Creatine is certainly a bodybuilding supplement that stands the test of time. Creatine is actually a molecule that exists within the human body naturally. But with supplementation, users can boost their endurance and muscle mass, as well as promote better recovery after a workout.
Most creatine supplements are comprised of pure creatine and amino acids, but some companies offer different variants such as creatine HCL( Creatine Hydrochloride.) Powdered creatine has taken off in popularity because it serves to energize muscle cells while gaining muscle mass.
Finding the best one for you is very subjective. You’ll have to do your research as to the different types of creatine out there, check out the rankings of creatine supplements and then make an educated decision as to the best one for you.
It’s helpful to shortlist the best creatine supplements, which is why you are reading this guide. We have compiled what we think about the best creatine supplements so as to make your job easier. There’s a lot to see out there, from monohydrate supplements and micronized creatine versions to creatine HCL supplements and more. It can get pretty confusing.
Check out our list of the best creatine supplements on the market today..
The Best Creatine Supplements: 2022
Here we will review the following brands:
|Xwerks Lift||Top muscle building benefits|
|Crazy Nutrition CRN-5 Creatine||Comprises five different forms of creatine|
|Onnit Creatine||Ensures strength and performance.|
|Performance Lab Maintain||The best for muscle maintenance.|
|Cellucor Creatine Monohydrate||Provides lean muscle mass.|
|Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder||Offers optimal workout energy.|
|Beast Sports Creature Creatine||Ensures good muscle growth.|
|NSP Nutrition Muscle Power Creatine||Naturally heightens energy levels.|
|Elm & Rye Creatine||Prevents fatigue of muscles.|
Read on to find out more information about how these products work:
LIFT from XWerks offers an uncomplicated solution that provides straight-forward creatine that does what it says it will. They don’t oversell their formula; instead, they rely on its proven benefits. Their product comes in unflavored creatine monohydrate that you can easily blend into shakes, beverages and pre-workout formulas.
Because this creatine powder gives you awesome micronized creatine monohydrates to better strengthen muscle cells, you can build lean muscle mass. It has pure micronized creatine, which is great for overall muscle building.
Not all creatine supplements can improve athletic performance, but this creatine monohydrate formula can give you an edge over other creatine powders.
This formula ranks so high on our list because of the power increase and strength support. You can get five grams of creatine in each serving, although the mixture offers 80 servings per container. The package costs $39, so you know you’re getting a good value for your money.
|Dosage||1 daily serving|
The CRN-5 Creatine formula is a high-quality remedy, offering 30 scoops per jar at about 10 grams each. This formula can boost your pumps, making heavy lifting easier and enhancing your workouts and recovery processes.
This selective creatine supplement is beloved by many people. The company offers five different types of creatine:
- Pure creatine monohydrate
- Creatine ethyl ester
- Creatine hydrochloride
- Tri-creatine malate
- Creatine citrate pyruvate
The blend of the above five sources boosts the power of the supplement. It doesn’t have the side effects that other creatine supplements do. That’s because it’s a premium creatine monohydrate supplement using a micronized creatine monohydrate, good for all users.
They also contain electrolytes to enhance hydration. But you should still also drink plenty of water.
|Dosage||1 daily serving|
This brand also has a solid reputation, offering this creatine monohydrate to improve strength and performance.
|Dosage||1 daily serving|
|Ingredients||Micronized creatine monohydrate|
SPORT Maintain from Performance Lab gives you an extended-release formula designed to improve muscle growth. You should use it every day for the best in strength, power, and endurance. Best part is, you don’t have to mix it because it comes in capsule form. In order to achieve your desired muscle gains, you will have to take between six and 10 pills. But you can derive about 3,000 mg of creatine from ingesting all those capsules.
|Dosage||2 daily capsules|
Cellucor is well hyped for a reason. It boasts 72 servings in each package, all at a reasonable price. It includes a micronized creatine monohydrate, taken daily, which improves digestion and enhances absorption. Take daily servings to ensure rapid lean muscle mass.
|Dosage||1 daily serving|
|Ingredients||Creatine monohydrate, Disodium phosphate, Betaine anhydrous|
Optimum Nutrition’s Micronized Creatine Powder gives you a much-needed boost as you push your muscle size, performance and strength to higher limits. To enhance ATP recycling, you will get five grams of creatine monohydrate in each serving so you can optimize each movement.
If you’re looking to prioritize your muscle development, you will be happy to know each serving has no calories and carbohydrates, plus no fillers.
This benchmark creatine supplement comes with more creatine per serving so users get the best results possible. You will like this powdered creatine that has three amino acids.
|Dosage||1 daily serving|
NSP Nutrition Muscle Power Creatine gives you fast results leading to quicker changes in muscle mass, strength and fat loss, thanks to the five grams of creatine per serving.
You’ll pay just $28, which is affordable. Plus, there are no fillers, allowing you to boost your energy and strength with higher performance gains when exercising.
|Dosage||1 daily serving|
Elm & Rye Creatine is still a relatively newcomer to the industry, but it has already developed quite a good reputation. This supplement helps users improve muscle growth and boost physical performance. You will appreciate the balance of nutrients that prevent muscle fatigue during recovery.
This supplement comes in capsule form and you can just take them with water, getting 1,400 mg in every serving.
|Dosage||2 daily capsules|
Beast Sports Creature Creatine offers a product that boosts muscle mass offering such tasty flavors as cherry limeade, pink lemonade, citrus, and more. Level up your muscle performance, so you can boost your bench press, sprint better, and improve lean muscle mass. It includes five types of creatine:
- Creatine monohydrate
- Creatine anhydrous
- Creatine gluconate
- Di-Creatine malate
- Crea-Trona (a buffered form of creatine with 94% creatine and 6% of a buffering agent)
Users can choose from either capsules or powder. If you choose the powder, you only need one scoop with a glass of water before and after a workout
This supplement has higher doses of creatine monohydrate per serving, best for improving athletic performance.
|Dosage||2 daily servings|
This is the purest, highest-grade, clinically-dosed, transparent muscle builder designed to make gains faster. Users can stack with GHOST LEGEND® or WHEY for additional gains.
GHOST® Full Disclosure Label
- 2.5G Betaine
- 5G of Creapure®
- 50MG Senactiv®
- 3.2G Beta-Alanine
- 50MG Astragin®
- 200MG Epicatechin
This supplement is vegan friendly, soy free, gluten free, and sugar free.
GHOST® products have 100% transparent labels fully disclosing the dose of each active ingredient. Zero proprietary blends give you exactly what you want in each scoop, with no nonsense.
Creapure® is Creatine Monohydrate that maximizes efficacy, solubility and absorption. It works with creatine to provide strong muscle building benefits. You will see results with as little as 500MG, but you will get added benefits at the higher doses. With GHOST LEGEND®, you get the full 3.2G clinical dose in every serving.
This is a no-bloat muscle building pH-buffered Creatine that has been synthesized to pH 12. Perfect for males and females who want lean muscle gains with no water retention or bloat, you don’t need to worry about loading phases or sugar, with great absorption and stimulant free formulas.
- Stimulant-Free Pre-Workout
- Increase of Energy
- Faster Recovery Times
- Better Strength Gains
- Improves Cognitive Function
Transparent Labs Creatine HMB boasts ingredients at clinically-effective dosages, containing zero artificial sweeteners, unnecessary fillers, colored dyes, or harmful additives. You get:
- Synergistic strength- and muscle-promoting formula
- Pure creatine monohydrate, vitamin D3 and myHMB®
- Formulated with BioPerine® to enhance absorption and efficacy
- Seven fruit flavors options (unflavored available too)
When combined, Creatine monohydrate and HMB can enhance strength, decrease fat mass, increase endurance, and prevent lean muscle loss. The added BioPerine® boosts bioavailability and absorption rates too.
How to Rank the Best Creatine Monohydrate Supplements
Creatine is just one ingredient among many within the supplement industry, which makes it tough for consumers to decipher which products are best and how they differ. Here are the criteria used to determine rankings of creatine products..
There are many different creatine types, but most products only have creatine monohydrate, which has many benefits. Some types help you absorb the nutrients faster while others have “extended-release” formulas.
Value and Price
Creatine is pretty affordable and suits most budgets. This means obtaining high-quality creatine won’t break your budget. Some products only cost about 50 cents per serving. This means there are supplements for all budgets. Some formulas cost as little as $10, while others cost $100 per one-month supply.
Manufacturer Track Record
Creatine supplements have been around for years, with many established manufacturers as well as new ones. The length of time in business did not affect the standing of the supplements in this guide. We only included those with a track record of high-quality production.
Knowing what’s in your supplement is important in improving your energy and performance. Some companies hide the ingredients with a proprietary blend or refuse to list the creatine dosage. We only like to list preferred brands that are transparent about their labels. Before buying a pure creatine monohydrate product, you should always check the label to figure out the dosage of pure creatine monohydrate that is in the product.
Honesty in Advertised Benefits
It’s important to be honest about what is included in a creatine supplement, but it’s always important to be clear about what they can do for the user. It’s impossible to get huge muscle gains in one night, and you can’t improve pumps without putting in a lot of work. Any company that makes outrageous claims should be taken with a grain of salt.
The best creatine supplement should fulfill the advertised benefits through ensured creatine cycling. Fake creatine products don’t have the proper creatine forms.
A creatine supplement must have between three and 10 grams of creatine in each serving for optimal effectiveness. Most supplements use between four and five grams to ensure effectiveness, so it’s good to stick within this range..
A good creatine supplement should give you the energy and support your muscles need. Most users don’t want or need stimulants or protein, which is why you don’t want to see a lot of fillers and ingredients. Electrolytes (such as sodium and potassium) should be the only exceptions because they assist with hydration. The more fillers you have in the formula, the more diluted the creatine will be, minimizing its effects.
Texture and Mixability
While some creatine supplements come in capsules, powdered remedies pose challenges. They can get pretty clumpy and don’t mix correctly. Some have a chalky texture. The creatine supplements on our list must be mixable so that users can enjoy them.
Micronizing helps users improve how absorbable the creatine is. Smaller molecules help with nourishment so it’s easier for the muscles to use.
What is Creatine?
The human body has creatine in it already but why should it matter? Chemically, creatine is made up of three amino acids – arginine, glycine, and methionine, and they give fuel to the muscles. Without it, your muscles wouldn’t be able to move. Usually, creatine gives your muscles a bit more support when engaging in quick movements. Studies show that regular use helps with your lifting strength and sprint speed.
How Does It Work?
Creatine is a simple concept. When you use this supplement, you can impact your muscle contractions and the processes that go with them – in a good way.
Your body has adenosine triphosphate (ATP), but only enough to give you the necessary energy to accomplish activities within a 10-second burst. The use of creatine phosphate will infuse you with more of the molecule driving this energy. By boosting performance, you can increase how much creatine phosphate you use in your body. Higher ATP levels equal better efficiency in achieving high energy levels.
When creatine is introduced into the body, you can improve training intensity as well as recovery improve exponentially.
Who Should Be Taking Creatine?
Most people think creatine users are bodybuilders, but really it’s good for anyone who wants to achieve better muscle recovery, joint health, lean muscle development, and brain health.
People who could benefit from creatine daily include those who want to:
- Improve strength or muscle mass.
- Improve workouts
- Increase lean muscle mass
- Recover faster after a workout or injury
- Improve cognition and brain power
Basically, if you want to improve your overall performance with a supplement, creatine is the way to go.
Types of Creatine
In order to select the right creatine supplement, you need to learn about the different types of creatine. Most users choose creatine monohydrate due to its popularity but there are others that can give you pretty impressive health benefits. Some formulas have five types of creatine all in one product.
This is the cost-effective solution, and you will see this version of creatine in every supplement. The original variation was used to make supplements for bodybuilding in the first place.
Creatine Ethyl Ester
This solution introduces a bond with ester salts, giving you better bioavailability. It’s easier to digest, but studies don’t show a real difference between the advantages of creatine monohydrate and creatine ethyl ester.
Creatine Hydrochloride (HCl)
This bonds with hydrochloride molecules, again so the product is easy to digest. That’s because it’s easily soluble in water. If you feel that creatine monohydrate is tough on your stomach, go with this version instead. While creatine hydrochloride isn’t really the best form of creatine, it can help you achieve your goals. Users who want to experiment with creatine supplements can try a creatine hydrochloride supplement too.
This has a higher pH level than other types. But again, there’s not much difference between creatine monohydrate and buffered creatine according to studies. That being said, some people believe the latter holds better in your body.
This is easy for users to consume because it’s in liquid form. However, not much research has been done on liquid creatine. That’s why you won’t see a lot of it on the market today. It may replace creatine monohydrate supplements as well as micronized creatine monohydrate supplements.
Creatine Magnesium Chelate
This is bonded with magnesium for better absorbability, but there are no studies to bolster this claim. It comes in a creatine monohydrate powder.
No matter which kind of creatine you choose, do your homework and select one that increases energy levels for better physical performance.
Scientific Studies: Creatine
Creatine’s history started in the bodybuilding industry.Over time, scientists have been able to more completely understand its abilities. There are many studies out there that show the benefits of creatine, making it a trusted choice for many decades.
In 2003, Baylor University researchers found that this molecule helped people who wanted better lifts and more sprint speed. They also found a link between the use of creative and better muscles. What they did not find was a long-lasting impact on endurance for those who participated in aerobic exercises.
About 70 percent of creatine studies reveal improved muscle mass, with results showing five to 15 percent progress when it comes to muscle growth and improvement, as well as strength and short-term performance.
In 2017, researchers found no side effects or risk of using creatine in people who were already healthy before taking the supplement. Creatine was shown to benefit the whole workout in a safe manner. Many people choose to stack creatine and protein to promote muscle development. In a 2001 study, the effects of creatine and protein supplementation were studied.
The group getting the protein/creatine combination (rather than the placebo) witnessed an increase in lean muscle mass, strength and maximum bench press.
Even people who don’t want to build muscle can get benefits out of using creatine. It helps them heal from injuries while boosting joint health.
A Belgian study looked at the effect of creatine on those who were in a cast but not injured. Researchers found that the use of creatine made it easier for them to regain strength after immobilization.
Older adults can see benefits in joint health when taking creatine. The aging process is tough on joints as collagen and nutrients are depleted. Using creatine can reintroduce this nutrition so the body gains protection.
Creatine supplements can also help people keep their muscle mass and strength as they get older, even when they don’t engage in a fitness routine.
Cardiovascular health can also be improved with regular creatine use. Some studies show that people who took creatine improved heart healing after standard treatments than those who did not.
Creatine use also has cognitive benefits. A 2017 study showed creatine supplements helped people recover after mild concussions. Cellular energy is preserved for higher recovery rates. A study in 2019 showed that creatine helps the brain maintain function during stress.
Creatine also helps people keep their blood sugar under control, particularly when they have diabetes.
Finally, in some cases, creatine has been found to reduce cancer risk.
Side Effects: Creatine
In healthy adults, creatine shouldn’t cause side effects. Your body naturally produces some creatine anyway, with most sources being vegan or vegetarian. The only possible side effects include slight weight gain, which could be attributed to lean body mass that gives people that extra bulk they may be looking for.
People who are at the greatest risk of side effects are older adults. They are more prone to liver disease, kidney disease, and high blood pressure. If you have health concerns, always talk to your doctor before taking creatine supplements.
The total creatine you will get from a supplement will range from four to six grams per serving. Depending on the product you choose, you will take creatine once or twice a day. If you take it more frequently, you can add a serving before and after your workouts.
During days where you work out, you can reduce your intake to maintain progress. Instead of taking a full scoop, for example, you could take half or even 25 percent of the regular serving size. Studies show you can still reap the benefits of creatine when taking doses less than three grams a day.
Even though you can take higher amounts of creatine – 20 grams or higher – you likely won’t experience much more remarkable effects. Once your muscles have been thoroughly saturated with creatine, they need no additional support. The creatine is basically wasted and expelled by your kidneys.
Those who have greater muscle mass or are at a higher weight can take more creatine. Let’s say you are 140 lbs. You can take five to six grams. But if you’re more than 200 lbs., you can take eight to 12 grams.
FAQs About Creatine
Q: How does creatine work?
A: Creatine helps your muscles boost energy expenditure. It is used to saturate the muscles with necessary power to maintain short-term boosts in performance.
Q: Is creatine found naturally in food?
A: Yes, but only a modest amount. It’s much easier to take a creative supplement to get the necessary support for your workouts and other physical activities.
Q: Which foods contain the most creatine?
A: Raw beef, salmon, and other meats can give you the most creatine. With one pound of these meals giving you one to two grams. Again, you’re better off with a supplement.
Q: What is creatine?
A: Creatine gives you short-term energy bursts. It is a molecule that is critical to your muscles’ generation of brand new energy. Supplement use will create more energy and promote better energy pathways.
Q: What are creatine’s benefits?
A: Its main benefit is that it boosts the power of your muscles during workouts. Use it to improve lean muscle mass, encourage muscle growth and support recovery. Some studies say you can improve your cognition and maintain a healthier heart by using creatine.
Q: What is the best type?
A: Each creatine has its own advantages. The most popular type is creatine monohydrate, but there are other options as well such as creatine anhydrous. This is a purer version of creatine. Many supplements combine many types for the best support and absorption.
Q: How many types of creatine are out there?
A: There are seven. They include monohydrate, creatine anhydrous, creatine ethyl ester, buffered creatine, creatine hydrochloride, creatine magnesium chelate and liquid creatine.
Q: Can creatine harm you?
A: As long as you are healthy and take the recommended dosage, there are little to no side effects for users. Always speak with a medical professional before using.
Q: Who should take a creatine supplement?
A: Everyone can, from bodybuilders to gym enthusiasts. It’s safe for everyone.
Q: Should you cycle creatine? How does creatine-loading work?
A: To improve absorption of creatine, some people decide to cycle it. They may use 20 grams daily to bulk up, while reducing down to five grams on the days they are just looking to maintain results. There is not much research out there to suggest creatine loading is helpful.
Q: What time of day should I take creatine?
A: The timing of creatine doesn’t really matter. Many people split creatine into multiple doses for all-day support, with five grams per dose. Spreading the amounts out often helps with absorption.
Q: Can I safely take creatine at night?
A: Yes. That’s because creatine doesn’t have natural stimulants, so it won’t keep you up all night.
Q: Should I take creatine after or before a workout?
A: Either time is fine. You may want to vary it up, taking it before your workout one day and after the next to boost muscle development.
Q: How can I take creatine?
A: Most creatine supplements come in powder or capsule form. The powders have mixable flavors, while the tablets can be popped once daily.
Q: What’s a creatine shuttle?
A: This helps you better absorb creatine into your muscles, through the use of a combo of creatine and other ingredients such as glutamine and dextrose.
Q: If I no longer take creatine, will I lose muscle mass?
A: Not necessarily. Because creatine causes you to retain water weight, you may experience a slight weight change. But no, muscle loss is uncommon.
Q: Does creatine lead to water retention?
A: Not really. In order to encourage muscle performance, creatine makes the body take on water but it won’t necessarily cause you to retain moisture beyond this adjustment.
Q: When should I take creatine?
A: You can take it anytime, but after a workout is usually best.
Q: Does creatine affect kidney function?
A: It’s possible in older adults, but healthy adults can consume creatine without risk of adverse kidney function. Speak with your doctor first before taking creatine.
Q: Does creatine lead to obesity?
A: Short-term weight gain can happen with creatine because it promotes fluid retention. Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise will help stave off any significant weight gain and swelling though.
Q: Can females take creatine?
A: Yes, as it doesn’t impact your hormones. No studies suggest that creatine use by females is harmful. .
Q: Does creatine interact with caffeine?
A: Some studies say creatine and caffeine complement each other when you take them together, while other studies say they deactivate each other. The jury is still out on this one.
Q: Does creatine cause your hair to fall out?
A: Hair loss is not likely to result from creatine usage directly, but the way in which this formula causes DHT to increase could potentially reduce hair thickness.
Q: Is creatine vegetarian or vegan?
A: The creatine sources to manufacture are those with vegan or vegetarian sources.
Q: Does everyone need a creatine supplement?
A: Not necessarily. The body naturally produces creatine, and a balanced diet gives you a small amount. If you’re looking to boost muscle growth as part of an active lifestyle, you should take creatine supplements.
Q: How much creatine does the body produce every day?
A: Your body on average will create one to two grams of creatine daily.
Q: How much creatine should I take?
A: Most users can benefit from taking 10 to 20 grams daily. If you want to maintain your results, take three to five grams daily.
Q: What is creatinine?
A: Creatine is a molecule, and creatinine is a metabolite that is derived from creatine as well as creatine phosphate production. To get rid of creatinine, the body will push it through the kidneys. Creatinine is another form of creatine found in many monohydrate supplements that can give you the best results of taking a creatine supplement.
Q: What is the best creatine supplement?
A: All of the options we have listed here are great for users of all kinds. It’s up to you to do the research necessary to find one that works best for you. Overall, though, creatine powders are better than other kinds of bodybuilding supplements and creatine tablets.
Creatine in workout supplements is nothing new. It’s found in everything from stereo alternatives to testosterone boosters. This is how flexible this substance is, consistently being the most important and notable compound for people of all fitness levels. The creatine supplements we mention above are considered the best for muscle recovery and building.
While all creatine supplements say they help with muscle recovery, the decision on which one to use is yours alone.
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