester, HCL, nitrate and Kre Alkalyn.


In creatine monohydrate supplements, the creatine molecule is bound to a single water molecule. In fact, mono means one and hydro means water.

Creatine monohydrate is the purest form. The powder is very fine, which means that it is easy to dissolve in water, a sports drink or a protein shake. A big advantage of creatine monohydrate is its price. Its favourable price/quality ratio means that this creatine is widely sold. In particular, monohydrate is a lot cheaper than many other sorts of creatine in luxury creatine blends. You can try the latter if you fail to achieve the desired results with creatine monohydrate.

When strength athletes talk about creatine, then they actually always mean creatine monohydrate. This is the best type of creatine for the majority of athletes.


While creatine never has any harmful side effects, creatine monohydrate can cause you to retain more fluid than you would like and potentially cause muscle cramps. In that case, creatine in Kre-Alkalyn form is the perfect solution for you! Kre-Alkalyn has an optimal PH-value, which allows it to be absorbed more efficiently by the body.


Creatine ethyl ester (CEE) has basically the same effect as creatine monohydrate. However, 'esters' have been added to this type of creatine, so that it can be absorbed more quickly by the body. An ester is an organic acid, such as acetic acid or malic acid, which results from a reaction with alcohol.

The advantage of CEE is therefore that it is absorbed more quickly. However, because of the additional processing required, the price is somewhat higher than that of creatine monohydrate. CEE also dissolves slightly less well in water than creatine monohydrate.


This is a mixture of creatine monohydrate and nitrate. The creatine monohydrate ensures better performance during heavy workouts. Nitrate is also a substance that is often added to pre-workouts.

Also become curious about the use of creatine? Read more about the effects of creatine in this blog!


In this blog you‘ve learned more about the effects of creatine and we have discussed various facts and common mistruths. Have we piqued your interest in the effects of creatine on your body and performance? You can buy the best creatine directly from XXL Nutrition. Take a look at our entire creatine range here and discover the different types and creatine blends. We recommend first of all that you start with our creatine monohydrate. This is the purest and most studied form of creatine. This way you'll be sure that you‘re buying the creatine powder with the best price/quality ratio!

Marvin Grouw
This blog is written by:
Marvin Grouw
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