Top 10 Rated Creatine Supplements For Muscle And Strength-Building Benefits

Creatine is arguably the most popular and used “muscle-building” supplement aside from whey protein.

And it’s also one of the most studied and tested substances, as creatine has been around for many years. But with so many options out there, people get confused about what actually works.

Well, it’s always just best to keep things simple and use proven products from reputable companies with positive user experience. And you don’t really need a bunch of added ingredients either as creatine works incredible on its own.

But we have to be completely honest and say that you won’t get steroid-like gains; however, you will make progress slightly faster than you would without this powerful substance.

So let’s talk about creatine and how you can benefit from it plus we promised a list of excellent products just for you…

What is Creatine?

Creatine is an amino acid stored in the muscles (95%), brain, liver, kidneys, and testes; which converts into creatine phosphate and is then used to help make adenosine triphosphate (ATP). And ATP provides energy for the muscles to contract. (1, 2)

Creatine is made in small amounts by the liver, kidneys, and pancreas but red meat as well even seafood are a common way to get a healthy amount.

However, it would take a lot of these creatine-containing foods to have the same effect as if you supplemented with creatine.

And that’s why powders are a great way to supplement your creatine intake.

Which Type of Creatine is Best?

There’s no need to use anything other than creatine monohydrate.

It’s the most extensively studied form and evidence does not exist for anything better overall. So, stick with monohydrate or hydrochloride which are both very effective for performance and body composition. Anything else and you’d just be throwing money away. (3, 4)

1. MuscleTech Platinum 100% Creatine

MuscleTech has been huge for many years when it comes to marketing great creatine products and they even make claims on their products.

Each serving contains 5 grams of micronized creatine monohydrate which is said to increase absorption more than regular monohydrate which isn’t as fine. But research shows otherwise; however, it’s still great for its mixability and the quality is just as good.

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2. RSP Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate

RSP Creatine Monohydrate - Pure Micronized Creatine Powder Supplement for Increased Strength, Muscle Recovery, and Performance for Men & Women, Unflavored, 10.6 Ounce

RSP’s micronized creatine is another quality product which will deliver on results. There are no added ingredients and there really doesn’t need to be.

And that is what makes a lot of creatine products appealing, is that they are not mixed with a proprietary blend but rather simple and effective.

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3. Integrated Supplements 100% Creapure Creatine

Integrated Supplements 100% Creapure Creatine 200 Servings 1000 Grams

Creapure is the brand name of a more purified form of creatine formulated by AlzChem Trostberg GmbH in Germany.

It’s supposed to be a safer and even more effective but one study showed buffered creatine such as Creapure to be no better than regular creatine monohydrate. (5)

This product is also unflavored, artificial free, vegetarian and gluten-free.

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4. Kaged Muscle C-HCL

A serving has 750mg of patented Creatine hydrochloride (Patented C-HCL). Kaged Muscle C-HCL is certified drug-free and you don’t need to load it like you normally would a creatine product.

One study tested creatine hydrochloride’s effects on body composition, fat-free mass, and fat mass during the bench press and vertical jump. And the 15 resistance-trained male subjects tested during the study performed each exercise for 3 sets with all factors being equal. (6)

And creatine hydrochloride significantly increased the number of reps performed after supplementing with 4g of hydrochloride for 7 days.

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5. Universal Nutrition Creatine 500-gram

Universal Nutrition’s creatine powder contains 5 grams of Creapure creatine monohydrate. It’s also manufactured in Germany and is a quality creatine supplement.

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6. Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder

Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Powder, Unflavored, Keto Friendly, 114 Servings

Optimum Nutrition (ON) is a leading brand when it comes to quality and value. They’re a highly popular brand and their products are crowd favorites among every type of individual from the average gym-goer to the professional bodybuilder or athlete.

Their micronized creatine is in pure Creapure form and unflavored, so you can mix it in anything without worrying about a taste.

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7. EVLUTION Nutrition Creatine 5000

Evlution Nutrition Creatine5000 5 Grams of Pure Creatine Monohydrate in Each Serving Unflavored Powder (100 Servings)

Each Serving of Evlution Nutrition’s creatine contains 5,000mg (5 grams) of creatine monohydrate and it’s unflavored so you can add it in anything.

Evlution Nutrition products are made in the USA and the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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8. Bulk Supplements Creatine Monohydrate Powder

  • Creatine Monohydrate Powder Micronized by BulkSupplements (1 kilogram) | 99.99% Pure High Performance Formula | Pre/Post Workout Bodybuilding/Crossfit Supplement

Bulk Supplements is a well-known brand which sells “bulk supplements” and they always have amazing prices. One ½ teaspoon contains 2,500 mg but there are measuring instructions if you want a bigger serving (Go big or go home).

Bulk Supplements products are lab-tested for 99.99% purity and the creatine is vegan-friendly.

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9. EFX Sports Kre-Alkalyn EFX

EFX Sports Kre-Alkalyn EFX, 240 Capsules

Kre-alkalyn 1500 mg requires no cycling, no loading, and you don’t need as big of a dose to get the full effects.

Kre-alkalyn is buffered creatine monohydrate so it’s essentially just a finer version of the standard monohydrate. But like a previously mentioned study, there’s no evidence to suggest buffered creatine offers any performance or body composition advantages.

So, nothing amazing to see here except for a quality product, but what else do you really need?…

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10. Staunch Creatine 5

Staunch Creatine Five Creatine Powder (Fruit Punch) 30 Servings - Creatine Monohydrate, MagnaPower, Tri-Creatine Malate, Creatine Pyruvate, and Creatine Anhydrous

Staunch 5 contains a five-ingredient creatine blend.

The blend includes creatine magnapower (Magnesium creatine chelate), 2,000 creatine monohydrate, 330mg tri-creatine malate, 330mg creatine pyruvate, and 290mg of creatine anhydrous.

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The different forms of creatine have a positive effect on performance according to studies. But monohydrate is a preferred form. (7, 8, 9)

Other ingredients include beet root juice powder, malic acid, Sucralose, citric acid, natural and artificial flavor, and silicon dioxide.

The fruit punch flavor seems to be decent too so you shouldn’t have much of an issue there. Although, the taste is oftentimes subjective.

What Are The Benefits?

Creatine is the most effective ergogenic supplement for performance and increasing lean body mass according to many studies; so the benefits go far beyond placebo. (3)

Muscle Growth

Many studies have shown creatine monohydrate to elicit a significant increase in lean body mass. And that’s because the water retention in the muscle increases strength and muscle size is a result of progressive overload. (10)

Strength and Power

Like previously discussed, the water retention increases strength. But so does the process of creatine being converted into ATP which provides energy for muscle contractions. Creatine is an excellent strength aid.

Injury and Health Conditions

One study showed creatine to have potentially positive effects on the immune system. But new research shows that creatine can be beneficial for the elderly when it comes to brain function and even metabolism. (4, 11)

How To Load Creatine

Loading is necessary to saturate the muscle cells with creatine as quickly as possible. This process accelerates the effects of creatine in the muscle cells.

The standard process is to take 20-25 grams per day for 4 or 5 days, and then you’ll take 3-5 grams every day thereafter for maintenance.

But newer research actually shows that taking 1 gram, every 30 minutes, for 20 intakes over the same 4-5 day period may saturate the muscles even better than the former approach. (2)

So, try out this method of creatine loading for maximum saturation.

It’s important to note that most studies indicate a 1 to 2 kg increase in body weight after the first week of loading. (3)

Note: Make sure to drink plenty of water when taking creatine to prevent dehydration or potential issues which can arise from taking any performance-aiding supplements.

Is Creatine Safe?

Creatine is best used by healthy individuals of any age past puberty, which includes young athletes.

However, all other factors must be ideal which means the young athlete should be involved in serious training where creatine would be beneficial. But a healthy diet, quality creatine, supervision, and safe doses are imperative. (3)

Creatine is a safer alternative to using anabolic steroids and that’s why it is suggested. And since creatine is a natural substance, it will not interfere with hormones or cause a failed drug test.

And there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that creatine has detrimental effects on healthy users.

Ending Words

Creatine is safe and effective when taken properly.

And you can’t argue with the countless number of studies in favor of its performance and aesthetic benefits. Monohydrate or hydrochloride are acceptable forms and these products only consist of either or.

But it’s really important for you to experiment and find a product which works best. Supplementation involves trial and error sometimes but quality should be of utmost importance. All creatine products are not created equally.

So you can choose from our top-rated creatine supplements list and assure you’re getting your money’s worth…

Just make sure to have a good training program in place and clean up your diet so that your creatine intake will not be in vain!

References:

1-“Creatine”. Mayo Clinic.

2-Cooper, Robert; Naclerio, Fernando; Allgrove, Judith; Jimenez, Alfonso (July 20, 2012). “Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update”. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 9: 33. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-33. ISSN 1550-2783. PMC 3407788. PMID 22817979.

3-Buford, Thomas W; Kreider, Richard B; Stout, Jeffrey R; Greenwood, Mike; Campbell, Bill; Spano, Marie; Ziegenfuss, Tim; Lopez, Hector; Landis, Jamie (August 30, 2007). “International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise”. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 4: 6. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-4-6. ISSN 1550-2783. PMC 2048496. PMID 17908288.

4-“THE SAFETY AND EFFICACY OF CREATINE MONOHYDRATE SUPPLEMENTATION: WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED FROM THE PAST 25 YEARS OF RESEARCH”. Gatorade Sports Science Institute.

5-Jagim, Andrew R; Oliver, Jonathan M; Sanchez, Adam; Galvan, Elfego; Fluckey, James; Riechman, Steven; Greenwood, Michael; Kelly, Katherine; Meininger, Cynthia (September 13, 2012). “A buffered form of creatine does not promote greater changes in muscle creatine content, body composition, or training adaptations than creatine monohydrate”. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 9: 43. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-43. ISSN 1550-2783. PMC 3479057. PMID 22971354.

6-ORAL CREATINE HYDROCHLORIDE SUPPLEMENTATION: ACUTE EFFECTS ON SUBMAXIMAL, INTERMITTENT BOUTS OF BENCH PRESS AND VERTICAL JUMP EXERCISES

7-Selsby, Joshua T.; DiSilvestro, Robert A.; Devor, Steven T. (2004-5). “Mg2+-creatine chelate and a low-dose creatine supplementation regimen improve exercise performance”. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 18 (2): 311–315. doi:10.1519/R-13072.1. ISSN 1064-8011. PMID 15142029

8-Tyka, A. K.; Chwastowski, M.; Cison, T.; Palka, T.; Tyka, Anna; Szygula, Z.; Pilch, W.; Strzala, M.; Cepero, M. (2015-3). “Effect of creatine malate supplementation on physical performance, body composition and selected hormone levels in spinters and long-distance runners”. Acta Physiologica Hungarica. 102 (1): 114–122. doi:10.1556/APhysiol.102.2015.1.12. ISSN 0231-424X. PMID 25804393.

9-Jäger, Ralf; Metzger, Jan; Lautmann, Karin; Shushakov, Vladimir; Purpura, Martin; Geiss, Kurt-Reiner; Maassen, Norbert (February 13, 2008). “The effects of creatine pyruvate and creatine citrate on performance during high intensity exercise”. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 5: 4. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-5-4. ISSN 1550-2783. PMC 2276184. PMID 18269769.

10-Safdar, Adeel; Yardley, Nicholas J.; Snow, Rodney; Melov, Simon; Tarnopolsky, Mark A. (January 17, 2008). “Global and targeted gene expression and protein content in skeletal muscle of young men following short-term creatine monohydrate supplementation”. Physiological Genomics. 32 (2): 219–228. doi:10.1152/physiolgenomics.00157.2007. ISSN 1531-2267. PMID 17957000.

11-“THE SAFETY AND EFFICACY OF CREATINE MONOHYDRATE SUPPLEMENTATION: WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED FROM THE PAST 25 YEARS OF RESEARCH”. Gatorade Sports Science Institute.

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