In both Pre JYM and Post JYM (soon to be released) you will notice 2 grams of creatine hydrochloride (HCL). If you’ve followed my supplement adice for the last dew years then you likely know why I prefer using creatine HCL over creatine monohydrate. And if you don’t know why, this article will break it down for you.
Creatine hydrochloride (HCL) is made by attaching a hydrochloride (HCL) group to creatine to enhance its stability. While creatine is well-recognized by sport scientists and athletes as the most effective supplement that you can take for promoting muscle growth and strength gains, there can be a few issues with the standard form of creatine known as creatine monohydrate.
The main issues with creatine monohydrate are 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 this can also lead to stomach upset (from the creatine sitting in the intestines and drawing water into the intestines) and water retention in the subcutaneous space (under the skin), which blurs a person’s muscularity and makes them look smooth and bloated.
Although some experts claim that creatine monohydrate does not cause any bloating and water retention, I have data on thousands of individuals showing that many of them do in fact experience this “bad” water retention with creatine monohydrate. In fact, several studies actually show that creatine not only increases intracellular water (inside the muscle cells where you want it), but it also increases extracellular water levels, which is the area under the skin that causes that puffy look. Even though the changes in extracellular fluid may be small, in those who are very lean, this can make a big difference in how “shredded” they look. I know that when I am getting ready for a photo shoot, I am NOT risking any small increases in my subcutaneous water levels. That’s just one reason why I use creatine HCL. In fact, I use it right on the day of my photo shoots with zero water retention.
There is also data on numerous individuals experience stomach issues, such as abdominal cramps and diarrhea from taking creatine monohydrate even when it is micronized. Again, this is due to the creatine that is not dissolved in the fluid used to mix it in, which sits in the intestines and draws water in there. I know that personally, I have severe issues with creatine monohydrate. It does not do well with my intestines. And I have heard from thousands of others who experience the same issue. With creatine HCL, I have no stomach issues, which is great news for my stomach, and great news for my muscles because I know that it’s being absorbed and getting to them. This is one thing that many people are noticing with Pre JYM. Despite being loaded with so many ingredients (13 to be exact), all at high doses, there is no stomach discomfort, It is absorbed quickly and completely, and goes to work ASAP.
Creatine HCL works so well because adding the hydrochloride group to the creatine molucule lowers the pH of the creatine, making it more acidic. This drastically increases its solubility in fluids. You will notice this when you mix creatine HCL in water. It mixes almost instantly with no sedimentation so that no particles are sitting in the bottom of the glass. Any ingredients that have precipitated to the bottom of a cup are ingredients that will sit in your intestines and not be absorbed properly. This will also cause water to be pulled into the intestines, causing stomach discomfort and diarrhea. Creatine HCL has been shown in the lab to be about 40 times more soluble in fluid than creatine monohydrate.
And research shows that when subjects consume the same amount of creatine HCL and creatine monohydrate, the creatine HCL is absorbed by the intestines by about 60% better than creatine monohydrate. This mean that you can take a much smaller dose of creatine HCL to get similar results as creatine monohydrate. And 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. Plus, you increase the benefits it imparts.
Although published studies comparing performance benefits of creatine HCL to creatine monohydrate have yet to be done, the data I have on real trained weight lifters confirms that creatine HCL outperforms creatine monohydrate in lean muscle mass gains, strength and power increases, and greater endurance in the gym. This has also been reported by thousands of people following my advice to switch to creatine HCL. But even if you don’t want to believe that creatine HCL outperforms creatine monohydrate, you can rest assured knowing that it definitely provides similar results as creatine monohydrate, at a much smaller dose, with none of the potential side effects. There truly is no debating it.
These are all reasons why it was a no brainer to include 2 grams of creatine HCL in Pre JYM and Post JYM. Even though creatine HCL is much more expensive than creatine monohydrate, the benefits greatly outweigh the price.
This 2 gram dose, taken both preworkout and postworkout is what I have found works best for the majority of people. You would need 5 grams of creatine monohydrate pre and postworkout to provide equivalent performance benefits to 2 grams of creatine HCL. But those 5 grams could wreak havoc on your stomach. And if you have explosive diarrhea after taking creatine monohydrate, then you’re losing all the nutrients you put in your body, like the creatine, as well as the BCAAs, protein, beta-alanine, and other ingredients you should be taking before and after workouts. If these nutrients are literally being flushed down the toilet then your results in the gym will be compromised.
By using Pre JYM you not only get the precise amount of the best form of creatine to use before workouts, but you also get the precise amount of BCAAs, beta-alanine, and betaine that you need before workouts, as well as NO boosters and performance enhancers like citrulline malate, beet extract, alpha-GPC, NAC, caffeine, tyrosine, taurine, and huperzine. Plus there is the proper dose of BioPerine added to further enhance absorption of all those ingredients.
Dash, A., et al. Evaluation of creatine transport using Caco-2 monolayers as an in vitro model for intestinal absorption. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 90(10):1593-1598, 2001.
Powers, M. E., et al. Creatine supplementation increases total body water without altering fluid distribution. Journal of Athletic Training 38(1):44-50, 2003.
Miller, D. Oral bioavailability of creatine supplements: Is there room for improvement? Annual Meeting of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2009.