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How Much Creatine HCL to Take? (Dosage & Side-Effects)

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson | Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Last updated: August 9, 2023
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Creatine hydrochloride is one of the new forms of creatine that promises to give an extra kick with less.

It means it is made to provide your muscle concentrated amounts of creatine but in lower doses.

But, how much of the “less” should you consume?

I spent hours gathering reliable research to help you know the right dosage of taking creatine HCL along with its benefits and side effects. Here’s what I found.

Quick Summary

  • The recommended creatine HCL to take is 1-2 grams per 100 lbs lean body mass per day.
  • Creatine HCL increases overall muscle mass and strength.
  • Apart from this product, you will need a healthy diet and a workout regimen for the best results.

What is Creatine HCL?

Creatine HCL (hydrochloride) is a creatine molecule that has been bonded to hydrochloric acid. This supplement comes in the form of pills or powder.

It's a very popular supplement to take for muscle gain, enhanced strength, and improved physical performance.

Creatine HCL is said to have the results of creatine monohydrate but is created to increase absorption and reduce the possible risks of supplementation.

Creatine HCL is a combined formula of creatine and hydrochloric acid. Let's break it up a bit.

Creatine HCL Right Dosage

Related research shows that only a smaller dose of creatine HCL is needed to reap the same benefits from creatine monohydrate because it is super soluble and highly absorbent. Supplementing with creatine works best with heavy resistance training exercises. Here’s how you should take it.

woman signing no with her arms while in gym clothes

The creatine loading phase is a period when athletes or weightlifters take 20 grams of creatine monohydrate per day for 5-7 days to saturate their muscle cells of creatine.

It is said to be an effective way to get the optimal results.

After loading, they should maintain a dose of 5 grams per day.

However, compared to creatine monohydrate, creatine HCL requires no loading phase. It is because it is a super-concentrated form of creatine and highly soluble.

It is suggested to take a micro-dose of 1-2 grams of creatine HCL per 100 lbs lean body mass per day.

Taking small grams of supplements reduces water retention and the risk of stomach discomfort and bloating. It is also said to boost muscle strength and power.

Additionally, it is suggested to take creatine HCL as your pre-workout and post-workout supplement. On your non-training days, it is advised to take it once per day every morning.

How Does Creatine Work?

two spoons with white pills and powder

Creatine works by boosting your ability to generate ATP energy. It's one of the leading supplements known to enhance exercise performance.

When our muscles run out of energy in ATP or adenosine triphosphate to perform quick and explosive movements, creatine saves the day by converting more energy or ATP, giving our muscles an extra pump.

Our bodies naturally produce creatine, however, only in a specific amount.

To get more of it, you may consume high protein foods such as red meat and fish. However, supplementing with creatine brings extra creatine stores to your body.

Check out the leading creatine supplements on the market.

Hydrochloric acid

Hydrochloric acid is naturally found in our stomach known to help digest food. It is a water-based solution of hydrogen chloride.

Hydrochloric acid is used in many ways, even in processing sugar and gelatine.

Aside from its ability to help digest food, hydrochloric acid is also known to protect our bodies from infection, fight bacteria, and increase nutrient absorption.

Creatine and Hydrochloric Acid Combined

man in a sweater flexing his biceps while pointing at it

When combining the benefits of creatine and the water-solubility of hydrochloric acid, creatine HCL helps your muscles absorb it quickly.

It also means you can take it at a lower dose and still get a high creatine concentration.

Since it is easily dissolved and quickly absorbed, it reduces water retention, the building up of water in your muscle cells, and it helps reduce the possible risks of supplementation.

Safety and Side-Effects

man holding his forehead in pain

Creatine supplements are known as one of the safest supplements in the market.

There are no proven serious health issues linked to it yet.

However, some have experienced minor adverse effects such as digestive problems, headaches, and bloating.

But with creatine HCL, there is no need to drink up large quantities, so that might be the solution to its claimed downsides.

Creatine HCL is also known to reduce the building up of water or fluid, so people who take it don’t experience rapid gain of body mass.

However, research or studies about creatine HCL are so limited. Although it might provide promising results, there is not enough evidence to prove that it is safer or better than creatine monohydrate.

HCl forms need to be studied more before they can be recommended over other forms.

‒ Dr. Grant Tinsley, Assistant Professor & the Director at Texas Tech University [2]

It is good to consider creatine monohydrate because the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) recently concluded that it is still the safest and best form of creatine.

Uses of Creatine Hydrochloride

Athletic and Gym Performance

Creatine HCL is known to boost the exercise performance of sports and gym enthusiasts.

Because taking creatine gives our bodies strength, power, and endurance to perform high-intensity exercise, athletes can sprint faster or jump higher.

In addition, one study shows that people who took the supplementation showed an improvement in performing bench press [1].

4 Major Benefits of Creatine HCL

man without clothes using a dumbbell

1. Increase Muscle Mass and Strength

If you want to increase your lean muscle mass, reduce fat, and boost muscle strength, creatine may do the job.

It helps your muscle grow bigger and stronger to perform heavy resistance training for an extended period. With this, you can reach your bulking and fitness goals more effectively and at a shorter time span.

2. Faster Absorption

One reported benefit of Creatine HCL is that it is 60% better absorbent than creatine monohydrate.

It also means it has high cell permeability meaning the substance can easily pass through the muscle cell; therefore, our bodies absorb the substance better and reduce the wasted amount.

3. Potentially Reduce the Side Effects of Monohydrate

glass of water with powder being poured on it

Creatine HCL is reported to be 40 times more soluble compared to creatine monohydrate because of the hydrochloric acid component.

Because it mixes well with water, our bodies can easily absorb it, and we can take the supplement at a lower dosage.

Taking it at a lower dosage may reduce the risks of the supplementation.

4. Improve Muscle Recovery

Creatine is known to speed up the recovery of our bodies after a workout, thus helping improve your exercise performance and get you back on the gym schedule quickly.


When To Take Creatine HCL?

Take creatine HCL before a workout and after a workout. During your non-training days, you still need to take the supplements once a day.

How Long Does Creatine HCL Work?

Creatine HCL will take at least a week or two to work. It takes some time for creatine to saturate your muscles, so you'd have to wait a while to feel its benefits.

How Should I Take Creatine HCL?

You should take creatine HCL by consuming only 1-2 grams per 100 lbs of body weight per day. Creatine HCL can be ingested by mixing it with water or any other beverage.

Aim to be as constant as possible when it comes to Creatine HCL supplementation.

Is Creatine HCL Better Than Creatine Monohydrate?

Creatine HCL isn't better than creatine monohydrate because both work effectively. No official study has been done to determine which is safer and better between the two forms.

However, creatine HCL is 40 times more soluble and 60% better absorbent than creatine monohydrate, reducing water retention.


Get the Right Amount of Creatine HCL

If you don’t want to drink up large quantities of the supplement to experience bursts of energy to power your body’s muscles but achieve the same performance and health benefits with by far less amount, then creatine HCL supplements may be for you.

Creatine HCL looks promising because of its high solubility and high absorbent qualities. Therefore, it may reduce water retention and the risks of supplementation.

With a regular workout routine and healthy diet, you will see significant results from taking creatine HCL for weeks.


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2 thoughts on “How Much Creatine HCL to Take?
Dosage, Benefits & Side-Effects

  1. The article is great. The question, how much creatine HCl should I take was answered.

  2. Thanks for this! Now I know what is creatine hydrochloride used for.

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