In the past few years, supplement R&D teams have created several different "buffered" forms of creatine that are purported to promote greater creatine retention with fewer side effects at lower doses than creatine monohydrate. However, until a recent study, there was a paucity of published research investigating the efficacy of buffered creatine.
Using a randomized and double-blinded design, scientists pitted "good old fashioned" creatine monohydrate against buffered creatine monohydrate in 36 resistance-trained subjects over 28 days. Although both forms of creatine increased muscle creatine content, creatine monohydrate led to greater loading than buffered creatine when dosed based on the manufacturers recommendations. It was concluded that buffered creatine monohydrate was no more effective or safer than creatine monohydrate.
Jagim AR, Oliver JM, Sanchez A, Galvan E, Fluckey J, Riechman S, Greenwood M, Kelly K, Meininger C, Rasmussen C, Kreider RB. A buffered form of creatine does not promote greater changes in muscle creatine content, body composition, or training adaptations than creatine monohydrate. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Sep 13;9(1):43. [Epub ahead of print]