What Is The Best Creatine
Supplement On The Market?
Creatine supplements help athletes to push yourselves harder and longer. It allows you to break through training barriers. It allows you to build the body you want.
Just as it takes hard work to train, though, it takes effort to find the right creatine. You’ll definitely want nothing less than the best. What is the best?
That depends on two factors. One, it depends on your genetic makeup. Because everyone is different, you may not respond as well to certain supplements as others do. And, two, it depends on your training goals, since many creatines are formulated with certain aspects of training in mind.
You may still have to try several supplements to find the most beneficial one for you. But, the process will surely be much easier if you are informed about the many options available.
I made the lists here have to help you to ultimately make the right choice for yourself.
- Comparison Table of Creatine Supplements
- Types of Creatine
- Top 3 Brands
- Top 5 Creatines
- Other Notable Creatine products
- Creatine Buying Guide
Comparison Table of Creatine Supplements
Types of Creatine
There are different types of creatine to choose from. There are many forms such as monohydrate and ethyl ester, which are available in powder or pill form. Some types are even formulated especially for women or for men. Consider a few of these options.
The most common method of creatine consumption is by powder, which is dissolved in water or juice. There is not much difference between powder and pills or capsules. Pills are just a vessel for creatine to enter the body. Yet, powder does have its advantages and disadvantages.
One great thing about it is that you can measure out a dosage that is appropriate for you. Some people find that they need a slightly smaller or larger dose to get the full benefit. Instead of having to take two to four pills to reach the desired dosage, you can just measure out the right amount.
On the other hand, it does take longer to measure the powder, mix it with liquid and then drink the solution. So, pills may be more convenient at times. Also, powder can sometimes taste pretty bad, so in this case, too, pills may be more desirable.
Many believe that monohydrate is the best creatine on the market. It’s a natural product that helps most people who use it to gain muscle mass and strength.
This is because it sets in motion a process called protein synthesis. This process involves proteins and enzymes and, ultimately, builds muscle.
This form is the standard by which all other types of creatine are measured. Monohydrate is cheaper, more powerful and more well researched than any other form. Hence, it’s widely considered the best.
While this is the case, other forms are more water-soluble and may have added benefits as a result. For example, monohydrate can sometimes cause stomach cramps if it doesn’t dissolve correctly. Other more soluble but less effective creatines may not cause this problem.
Also, because it is not as soluble as other forms, the powder form can often clump up in water or juice. While this can make it a bit unpleasant to take in, with regular exercise, you can expect great results.
You may see some containers refer to it as being micronized. That is just a fancy way of saying that the powder is ground into extremely small pieces. This fine powder helps to make the creatine more soluble than it would otherwise be. Reducing, but not eliminating some of the downsides of using mononitrate.
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Creatine Ethyl Ester
Some suggest that creatine ethyl ester, or CEE, is more or just as effective as monohydrate. But, there is far less research to back up these claims.
There are only a couple of things we know for sure. First, we know that ethyl ester is more soluble, it dissolves easily in liquid. Because of this, creatine absorbs faster into the muscles. It causes no stomach discomfort and reduces water bloating.
Second, to achieve good results, you need far less CEE than monohydrate. This is due to the fast absorption rate. Monohydrate requires between 5 and 15 g daily. On the other hand, CEE only requires 3 to 5 g daily.
Many think that a loading phase is a good idea when using this supplement. Yet, no one has proven that there’s a greater buildup of creatine in muscle tissue after loading. In fact, it appears that the maximum amount of creatine that muscles can hold is unchanged by CEE.
Kre-alkalyn is a buffered supplement that produces energy and promotes muscle growth. It allows you to work out longer and push yourself harder. This leads to increased muscle mass.
This form also hydrates muscles, so that their volume increases. This hydration, paired with rest, can make recovery from exercise easier and faster. It can also prevent you from some injuries caused by training too hard.
This product works best when cycled. You should use it every day for three to four months and then take a couple of weeks off. For one thing, this will allow you to see how well the supplement is or isn’t working for you. Then, you can make any necessary adjustments.
The time at which you should take the supplements depends on you. Some take a serving before and after a workout, after a workout and before bed or morning and night. You can try different times to see when you get the most benefit.
Creatine For Women
What can creatine do for women? The same as with men, it can increase energy, stamina and build muscle mass. It also promotes recovery from intense exercise. It can help you to work out harder and longer, which builds muscle and burns fat.
Because creatine hydrates muscles, water retention and bloating can occur. This is the biggest issue for women who use the supplements. However, cycling can help with this. You will notice that when you stop taking the supplements, water weight disappears.
The recommendation is that you consume 3 to 5 g a day for two to six weeks. Then, you can take another two to six weeks off to assess your progress. After establishing goals based on your exercise routine, you can decide how long to stay on next time.
For best results, take it before or after a workout and use in conjunction with a healthy diet.
Top 3 Brands
Consider three brands of creatine that are both very well liked and very effective.
1. Body Fortress
Body Fortress, a well-known brand, gives you the strength to work out harder. High quality creatine mixed with carbs and electrolytes will give you an extra push. This can help you to reach your training goals.
This formula promotes hydration during exercise and fast recovery afterward.
For best results, you should take one scoop before and after a workout along with at least six ounces of water. On non-workout days, you should take at one dose in the morning with food. This consistency will produce better results, especially when it comes to recovery time.
Some Body Fortress products include ingredients like betaine which give added benefits. For example, betaine promotes lean muscle mass.
Musclepharm produces a line of creatine called Core. This brand is designed to absorb rapidly and build muscle. Actually a blend of five creatines, it gives your body a range of benefits.
This blend increases uptake and bioavailability. It is specially formulated for individuals who take part in high-intensity, short duration exercise.
Along with monohydrate, there are four other types of creatine combined. They each serve different purposes. For example, cinnulin maintains healthy metabolism and blood pressure levels.
This brand is great for those who desire the added benefits that creatine mixes give.
In 2012 Musclepharm won the Brand of the Year award by means of customer votes. It beat out over 500 other brands of creatine based on quality and customer experience.
Musclepharm products cause no bloating and need no loading phase. In fact, the company doesn’t recommend a loading phase. This is because taking in more than a serving size per day could have an adverse impact.
3. Old School Labs
Old School Labs produces an excellent line of creatines, all of which serve different purposes. For example, Vintage Build creatine increases muscle mass. Vintage Burn, on the other hand, melts away body fat.
All OSL creatine products are made from natural, premium ingredients. You’ll see familiar things like green tea leaf extract on the product labels. The company prides itself on using real, beneficial ingredients that you know and understand.
These creatines produce great results without creating physical dependency. In addition to improving physical performance, the supplements also improve mental focus and drive.
The Old School Labs line of product help you to work toward many different goals. They support immune system health, sleep, recovery and so on.
These supplements are available in powder, capsule and softgel form.
Top 5 Creatines
There are so many options available. How can you pick the best creatine for you? To help you choose, consider this list of the top five creatine products.
1. Raw Barrel’s No Bull Pure Creatine Monohydrate Powder
This flavorless powder dissolves easily in water, milk or juice. It is vegan friendly and contains no gluten.
It is 100% pure, so it doesn’t clog your body with unnecessary fillers, which your body is unable to process. Because it’s micronized for fast absorption, it causes no uncomfortable bloating.
This powder is designed to give you not just an energy boost, but an endurance boost as well. Because you’ll be able to work out longer and harder, you will soon build more lean muscle.
Each scoop contains 5 g of pure creatine monohydrate, the best creatine supplement. It is important that you don’t exceed the recommended dose. Also, you shouldn’t take this supplement on an empty stomach. If you do, then you may get some stomach irritation or other side effects.
Both men and women can benefit from this supplement. You can expect results within one to four weeks, depending on your genetic composition and workout routine.
2. BulkSupplements Pure Micronized Creatine Mono Powder
This creatine monohydrate powder has tested for 99.99% purity. Because of this, there are no unnecessary or artificial ingredients. You get only high quality creatine, meant to boost energy, strength and power.
This supplement is vegan-friendly. It is also non-GMO, meaning that there are no genetically modified organisms or ingredients.
Take 2.5 to 5 g before a workout with plenty of water. With all creatines, it’s very important that you take in plenty of fluids throughout the day. You should drink at least 64 ounces of water or juice and drink whenever you are thirsty.
Even on non-workout days, you should still take the minimum dose of this powder. This will make recovery easier and help you to make progress to reach your training goals faster.
This powder does cause water retention, as many powders do to increase muscle volume. However, users have noted no uncomfortable feeling or look of bloating. This makes it very desirable to many.
Read our full review here.
3. MuscleTech Platinum 100% Creatine, Ultra Pure Micronized
This unflavored powder is 100% pure and contains 5 g of creatine per serving. Consumers agree that it does improve strength and endurance and increase lean muscle mass. Some see results in as little as one week.
This supplement can be taken either before or after a workout. Because it contains no stimulants, it won’t interfere with pre-workout supplements, if you use them.
No cycling or loading phases are necessary with this product. No bloating should occur, as long as you always keep yourself hydrated. It is also pretty mild on the stomach and doesn’t cause any irritation or cramps.
It is formulated to boost your energy levels and stamina so that you can easily push past your limits. It is great for those who’ve hit training plateaus and want to get out of a “training rut,” so to speak.
Some noted that they were able to train harder without even realizing it!
4. Old School Labs Vintage Build –The Essential 3-in-1 Muscle Builder
The supplement is a combination of monohydrate, L-glutamine and branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s). This 3-in-1 formula promotes lean muscle growth instead of bulk.
It has no artificial flavors or sweeteners and is non-GMO, gluten free and vegetarian friendly. There are 3 g of high quality creatine in each scoop.
The recommended dosage one scoop twice a day. But, if you need to, you can add a second scoop. On workout days, you should take it right after exercise.
On non-workout days, you should take just one scoop with a meal. Always mix with six to eight ounces of water or your favorite protein drink. It is important to keep well-hydrated when taking creatine supplements, to limit stomach discomfort and dehydration.
Users I reached out to said that they saw significant improvement in recovery after using this product. They also noted strength gains after just a few days to a week.
5. Optimum Nutrition Creatine Powder
This powder uses the Creapure brand of creatine, which is regarded as the absolute best that you can find. It is both pure and cost-effective. It increases muscle strength and energy levels. It also improves performance during high intensity exercise and quickens recovery.
Another great thing about this powder is that it’s proteins do not break down.
This allows you to get the full benefit and effect of the supplement. It’s also micronized so that the particles dissolve quickly and completely. This also allows them to stay suspended in liquid longer, so that nothing settles to the bottom of your glass.
There is a loading phase of four or 5 days with this particular blend. Over that period of time, you will need to take four rounded teaspoons of powder daily.
After the loading phase, you should take one rounded teaspoon with a meal or right after your workout. For best results, you need to get both regular exercise and a healthy diet.
Other Notable Creatine products
Consider these additional high quality creatine… The more options you can try, the better chance you have of finding the perfect supplement for you.
Creatine Chrome with Magnapower
This is an advanced creatine and magnesium blend. It is designed to absorb quickly into the muscles. Consumers noted positive results after the first dose.
All American EFX Kre-Alkalyn EFX
This kre-alkalyn formula is buffered to protect against GI distress, cramps and bloating
Beast Sports Nutrition, Creature Creatine Complex
This creatine is dissolves quickly and acts fast to increase strength and endurance.
MET-Rx Creatine 4200
This pre and post workout rapid release supplement improves muscle strength gains.
Cellucor C4 50X High Energy Pre Workout Supplement
This is a blend of supplements will boost your workout. But watch out, if you take it late in the day then it may keep you awake. It contains 1 g creating nitrate, 1.5 g Beta Alanine, and a powerful stimulant blend.
Creatine Buying Guide
In order to find the best creatine supplement, there are a number of factors you need to consider; like, what does it do and how does it work.
- Loading. Loading phases often require you to take several doses of creatine throughout the day. If this will not be convenient for you, you may want to consider a creatine with no loading phase.
- Solubility. Though monohydrate is considered the best, it often causes stomach distress because it doesn’t dissolve as easily as other creatines. If you are prone to irritability, you may want to choose a more soluble form, such as kre-alkalyn.
- Purity. Pure creatine is fast-acting, but creatine blends can have added benefits. This is a matter of preference.
On the flipside of things, check out our review of creatine-free PWO supplements to give you the view on the other side of the fence.
Creatine supplements can have amazing benefits for athletes both male and female. However, to see good results, it is essential that you exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. If you don’t, you will be canceling out the effects of the supplement.
If you persist in trying to find the best fit for you, you will be able to reach training goals that you never thought possible. Though you may have to do a bit or searching, it will definitely be worth it. You will experience strength and muscle gains, energy boosts and other benefits.
Hopefully the above information has given you a starting point so that you can make a wise choice.
Product images via their respective pages on Amazon.com
Last Updated on June 7, 2021