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Fact checked by Robert Iafelice, MS, RD, LDNFACT CHECKED
August 14, 2023
When it comes to supplementation to get bigger and stronger, nothing comes close to creatine. It is the most researched bodybuilding supplement on the planet - and all the studies agree that creatine is the real deal.¹
Creatine's power lies in its ability to turn ADP back into ATP, the energy your muscles use to push weight. The more ATP in the muscle cell, the more reps you can perform. This directly increases the tension on the muscle, which is the key to muscle growth.
There's plenty of choice in the creatine market, with a popular offering being Con Cret HCL. This version claims to have superior absorbability and to be more effective than standard creatine monohydrate. So, does it stack up?
In this Con Cret Creatine HCL review, we go under the hood to discover whether this creatine version is worth your money and your time.
Table Of Contents
What Is Con-Cret Creatine?
Con-Cret Creatine HCL Review: Pass or Fail?
Benefits of Con-Cret Creatine
Con-Cret Side Effects
Real Con-Cret Customer Reviews
What is Con-Cret Creatine?
Who Should Take Con-Cret?
How Much Con-Cret To Take?
Alternatives To Con-Cret Creatine
Con-Cret Creatine HCL is a micronized form of creatine hydrochloride. It's designed to fast-track creatine into your muscle cells, but unlike most competing products, this product is dosed by body weight. In addition, there is no need for a 4-5 day loading phase, which is required on many competing brands.
The Con-Cret Creatine HCL marketing claims that its unique blend of micro-dosing and HCL delivery system means you won't suffer the common side effects of this supplement, such as bloating and upset stomach. Pro Mera Sports, its manufacturer, also claims that this product has superior solubility and plasma uptake.
Con-Cret HCls creatine's claimed point of difference is that it has a greater rate of absorbability and bioavailability than the competition. This lays the basis for its lower dosage, with the official website claiming that one serving of CON-CRĒT (750 mg) is equivalent to the potency of 3-10 grams of creatine monohydrate. However, they do not provide any evidence in the form of research to back up this rather extravagant claim.
Without any credence to their claim, we are left with a creatine product that is seriously underdosed. The recommended dosage is 750 mg per 100 lbs of body weight. So, a 200 lb guy would take just 2 grams per day, far lower than the generally accepted dosage of 3-5 grams.
Con-Cret HCL is very expensive compared to monohydrate. You'll pay about 50 cents per gram, compared to 3-5 cents per gram for monohydrate. Without solid evidence supporting this product's superiority, we cannot justify that extra cost.
Overall Verdict: FAIL
There is only one ingredient in Con-Cret Creatine HCL - a patented form of creatine HCL. That's what you want and expect in a creatine product. Pro Mera Sports makes some big claims about this ingredient, so how good is it really? Let's find out:
Creatine HCL is a form of creatine bound to hydrochloric acid. Theoretically, this makes the creatine more stable and water-soluble, mixing and dissolving better than standard creatine monohydrate. As a result, you won't end up with any gritty residue at the bottom of your glass.
Because creatine HCL is more soluble and supposedly absorbs nutrients more effectively than creatine monohydrate, less may be required to have the same effects. Creatine HCL may be more comfortable for some people whose digestion or bloating is affected by creatine monohydrate powder.
Pro Mera claims that their patented form of Creatine HCL is better absorbed than competing versions of creatine. However, they do not provide any studies to support that claim. Regarding the research on HCL vs creatine monohydrate, the results are inconclusive.² Some studies show a slightly improved absorption level with HCL, while others show no difference.
A 2018 rodent study found that creatine HCL had a bioavailability rating of 66% compared to just 17% for creatine monohydrate.³ However, no studies to date show that these results translate to humans. In fact, a 2015 study concluded that there are no significant weightlifting differences between study groups taking creatine HCL and creatine monohydrate.⁴
There are some clear studies to show that the addition of HCL makes creatine more water-soluble.
HCL makes creatine more water-soluble. A 2010 study found that creatine HCL is 38 times more soluble than creatine monohydrate powder.⁵ That means this product will mix better with water, but it does not indicate that it will produce better results once inside your body.
Let's now talk about the dosage. Each serving of Con-Cret Creatine HCL provides you with just 750 mg. Yet, the generally accepted and recommended dosage for creatine is 3-5 grams per day. The justification for the lower dosage is that the improved bioavailability of the patented HCL form compensates for it. However, as we've seen, there is no solid backing for the increased bioavailability claim.
In a sense, the low dosage isn't a huge problem. If you want more, you can simply take more. However, this undermines the dosing per container claims and makes the per-unit price more expensive. So, to get the low side of the recommended dosage (3 grams), you would have to take four times the Con-Cret dosage.
Here's what Pro Mera sports claim Con-Cret Creatine HCL will do for you:
Creatine is a highly researched substance that has been shown to increase strength and power output, as it's critical in regenerating ATP to maintain higher energy levels.
You might be able to boost your muscles' stores of creatine phosphate by taking supplements like Con-Cret creatine HCL. You may be able to lift more weight, complete more repetitions, and make faster improvements in your strength-training efforts as a result.
Creatine supplementation has been connected to improved endurance, particularly during high-intensity, repeated activities. During lengthy, strenuous exercises or sports activities, creatine may help delay fatigue and lessen the feeling of depletion by maintaining higher levels of ATP.
Con-Cret creatine HCL may help endurance athletes, such as runners, bikers, and swimmers, by reducing the possibility of delayed exhaustion during demanding practice sessions or competitions. But it's important to keep in mind that each person may experience different levels of benefit from creatine, making its influence on endurance more individualized.
Creatine supplementation has been linked to enhanced protein synthesis and cell volumization, increasing the water content of muscle cells. When combined with appropriate resistance exercise and nutrition, these elements may eventually help to develop lean muscle mass.
People may enjoy improved muscle recovery and increased muscle-building potential when using Con-Cret Creatine HCL in conjunction with a well-structured workout plan. Creatine supplements provide you with greater strength and power, making your workouts more productive and promoting the growth and development of your muscles.
Con-Cret Creatine HCL may have specific negative side effects, although these are often minor and sporadic. These may include:
Gastrointestinal discomfort: Some people may experience gas, bloating, or diarrhea.
Water Retention: Creatine supplementation may result in muscle gain and a rise in the water content of muscle cells (cell volumization). While this may help muscles feel fuller and boost function, it may also make some people feel slightly bloated or retain water outside of their muscles.
Muscle Cramps: Occasionally, some users have reported getting cramps while taking creatine supplements. When utilizing creatine, it's important to drink enough water to reduce the chance of cramps.
Liver and Kidney Function: There is ongoing discussion and clinical trials regarding the potential effects of creatine supplementation on liver and kidney function. When healthy people take the recommended dosages, the majority of studies have not discovered any negative effects.⁶ However, those with renal or liver problems should consume creatine under medical care.
Drug Interactions: Taking creatine supplements may cause certain drugs, notably those that influence kidney function or water balance, to interfere.
Verified Con-Cret Creatine HCL reviews can be found on the official website and Amazon. In contrast to many supplement websites, the Pro Mera site features both positive and negative reviews, which is good to see. On Amazon, the product has a 4.4-star rating based on more than 3,800 reviews. Here are a couple of typical reviews:
Lowbis: Amazon customer (source)
Ben: Amazon customer (source)
The following groups may benefit from taking Con-Cret Creatine HCL:
Weight Trainers: People who train with weights frequently use creatine supplements, such as Con-Cret HCL. Those looking to increase their strength, power, and muscular mass may find it especially helpful.
Endurance Athletes: Some endurance athletes, including swimmers, bikers, and runners, may take creatine supplements to enhance exercise performance and postpone fatigue during training and competition.
Vegetarians: Vegetarians and vegans may have reduced natural creatine storage because creatine is primarily contained in animal-based diets. Supplemental creatine can help these populations maintain optimum nutrition.
People Not Sensitive to Creatine: Some people may experience gastrointestinal discomfort or other adverse effects when using conventional creatine monohydrate. Those who have had trouble with creatine monohydrate may want to try creatine HCL since it is claimed to be a more soluble and well-tolerated version.
According to the official website, Con-Cret Creatine HCL should be taken one hour before your workout or high-intensity sports activity. It can also be taken post-workout to assist with muscle repair and recovery. According to Pro Mera, taking Con-Cret on your off days is unnecessary, though you may take a half dose to help with muscle recovery.
Con-Cret claims to be the only creatine on the market dosed according to body weight. The recommended dosage is 750 mg for every 100 lbs of body weight. So, a 200 lb person would take 1.5 grams per day. You do not have to undertake a loading phase with this product.
The creative market is highly competitive, so there are plenty of quality alternatives to Con-Cret HCL creatine. Here at Set-for-Set, we love creatine as a muscle-building supplement, so we keep a close eye on what's available. Here are three alternatives to Con-Cret that we consider to be top-notch:
Ultimate CRN-5 from Crazy Bulk has been winning a lot of fans due to its unique combination of four different forms of creatine to deliver maximum recovery and muscle-building results. Here's what you get:
Creatine Monohydrate: 3750 mg
Di-Creatine Malate: 500 mg
Creatine Citrate Pyruvate: 250 mg
Tri-Creatine Malate: 500 mg
In addition, you get the essential electrolytes potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium. If you add up all those creatine amounts, you'll find that the total dosage per serving is 5 grams, which is about ideal. Even though monohydrate is the most verified form and is included in by far the largest dose, the addition of four other forms means that you may get extra benefits.
Creatine monohydrate and malic acid are combined to form di-creatine malate. Research claims that malic acid enhances absorption and minimizes potential gastrointestinal adverse effects.
The combination of creatine, citrate, and pyruvate may improve energy production. Tri—creatine malate is similar to di-creatine malate but includes a higher malic acid component, supposedly for greater bioavailability.
The addition of electrolytes boosts the effectiveness of this product, as they are needed to maintain fluid balance, enhance muscle contractions and promote cellular function.
Ultimate CRN-5 comes in a mango and orange flavor that has gotten rave reviewed for taste. It also mixes well and doesn't leave a gritty residue.
Naked Nutrition has made a name for itself by delivering pure, artificial ingredient-free products to the market. Their flagship creatine product is a prime example, consisting of nothing but creatine monohydrate. You won't find any small print listing flavorings or caking agents with this product. What you will find is a heavy metal testing chart showing that there are only trace levels of heavy metals in this version of creatine.
The recommended dosage for Naked Nutrition Naked Creatine is 5 grams, which is right in line with the amounts used in clinical studies. There is no taste in this creatine, and it mixes and dissolves well. The lack of flavor means you can add your creatine to your protein shake or other beverage (I sprinkle mine on my oatmeal) without affecting the taste.
Unlike many other creatine monohydrate products, there is no unpleasant aftertaste when you take Naked Nutrition Naked Creatine. With a price of $43.99 on Amazon for a 200-serving container, you're paying about 22 cents per daily serving.
Transparent Labs Creatine HMB combines 5 grams of creatine monohydrate with 1.5 grams of hydroxy methylbutyrate (HMB). This combination is claimed to produce a more powerful workout due to the synergistic effects of the two compounds. While creatine replenishes ATP levels, HMB reduces muscle breakdown during intense exercise. It also supports muscle recovery and limits muscle damage caused by resistance training. The two ingredients may also complement one another in terms of muscle growth and exercise endurance.
Transparent Labs Creatine HMB comes in seven flavors and an unflavored version. That's a lot of taste choice for a creatine product! The mixability is good, and there is no aftertaste with any of the flavors. You'll pay $45 for a 30-day supply, which breaks down to $1.50 per serving. That is very high for a creatine monohydrate supplement, so you are paying a premium for adding HMB.
Now let's get into some of the more commonly asked questions.
Con-Cret creatine is a form of creatine hydrochloride (HCL) supplement that enhances athletic performance by increasing muscle energy production during high-intensity activities. It supports greater strength, power, and endurance during resistance exercises and short bursts of intense physical efforts.
By replenishing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) stores, Con-Cret creatine speeds up recovery between sets, potentially allowing for more repetitions and heavier lifts. It may also promote muscle cell volumization, increasing muscle fullness and potential gains in lean muscle mass over time. Con-Cret creatine is easy to mix and may be better tolerated than traditional creatine monohydrate due to its improved solubility.
No Con-Cret is not FDA Approved. Dietary supplements are not subject to FDA approval in the same way that prescription medications are. Supplements like Con-Cret are covered by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (1994). The Act stipulates that manufacturers are responsible for ensuring their products' safety and accurate labeling. The FDA has monitoring procedures to oversee the efficacy of nutritional supplements.
Creatine monohydrate powder is the most researched form of creatine. As such, it is generally accepted as the best form of the supplement. In study after study, it has been shown to safely and effectively increase strength, power, and muscle mass when combined with intense weight training.
While side effects from Con-Cret Creatine HCL are relatively rare, they may include such gastrointestinal distress as bloating, gas, or diarrhea. Some people may get cramping in their muscles while taking creatine powder.
To reduce the likelihood of cramps, it is essential to drink lots of water. Using creatine supplements may result in slightly increased water retention in muscle cells, giving some users a minor bloating sensation. However, it can also help with workout performance and increased cell volumization.
In this Con-Cret creatine HCL review, we've been able to challenge some of the claims made by Pro Mera Sports Nutrition about the product.
We've discovered no solid research backing up claims that Con-Cret is up to three times as potent as regular creatine monohydrate. With no substantiation for that assertion, we are left with a creatine supplement that is seriously underdosed. As a result, you are not likely to get enough of this compound into your body to get the effect you want.
That's why we cannot give our endorsement to Con-Crete Creatine HCL. Instead, we suggest trying out one of our preferred alternatives - Crazy Nutrition Ultimate CRN-5, Naked Nutrition Naked Creatine, and Transparent Labs Creatine HMB.
Want to learn more about your options? Read our 8 Best Creatine Supplements for Lifters in 2023 to find the perfect creatine supplement for you.
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Jäger, R., Purpura, M., Shao, A., Inoue, T., & Kreider, R. B. (2011). Analysis of the efficacy, safety, and regulatory status of novel forms of creatine. Amino Acids, 40(5), 1369–1383. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-011-0874-6
Alraddadi, E., Lillico, R., Vennerstrom, J., Lakowski, T., & Miller, D. (2018). Absolute oral bioavailability of creatine monohydrate in rats: Debunking a myth. Pharmaceutics, 10(1), 31. https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics10010031
França, E. de, Avelar, B., Yoshioka, C., Santana, J. O., Madureira, D., Rocha, L. Y., Zocoler, C. A., Rossi, F. E., Lira, F. S., Rodrigues, B., & Caperuto, É. C. (2015). Creatine hcl and creatine monohydrate improve strength but only creatine hcl induced changes on body composition in recreational weightlifters. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 06(17), 1624–1630. https://doi.org/10.4236/fns.2015.617167
Gufford, B. T., Sriraghavan, K., Miller, N. J., Miller, D. W., Gu, X., Vennerstrom, J. L., & Robinson, D. H. (2010). Physicochemical characterization of creatinen-methylguanidinium salts. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 7(3), 240–252. https://doi.org/10.3109/19390211.2010.491507
Barcelos, R. P., Stefanello, S. T., Mauriz, J. L., Gonzalez-Gallego, J., & Soares, F. A. A. (2015). Creatine and the liver: Metabolism and possible interactions. Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry, 16(1), 12–18. https://doi.org/10.2174/1389557515666150722102613
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