Best Creatine Supplements On The Market For 2020

Creatine was discovered by scientists to enhance physical performance in the 1970’s. Creatine supplementation caught on for building lean body mass as well as enhancing athletic performance in the 1990’s.

Creatine is one of the few supplements allowed by the International Olympic Committee since it has not been medically proven to be harmful. And it’s not just for men. Women can see lean muscle mass gains as well.

In this guide we will cover the different forms of Creatine, when to take them, how to take them, and their benefits and side effects. 

However if you are ready to jump right into the products, here is our top five list. 

Skip to go to the top product review

ImageProduct
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Creatine HMB
  • Synergistic ingredients to enhance performance, recovery and body composition
  • Clinically researched and effective dosages
  • Zero artificial sweeteners, coloured dyes, unnecessary fillers, or harmful additives
  • Synergistic ingredients to enhance performance, recovery and body composition
  • Clinically researched and effective dosages
  • Zero artificial sweeteners, coloured dyes, unnecessary fillers, or harmful additives
View on Transparent Labs
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Creactor Creatine HCl
  • No bloating
  • No loading or cycling
  • Great zero kcal flavour options
  • No bloating
  • No loading or cycling
  • Great zero kcal flavour options
View on Bodybuilding.com
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Kaged Muscle Creatine HCl
  • No bloating
  • No loading or cycling
  • No Fillers or Additives
  • No bloating
  • No loading or cycling
  • No Fillers or Additives
View on Amazon
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Musclepharm Creatine 1000g
  • Tested and approved by Informed Choice
  • Supports Strength & Power
  • No artificial or natural sweeteners, flavours, colours, preservatives, or anti-caking agents.
  • Tested and approved by Informed Choice
  • Supports Strength & Power
  • No artificial or natural sweeteners, flavours, colours, preservatives, or anti-caking agents.
View on Best Price Nutrition
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Micronized Creatine Powder
  • Micronized to Stay Suspended in Solution Longer
  • Made with the highest quality Creatine (99.9% purity rating)
  • Wide Variety of Sizes Available
  • Micronized to Stay Suspended in Solution Longer
  • Made with the highest quality Creatine (99.9% purity rating)
  • Wide Variety of Sizes Available
View on Bodybuilding.com

Overall #1 Pick

Creatine HMB

  • Synergistic ingredients to enhance performance, recovery and body composition
  • Clinically researched and effective dosages
  • Unflavoured and flavoured options
  • Zero artificial sweeteners, coloured dyes, unnecessary fillers, or harmful additives
  • Gluten and GMO free
Creatine HMB

An incredibly unique product, Transparent labs creatine HMB combines two performance enhancing and body composition promoting ingredients in clinical dosages.

Of note, Transparent labs creatine HMB contains Creapure®. Produced by AlzChem Trostberg GmbH in Germany, Creapure® is the highest quality creatine (as close to pure as currently possible) on the market that boasts being vegan and halal compliant, as well as free of any banned substances.

When combined, Creapure® (creatine monohydrate) and HMB have been shown to enhance strength, increase endurance, decrease fat mass, and prevent lean muscle loss. Transparent labs creatine HMB also contains BioPerine® which enhances bioavailability and absorption.

Best Creatine Supplements

Here are our top five Creatine supplements on the market. Choose the one that best suits your needs: 

  1. Transparent Labs Creatine HMB (Top pick for performance) (Monohydrate)
  2. Muscletech Creactor Creatine HCL (Hydrochloride form for no water retention)
  3. Kaged Muscle Creatine HCL (Hydrochloride form for no water retention)
  4. Musclepharm Pure Creatine Powder (Monohydrate)
  5. Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder (Micronized for mixing with drinks/juices)

Continue reading to make sure you pick the best creatine supplement for you.

What is creatine

Creatine is naturally made in our bodies in the kidney and liver. It’s mainly stored in muscles. It is also found in protein-rich foods such as meat and fish.

Creatine comes in in many forms such as powders, tablets, capsules, and liquids. The most popular being powder form.

Read Also: Best Creatine Supplements For Women

How it works

What’s happening in your body: the liver excretes creatinine from creatine. It’s then turned into creatine phosphate in the body. The body uses creatine phosphate to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP). It is ATP that provides the energy the muscles need to contract.

ATP is broken down into adenosine diphosphate (ADP) when you’re training. Creatine then adds a phosphate molecule to ADP so that your muscles have ATP again. What that means for you is that you’ll be able to complete more reps and train longer.

Basically, creatine helps muscles get the needed nutrients to perform, recover, and grow.

Read Also: Best 1 Andro Supplements to Build Lean Muscle

Benefits of creatine

Creatine is known to increase lean muscle mass, improve strength, and help muscles recover quicker during exercise. This boost to the muscles is what helps you achieve bursts of speed and energy. A list of other benefits are:

  • Increased ATP (availability of muscle energy)
  • Increased power output so you can do more sets and reps
  • Enhanced recovery after your workout
takine creatine supplement

How to take creatine

Taking creatine pre or post workout is still debatable. There is no conclusive evidence that points to one time being better than the other. So it’s up to you to find what works best.

The dosage, on the other hand, is important. You don’t want to take too much. Like everything else, more is not necessarily better.

For women, 3-5g a day is recommended. For men, 5-10g a day is recommended. The most popular time creatine is taken by athletes is post-workout. But you don’t have to restrict yourself to that time. Creatine can be taken either first thing in the morning, pre-workout, or post-workout.

Creatine should not be taken indefinitely, though. For it to work properly, it needs to be cycled. Taking a two to four week break is highly recommended. So an example of how you can cycle is taking creatine for eight weeks, then taking a break for 4 weeks.

Read Also: Best Pump Supplement for Vascularity to get insane muscle pumps

One thing you should know about taking creatine is that it does not work well with caffeine. Caffeine can negate what you’re trying to achieve. So if you decide to start taking creatine, don’t take anything that has caffeine for the time that you’re taking the supplement.

Another thing to keep in mind is that creatine makes muscle hold water by taking it from the rest of your body. Because of this, you need to drink more water than you normally would as it will help prevent dehydration. And since creatine has the potential of dehydrating you, it shouldn’t be taken when you’re going to exercise in the heat.

Different forms of creatine

There are also different forms of creatine. Some forms includes:

1. Monohydrate

This form was the original version. And it’s still the best form to take. Keep in mind that this form needs to be taken along with sugar so it can be properly absorbed by the body. That’s why you’ll see most people take it with fruit juice.

During the loading phase, take 5 grams 4-5 times per day from day 1 to 5. After that, you can take monohydrate once a day.

2. Micronized

This form mixes easily with liquid and the powder doesn’t settle at the bottom as quickly as the other forms do. The serving size is 5 grams mixed with 8oz of juice or water. It needs to be drunk right away. When taking this form, it’s recommended you drink plenty of water every day to maximize your results.

During the loading phase, take 5 grams 4 -6 times per day from day 1 to 5. From day 6 to 21, take 1 heaping teaspoon twice a day. Don’t take it for three days and then repeat the cycle from the loading phase.

3. Ethyl Ester

This form is a newer form which eliminates the monohydrate effects. When taking this form, you don’t need to take as much grams. You also don’t need to take it with sugar and there’s no loading either. This form is available in powder or pill. You only need to take 2-3 grams twice per day. It is also less effective than the monohydrate form so you may want to do some of your own research to see if it’s right for you.

Read Also: 12 Testosterone boosting foods to eat to get jacked!

4. Hydrochloride (HCI)

This form is available in powder or capsule. This form is water soluble so you take it in doses based on your body weight and the intensity level of your workout. It is also digested more easily by the body which results in better absorption.

There is no water retention with this form of creatine. There is also no bloating or GI issues. You don’t have to worry about loading and cycling either.

5. Malate

This form is made from three creatine molecules attached to one malic acid molecule. The malic acid is used to utilize the Krebs energy cycle. It serves as an intermediate substance and provides energy. This form is also more water-soluble than regular monohydrate which helps with gastric discomfort.

6. Magnesium Creatine Chelate (MCC)

This form chemically bonds the creatine to magnesium. It was created this way so that the creatine is absorbed through a different pathway than monohydrate. The reasoning behind this form is that by using a different pathway to get the creatine to the muscle, less is lost in transport. There’s also less bloating and side effects with this form.

Side Effects You Should Know About Before Starting

In general, there aren’t any adverse side effects unless you overdose and/or don’t cycle. If you’re one of the few who do experience side effects, they can include:

  • Weight gain (from water not muscle)
  • Fatigue
  • Kidney problems (if you already have problems to begin with)
  • Stomach upset

Read Also: Best Caffeine Free Pre Workout

Also certain drugs can have unwanted interactions with creatine. You want to check with your doctor if you’re taking medication.

Best Creatine Supplements Reviews 

Here are the reviews of the remaining 4 top creatine supplements

Creactor Creatine HCl

  • Great zero kcal flavour options
  • No bloating
  • No loading or cycling
  • No stomach bloating
  • No Fillers or Additives
no water retention creatine supplement

For over two decades, MuscleTech has provided industry-defining product innovations that have helped fitness enthusiasts and athletes achieve their goals.

With an elite team of researches on hand engineering these cutting-edge formulas, MuscleTech continues to provide the most premium supplements in the world to support a healthy lifestyle.

Creactor creatine HCL is a unique product; with a smaller more bio-available dosage, Creactor also promises no loading or cycling, no water retention and, on top of all that, it won't cause any stomach bloating!

Kaged Muscle Creatine HCl

  • Unflavoured
  • Tested and approved by Informed Choice and Informed Sport
  • Patented Micropure quality creatine HCl
  • No bloating
  • No loading or cycling
  • No stomach bloating
  • No Fillers or Additives
best creatine supplement

Kaged Muscle is an ultra-premium science-based sports nutrition brand that delivers real results in the gym, and provides incredible value for your money.

Unlike creatine monohydrate or the generic creatine HCI available on the market, Kaged Muscle Creatine-HCI is patented and proven from Vireo Systems, the inventor and patent owner of the original creatine HCl.

Kaged aren’t afraid to have their product tested for quality either; approved by both informed sport and informed choice, Kaged has achieved the golden stamp of approval from the industry’s two most stringent 3rd party quality testing organisations.

Musclepharm Creatine 1000g

  • Tested and approved by Informed Choice
  • Unflavoured
  • No artificial or natural sweeteners, flavours, colours, preservatives, or anti-caking agents.
  • Supports Strength & Power
best creatine powder supplement

MusclePharm is a Denver-based nutrition company that’s pretty well-known for their inexpensive protein powder Combat Whey and their sponsorships within the mixed martial arts world (they have a strong relationship with UFC for example).

Musclepharm’s pure creatine powder is just that; There are no artificial or natural sweeteners, flavours, colours, preservatives, or anti-caking agents – just creatine monohydrate powder.

Musclepharm prides itself on quality with their creatine powder product made in a certified Good Manufacturing Practices facility and it’s trusted by Informed Choice, a third party that tests for purity.

Micronized Creatine Powder

  • Made with the highest quality Creatine (99.9% purity rating)
  • Micronized to Stay Suspended in Solution Longer
  • Unflavoured
  • No Fillers or Additives
  • Wide Variety of Sizes Available
  • Supports Strength & Power
micronized creatine supplement

Optimum Nutrition (ON) has been leading the charge on innovation and quality in sports nutrition products for several decades. ON is one of the few companies to own and operate state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities that are GMP compliant and NSF Certified for Sport.

ON’s creatine powder has been micronized, it mixes effortlessly and will stay in solution longer. As its unflavoured, you can stack one rounded teaspoon into your post-workout protein shake or mix the powder into the flavoured beverage of your choice.

Conclusion

Supplementing with creatine has many benefits. Always do your research on the different brands to see which one would be best for you. Buy the best you can afford. You’ll know if the powder you get is of poor quality if it’s hard to dissolve in liquid. Trying one of the ones reviewed above is a great place to start.

Jamie Wright

Jamie Wright

Jamie is a registered nutritionist and REPs recognized personal trainer with a MSc in Nutrition and BSc in Sports and Exercise Science. He runs his own nutrition and exercise coaching company, OUTWRK, and has authored a number of books of which include HealthyHer and FitHer. He has contributed on a number of external organisations nutritional guidance educational notes/booklets aimed at recreational exercisers/dieters to elite, internationally competing athletes. Additionally, Jamie has worked with this spectrum of clients in the past and just released his new program Everyday Athletes aimed at recreational exercisers/dieters. Reach out to him on his website for nutrition advise or consulting.

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