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Compare the Top 9 Best Creatine Supplements Money Can Buy

When you commit to getting in shape, you want to get the most out of your workout. So you’ll start with a healthy diet, then get into a good routine of going to the gym, hitting the treadmill, or heading down to the weight bench.

But at some point, you might realize you need a boost. That’s where supplements like creatine come in.

If your goal is to build muscle, creatine is an ideal supplement choice. It helps build strength, improves your performance, and can help reduce muscle damage.

Unfortunately, incorporating a supplement into your routine is easier said than done. As soon as you type what you’re looking for into the search bar, you’ll be flooded with dozens, if not hundreds, of products to choose from.

To narrow down your options, you’ll need to focus on a few things. Namely:

  • Ingredients
  • Benefits
  • Taste and Texture
  • Manufacturer
  • Label transparency

Fortunately, if you’re hoping to separate the wheat from the chaff quickly, you’re in the right place. Here’s a detailed breakdown of some of the best creatine supplements on the market.

What is Creatine?

There are two different types of creatine. Naturally occurring creatine is located in your body. However, you can boost your creatine levels by taking a supplement.

Naturally Occurring Creatine

Creatine is a chemical compound in your body that fuels your body’s ATP (adenosine triphosphate) levels. ATP is your body’s primary source of energy. Although your brain benefits from this compound, the bulk of your body’s naturally-occurring creatine, phosphocreatine, is in your muscles.

Your body produces small amounts of creatine in your pancreas and kidneys. However, most of your creatine comes from food.

As far as food sources go, red meat and seafood are where people get most of their creatine. Therefore, an essential step in starting a new workout routine is changing your diet. Incorporating more meat and fish into your weekly menu is an excellent place to start if your goal is to increase muscle mass.

Creatine As a Supplement

Although adding more protein-rich foods to your diet can help increase natural creatine, you might still want help. The creatine levels present in meat and fish are far lower than what you’d get from your standard supplement. So, if weight-lifting is the focus of most of your workouts, you could also work a supplement in to boost your natural levels of creatine.

The goal of a creatine supplement is to increase your natural stores. Synthetic creatine will help boost the production of ATP, which will in turn help increase your muscle mass. Elevated ATP levels will also help you have a more efficient workout and keep you from tiring out too quickly. It can also help improve your overall performance in all areas.

What Do Creatine Supplements Do?

Creatine supplements are a popular choice among weightlifters and bodybuilders for various reasons. However, simply saying that it helps build more muscle is a vast oversimplification because there’s much more to it.

Recovery Time

Increased creatine in your body will help speed up your recovery time during and after a workout. This includes muscle repair and growth.

Energy

Although not the same as a dose of caffeine, creatine can help boost your energy during a workout. This could lead to improved performance in short speed-related activities, such as sprinting.

Health

Some studies have shown added creatine can help improve your health outside your typical workout. There are indications it can help with neurodegenerative brain disease, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and others.

How We Made Our Choices

Most people who’ve opted to start using a creatine supplement hope to increase muscle mass and performance. That being the case, we focused our attention on the supplements that made those claims.

In addition, we focused on the following:

  • Delivery method
  • Brand reputation
  • Benefits
  • Transparency
  • Ingredients
  • Dosage
  • Value
  • Texture

Delivery Method

Delivery methods can be a major factor for some people. Creatine supplements come in many forms, but pills and powders are the two most common. For that reason, we focused on supplements in both categories.

Manufacturer and Ingredient Reputation

Brand reputation is a significant factor when it comes to choosing a supplement. Although we didn’t limit ourselves only to long-established brands, we also factored in the track record of specific ingredients when making our choices. That allowed us to find some newcomers on the market who are worth looking into.

Benefits

Each supplement on this list offers the specific benefits you’d expect from creatine. However, sometimes manufacturers will exaggerate their benefits. Those are the ones we avoided. It takes time to see actual results, and manufacturers need to demonstrate they know that.

Transparency

Transparency was another critical factor in our decision-making process. Any labels with minimal information or that offered vague or dubious claims were excluded from our reviews. This is because we wanted to make sure we could provide valid information on each brand.

Ingredients

A creatine supplement is often more than just creatine. There’ll almost always be some added ingredients. However, we only chose to review supplements that had few to no fillers and featured creatine as the main ingredient.

Dosage

There are two dosing stages for creatine: loading and maintenance. The loading stage consists of taking 20-25 grams of creatine per day for 4-7 days. After that, the typical maintenance dose is 3-5 grams. Therefore, we only chose supplements that had a dosage in that range.

Value

Anyone who’s taken supplements in the past knows the importance of getting the best value for your dollar. Fortunately, creatine is one of the more cost-effective options out there. In other words, you don’t need to pay a fortune to get a great supplement. We opted to focus on products that didn’t have abnormally high costs.

Texture and Mixability

Finally, texture and taste were also big factors. Many supplements can taste chalky or have an unpleasant aftertaste. In addition, many can be difficult to mix up. However, the products reviewed here have a decent texture and easy mixability.

The 9 Best Creatine Supplements in 2022

We took the time to test out several supplements, examine studies, and read reports to come up with the best list of creatine supplements available. Below, you can see how we ranked them and read about our findings.

XWERKS Lift

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XWERKS Lift is an excellent addition to your regular strength training routine and the one we consider the best overall. It’s a pure micronized formula of creatine monohydrate designed to give you a boost within just a few minutes. When used properly, Lift will increase your strength, muscle mass, and athletic performance.

You’ll get 80 5-gram servings in each bag of Lift. As an added perk, Lift is completely flavorless and has no aftertaste. It also mixes instantly, so there won’t be any need to fuss with shaking. That means you can easily mix it with your favorite drink without worrying about altering the taste.

For best results, you should take Lift as a pre-workout drink. However, the manufacturer states you can take it any time of day.

BUT IT HERE

XWERKS Lift
Active Ingredients Micronized creatine monohydrate
Perks
  • Increase muscle mass
  • Improve athletic performance
  • Flavorless
  • Sugar, GMO, and dairy free
  • Dosage 5 grams/day
    Flavor Unflavored
    Servings per tub 80
    Cost $49
    Money-Back guarantee 30 days

    Beast Creature Creatine

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    A good multi-creatine option is Beast Creature Creatine. It contains five types of creatine that let you maximize your workout, gain muscle mass, and increase your energy. And those are just a few of the benefits Beast offers.

    In each Beast Creature product, you’ll find the following:

    • Creatine monohydrate
    • Di-Creatine malate
    • Creatine anhydrous
    • Creatine gluconate
    • Creatine citrate

    If you like variety, Creature powder is a great supplement to try out. It comes in four flavors, including an unflavored variety. Or, if you’d prefer a pill, you can give one of the Creature capsules a try.

    BUT IT HERE

    Beast Creature Creatine
    Active Ingredients
  • Creatine monohydrate
  • Di-Creatine malate
  • Creatine anhydrous
  • Creatine gluconate
  • Creatine citrate
  • Perks
  • Increase muscle mass
  • Improve athletic performance
  • Flavorless
  • Sugar, GMO, and dairy free
  • Dosage 5 grams/day
    Flavor
  • Fruit Blast
  • Pink Lemonade
  • Cherry Limeade
  • Unflavored
  • Servings per tub 30
    Cost $27.99
    Money-Back guarantee 30 days

    Elm & Rye Creatine

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    Another great creatine supplement is Elm & Rye’s Creatine. This product helps increase lean muscle, improve muscle recovery post-workout, and reduce fatigue, allowing you to get through your entire workout without feeling burnt out.

    Elm & Rye has an excellent reputation as a high-end supplement manufacturer. Each product is developed by world-class researchers who take time to ensure each ingredient you take in will benefit you in some way.

    However, Elm & Rye might not be for you if you’re looking for powder. Currently, their creatine supplement only comes in capsule and gummy form. That said, if you want something that doesn’t need to be mixed, this is a great option.

    BUT IT HERE

    Elm & Rye Creatine
    Active Ingredients Creatine monohydrate
    Perks
  • Hastens muscle recovery
  • Increase lean muscle
  • Reduces fatigue
  • Soy, dairy, GMO, and gluten-free
  • Dosage 2 tablets
    Servings per tub 30
    Flavor Unflavored
    Cost $44.99 ($35.99 with subscription)
    Money-Back guarantee 30 days

    Crazy Nutrition CRN-5 Creatine

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    CrazyBulk CRN-5 is a creatine supplement that aims to build, repair, and recover muscle while improving your performance, focus, and endurance. The vegan formula offers 5 of the most common types of creatine:

    • Creatine monohydrate
    • Creatine hydrochloride
    • Creatine ethyl ester
    • Tri-creatine malate
    • Creatine citrate pyruvate

    The combination of creatine and electrolytes provides a resistance to creatine tolerance, as well as increased muscle hydration and focus. It also comes in a tasty orange-mango flavor sweetened with sucralose. You’ll also get a 60-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.

    BUT IT HERE

    CrazyBulk CRB-5
    Active Ingredients
  • Creatine monohydrate
  • Creatine hydrochloride
  • Creatine ethyl ester
  • Tri-creatine malate
  • Creatine citrate pyruvate
  • Electrolyte combination
  • Perks
  • Improved focus
  • Muscle hydration
  • Build muscle mass
  • Vegan formula
  • Dosage 10 grams/day
    Flavor Orange mango
    Servings per tub 30
    Cost $34.99
    Money-Back guarantee 60 days

    Cellucor Cor-Performance Creatine

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    Like the other leading supplements on this list, Cellucor’s Cor-Performance is a pure creatine monohydrate powder. Each 5-gram serving helps boost power, increase strength, and promote muscle mass growth. In addition, it’ll help increase ATP production.

    Cor-Performance is an unflavored, unsweetened supplement you can add to your favorite drink. You’ll do a loading and maintenance phase with this product. Once you’re in the maintenance phase, you can add in an additional scoop on training days if you’d like.

    BUT IT HERE

    Cellucor Cor-Performance
    Active Ingredients Micronized creatine monohydrate
    Perks
  • Increase muscle size
  • Boosts strength and power
  • Provides added energy
  • Revitalized muscle cells
  • Flavorless and sugar free
  • Dosage 5 grams/day
    Flavor Unflavored
    Servings per tub 72
    Cost $24.99 ($17.49 with subscription)
    Money-Back guarantee 60 days

    Onnit Creatine Performance Lab

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    Onnit’s Creatine Monohydrate is an unflavored pure creatine monohydrate supplement that does everything you could ask of a creatine supplement. It supports lean muscle gain, boosts strength, and aids in body composition change.

    This dairy, soy, and grain-free powder will help increase your ATP levels, which will hasten muscle recovery time. This is a great option for weightlifters and bodybuilders looking to bulk up with a simple supplement.

    BUT IT HERE

    Onnit Creatine Performance Lab
    Active Ingredients Micronized creatine monohydrate
    Perks
  • Increase muscle mass
  • Improve athletic performance
  • Flavorless
  • Sugar, GMO, and dairy free
  • Dosage 5 grams/day
    Servings per tub 30
    Flavor Unflavored
    Cost $14.99
    Money-Back guarantee 90 days

    Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder

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    Optimum Nutrition’s Micronized Creatine Powder is a creatine monohydrate supplement that helps give your workout a significant leg up. Not only does it increase muscle size, strength, and power, but it also promotes ATP recycling and supports explosive movements.

    Each flavorless 5-gram serving contains pure micronized creatine monohydrate powder. That means no fillers and no sweeteners. Plus, the micronization process makes it easy to mix into whatever drink you’d like.

    BUT IT HERE

    Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder
    Active Ingredients Micronized creatine monohydrate
    Perks
  • Increases muscle mass
  • Supports ATP recycling
  • Improves performance
  • Increase strength
  • Dosage 5 grams/day
    Flavor Unflavored
    Servings per tub 30/240/400
    Cost $10.99/$44.99/$64.99
    Money-Back guarantee 30 Days

    Ghost Size

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    Ghost’s Size is a creatine-based muscle enhancer designed to increase power, endurance, and muscle mass. The formula uses creatine monohydrate and creatine HCl as a way to ensure maximum absorption before, during, and after your workout. The addition of creatine HCl is intended to reduce stomach cramps, too.

    Size also has several antioxidant and electrolyte compounds that make it a solid, well-rounded supplement. Each clinically-dosed scoop contains 5 grams of creatine and comes in four flavor choices.

    BUT IT HERE

    Ghost Size
    Active Ingredients
  • Creatine monohydrate
  • Creatine HCl
  • Betaine
  • Beta-alanine
  • Epicatechin
  • AstraGin extracts
  • Perks
  • Increases muscle mass
  • Increases power output
  • Maximum absorption
  • Antioxidant and electrolytes
  • Improves endurance
  • Dosage 5 grams
    Servings per tub 30
    Flavor
  • Mango
  • Sour watermelon
  • Lime
  • “Natty”
  • Cost $44.99
    Money-Back guarantee 15 days for unopened products only

    Steel ATP Fusion

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    Steel ATP-Fusion is a stimulant-free creatine monohydrate capsule that offers several benefits. Specifically, it claims to increase energy, help you recover faster, get stronger, increase muscle mass, and improve your brain function. One of its biggest perks is that you won’t have to do a loading phase.

    ATP-Fusion’s main ingredient is Kre-Alkalyn, a buffered form of creatine monohydrate that prevents bloating. For those of you who want to stick to creatine monohydrate but suffer from bloating with other products, this will be a great alternative. It’s also unflavored with no added sweeteners or colors.

    BUT IT HERE

    Steel ATP-Fusion
    Active Ingredients Buffered creatine monohydrate
    Perks
  • No bloating
  • No loading
  • Improves muscles mass
  • Improves cognitive function
  • Quicker recovery time
  • Dosage 2 capsules
    Servings per tub 60
    Flavor Unflavored
    Cost $30 ($25.50 with subscription)
    Money-Back guarantee 30 days for unopened products only

    Types of Creatine Supplements

    Creatine supplements vary from one to the next, so it’s essential to understand the different types available. Currently, there are six different kinds of creatine supplements you can purchase. Here’s a quick breakdown of those types to help you understand which option would be best for you.

    Creatine Monohydrate

    Creatine monohydrate consists of one creatine molecule combined with a single water molecule. It’s the most widely studied form of creatine supplement. It’s highly water-soluble, making it easy for your body to process and absorb the creatine.

    In addition, creatine monohydrate also increases the amount of water present in your muscle cells. This could lead to improved muscle growth.

    This form of creatine is safe and affordable, making it the ideal option for most users.

    Creatine Ethyl Ester

    The second most popular creatine supplement is creatine ethyl ester (CEE). This form of creatine combines pure creatine molecules with ester salts, which aid in relieving water retention.

    You might come across supplement manufacturers who cite it as a superior source of creatine. But unfortunately, there’s no real evidence to back that claim up. In fact, one study found the complete opposite. It indicated that there was no sign whatsoever that CEE could outperform creatine monohydrate.

    That said, if you suffer from bloating or cramps using creatine monohydrate, CEE could be a good alternative.

    Creatine Hydrochloride

    Creatine hydrochloride (HCl) is a highly water-soluble form of creatine. One study indicated creatine HCl was actually 38 times more soluble than creatine monohydrate.

    That said, that solubility was only observed in a lab. There haven’t been any studies demonstrating similar effects in humans.

    Even still, this form has the potential to be a great alternative to creatine monohydrate.

    Liquid Creatine

    As you might guess, liquid creatine is easier for your body to absorb, which is why it has such high appeal. However, it has a few drawbacks.

    Specifically, studies show that liquid creatine simply isn’t as effective as powdered. In fact, it may actually break down if it’s left in liquid for more than a day or two, which is why mixing it yourself as-needed is a preferred method.

    Creatine Magnesium Chelate

    Creatine magnesium chelate (CMC) is a form of creatine that consists of creatine molecules attached to magnesium molecules. There haven’t been many studies on this form of creatine. However, one study demonstrated there wasn’t a discernable difference between CMC and creatine monohydrate.

    Buffered Creatine

    Buffered creatine is simply creatine with an alkaline powder mixed in. The goal of adding the alkaline powder was to decrease the bloating and cramping common with creatine monohydrate.

    Weightlifters who’ve used buffered creatine instead of creatine monohydrate showed similar results after workouts. However, there was no reported change in side effects. So, while buffered creatine supplements are a viable alternative, don’t expect them to act differently in your body.

    Taking Creatine

    As with any supplement, there are some guidelines you should follow when taking creatine. This includes sticking to the proper dosage, maintaining the right diet, and balancing your other nutrients.

    In addition, there are some side effects that you should be aware of before adding a creatine supplement to your diet.

    What Should Be Taken With Creatine?

    Many supplements can offer added benefits when taken in conjunction with certain things. Likewise, there are things you should consider avoiding when taking supplements. Creatine is no exception to that rule. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to the rest of your diet.

    Caffeine

    A morning cup of coffee is a much-needed start to the day for many people. But unfortunately, creatine and caffeine generally don’t mix well together. However, that doesn’t mean you have to give up your morning boost.

    If you don’t want to cut caffeine from your diet, all you have to do is take it separately from your creatine. You should try to keep a minimum of two hours between the two. If you plan to use both to enhance your workout, take your creatine 2-3 hours prior and your caffeine about 15 minutes before your training begins.

    Carbohydrates

    The best way to consume carbs while taking a creatine supplement is with your supplement and a dose of protein. Specifically, you’ll want to consume them during your filling phase before your workout.

    However, you don’t need to consume additional carbs. If you do, you’ll risk consuming too many calories, which can put you at a disadvantage. So, your best bet is to take your creatine with a carb-heavy meal.

    Leucine

    We all know how beneficial amino acids are. They’re the building blocks of life, so it stands to reason they’d be a great addition to your creatine routine. Leucine is one of the best amino acids to combine with a creatine supplement because it helps your body’s processes promote muscle growth.

    Beta-Alanine

    Beta-alanine is another supplement that can help increase your strength and endurance. When you take it with your creatine, you could see benefits far sooner than taking either alone. In addition, adding beta-alanine to your supplement routine can facilitate further muscle mass production and help decrease body fat.

    Alpha-Lipoic Acid

    ALA is a chemical compound that enhances your body’s glucose uptake. When combined with creatine, it also helps improve your creatine uptake. You can add this into a carb and creatine-fueled meal for best results.

    Dosage

    The typical dosage for creatine is anywhere from 3 to 10 grams per day. However, that can vary depending on how far into the supplement process you are and based on the brand of supplement you take.

    For example, you’ll take far more creatine than a standard dose when you’re in the loading phase. Once you’re in the maintenance phase, the dose will be more in line with the recommended dosages you see on the products in this article.

    When To Take It

    On the days when you plan to exercise, your best bet is to take your creatine right before or right after you exercise. Studies have shown that taking it too far removed from your workout could limit your muscle growth and strength.

    However, always take time to read the manufacturer’s recommendations. For example, some suggest taking it in the morning, while others might say you can take it at any point throughout the day.

    Side Effects and Contraindications

    One of the great things about creatine supplements is that there are very few side effects. They’re unlikely to cause you any problems, even at high doses, assuming you’re a healthy adult.

    That said, there are a few things to look out for.

    Weight Gain

    Always remember that the point of creatine is to help you build muscle mass. This will lead to weight gain. Although it should go without saying, when you see the number on the scale go up, don’t start to worry that you’re gaining fat. Unless you’ve started to eat an unhealthy diet, the increasing number will be due to the added muscle.

    Liver and Kidneys

    If you have a preexisting condition that affects your liver or kidneys, you should talk to your doctor before starting creatine. This is especially true for the elderly. There’s some evidence that creatine can cause kidney damage if you suffer from kidney disease.

    Other Side Effects

    The most common side effects for healthy adults are dehydration, muscle cramps, or upset stomach. If you notice any of these side effects, consider discontinuing your current supplement and trying a different form of creatine.

    The Bottom Line–Does Creatine Work?

    Scientific evidence supports the claim that creatine can help improve your workout and lifting routine. The products listed here were all vetted by professionals, so you can rest assured knowing they’ll suit your needs perfectly.

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