When it comes to bodybuilding, dietary supplements have a crucial role in ensuring optimal muscle health. The supplements increase strength endurance, muscle mass, and quick post-workout recovery. Extensive studies have shown that creatine is the best supplement for optimizing exercise performance. Most of the best trainers have their greatest results when creatine supplements are on their menu.
Apart from the quality and dosage of creatine, the form in which one takes creatine orally is another factor that has a huge effect on the overall gains of the exercise. Over 1000 studies have concluded that creatine monohydrate is the best form with the highest efficacy in achieving these results from its molecular form.
To help you choose the best supplement, our research team is set to analyze numerous creatine product contents available in the market today. After a handful of studies examining hundreds of creatine products, our research team has come up with a list of these nine of the best creatine supplements of 2022.
2022 Nine best Creatine Monohydrate Supplements
XWERKS LIFT: Effective than the liquid and ethyl ester forms specially formulated to enhance lean tissue growth and muscle fiber recovery
CrazyBulk CRN-5 Creatine: Effective in high-intensity interval training through improving power, strength, and muscle mass
Onnit Creatine: A reputable brand in the market which contains Creapure® and helps muscles recover after exercise
Performance Lab Maintain: One of the most potent creatine supplements with unique forms of creatine whose molecular structure is patented
Cellucor Creatine Monohydrate: Works well with Cellucor pre-workout. It has some of the highest sales numbers in markets such as Amazon
Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder: Comes in 5 grams of generic Creatine Monohydrate per Serving. It boosts the production of ATP energy in the Krebs cycle of energy production
Beast Sports Creature Creatine: Powerfully formulated creatine monohydrate powder which assists the muscles to rapidly replenish the energy during workout
NSP Nutrition Muscle Power Creatine: Highly effective creatine supplement which helps in muscle recovery and improving lean tissue growth
Elm & Rye Creatine: Comes in easy-to-take pills which come from GMO sources. It has the easiest oral administration method than others which involves mixing in milkshakes
LIFT from XWERKS is a powdered form of creatine monohydrate supplement. LIFT is taken orally and can be mixed with other drinks such as shakes or beverages. This product has a soluble micronized creatine monohydrate that is formulated specifically to offer instant power. With proper use alongside a regular strength training schedule, LIFT can increase the growth of the lean muscle tissue.
One major advantage of XWERKS lift is that each bag contains 80 servings. The supplement is reasonably priced and does not contain any flavor. However, one can incorporate it into other flavored protein shakes to form a pre-workout mixture. Every serving has the right amount of creatine monohydrate for daily use. It is purely free from any additive such as sugar or artificial flavoring.
XWERKS is a reputable brand in the supplements market. To achieve its maximum efficacy, one should take it daily. Moreover, each order is backed up with a money-back guarantee. This offer means that throughout the 80 days, it is possible to ascertain if the supplement is working.
Ingredients present in every pack include Creatine hydrochloride, three essential amino acids, and Micronized creatine monohydrate.
Key Highlights of LIFT are gluten-free, rapid strength, powerful pumps, boosted water retention capacity of muscle cells, puffy muscle appearance, and added growth of lean muscle tissue. These advantages are prominent when one combines its uptake with strength training and weight lifting.
- Price $49
- Money-Back 30 days
Crazy Nutrition CRN-5 Creatine
CRN-5 is specially crafted with five unique creatines as well as added electrolytes to rehydrate back the muscles. These creatines are Creatine monohydrate, Creatine hydrochloride, Creatine ethyl ester, Creatine citrate pyruvate, and Tri-creatine malate. In the bodybuilding context, people are familiar with CrazyBulk’s Steroids and SARM variants. However, CRN-5 is another of their products that pack creatine monohydrate supplements. CRN-5 is effective, especially in High-Intensity Interval Training. It enables one to carry out intense exercise and promises better strength gains.
A unique feature that differentiates CRN-5 is the availability of 5 different types of creatine supplements. These forms aid in helping maximize the pumps during a workout.
Moreover, CRN-5 packs in additional electrolytes like magnesium, sodium, and potassium. Their main role is rehydrating the body. This process is necessary during exercise because Creatine draws water from the systemic circulation to the muscles during an intense workout.
Crazy Bulk CRN-5 has numerous advantages over other forms of creatine monohydrate in the market. These advantages include but are not limited to; availing all possible benefits of creatine monohydrate together with other forms of creatine, has a blend of five potent types of creatine, CRN-5 is well known with a positive reputation, and is competitively priced compared to the other eight creatine supplements on this list.
Crazy Bulk CRN-5 has active Ingredients such as Tri-sodium citrate, Aquamin Mg, Aquamin Ag, Creatine monohydrate, Creatine hydrochloride, Creatine ethyl ester, Creatine pyruvate, and Tri-creatine malate
Key Highlights of Crazy Bulk CRN-5 include increasing the agility to train harder and increase the weight of lifts, adding muscle mass, speeding up recovery after intense exercise, helping in the recovery of muscles after a workout, and overall increasing one’s athletic performance.
- Price $44.99
- Money-Back 60 days
Onnit is the most famous creatine dietary supplement on this list. For years, the Onnit supplement has been reviewed by celebs like Joe Rogan. Each serving of Onnit contains 5g of micronized creatine monohydrate. This product is specially formulated for strength and performance. Creatine here exists in the form of Creapure. The user doesn’t need to alter the dosage or scoop size to achieve the same effect.
Some advantages of considering Onnit Creatine as your supplement include; Using a reputable brand with a proven track record, readily available at a pocket-friendly price highly effective in ATP cycling as well as restoring energy for muscle cell contraction. The only key ingredient present in Onnit Creatine is Micronized creatine Monohydrate powder.
Key Highlights include: helping the body adjust its composition with increasing muscle tissue, supporting muscle mass and power, helping alleviate numerous neurological disorders as well a clinically proven track record of over 25 years.
- Price $15
- Money-Back 90 days
Performance Lab Maintain
SPORT Maintain creatine supplement makes use of extended-release technology to help the user maintain muscle growth. This supplement from Performance Lab is key in improving strength, endurance, and power. It requires daily use just like other supplements on this list to achieve noticeable gains over time.
One key aspect not present in other creatine supplements is that SPORT Maintain comes in a sachet of six capsules. Each capsule contains about 3000mg of pure creatine. This amount is way lower than other creatine supplements on this list. Recommended intake is usually 6 to 10 capsules a day. This product offers this flexibility for the convenience of adjusting the dosage anytime.
Moreover, SPORT Maintain also features 1,600mg of beta-alanine. This ingredient is critical in speeding up muscle recovery after the exercise. Although this supplement is a bit pricey, it is a quality encapsulated supplement manufactured and packaged by a top-tier company. This option is the highest trim option of oral creatine monohydrate supplementation on this list.
Key ingredients present in Sport Maintain include CreaPure Protein, Iron, Beta-Alanine, and Pine bark extract. Its Key Highlights are supporting muscle growth, fast recovery from lost tissue, increased power and endurance, better mental and physical growth, and boosting the immune system. SPORT Maintain contains antioxidants and also aids indigestion.
- Price $44
- Money-Back 30 days
Cellucor Creatine Monohydrate
Cellucor is arguably the most renowned brand in the supplement industry. It has a pure form of creatine monohydrate. Its bioavailability is enhanced by micronizing its creatine. This supplement effect is not only quicker but also a reliable brand in helping the user achieve their muscle-building objective.
Bottom line, Cellucor Creatine Monohydrate is one of the best creatine supplements available in the market today. If you’ve already tried Cellucor, it is obvious that its effectiveness is undebatable. For a new user, Cellucor creatine supplement is a reputable brand option in this category. Its ingredients are Creatine Monohydrate and essential amino acids. The key highlights of this supplement are helping build lean muscle mass to rejuvenate cells, promoting athletic performance by increasing endurance and power, increasing overall performance by increasing muscle size and being a gluten-free natural formula.
- Price $24.99
- Money-Back 60 days
Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder
Optimum Nutrition is another reputable brand in the supplement category. For a long time, this option has been the best-selling product on multiple sites. To crown it all, Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder received the “Amazon’s Choice” badge for best creatine.
One special aspect about Optimum Nutrition is that it doesn’t contain any filler ingredients. This means that the powder has zero calories and zero carbohydrates. A typical serving contains 5g of creatine powder. The product is carefully formulated to increase muscle strength, muscle size, and performance. This supplement supports fast outbursts of energy as it favors ATP recycling.
Optimum nutrition is available in both powdered and encapsulated forms. It has a flexible dosage administration and comes in different packaging sizes such as 30, 60, 120, 240, or 400g. One can order the size that best suits their need and use. Moreover, there are huge discounts, especially for orders involving larger serving sizes.
Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine is a top-tier option available in the market for anyone wishing to try out a creatine supplement. Ingredients of Optimum Nutrition are Gelatin, Micronized Creatine Monohydrate, and Magnesium Stearate. Its key highlights include: promoting energy bursts via ATP recycling, supporting lean body mass formation, speeding up recovery after a workout, gluten-free monohydrate supplement, easy to mix with a variety of fluids as well as vegan-friendly nature.
- Price $10.99
- Money-Back 30 days
Beast Sports Creature Creatine
Beast Sports Creature creatine is unique on this list through its flavors. You can choose from beat punch, pink lemonade, cherry limeade, and citrus, among other options. Creature creatine contains five different forms of creatine namely: creatine anhydrous, Creatine gluconate, Creatine monohydrate, Di-Creatine malate, and Crea-Trona.
Beast sports company describes this product as the ultimate performance unlocker. It claims it can add more pushes on a press-up lap. It can add more kilos of muscle mass and increase the speed of your sprints. With performance formulations, one can achieve extreme elite performance levels with beast sports creatures.
Beast Sports comes in both powdered and encapsulated form for multiple convenience options. All of these contain the flavor choices that one can choose. However, the powder form is the most common product available in most markets.
Bottom line, Creature Creatine from Beast Sports is a phenomenal creatine supplement that can improve your strength, muscle size, and endurance, as well as reduce recovery time. The key ingredient includes Creatine Hydrochloride, Creatine monohydrate, Di-creatine malate CreatineCreatine anhydrous, and Creatine gluconate.
Its key Highlights are hastened the recovery of lost muscle mass, proven FDA and GMP manufacture procedure, builds lean muscle mass to increase endurance as well as its availability in powder and pill forms.
- Price $30
- Money-Back 60 days
NSP Nutrition Muscle Power Creatine
NSP Nutrition is another highly effective creatine supplement in muscle building. This careful formulation seeks to provide energy faster as well as increase muscle mass. It is designed with high efficacy and can provide its results within minutes. Users commonly take it as a pre-workout supplement alongside a shake of their favorite beverage. Through enhancing the ATP cycle, NSP Nutrition enhances endurance, energy, and power throughout the exercise session.
NSP Nutrition is available in 60 servings, with 5g of creatine in each dose. It is the best if not one of our best on this list because it is relatively affordable. Moreover, it does not contain any fillers, making it a pure creatine source. If you are looking for a cheap creatine monohydrate supplement with zero fillers, NSP Nutrition is the best option to be looking for at a pocket-friendly price. NSP Nutrition’s only active ingredient is Creatine Monohydrate.
Its key Highlights include: supporting overall physical performance, increasing strength, promoting weight loss, and lean muscle development. NSP Nutrition is a pure creatine monohydrate supplement without additional chemicals or additives. This supplement is Gluten-free and is Vegan-Friendly.
- Price $41.99
- Money-Back 30 days
Elm & Rye Creatine
Elm & Rye is a top-tier supplement brand in the body-building context. It has a stout reputation and assists high-intensity trainers to promote an increase in muscle tissue mass. Moreover, it improves muscle performance, reduces the trainer’s fatigue levels. The most common application of this supplement is high-intensity training.
One unique feature of the Elm & Rye creatine supplement is its encapsulated form. Instead of being powder-like many supplements on this list, Elm & Rye supplement users have the convenience of taking it quickly and easily instead of mixing it in other shakes. Elm & Rye is thus an undisguisedly high-end product and lives up to its reputation. Ingredients present in Elm & Rye are Magnesium Stearate, essential amino acids, Creatine hydrochloride, and creatine monohydrate
Key highlights of this supplement are the support of mental growth, physical growth, reduction of fatigue during exercise, increase in energy, and fast muscle strength.
- Price $50
- Money-Back 30 days
Our criteria for ranking the Best Creatine Supplements
From these features, it is clear that every creatine supplement has a formulation geared towards improving muscle growth. It also reduces muscle recovery time and other benefits. However, results from practical use prove that some supplements may fail to live up to these promises.
To distinguish between the best from the worst supplements, we used some ranking factors such as:
The type(s) of Creatine present: Most creatine supplements contain creatine monohydrate powder. However, some brands may contain up to five different forms of creatine for various reasons. One reason is bioavailability. While some forms of creatine take a long time to be absorbed, some are ideal for quick absorption. Combining multiple forms of creatine assists a product increase its effectiveness. One reason why we prefer products offering more than one kind of creatine.
Creatine Dosage: The recommended daily intake of creatine is 5g. Most products will feature 4g to 5g of creatine per dosage. In some cases, encapsulated forms of creatine have smaller dosages. Our creatine supplements have an effective daily dosage of 3-10g.
Filler Ingredients: A pure supplement should only contain the purest form of the active ingredient. Additives such as stimulants, carbs, proteins, or other ingredients increase the dosage amount to achieve the same effect. Our creatine monohydrate supplements do not contain filler ingredients. We prefer options that have few or zero additives. In special situations, we only allow additives like electrolytes which serve to rehydrate the muscle cells after the creatine effect of dehydration.
Texture and solubility: Most creatine supplements do not mix well with the fluid medium of dissolving the powder. Many clumps, stick together or form lumps in your beverage or protein shake. Other creatine monohydrate supplements mix easily. They make a smooth consistent shake that is palatable. We prefer such supplements for the ease of blending.
Ease of Absorption: One common trend in creatine manufacture technology is micronizing. Micronizing reduces the molecule size to ease the uptake from GIT to the systemic circulation. Creatine effectiveness is directly proportional to the amount which your body can absorb. As a standard procedure, we prefer brands with micronized creatine. They increase the bioavailability of creatine.
Label Transparency: Lower quality creatine supplements have a tendency not to display the amount of each ingredient present. Other brands claim to possess up to 5 types of creatine. Upon inspection in a quality control lab, it is evident that some types of creatine or ingredients are present in trace amounts lower than the recommended daily allowance. We prefer brands that display the amount of each ingredient and live up to their claim.
Honest Commercials: Whereas creatine supplements are the most common and proven supplements for bodybuilding, there is time for the results to manifest. We became suspicious of some claims from some supplements users who exaggerate these transformations and make unproven remarks about what the products can do.
Manufacturer Reputation: Some new manufacturers can offer a useful supplement. However, others have a long-standing reputation that has been there for a very long time. We avoided the bias of the age but preferred the ones with a long-standing proven record of the quality of their supplements.
Cost-effectiveness: Creatine is a cheap and widely available supplement. You should not dig too deep into your pocket to get a good supplement. There are supplements available for as low as $0.5 a dose. By weighing the price and value, we avoided products that were way too pricey for what they offered.
Customer Reviews: Customer feedback is by far the best parameter for ascertaining the efficacy of a product. Whereas some websites pay for reviews from pretenders, we went our way to seek credible feedback from customers using these supplements. From this feedback, we can ascertain their experience, whether they can recommend a friend, the price, side effects, etc. The more positive feedback the higher the product on our list.
What is Creatine & What is its Mode of Action?
Creatine is a naturally occurring nutrient. Creatine combines three essential amino acids: Methionine, arginine, and glycine. Creatine enables the muscle tissue to produce energy and contract quickly, enabling one to make explosive movements. Creatine supplementation increases strength, endurance, muscle mass, and sprinting capability.
Creatine Mode of Action
Creatine works by enhancing numerous body reactions essential for muscle activity. Energy exists in our body as adenosine triphosphate or ATP. Creatine supplements, your body produces ATP readily through the KREBS cycle.
Research has shown creatine supplements enable one to push hard for long and help muscles heal fast after an intense exercise.
Benefits of Creatine Monohydrate Supplements
Creatine is by far the most common bodybuilding supplement. It features several benefits such as;
- Improved Bodybuilding: Creatine is an effective supplement for individuals whose goal is to increase muscles and tone their bodies. Numerous fitness experts and bodybuilders recommend creatine for increasing muscle mass and strength. Many rely on creatine for increasing power and pushing heavyweight.
- Increasing Muscle Mass: From previous studies, users recommend creatine for increasing muscle growth by 5% to 15%. One can sprint efficiently and increase power by taking these supplements daily.
- Better Workout Sessions: Creatine enhances physical capability. Workout sessions can be more effective.
- Increasing Muscle mass: Combining creatine and protein increases muscle mass and strength. Creatine has a direct impact on increasing muscle mass. It helps users optimally after resistance training.
- Quick Recovery: Creatine helps the best persons to bulk up. There is a healing effect of muscles after workouts or injuries. Creatine helps one to recover after an intense workout.
- Support Joint Health: Studies have shown the effect of creatine on relieving joint pain and inflammation. Geriatrics uses creatine on the elderly who frequently have severe joint discomfort.
- Promote Cardiovascular health: Patients recovering from conditions like cardiac attacks recover well after taking creatine. They also get an increase in their strength and power.
- Improvement in Cognitive Functions: Creatine reduces neural damage and maintains cellular energy. Persons who take creatine every day have a lower risk of developing cognitive disorders.
Who Can Use Creatine?
Anybody can benefit from taking creatine. Some practical applications include:
- Anyone trying to bulk up
- Anybody trying to increase strength and improve muscle mass
- Persons improving athletic performance
- Bodybuilders wanting quick recovery
- Anyone wanting breakthrough plateaus of weight training
- Anyone who wants to control focus, cognitive ability, and brainpower
- Anybody wanting a cheap, effective, and reliable bodybuilding supplement
Types of Creatine
There are different types of creatine. Creatine monohydrate is the most common form. Other types include;
Creatine Monohydrate: Creatine monohydrate is the most common type available in the market. It is a cost-effective option for use in production. Most of the supplements present in this list rely on the monohydrate form of creatine as the primary active ingredient.
Creatine Ethyl Ester: This type is bound to ester salts to increase its bioavailability. However, some studies deny that it equals monohydrate in bioavailability.
Buffered Creatine: It is more alkaline than regular creatine monohydrate. It exists either as kre-alkalyn or crea-trona. There is little or no proof that buffered creatine is better than creatine monohydrate.
Creatine Hydrochloride: Creatine HCl, is bound to hydrochloride molecules. This binding increases its solubility in water. It is suitable for users with digestion problems.
Creatine Magnesium Chelate: This form is bound to magnesium can help the GIT absorb creatine quickly
Liquid Creatine: Creatine dissolved in water. There is no evidence of its superiority over other forms.
Generally, all forms of creatine supplements work the same. There is no substantial amount of research that promotes it over the other. Creatine monohydrate is the most common and cost-effective form.
Previous Research on Creatine Supplements
Creatine has the most study findings in the bodybuilding industry. Many studies have shown creatine to be a safe product. As a result, creatine has millions of users worldwide. Creatine is the most proven bodybuilding supplement.
Side Effects of Creatine
Extensive studies have shown creatine to be generally safe. No side effects of creatine supplements. Moreover, participants of these tests have reported no adverse effects.
Some have claimed to experience significant weight gain.
Creatine supplement assists to increase muscle lean mass. Weight gain occurs due to the body’s ability to build more muscles effectively.
Some studies have confirmed the possibility of side effects in persons suffering from kidney disease, liver disease, and hypertension. These effects may be worse for older people, especially those who take creatine in high doses. Adhering to a guideline on using this supplement may be necessary.
Recommended Creatine Dosage
Our list contains most supplements with 4g to 6g of creatine per dose. Any amount from 3g can bring creatine benefits. Doctors recommend taking it once or twice daily. Practically, bodybuilders take before and after a workout. Other users reduce the dosage by half on their non-workout days.
Further research has shown no other benefits of using more than 20g of creatine per day. It saturates the muscles and any more intake is a waste. Moreover, individuals with bigger muscles take up more creatine than ones with small muscles. Typically, 5g to 6g for 140lbs and 8g to 12g for 200lbs. You can also adjust your dose regarding your workout phase. For instance, 10g to 20g for bulking up.
Q: What is creatine & where does it come from?
A: Creatine is a nutritious supplement with glycine, methionine, and arginine. It assists muscles in increasing mass, synthesizing energy, and recovering. Rich dietary sources include red meat and salmon. (1 pound contains 1-2g of creatine)
Q: What is creatine’s mode of action?
A: Creatine helps muscles produce outbursts of power in a short time. Trainers use creatine to increase muscle mass. It is essential to aid in cognitive functions as well.
Q: What are some of the benefits of taking creatine?
A: Creatine supplements improve strength, endurance, muscle mass, and cognitive functions.
Q: How many types of creatine are present in a supplement?
A: There are seven types namely: creatine monohydrate, creatine anhydrous, creatine hydrochloride, buffered creatine, creatine ethyl ester, creatine magnesium chelate, or liquid creatine. A supplement can have one or several of these types.
Q: Which type of creatine is the best?
A: Creatine monohydrate is the common form in the market. However, a product can contain more types of creatine supplements.
Q: Can creatine have adverse side effects?
A: There have not been any adverse side effects of creatine. For a healthy adult, 10-20g of creatine is okay for use.
Q: Does creatine negatively affect the kidney?
A: Creatine does not have any bad effect on kidney function even in large doses. However, there have been unproven remarks about its effect on older people.
Q: Does creatine cause hair loss?
A: Creatine does not cause hair loss. However, creatine can raise DHT levels in your body, which can increase the rate of hair loss.
Q: Is there any creatine interaction with caffeine?
A: Most studies claim caffeine increases creatine uptake. Others point to an adverse interaction. More research should be conducted on this phenomenon.
Q: Who is the best person to use creatine?
A: Creatine is best for bodybuilders due to its benefits. However, its impact on immunity and cognitive functions can help virtually anyone.
Q: When is it best to take creatine?
A: You can take creatine anytime. However, it is better to split dosages to 5-10g.
Q: Am I supposed to take creatine pre or post-workout?
A: Most users prefer both pre and post-workout. However, you can take it anytime at your convenience.
Q: How do I take creatine?
A: powdered Creatine monohydrate can be taken with water, shake, or beverage. You can take capsules orally
Q: What is a creatine shuttle?
A: A mix of creatine with an additive such as dextrose or glutamine.
Q: Does creatine help one retain water?
A: Creatine takes water from the body to the muscle tissues. It is essential to take an adequate amount of exercise.
Q: Does one lose muscle mass after stopping using creatine?
A: You should not expect to lose muscle mass if you stop taking creatine, especially if you are still regularly strength training. However, you may lose a few pounds as water leaves your muscles.
Q: Does creatine make one fat?
A: Creatine increases water retention in muscles for a shorter term. When combined with diet and exercise, there isn’t a significant difference.
Q: Can a woman take creatine?
A: Yes. A woman can take creatine. It doesn’t have any adverse effect or impact on hormones.
Q: What is creatinine?
A: Creatinine is a metabolic product of creatine and creatine phosphate. It is harmless and is excreted by the kidney.
Q: Which is the best creatine supplement?
A: We recommend XWERKS LIFT, CrazyBulk CRN5, and Optimum Nutrition. Micronized Creatine Powder is our best creatine supplement. However, you can use any supplement in our list of priorities.
Creatine is one of the best bodybuilding supplements. It has millions of users worldwide. It helps in muscle building, energy formation as well as hastening muscle recovery after a workout. One reason why this supplement keeps becoming popular is the recommendation from numerous fitness experts. Moreover, it helps support immunity and improve cognitive functions among other benefits.
If you need a creatine supplement for such benefits, we recommend using the top three on our list above.
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Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely substitutes for sound medical or financial advice from a licensed healthcare provider or certified financial advisor. Make sure to consult with a professional physician or financial consultant before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA, or Health Canada approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or provide any kind of get-rich money scheme.