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Micronized Creatine vs Monohydrate: The Key Differences

Grace Gavilanes

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If you’re interested in helping to improve muscular endurance and recovery, you may be considering two popular forms of creatine: creatine monohydrate and micronized creatine.


People looking for a clinically proven creatine powder often turn to creatine monohydrate, while those who prioritize a creatine supplement that’s highly soluble (easily dissolves) may reach for micronized creatine. The latter has also been found to be more expensive, while the former generally costs less due to its pure form of creatine.


But there’s a lot more to know about these two forms of creatine, which is highly popular in the supplement space.


In this explainer, we take a closer look at these two forms of creatine, including their similarities and differences, and if one is truly more beneficial than the other.


A Creatine Refresher

Before we fully dive into the similarities and differences between creatine monohydrate and micronized creatine, let’s first start with what creatine is:


Creatine is an amino acid that plays a critical role in cellular energy production. Helping to boost your phosphate reservoirs, creatine also supports the creation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) throughout the body. ATP is key to driving energy at the cellular level and supports fundamental functions from muscle movement to nerve cell growth.


Creatine Monohydrate Overview

The benefits of creatine—specifically, creatine monohydrate—have been extensively studied and supported by a growing body of scientific research. Peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated its positive impact on physical performance, lean muscle mass development, strength, power, and cognitive function.


That’s why creatine monohydrate is referred to as the gold standard of creatine supplementation. More specifically, creatine monohydrate is the purest form of creatine.


Micronized Creatine Overview

Creatine has been found to help you increase muscle and brain creatine levels, helping you perform better mentally and physically. In the case of micronized creatine—a different type of creatine—these benefits aren’t yet fully supported.


Micronized creatine is made by breaking creatine molecules down into smaller particles. Additionally, due to the smaller particle size, bioavailability and solubility is said to be better with micronized creatine powders.


Key Differences: Micronized Creatine vs. Creatine Monohydrate

Micronized creatine monohydrate and regular creatine monohydrate may share the same amino acid, but they do differ in some ways:

Creatine vs. Monohydrate

Effectiveness

While both forms of creatine claim to support muscle function, only creatine monohydrate has the clinical research to back it up. This is why it’s often referred to as the gold standard of creatine supplementation.


Mixability

Solubility is, of course, important. You want to be able to scoop your preferred creatine form into a glass of liquid without it clumping. While both claim to boast impressive solubility, micronized creatine may win in this case because of its small particle size.


Dosage

Creatine dosage varies by health goal. For optimal absorption, it is recommended to supplement with 3-5g of creatine per day, according to this study. It is hypothesized that this dosage may have a larger bioavailability than dosages above 10g per serving. This recommended dosage applies to creatine monohydrate. There isn’t a specific recommended dose for micronized creatine.


Form Factor

As the most versatile of the creatine types, creatine monohydrate comes in several forms, including as a pill, powder, or capsule. Micronized creatine, on the other hand, is primarily sold as a powder.


Side Effects

While some users may experience some digestive discomfort—entirely dependent on the individual—there are no major side effects linked to creatine monohydrate or micronized creatine.


Price

Product prices vary depending on a few factors, such as the type of testing and processing a formula undergoes, as well as any certifications it garners. This is the case for all supplements. Generally speaking, micronized creatine may cost more since it undergoes additional steps to achieve its smaller particle size. Creatine monohydrate is generally more affordable since it’s sold in its purest form.

How Micronized Creatine and Creatine Monohydrate Are Similar


Micronized creatine and creatine monohydrate share the same active ingredient—creatine—which studies have found may improve physical performance, enhance lean body mass development, increase strength and power, and support cognitive benefits such as enhanced memory and reduced mental fatigue. Additionally, these forms of creatine are both soluble and have a recommended daily dosage of up to 5g of creatine per serving.


Which Is Better for You: Micronized Creatine or Monohydrate?

The choice is yours. If your main goal is to have a highly soluble supplement, you may want to add micronized creatine to your daily wellness routine. On the other hand, if you want the most widely tested and more cost effective option, creatine monohydrate could be a better fit.


If you’re looking for a scientifically validated creatine product that’s fully NSF and Informed Sport certified, reach for Momentous Creatine, which features only one ingredient: creatine monohydrate. It mixes great into any liquid or drink and is fully NSF and Informed Sport certified.

“Creatine is one of the most established and well-rounded supplements ever developed. It’s actually absurd how effective creatine is, especially with even more evidence coming out now in regards to cognitive function and neurological disease.”

-Dr. Andy Galpin

Frequently Asked Questions


Is it better to take creatine before or after a workout? 

Research has found that it’s more beneficial to supplement with creatine immediately after a workout due to its positive effect on strength and body composition.


How long does it take to see results? 

Results may vary depending on individual factors such as diet, exercise routine, and overall health. However, many users report experiencing noticeable improvements in performance and muscle development within two to four weeks of consistent use.


What is creatine loading? 

Those who want to quickly increase muscle creatine content may consider what’s known as a loading phase. This refers to taking increased amounts of creatine at about 20-25g every day for up to one week. Studies report creatine loading to be effective, sharing that this increase can boost muscle stores of creatine by up to 40%. The recommended daily dosage has the same benefits, but since it’s lower, will take longer to kick in.


Is creatine safe to take daily? 

Yes, creatine is safe to take daily. In fact, consistency is encouraged since daily supplementation may help improve muscle performance and cognitive function. For your reference, it takes around 14 days to begin experiencing creatine’s benefits.


Can women take creatine? 

Absolutely! Creatine is suitable for anyone looking to optimize their physical performance and achieve their fitness goals.


Are creatine gains permanent? 

As is the case with many supplements, the benefits that come with regularly taking creatine may not be permanent. This is dependent on following a nutrient-rich diet, regular exercise routine, and consistent creatine supplementation — and whether or not this routine is part of a strictly followed daily regimen.


Is creatine safe to stack with other supplements? 

While taking creatine on its own is enough to reap impressive health benefits—such as improvements in physical performance, enhanced lean muscle development, and increased strength and power—combining creatine with other high-quality supplements, like collagen, protein, or amino acids, can take these benefits to the next level.


Does creatine cause excessive weight gain or bloating? 

No, creatine does not cause excessive weight gain or stomach bloating. It primarily promotes lean muscle development and improved performance without causing excessive water retention.


Does creatine affect anxiety? 

Emerging evidence suggests a link between creatine and mental disorders , such as anxiety and depression, due to creatine increasing the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain. This activity may lead to the overstimulation of the central nervous system, which influences mental well-being. We recommend first consulting your licensed healthcare professional before adding a new supplement to your routine.


Grace Gavilanes

Grace Gavilanes

Grace Gavilanes is a writer-editor with over 10 years of experience in the wellness and lifestyle space. Her writing has been published in PeopleWell + GoodGlamourFood & Wine, and more.