Creatine is perhaps one of the most studied and used sports supplement in history. Creatine impacts your performance in and out of the gym, gives you a nice full look, and allows you to break through any plateaus you may have.
If you’re looking for one supplement that will help you build your physique while giving you a performance boost, creatine is the supplement for you.
This article is designed to give you a solid understanding about creatine and how it works. We’ll give you the tools to make an informed decision about which product you should buy, or even if you should buy it.
What is Creatine?
Creatine itself was discovered as part of the energy system on a cellular level. Over time, bodybuilders used creatine for enhancing their workouts and recovery.
If there were ever one supplement that made the biggest ripple in the fitness community, creatine would be it. It is an integral part of muscle building, and this was one of the first non-anabolic steroid compounds found to work.
How Does Creatine Work?
Creatine is created naturally in the body and can actually be found in foods such as fish, chicken, and beef. The problem is that they are in small concentrations, and we can use much more.
Creatine helps replace ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, and induce muscle growth. Creatine simply increases the amount of fuel that powers the muscles.
Benefits of Taking Creatine
Creatine boosts your energy, increases strength, and helps you build muscle. Increased endurance and the anti-aging properties are two other overlooked benefits.
Creatine allows you to train harder and longer without any side effects. Creatine has been shown to help neurological conditions such as neurosclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. While it does not help cure the disease, creatine allows nerves to get strengthened and nourished adequately.
Lastly, creatine can help those who suffer from Type 2 diabetes, as it promotes glucose formation and regulation. Creatine has been medically shown to stimulate your brain and improve motor skills and mental ability.
Supplementing with Creatine
When you supplement with creatine, there are two phases. One is the loading phase, the other is the maintenance phase. The loading phase helps nourish the muscles with creatine, while maintenance is to maintain the levels.
The loading period generally takes anywhere from four to seven days and then you follow that up with a regular maintenance dose. The maintenance dose is anywhere from five to 15 grams.
Check out the two ways to supplement with creatine:
- Non-Stop Supplementation – After loading, this takes six weeks of maintenance phase with the seventh week being a loading phase. Repeat this routine.
- Cycling – After loading, intake up to 15 grams of creatine for six weeks. After the six weeks, take two weeks off from taking creatine before starting a new loading phase.
Creatine Powder or Creatine Pills?
Choosing powder versus pills will be more of a personal preference more than anything. Picking a powder supplement means you will have to mix this and drink it, while pills you simply take.
Many fitness experts recommend powder form due to a faster absorption rate, which leads to better results.
Top 10 Creatine Supplements
Now that you know how creatine works, let’s check out some of the best choices.
Below is a table accompanied by a review of each creatine supplement we chose. We take into account cost, value, and quality.
|Optimum Nutrition Creatine Powder||$$$$||100|
|Muscletech Platinum Creatine||$$$$||100|
|BPI Sports Best Creatine||$$$||95|
|Beast Sports Nutrition Creature||$$$||95|
|Universal Nutrition Creapure||$$$||85|
|Dymatize Micronized Creatine||$$||80|
|NOW Foods Creatine||$$||80|
|5% Nutrition CreaTEN||$$||75|
1. Optimum Nutrition Creatine Powder
Combining the most studied supplement in the industry with a leading manufacturer brand? Yes please!
Optimum Nutrition’s micronized unflavored creatine is a great supplement with a lot of value. Getting a hearty 5 grams per rounded teaspoon, this creatine will be a gift that keeps on giving.
This is the one supplement I actually use for weight lifting and it seems to make a difference. I’m not a bodybuilder and I’m not looking to get huge. I just wanted to move up a little and was having trouble getting there. Someone told me about creatine so I did some reading and it sounds safe. One jar last me about three months. I’ll use that then go off it for 6 months, and then assess whether I want to use it for more gains. I don’t know if it’s just psychological or really working but I got the gains I was looking for with it. It’s no miracle (or disaster) like steroids. You have to do the work to get the gains. This just allows your muscles to work a little harder. – Amazon Shopper
2. Muscletech Platinum Creatine
Muscletech comes with a big name and a quality product. Backed by years of experience, Muscletech has produced a great supplement and gives a great bang for your buck.
- Load for three days mixing 1 scoop into 8 ounces of water and consume 4 times daily.
- For maintenance phase, mix 1 scoop into 8 ounces of water and consume 1 to 2 times daily.
- For improved results, use a non-acidic carbohydrate-rich drink like grape juice.
3. BPI Sports Best Creatine
BPI makes another great supplement with their “Best Creatine.”
Featuring a proprietary blend, BPI includes the following ingredients for a synergistic effect:
- Creatine Monohydrate
- Creatine Magnapower
- Creatine AKG
- Creatine Anhydrous
- Creatine Phosphate
- pH Buffered Creatine Alkaline
- Betaine Anhydrous (TMG)
- Himalayan Pink Salt
Improve your performance with a creatine supplement that gives more than just creatine.
4. Beast Sports Nutrition Creature
Get the most out of your workouts and recovery with Beast Sports’ Creatine. Their creatine powder includes a blend of five of the best types of creatine.
This fast-acting supplement has been crafted from some of the more purist forms which will absorb much faster into the body.
Highly recommend this product. I have been using supplements for 15 years and have tried all types. I exercise routine involves weights and triathlon related exercises. I read the reviews on Beast Creature and by far this is the best Creatine supplement I have taken. I did not experience any side effects that some Creatine products can give you, for example, no bloating or headaches. I purchased the pink lemonade flavor and it tasted great. Easy to follow instructions and easy to follow the recommended dosage. If you are looking for a great Creatine supplement, then definitely give Beast Creature a try. – Amazon Customer
5. Muscletech Creactor
Creactor has been scientifically developed to deliver a potent micro-dose of creatine, resulting in an extremely fast uptake. Enjoy 2x the
This is a really great addition to my supplements, I have tried the Fruit Punch as well of the Muscletech Creactor, and I really like the taste of this one much better, it still has the same great creatine benefits that I am looking for, that extra strength to power through the tough workouts, and the Muscletech Creator HCL mixes easily and tastes great, what a great combination, I would definitely recommend this as it simply works. – Amazon Customer
6. Universal Nutrition Creapure
Universal’s choice to use Creapure makes this creatine a great supplement. Creapure is designed to be the purest and fastest absorbing creatine on the market.
7. Con-Cret Creatine
Con-Cret has been around forever and is a tried and true creatine supplement. No need to worry about loading, getting dehydrated, or having any stomach issues with this great creatine supplement.
Does the trick. Doesn’t dehydrate me quite as much as creatine mono. Still need to drink a lot of water with it though. I don’t get that ugly swollen look like with creatine mono, I stay nice and cut looking while still putting on muscle and gaining strength. – Amazon Customer
8. Dymatize Micronized Creatine
Dymatize micronized creatine is good old fashioned quality creatine monohydrate. This is your standard no-fluff creatine supplement and allows you to enjoy the benefits of creatine without breaking the bank. This supplement is 100% pure HPLC certified.
9. NOW Foods Creatine
If you’re looking for a good quality creatine that won’t bust the wallet, NOW Sports has the solution for you. This creatine supplement is vegetarian-friendly and it is free of yeast, wheat, corn, soy, milk, additives, preservatives.
I have been using creatine on and off for approximately 20 years now. It is in my opinion the best supplement out there. What I have learned is that there is no need for “new and improved” “advanced formula” or whatever other bells and whistles companies want to throw in there, when it come to creatine. Simple creatine monohydrate works just fine. I find that there is no need for a loading phase and that once daily post-workout is best. Good stuff. – Amazon Customer
10. 5% Nutrition CreaTEN
If you’re looking for a more advanced creatine supplement, this is for you. You won’t need to have a loading phase with this creatine and you will enjoy the benefits from day 1. The added insulin mimickers help build muscle and shuttle nutrients to your muscles.
Crea-Ten gets it’s name from the fact this supplement has 10 different types of creatine. Check out this review below.
Get the Most Out of Your Creatine
Getting the most out of your supplement is important. Utilizing some of these tips will make a difference in performance and it will determine how far you can stretch your dollar.
- Be Consistent – Taking creatine consistently and following the proper dosing protocol is important for performance.
- Non-Acidic Fruit Juice – Taking creatine with some non-acidic fruit juice such as grape juice has been shown to help increase your absorption.
- Eat Right – eating a diet conducive to a healthy lifestyle will improve overall work output and performance.