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What is Creatine Hydrochloride? Why Creatine Hydrochloride? Is Creatine Hydrochloride better than Creatine Monohydrate? How is Creatine Hydrochloride better than Creatine Monohydrate? We’ve put together a scientific-based article to clear all your questions and doubts about creatine hydrochloride, once and for all.

Creatine Hydrochloride (CrHCl) is created by reacting creatine monohydrate (CrH2O)with acetyl chloride (CH3COCl) in the presence of ethanol as the solvent.[1] The reaction produces a granular precipitate consisting of CrHCl salt in high purity. The result is a much purer product compared to other creatine forms. Because Creatine HCl is a more “refined” and reacted form of CrH2O that requires additional processing steps, CrHCl products are typically much more expensive than CrH2O products.

Overall, the evidence suggests that creatine supplementation, especially when paired with resistance training, can help older adults maintain or increase muscle mass and strength. It may also be beneficial in managing adult-onset obesity by preserving muscle mass during weight loss efforts. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of creatine supplementation in these contexts.

But don't allow the higher cost of CrHCl to dissuade you from considering it over CrH2O. This exemplifies the concept of "Less is More." Despite being pricier, CrHCl requires only one-fifth the amount to achieve the same results as CrH2O.

Not convinced? Continue reading below to gain insights on a molecular level.

Two main factors determine how well your body can absorb a nutrient: first is the bioavailability of said nutrient, and second is the permeability of the said nutrient through various barriers of the digestive system to enter bloodstreams. Optimal absorption requires both high levels of bioavailability and permeability.


Once we ingest a nutrient, within 2-3 seconds, the nutrient will reach our stomach, where gastric juice composed of hydrochloric acid (HCl) and a small fraction of digestive enzymes will either breakdown the nutrient for better absorption or destroy its functional structure making it no longer bioavailable for the body to use. A large portion of creatine monohydrate is quickly destroyed upon exposure to the hydrochloric acid in the stomach. This is the reason why a loading phase is needed for creatine monohydrate. The inclusion of the HCl group in CrHCl makes it highly stable at the pH level of the gastrointestinal tract. The result is much higher bioavailability.


Once inside the stomach, creatine, with its structural similarities with amino acids, enters the blood circulation by passively diffusing through the intercellular space between the epithelial cells lining the stomach and intestine.[2]
CrH2O has limited ability to cross the epithelium due to its low solubility.[3] CrHCl was developed to increase the water solubility of creatine monohydrate. The patent for CrHCl noted its water solubility to exceed approximately 150 mg/mL, whereas CrH2O was only around 10-15 mg/mL.[1]
Further studies have substantiated these findings, revealing CrHCl to be 38 times more soluble in solution compared to CrH2O.[4] With this significantly higher solubility, CrHCl can traverse this barrier 6 times more effectively.
The enhanced bioavailability and permeability allow CrHCl to be taken in much smaller doses while still providing similar performance benefits and reducing the risk of side effects, such as the stomach and water retention issues associated with CrH2O supplementation.


Not only does creatine HCl have a higher absorption rate, it also produces significantly better results in reducing body mass than its monohydrate counterpart. A scientific study published by University in Sao Paulo Brazil in 2005[5] compared the effect of CrHCl and monohydrate on body strength and composition in 40 healthy individuals in both genders between 20 and 40 years old. The study concluded that CrHCl and CrH2O both improved strength but only Creatine HCl induced changes on body composition in Recreational Weightlifters. After 4 weeks of strength training, the body fat % of the group given CrHCl has 10% reduction compared to 5% reduction recorded in both control group and the groups given creatine monohydrate.

FolonaTM Creatine HCl capsule incorporates a clinically validated dosage of Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB), a metabolite derived from the amino acid leucine. This combination synergistically enhances muscle mass growth and improves fitness performance.


[1] Miller D, Vennerstrom J, Faulkner M, Inventors (2019); Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska, NE, assignee. Creatine oral supplementation using creatine hydrochloride salt.

[2] Persky AM, Brazeau GA. (2019) Clinical pharmacology of the dietary supplement creatine monohydrate. Pharmacolological Reviews.< Jun 2001;53(2):161-176. J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8, 488./p>

[3] Dash AK, et al. (2001) Evaluation of creatine transport using Caco-2 monolayers as an in vitro model for intestinal absorption. Journal of pharmaceutical sciences. 90(10):1593-1598.

[4] Gufford BT et al. (2010) Physicochemical characterization of creatine N-methylguanidinium salts. Journal of Dietary Supplements. 7(3):240-252.

[5] de França, E., et al. (2015) Creatine HCl and Creatine Monohydrate Improve Strength but Only Creatine HCl Induced Changes on Body Composition in Recreational Weightlifters. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 6, 1624-1630.

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