Buffered creatine (Kre-Alkalyn) is a supplement that combines alkaline powder and creatine.
Some doctors claim it's more efficient for building muscle mass, but many are still afraid to use it as creatinine can be toxic if taken in high concentrations.
I'll break down everything you need to know for safe buffered creatine consumption. Read on!
Is Buffered Creatine (Kre-Alkalyn) Safe?
Buffered creatine, also known as kre-alkalyn or chelated creatine, is safe for use, as it contains only alkaline powder and creatine.
If you were to take a basic form of creatine, such as creatine monohydrate, and mix it with alkaline powder, you would probably get the same result.
“No medically significant side effects have been reported from CM supplementation despite the widespread worldwide use and the regulatory status of CM not being well established. Conversely, the efficacy, safety, and regulatory status of most of the newer forms of creatine found in dietary supplements have not been established.”
— Jäger R, Purpura M, Shao A, Inoue T, Kreider R, Analysis of the efficacy, safety, and regulatory status of novel forms of creatine.
There hasn’t been too much research on buffered creatine, but the existing evidence shows it’s safe for use.
To reap the full benefits of this supplement, consume 3g before workouts and 3g immediately after exercise. Also, it's worth mentioning that buffered creatine does not require loading phase.
However, if you want to use this type of creatine for building muscle mass, you should seek medical advice first.
How Does It Differ from Other Forms of Creatine?
- Creatine monohydrate is the most common and basic form of creatine. It's made up of creatine and water molecules and is most commonly taken to improve upper and lower body exercise performance. It's safe to use, but you might experience some mild adverse effects of creatine, such as upset stomach or cramping if you go overboard.
- Creatine ethyl ester is another common form of creatine but much more complex than creatine monohydrate. Many believe that it's superior to other creatine forms and could outperform them in building muscle.
- Creatine hydrochloride has superior solubility in water compared to other forms of creatine supplementation. One study discovered that it’s 38 times more soluble compared to creatine monohydrate . Due to this, it can be used in lower doses (1.5 grams per day compared to the standard creatine monohydrate dose of 5–10 grams), hence avoiding common adverse effects, such as an upset stomach.
- Liquid creatine differs from other creatine supplementation mainly in its form. Research on this type of creatine is limited, but it shows that it’s less effective than monohydrate creatine.
- Creatine magnesium chelate is a basic creatine that has a magnesium molecule attached to it. Studies proved that it's efficient but not better than other forms.
Finally, the buffered form of creatine results from supplement manufacturers mixing creatine and alkaline powder to improve the stability of creatine in the stomach.
Kre-alkalyn should increase the potency and reduce side effects, such as cramping and bloating. However, one study compared the users' strength during bench press and leg press while using creatine monohydrate and creatine kre-alkalyn.
They observed a test and placebo group and gave them the supplement for 28 days. The final analysis showed that neither group experienced a difference in side effects or effectiveness between these two forms of creatine .
The study done by the International Society of Sports Nutrition is the only one that has concluded that kre-alkalyn isn’t better at improving strength, muscle creatine content, or anaerobic capacity, even if it’s supplemented at the same amount as monohydrate.
Which form of creatine supplementation you’ll use depends on your body composition, anaerobic capacity, and strength.
See the best creatine brands.
Side Effects of the Buffered Creatine
Athletes and bodybuilders typically take creatine while they're bulking up.
In an ideal situation, you'd take these supplements to gain weight and develop healthier muscle tissue.
However, even though creatine can improve your strength, power, and muscle size, it can also have adverse effects on your metabolism.
The most common negative effect of creatine is bloating.
It typically happens when you first start supplementing with creatine — known as the loading phase.
Moreover, you can also experience severe water retention. Creatine may also cause you to gain weight without affecting your muscles.
Furthermore, buffered creatine doesn’t always increase the strength or performance of the user.
You can use it continuously but make sure you don’t take more than the total daily dosage listed on the supplement label.
You can’t expect any creatine supplement to be effective if you don’t drink lots of water and maintain a regular workout routine.
Your body will produce additional ATP that you'll need to burn off. So, don't go overboard, stick to your routine.
Cardio exercise is efficient, but heavy lifting, strength training, and circuit training will lead to more substantial gains.
It's essential that you slowly introduce new, more strenuous exercises while using creatine kre-alkalyn supplements.
The Final Verdict on Buffered Creatine
Research has solid proof that creatine is safe for use and brings certain benefits to its users.
You just need to remember to watch how much creatine you use and don’t take more than the total daily dosage.
Have you tried buffered creatine? What’s your experience with it? Share it in the comments!