Best Creatine Supplements You Can Buy

By Catherine Tavarez

best creatine supplement

Creatine is a supplement, usually found in either pill or powder form that promotes the body’s ability to build muscle, recover from stress quickly and increase bone density. The supplement is often taken by athletes and bodybuilders, as well as anyone who is trying to increase their muscle tone and mass as part of a regular health regimen.

What is the Best Type of Creatine?

When you are looking for the best type of creatine, you’ll find options. First, creatine can be liquid, buffered, micronized powder or in a capsule form. Much of the decision process comes down to personal preference in the delivery form. Many people like adding the powder, which is very finely ground to their water or protein drink, either before or after their workout. Some prefer to take the capsule form, simply swallowing it with water.

The best creatine supplement you will see is likely to be creatine monohydrate powder. This is the most widely researched type of creatine and has been shown to be safe for use with very few side effects.

Creatine powders are often micronized, meaning they are ground into a very fine powder, so they can dissolve easier and more completely. If the powder does not fully dissolve, it can leave an unpleasant, gritty texture. It can also have a slightly chalky taste, which is also undesirable.

Because of micronization, the creatine is more efficiently absorbed into the muscle tissue, where it can most effectively aid in building muscle growth and producing faster recovery times.

Benefits of Creatine

There have been extensive studies into the benefits of creatine, showing it to be safe without any substantial side effects. It is made naturally in the body, but supplementing an additional 5 to 10 grams daily can help increase muscle mass when working out or body building. Creatine works by pulling water into the muscle, adding definition and strength.

Creatine can help extend your energy level, allowing you to work out harder and longer, which increases the muscle building power. This additional workout time is critical when increasing muscle mass. Your body’s muscle mass will continue to burn fat, even when your body is at rest, so the effect continues to multiply.

The final benefit of creatine is this extra energy and hydration can help your body recover from your workout much faster, giving you back the time you would normally spend recuperating.

Does Creatine Make You Gain Weight?

If you’re like many people one of the top concerns with adding this supplement to your daily routine is does creatine make you gain weight? The answer to this is yes- but no Create will help you gain muscle mass and muscle weighs more than fat. Creatine helps pull water into the muscles, which are made of about 75% water.

There may be an initial weight gain of a pound or two when starting creatine, but it is due to the fact that the muscles are retaining more water weight, plumping them up and defining them.

If weight gain is your goal, creatine is probably not the best supplement you can use. There are other products that will help you put on pounds faster and more efficiently than creatine. The most common result of supplementing with creatine is more muscle mass, faster recovery time after workouts and increased bone density.

How to Take Creatine

Most forms of creatine allow you to take it either pre-workout or post-workout. Some people will do both. There are some who participate in a practice known as creatine loading. This refers to the practice of taking large doses of creatine at the beginning of the regime, for the first several days to a week.

Loading schedules will often call for doses of 20-25 grams of creatine for a week or so, then tapering down to the recommended 5-10 grams daily. Because creatine is water soluble, meaning any excess is expelled from the body, many experts say that loading is unnecessary and is actually a waste of the supplement. Most experts will say that loading is simply not necessary and provides no noticeable benefit.

The recommended dosage of creatine varies according to experts. It is commonly thought that 5-10 grams daily is the optimal dosing, other experts maintain that 2-5 grams are all you need. If you drink a regular protein or other supplemental drink, make sure you check the ingredients to see if it already contains creatine. There is no evidence to support the idea that larger amounts provide any benefit. While they probably won’t hurt you, larger dosages are simply money down the drain.

As with all supplements, if you are pregnant or nursing, you should avoid taking creatine. Everyone should check with their doctor before adding any supplement to their routine.

There has been an ongoing debate on whether you take your creatine before or after workout times. Many believe you should take it pre-workout to get the added benefit of your muscles being in their optimized condition before you work out so you can work harder and longer. Other schools of thought believe that taking it after your workout will add the boost of a faster recovery time. There is a slight margin in favor of taking creatine post-workout for the most benefit.

Creatine for Men

For years, creatine for men has been an accepted and safe supplement for bodybuilding and athleticism. Adding this supplement helps with high intensity workouts and with those shorter, intense muscle building sprints! Men are using creatine powders in their protein shakes both before and after they workout to increase their muscle gain and eliminate the post-workout slump that high intensity workouts can cause.

Creatine for Women

There has been controversy on whether or not women can safely take creatine within a workout routine that is based on toning and not on muscle building. With the exception of during pregnancy or breastfeeding stages of life, research bears out that women can safely use creatine as well as men.

Women who are not in the bodybuilding lifestyle are likely to forego the loading routine, choosing instead to simply add 5-10 grams of creatine to their health strategy.

Because women tend to naturally carry more fat than men, their muscles don’t always show that ripped definition as easily as men’s muscles do. Adding creatine can help women to safely workout longer and harder, which provide maximum effect for a woman’s workout as well as a man’s workout.

Best Creatine Powder

The best creatine powder naturally needs to be one that will dissolve completely, with no odor or taste. Creatine can be gritty or have a chalky type flavor, so the best powders will eliminate this problem. A process known as micronizing, which creates an ultra-fine powder, does a good job at eliminating these downfalls.

A micronized powder will also be most quickly absorbed by the muscles, carrying with it the much needed water to create the desired muscle tone and speed up recovery time.

Creatine Comparison Table

Brands of Creatine

As with most supplements, you can find many brands of creatine supplements. Determining the best ones available can be a little tricky. The Optimum Nutrition line leads the pack here.

Whether you are looking for powder or pills, Optimum Nutrition has two products in the top five best sellers. This brand uses a patented process to create their micronized powders, eliminating taste, odor and texture, which are the three potential downsides to powders. They also have a capsule formulation that eliminates powders altogether.

Bulk Supplements is another top-selling brand of creatine. It is a non-GMO, vegan powder that also takes advantage of a micronizing process and is unflavored. Bulk Supplements advises their product as a great performer whether using in a loading regime or not.

Top Five Brands of Creatine Supplements

We will look at the five top-selling creatine supplements available and review each product in order to give you a complete review guide to creatine supplements. Whether your preference is creatine in pills or in powders, you’ll have the facts to make the right choice for you. The list begins with the top rated creatine and moves through the top ten choices.

Optimum Nutrition Creatine Powder

Optimum Nutrition Creatine Powder

The best creatine to buy, according to reviews, is Optimum Nutrition Creatine Powder. Optimum Nutrition has created a micronized powder designed especially to mix well in liquid and dissolve completely with no flavor or odor. This powder does not result in a gritty texture, which is a huge dislike for creatine users.

This powder is completely dissolvable and easy to take. Optimum Nutrition recommends a loading phase, followed by the maintenance program. This in 99.9A% pure creapure creatine monohydrate. This is the most researched type of creatine and has shown exceptional ability to increase both muscle and energy.

Bulk Supplements Pure Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Powder (1 Kilogram)

BulkSupplements Pure Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Powder

Bulk Supplements comes in at number two for creatine supplements. Also a powder, with a 99.9% purity level, this particular brand offers a variation on the commonly recommended dosage of 5-10 grams daily. This verifies that you should take the dosage you need based on your goals and your body health. Women, in particular, may prefer the smaller doses, especially if they are not on a bodybuilding program.

Bulk Supplements offers a wide variety of sizes, including a 25 kg size that brings your cost to a penny a gram. They lab test their products to assure purity and quality. In fact, they guarantee it. This is definitely a brand that should be seriously considered in your search for the best creatine on the market.

MuscleTech Platinum 100% Creatine, Ultra-Pure Micronized Creatine Powder

MuscleTech Platinum 100% Creatine Ultra-Pure Micronized Creatine Powder

This product gives you an 80 serving supply, based on the industry standard 5g dose. It is economical and rated number three in top selling creatine supplements. If you purchase this one in the 400g container, you will actually receive 100g as a free bonus, giving you a 500 g supply.

This provides 80-100 servings per container, making this an inexpensive option to add to your workout routine. MuscleTech Platinum is another micronized product, meaning you will get quick absorption, no taste or odor and a powder that dissolves completely in your favorite beverage.

They provide research results right on the page showing gains of as much as 6 lbs of muscle in a six week timeframe.

Optimum Nutrition Creatine 2500mg

Optimum Nutrition Creatine 2500mg

One of the features that make this Optimum Nutrition product a favorite in the top five creatine supplements is the dosing. You only need two capsules for your serving, which gives you 150 servings per bottle. This is the second creatine supplement manufactured by Optimum Nutrition in the top five best-sellers.

You receive the same creatine monohydrate product, with the 99.95 purity rating as you do when you buy the powder, with the added convenience of simply swallowing two capsules. No grit, no taste, no odor, no liquid to consume. This is creatine in the simplest form.

MET-Rx Creatine 4200, 240 count
This is another capsule formulation and MET RX assures us that it is just as effective whether taken pre- or post- workout. You will see yourself quickly pulling out of slumps quickly and getting back to your high-powered self. The tablets are 700 mg, with a six capsule serving. You can split the dosage, increasing your workout energy and decreasing your recovery time.

The split dosage will also encourage your water intake, which is important for general health and also critical to the optimal benefit from your creatine supplement. Proper water intake is necessary for the complete breakdown of the capsule, assimilating the creatine into your bloodstream.

Next 5 Best Creatine Options

Buying Guide

Creatine has been studied extensively and is safe for men and women. It increases muscle mass by bringing additional water to your muscles, giving added definition and tone to your physique. It is used by athletes, bodybuilders and anyone who simply wants to increase their muscle mass, shorten their workout recovery time and increase bone density.

Look for as pure a supplement as you can find. There are options that are 100% pure and 99.9% pure. Either is an excellent choice. Having this purity level eliminates any complication from possible fillers or additives which are unnecessary and can be dangerous.

Whether you use a powder or a capsule is primarily a personal choice. Micronized powder mixes well in any liquid, while capsules are easily swallowed and portable, so you can bring your supplement straight to the gym.

When choosing your supplement, look for products with the best creatine review by other users. This is often the most transparent, honest evaluation you can find.

Many experts recommend loading your creatine, which means taking a larger dosage at the beginning of your routine and then tapering off to the 5 gram level.

Others state loading is unnecessary, as creatine is water soluble and any excess in your bloodstream will be eliminated through your urine.

Creatine is safe for men and for women. Creatine is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. In addition, you should always check with your doctor before taking any supplement, particularly if you have heart disease or diabetes.

You can safely add creatine to your daily supplement routine. It is shown to have great results when taken by everyday athletes as well as bodybuilders and those looking for extreme definition. Whether you use a powder, a capsule or a different delivery method, your results should be comparable.

Creatine is not a magic pill. It is added to a healthy nutrition plan and a regular, vigorous workout routine.

Product images sourced from Amazon.com

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