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Top 9 Best Creatine Supplements: Most Effective Creatine Monohydrate Brands Reviewed

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Top 9 Best Creatine Supplements (2023) Most Effective Brands Reviewed

Creatine is one of the most popular supplements in the fitness arena. It was once the most talked-about secret in the sports/fitness industry. Now, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an earnest athlete that does not use it.

Three essential amino acids (methionine, glycine, and arginine) combine within your body to produce creatine naturally. In addition, it is found in poultry, red meat, and seafood. The name “creatine” comes from the Greek word kreas, which translates to “meat.” However, the amount of creatine in meat is so low that it’s often lost during cooking- which is why creatine supplementation is so common.

Research has shown that using a creatine supplement increases the production of ATP within the body, reducing fatigue during HIIT workouts. Also, when used correctly, in conjunction with a workout regimen, creatine supplementation can offer many benefits:

  • Improve performance
  • Enhance strength
  • Increase muscle gains

In addition to the above, creatine has many other health benefits.

If you’ve been considering supplementation and are wondering if creatine is right for you, keep reading. In this article, we’ll explain more about what creatine is, the various types of creatine, who should use it, and more. We will also review what we feel are the nine best creatine supplements on the market in 2023.

When you have finished reading this article, you will be equipped with the knowledge you need. If you decide that you would like to move forward with creatine supplementation, we encourage you to try one from this list. The good news is you’re not stuck with the first one; you can experiment until you find one that does what you need it to do.

Creatine Basics
Before we can review the top 9 creatine supplements for 2023, we must first explain a few things. Below, we’ll answer the following questions:

  • What exactly is creatine?
  • How does it work?
  • Who should use it?

In addition, we’ll explain more about the various types of creatine you’ll encounter in your search.

What is Creatine?

First, it’s essential to know precisely what you’re dealing with. Creatine was brought to the public eye in 1992 during the Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. However, it was first discovered by Michel Eugene Chevreul in 1832. Researchers began to study it in the 1920s.

Creatine is made in the body by combining 3 of the nine essential amino acids. It is responsible for many bodily functions. Research shows 95% of creatine is found in muscles. The other 5% is found in the brain, liver, and kidneys.

In addition to being naturally produced by the body, it is found in several dietary sources (poultry, red meat, and seafood). Unfortunately, the levels are low in these sources, and most, if not all, of them, are lost during cooking. This means you’d have to eat a lot of meat to get anywhere close to your body’s needs. It’s much easier to use a supplement instead.

Creatine supplements can be found in powder, liquid, and capsules. The most common is powder. It is important to note that liquid creatine is not shelf stable, so it will not be effective. This is why powders should be mixed into your beverage immediately before consumption. Most people prefer powders because of the variety of flavors available. However, capsules are more convenient because there is no mixing required. Grab some water and swallow them.

How Does Creatine Work?
Research indicates that creatine quickly increases energy, as well as increases strength and muscle mass.

Creatine supplements increase the phosphocreatine stores in your muscles. The phosphocreatine combines with ADP, which creates ATP. Experts call ATP the “energy currency” of the body because it helps with short, explosive moves during HIIT workouts.

While creatine is highly effective alone, you can increase its effectiveness by increasing your carb consumption and using a protein supplement and alpha-lipoic acid.

Who Should Use Creatine?
Creatine is most popular in the fitness arena. Many athletes- from professional to novice- are using it to improve their performance, especially in sports such as soccer, rowing, and jumping. The effects are not as noticeable in swimming, sprinting, or cycling.

Recent research indicates that creatine may also benefit individuals with heart and brain conditions. However, this research is still relatively new, so more information is needed to determine how much creatine can improve these conditions.

Creatine supplementation may also be helpful for those who cannot correctly metabolize creatine, as well as sarcopenia (a condition characterized by muscle loss in older adults).

Some research shows that low levels of creatine in the brain could indicate conditions such as difficulty with movements, autism, decreased mental functioning, and seizures. Therefore, creatine supplementation may benefit individuals with these issues.

Finally, creatine supplementation can be helpful for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet because their bodies don’t produce as much creatine.

The 5 Types of Creatine

Before using a creatine supplement, you must know what you’re getting. There are several different types of creatine on the market. Below, we’ll explore the five types of creatine you’re likely to encounter in your search:

Creatine Monohydrate
The most commonly used and studied form of creatine is creatine monohydrate. It is considered the “gold standard” in creatine supplements and is the least expensive. Creatine monohydrate comes from pairing a single creatine molecule with a single water molecule. You will find that many manufacturers use creatine monohydrate alone in their supplements. However, some will also use it in combination with other forms.

Creatine Ethyl Ester
Since it does not require a loading phase, creatine ethyl ester, or CEE, is considered an advanced form of creatine. This form of creatine is ideal for those who engage in climbing, handball, or ice hockey.

Creatine Hydrochloride
Creatine hydrochloride, or Creatine HCL, is among the newest form, as it was introduced in 2009. It is made by uniting one creatine molecule with one hydrochloride molecule. It is water soluble, so you can take a smaller dose and achieve the same results. In addition, it breaks down faster, so it’s easier to absorb.

Buffered Creatine
The two most common forms of buffered creatine you’ll encounter are Crea-Trona and Kre-Alkalyn. This type of creatine has a higher pH than other forms, which means it is more stable in your stomach. In addition, it has a much higher bioavailability than other forms, meaning it is easier for the muscles to absorb.

Creatine Magnesium Chelate
Creatine magnesium chelate is the newest form on the market. Therefore, researchers do not know a lot about it yet. We know it is made by connecting a single creatine molecule with a single magnesium molecule. Early research indicates that this form of creatine is auspicious.

The Top 9 Creatine Supplements for 2023

Now that you know more about what creatine is, how it works, the five different types, and who should use it, let’s review the top 9 creatine supplements of 2023. We have done the work so that you don’t have to. You can be sure that all the supplements on this list have been third-party tested, so they are proven to be high-quality, pure, and potent.

  • XWERKS Lift
  • Onnit Creatine Monohydrate
  • Elm & Rye Creatine
  • Cellucor Cor-Performance Creatine Monohydrate
  • NSP Nutrition Muscle Power Creatine
  • Beast Sports Creature Creatine
  • Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine
  • CrazyNutrition CRN-5 Creatine
  • Performance Lab Sport Maintain

XWERKS Lift

The first product on our list is XWERKS Lift, a pure, unflavored, micronized creatine. We believe this is one of the best options on the market because it is gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free, making it safe for everyone.

Each package of XWERKS Lift contains 80 servings. Each serving has 5 grams of creatine monohydrate. Since it is unflavored, you can add it to water, your favorite workout smoothie, or other beverage without altering the taste.

You will need to use XWERKS Lift for 2 to 4 weeks before you start seeing results. For best results, XWERKS recommends using it with its other products.

XWERKS Lift costs $49/package. However, the company does offer a “Subscribe & Save” option that saves you 5% on every package. This drops the price to $46.55/package. This is an excellent price since each package contains 80 servings, and the recommended dosage is one serving per day.

Product Name: XWERKS Lift
Product Type: Powder
Price/Servings: $49/80 servings
Ingredients: Creatine Monohydrate
Side Effects: None
Recommended Dosage: One serving daily

Onnit Creatine Monohydrate

The second creatine formula on our list is from Onnit. This product is vegan-friendly, soy-free, and dairy-free. This supplement is also 100% pure creatine monohydrate. The recommended dosage is 5 grams, which is two scoops. It is unflavored, which means you can add it to water or your favorite beverage.

Many serious athletes, including wrestlers, bodybuilders, and sprinters, choose this product because it promises to increase strength and endurance and improve overall athletic performance.

Onnit Creatine Monohydrate has been awarded the coveted NSF Certified for Sport certification, which means that it is free from forbidden substances and safe for daily use.

Each package contains 30 servings and costs $14.99. Onnit also offers a “Subscribe & Save” program that will save you 15%, which drops the cost to $12.74 per package.

Product Name: Onnit Creatine Monohydrate
Product Type: Powder
Price/Servings: $14.99/30 servings
Ingredients: Creatine Monohydrate
Side Effects: None
Recommended Dosage: One serving daily

Elm & Rye Creatine

Elm & Rye keeps things simple. Their supplement is called “Creatine” and comes in a capsule. Each bottle contains 60 capsules, a 30-day supply since the recommended dosage is two capsules per serving. Each tablet contains 1400 milligrams of creatine monohydrate, which means you get 2800 grams per serving.

The capsules also contain vegetable magnesium stearate, which prevents caking and improves consistency. Elm & Rye strives to be 100% transparent, which is why all of their products are subjected to third-party testing- and then published their results.

Each Elm & Rye Creatine bottle costs $49.99 for a 30-day supply. Their “Subscribe & Save” program saves customers 20%, which drops the price to $35.99 per bottle.

Product Name: Elm & Rye Creatine
Product Type: Capsule
Price/Servings: $44.99/30 servings
Ingredients: Creatine Monohydrate, Vegetable magnesium stearate
Side Effects: None
Recommended Dosage: One serving daily

Cellucor Cor-Performance Creatine Monohydrate

In health and fitness circles, Cellucor is very well-known. After all, they have been in the industry for many years. Their creatine formula, Cor-Performance Creatine Monohydrate, is unflavored and contains 5 milligrams of creatine monohydrate, as well as:

  • Disodium phosphate
  • Betaine anhydrous

If you are interested in doing a loading phase, you should take one scoop four times daily for the first week. After the first week, take one scoop daily immediately before, during, or following your workout. This product is ideal when you are engaging in HIIT sessions.

Cellucor offers high-quality products, and its customer service is also top-notch. One of the primary reasons they are so well-known is that they sponsor many athletes and have received many awards for their products in the fitness arena.

Each Cellucor Cor-Performance Creatine Monohydrate package costs $24.99 for 72 servings, which should last over two months when you are in the maintenance phase. Their “Subscribe & Save” program drops the cost to only $17.49 per package.

Product Name: Cellucor Cor-Performance Creatine Monohydrate
Product Type: Powder
Price/Servings: $24.99/72 servings
Ingredients: Creatine Monohydrate, Betaine anhydrous, Disodium phosphate
Side Effects: None
Recommended Dosage: Four servings daily (loading phase), 1 serving daily (maintenance phase)

NSP Nutrition Muscle Power Creatine

NSP Nutrition is also well-known in health and fitness circles because they have been around for over half a century. When we looked at the customer reviews, we discovered that Muscle Power Creatine, NSP Nutrition’s creatine formula, goes beyond expectations, which is why customers keep coming back. This creatine formula is 100% creatine monohydrate. It is sugar-free and contains zero additives or fillers.

Each NSP Nutrition Muscle Power Creatine container costs $27.99 for a 60-day supply. NSP does not offer a “Subscribe & Save” program, but they offer a discount when purchasing more than one package at a time. The best value is a 20% savings when you buy six packages simultaneously, dropping the price to $24.79 each.

Product Name: NSP Nutrition Muscle Power Creatine
Product Type: Powder
Price/Servings: $27.99/60 servings
Ingredients: Creatine Monohydrate
Side Effects: None
Recommended Dosage: One serving daily

Beast Sports Creature Creatine

Beast Sports has been around for 25+ years and has established itself as a brand that provides high-quality fitness supplements to build and preserve muscle strength.
Their formula is Creature Creatine, which is available in capsule and powder form.

The recommended dosage for Beast Sports Creature Creatine is two scoops combined with 170 to 240 milliliters of water. Ideally, doing this immediately before and after your workout would be best. The powdered form offers several flavors:

  • Unflavored
  • Citrus
  • Pink Lemonade
  • Cherry Limeade
  • Beast Punch

The recommended dosage for Beast Sports Creature Creatine is six capsules daily. You should take three before and three after your workout.

Creature Creatine offers five types of creatine: creatine monohydrate, creatine gluconate, creatine anhydrous, buffered creatine, and di-creatine malate. In addition to these, Creature Creatine also contains chromium and biotin.

Each package of Creature Creatine by Beast Sports capsules contains 60 servings and costs $32.99. When taken as directed, this is a 30-day supply. The powder version contains 60 servings (30 days) for $31.99.

Product Name: Beast Sports Creature Creatine
Product Type: Capsule or Powder
Price/Servings: Capsules: $32.99/60 servings, Powder: $31.99.60 servings
Ingredients: Five types of creatine, Chromium, Biotin
Side Effects: None
Recommended Dosage: Two servings daily

Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine

Optimum Nutrition entered the market over three decades ago and quickly became one of the most trusted brands. Their products undergo third-party testing to ensure quality, potency, and purity.

Their creatine formula, known simply as Micronized Creatine, supports muscle growth and strength and contains 0 calories and carbs. It is also unflavored, so it can be added to any beverage you want, including protein shakes.

Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine is available in various sizes (30 to 400 servings) and price points ($10.99 to $64.99).

Product Name: Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine
Product Type: Powder
Price/Servings: $10.99/30 servings, $44.99.240 servings, $64.99.400 servings
Ingredients: Five types of creatine, Chromium, Biotin
Side Effects: None
Recommended Dosage: One serving daily

CrazyNutrition CRN-5 Creatine

CrazyNutrition CRN-5 Creatine combines five different types of creatine and is recommended for athletes who engage in intense workouts and heavy lifting. It comes in a Mango/Orange flavor.

CRN-5 gives you the energy and strength to push beyond your limits and power through even the most intense HIIT sessions. This formula contains the following types of creatine:

  • Creatine Monohydrate
  • Tri-creatine malate
  • Creatine ethyl ester
  • Creatine citrate pyruvate
  • Creatine HCl

In addition, this formula contains electrolytes to keep you hydrated (sodium, magnesium, and potassium).

Product Name: CrazyNutrition CRN-5 Creatine
Product Type: Powder
Price/Servings: $34.99/30 servings
Ingredients: Five types of creatine, magnesium, potassium, and sodium
Side Effects: None
Recommended Dosage: One serving daily

Performance Lab Sport Maintain

Research shows that taking a day off from training from time to time can be beneficial for your muscles. However, this doesn’t mean you need to take a day off from your supplement. Performance Lab Sport Maintain is perfect for your rest days, as it provides your muscles with the nutrients they need to grow. This formula is 100% free of allergens, making it safe for everyone.

After all, the growth process continues even after your workout is over. This supplement keeps that anabolic activity going for 12 hours. Each serving contains creatine monohydrate, iron, and beta-alanine.

The recommended dosage for Performance Lab Sport Maintain is 6 to 10 capsules. You can take six on rest days and ten on training days. This formula is a bit more expensive, at $44 for up to 10 servings.

Product Name: Performance Lab Sport Maintain
Product Type: Capsule
Price/Servings: $44/up to 10 servings
Ingredients: Creatine monohydrate, Iron, Beta-alanine
Side Effects: None
Recommended Dosage One serving daily

How Did We Choose the Top Creatine Supplements?

When it comes to creatine, there are a lot of options. After all, it is one of the most affordable and easily accessible fitness supplements on the market. However, you want to choose a high-quality, safe product to get the best results.

Creatine monohydrate is the “gold standard,” so you may want to choose a 100% creatine monohydrate product or at least includes it in a blend. After all, each type of creatine does have its benefits.

With all the options, we understand that it can be easy to get overwhelmed. We took the time to research for you and chose the highest-quality options. Here’s what we considered:

Manufacturers

One of the first things we looked at was the manufacturers. So many of them are making massive promises and not following through. Customer reviews are essential because they are the best marketing for any product.

Since the FDA does not monitor supplements, manufacturers must put their products through third-party testing to ensure they are safe. Therefore, when shopping for a creatine supplement, check the label for a seal from Informed Choice, USP, or NSF International. If one of these seals is not present, chances are that it has not been tested for quality, purity, and potency.

Finally, you want to choose products with the ingredients and dosages, instructions for taking them, and any associated warnings. Creatine has been proven safe for most people, but if you have any concerns, speak with your medical provider- especially if you have kidney and liver issues.

Price/Value

The second thing we looked at in our research was price versus value. As mentioned, there are so many different options on the market, with just as many price points. Some of them are more budget-friendly than others. However, the “you get what you pay for” rule doesn’t fully apply. Just because a particular product is on the cheaper end of the price spectrum doesn’t mean it’s any less effective.

You will find high-quality supplements across the price spectrum, from $10/month to $100+/month. We tried to include a wide variety of pricing in our list. It’s all in how much you are willing to pay.

Advertising
Finally, we looked at advertising practices. As we mentioned, many manufacturers will make these crazy, outrageous claims and never live up to them. If you hear or see where a company is advertising their creatine as a “miracle,” you’ll want to avoid them. Creatine offers many benefits, but it is not a miracle. You will never see results overnight, and you will never see results if you do not put some effort in.

The Top 9 Creatine Supplements for 2023 Conclusion

Creatine was discovered in 1832, studies began in the 1920s, and it was brought to the public eye in 1992. In 2023, this is still one of the market’s safest, least expensive, and most effective health/fitness supplements. Additionally, it is a natural substance proven to improve athletic performance and offer various other health benefits. Nearly everyone could benefit from adding creatine to their daily routine.

As you can see, there are many great options on the market– but there’s no such thing as a “one-supplement-fits-all.” Everyone has different needs and preferences- so it’s a personal choice.

If you are interested in using creatine, start with one of the nine products on our list. We have already done the work, so you don’t have to. Of course, as with any other supplement, you may need to experiment to determine which one works best for you- but we can promise that no matter what, you will be more than happy with the results.

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Disclaimer:
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 and are not guaranteed 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 and do not provide any kind of get-rich money scheme. Reviewer is not responsible for pricing inaccuracies. Check product sales page for final prices.

This review is sponsored content. No endorsement by The Times of Israel of advertiser products or services, real or implied, is intended. The Times of Israel editorial team did not contribute to this review nor did they review it prior to publication.