Originally Posted by Jdsm
The water retention really is exaggerated, it's not a great deal.
It is not.
You WILL retain water if you take Creatine Monohydrate. It will take about 7-14 days for your body to go back to normal.
As a fighter I experimented with this. I walk around about 75kg. I took creatine (diet EXACTLY the same) and my weight went up to 80kg in 6 weeks. I stopped taking creatine and was down to 76/76.5kg within about 10 days.
The alternative is Creatine Ethyl Ester. You will not retain the water due to the fact it isn't bonded with water, rather it is Monohydrate with ether attached (which the body better absorbs). However, there are studies that show the rate of strength and power increases is not quite as high as Monohydrate.
So, you have to weight it up: Monohydrate is likely to give you slightly better results (but you will look puffy whilst getting them) vs Ethyl Ester (which certainly boosts your creatine levels - but whether more or less than Monohydrate hasn't been conclusively proven).