September, 2017

Creatine HCl Included in SSP PRE & POST Workout Formulas to Increase Strength and Endurance

In reviewing the benefits of creatine and comparing the difference between creatine monohydrate vs creatine HCl, I have drawn from several sources and studies (links below).

Creatine is currently the most popular and most commonly used sports supplement. It is the number one selling supplement with sales estimated at around $100-200 million dollars a year. It has been scientifically proven to benefit any athlete looking for an increase in strength, mass, and overall endurance.

Creatine HCl is included in both SSP PRE & SSP POST workout formulas!

Here are just a few benefits creatine has been shown to provide (Buford et al., 2007):

Increased strength and power

Increased muscle mass

Increased fat loss

Improved recovery

Improved sports performance


While creatine is well-recognized by sport scientists and athletes as one of the most effective supplement ingredients you can take to promote muscle growth and strength gains, there can be a few issues with the standard form of creatine known as creatine monohydrate.

Relationship between creatine and water:

Certain sources of creatine require a large amount of water, which is one of the reasons why certain individuals experience digestive issues and extracellular water retention (outside the cell) when taking it. Comparing Creatine Monohydrate (CM) and Creatine HCI (C-HCI):

– A 5g dose of CM would require approximately 625ml of water to maximise absorption.

– An equivalent dose of C-HCI would only require 10ml of water to maximise absorption.

The main issues with creatine monohydrate is its solubility in fluids and its absorption by the body. Some research has reported that less than 3% of the original amount of creatine monohydrate is transported across the intestinal cells within 90 minutes. Not only is this an issue because it limits the uptake of creatine by the intestines and then by the muscles, but it can also lead to stomach upset (from the creatine sitting in the intestines and drawing water into them) and water retention in the subcutaneous space (under the skin), which blurs a person's muscularity and makes them look smooth and bloated.

Since it doesn’t dissolve easily into water, it then later doesn’t cross from your intestines into your blood stream easily. Due to this, a great deal of creatine monohydrate is left in your intestinal tract.

Why SSP has Creatine HCl Built into Our PRE & POST Workout Formulas:

Besides creatine monohydrate, creatine HCl is the most popular form of creatine. Why? Because when you take creatine HCL, it dissolves faster, less is required, and creatine symptoms like bloating are non-existent. Creatine hydrochloride (HCl) is made by attaching a hydrochloride (HCl) group to creatine to enhance its stability.

Two key considerations when supplementing with creatine:

1.Aqueous Solubility: how well creatine mixes and is absorbed. Below is a list of the common creatine forms and their relative solubility score (the higher the score, the greater the solubility). Some forms of creatine such as Creatine HCI have a much greater solubility, which is why a much lower dose is required.

Creatine Monohydrate: 1.0

Creatine Citrate: 2.8

Creatine Pyruvate 5.9

Micro Crystalized: 0.9

Creatine HCI: 39.3

2.Cell Permeability: how well creatine crosses the intestinal barrier. Some forms of creatine have a poor permeability, meaning most of that which is ingested is not actually absorbed, thus resulting in it being excreted in the urine. Creatine HCI has one of the highest absorption rates out of all the creatine forms currently available on the market.

Creatine Basics: Within the human body, we produce around 1g of creatine per day which is synthesised mainly within the liver and kidneys (Persky et al. 2001). The majority of creatine stores are found within muscle and humans can obtain additional creatine externally via diet (foods such as meat & fish) and supplementation (Burke et al. 2008).

Amount needed: The amount of creatine you need to consume largely depends on the type of creatine you are using. Common sources of creatine such as Creatine Monohydrate should be around 3-5g per day. In contrast, other forms such as Creatine HCI, you only require around 2g per day. The amount depends on the molecular makeup, bioavailability/absorption, and an individual’s body weight. Left over creatine monohydrate in your intestinal tract has the potential to do two irritable things. First, it draws in a great deal of water which causes you to bloat and have a soft, hydrated stool which reduces nutrient uptake. Second, bacteria in your gut may utilize creatine and heavily proliferate, creating imbalances that can reduce nutrient uptake.

Research shows that when subjects consume the same amounts of creatine HCL and creatine monohydrate, the creatine HCL is absorbed by the intestines around 60% better than creatine monohydrate. This means that you can take a much smaller dose of creatine HCL to get similar results as creatine monohydrate. With greater solubility in fluid, greater absorption by the intestines and with a much smaller dose, you significantly reduce the chance of stomach issues and subcutaneous water retention.

Published in Food and Nutrition Sciences, researchers at the University of Sao Judas Tadeu in Sao Paulo Brazil compared creatine monohydrate supplementation to creatine HCL supplementation in bodybuilders. Click link to review results: https://file.scirp.org/pdf/FNS_2015122815333061.pdf

Results of the study found that creatine monohydrate and creatine HCL produced the same performance enhancing results. In addition, creatine HCL produced more aesthetic results with the lack of additional water bloating.






Back to blog


non prescription levitra


In my opinion, Creatine HCL is a MUST try for anyone suffering from sensitive stomach issues as a result of Creatine Monohydrate. Speaking from personal experience, I’m not sure HCL has any strength/physique enhancing benefits over Monohydrate, but it definitely limits, if not fully eliminates any stomach related symptoms. I go more in depth on this subject at: https://www.postworkoutbeer.com/creatine-hcl-all-the-gains-no-upset-stomach/

SSP specifically does a great job with their Post (I can’t comment on the PRE due to Caffeine intolerance) from dosage to ingredients included (tastes great too!!). It definitely gets the job done in terms of maximizing strength gains and recovery!

Matt B

Contact form