Creatine is a naturally occuring substance in the body, it forms part of the skeletal muscle tissue in your body, as well as being naturally occuring in food sources, such as red meat.
Creatine is one of the most well researched sports supplements on the market today with a wealth of research to back up the benefits of using creatine. Creatine is essentially a fuel source for ATP in the body's cells which will give an improved amount of energy for short bursts, essentially giving you clean, stimulant free energy. This leads to an increased capability to perform high intensity work (such as lifting weights) and inturn will increase muscle size and strength as the workload can be increased.
A 2004 study by Santos and colleagues also showed that supplementing with creatine pre and post workout could improve recovery, reducing muscle soreness and damage while increasing muscle gain. Other studies have shown creatine to also improve anaerobic performance, as well as improved muscle volumisation, this is caused by the body rapidly pushing water into the muscles causing them to appear bigger as well as seeing an increase in body mass in general due to increased hydration of the muscles.
In addition to these obvious athletic advantages provided by creatine there are numerous proven health benefits to cognitive functions and bone healing.
To get the full benefit a larger dose is needed, which is where creatine supplements are needed.
Most people are familiar with creatine monohydrate, generally this is a creatine powder formula and which is unflavoured and added to protein shakes. Some people have reported digestive discomfort with creatine monohydrate and dislike the need to load up.
This is where the alternatives such as Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE) becomes useful, creatine ethyl ester is generally in capsule form and is much more stable and requires less of a dose to be effective.
A couple of relatively new alternative creatine forumlas have recently emerged such as kre alklayn, this form is available in both powder and capsule form and is pH buffered to be more stable and effective in the body.
Like many supplements sometimes a mix offering the best of all worlds is most effective, an example would be Stacker2 6th Gear Creatine which offers 6 types of creatine!