What is Creatine Monohydrate?

Troy Holmes

There are many supplements that can be taken to support the dietary needs of the human body. Creatine monohydrate is a dietary supplement used by weightlifters to gain muscle mass. This supplement is an amino acid that is produced naturally in the body and does not have a daily nutrient value.

Weightlifters use creatine monohydrate as a supplement to gain muscle mass.
Weightlifters use creatine monohydrate as a supplement to gain muscle mass.

In the realm of body building supplements, creatine monohydrate is well known to provide many benefits. This dietary supplement assists with weight gain and overall strength when cycled with a well balanced diet. It can be taken as a pill or in a powder form where it is mixed with water.

Red meat is a natural source of creatine.
Red meat is a natural source of creatine.

For many decades weight lifters have struggled to find a legal supplement to assist in gaining muscle. Creatine monohydrate is a supplement designed to help the body retain water, which allows for greater muscle mass. The additional mass will produce more strength.

This supplement is naturally created in the human body primarily by the liver and kidneys. It is considered a critical amino acid for the body's muscles. This amino acid can be found naturally within the meat food group, red meat in particular.

There are multiple forms of creatine supplements. These include creatine citrate, creatine phosphate, and creatine monohydrate. The monohydrate form is the most widely used and generally provides an effective means of increasing the creatine levels in the human body.

It is typical for a body builder to cycle the use of the creatine supplement. Cycling is a process of loading, maintaining, and stopping the use of a supplement. The general cycle process for creatine supplements consists of a one-week load phase, three-or-four-week maintenance phase, and two-week pause.

The scientific community has known about creatine for many centuries. It was introduced in the early 1990s to the body building community and has steadily grown in popularity. This can be attributed to the limited side effects and banning of other illegal supplements during that time.

This supplement does have potential side effects. Creatine monohydrate will cause the body to retain water, which may give a blotted appearance as the additional water will cause weight gain. Other known side effects include upset stomach, diarrhea, high blood pressure, dizziness, liver dysfunction, and possible kidney damage.

All dietary supplements should be taken with precaution. The human body is an intricate organism that tightly manages the input and output of daily nutrients. Creatine monohydrate is not necessary as a daily nutrient and should be managed appropriately.

Creatine supplements can come in powder or pill form.
Creatine supplements can come in powder or pill form.

Discussion Comments


I've been on creatine monohydrate supplementation for the past six months. There has been a significant improvement in my lean muscle mass. Even my face looks leaner and thinner now.

The only issue is that, a couple of months ago, I started getting acne on my face. I never had acne before this and it seems to be getting worse. Could this be a side effect of creatine? Nothing else has changed, my diet, everything is the same otherwise.

Has anyone else experienced acne after starting creatine?


@turquoise-- Yes, you can mix it with fruit juice or with milk. Some people also add it to their protein shake.

I've heard mixing creatine with fruit juice and then heating the juice a little bit increases its absorption. I don't know if that's true though. I personally add mine to milk and drink it cold.


I just bought creatine monohydrate powder supplement in bulk. The directions say to add it to water but I don't think that will be very tasty.

Is there any other way to take it? Can I mix it in juice or something?

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