Sponsored

The Top 7 Best Creatine Monohydrate Powder Supplements to Buy

Creatine is the most studied supplement in the fitness industry. It is inexpensive and provides lean muscle mass, making it desirable to anyone looking to bulk up. Along with weight training and proper nutrition, creatine is an effective way to pack on muscles and improve recovery rates.

Are you curious about creatine and its effects? Below is more information about this valuable supplement, reviews, and creatine formations.

What Is Creatine?

Creatine is naturally found in the muscles and helps produce energy while training. The body produces creatine from amino acids glycine and arginine. Most natural creatine resides in the muscles as phosphocreatine.

Creatine combines with a phosphoryl group to form PCR through a creatine kinase reaction. ATP converts into ADP, which provides energy for metabolic activity. This process maintains ATP during arduous workouts, allowing the user to push through laborious sets.

Your liver and kidneys produce about one gram of creatine a day while your muscles store it 24/7.

How Does Creatine Work?

Phosphocreatine helps the body produce adenosine triphosphate. ATP comes from the foods that the body breaks down. ATP is stored as energy and released during training. The more ATP, the more work the body can do.

The majority of creatine in the body is either the phosphorylated form which makes up 60%, or the free form, which makes up 40%. Creatine synthesis requires the amino acids glycine, arginine, and methionine.

When ingested by supplementation by using creatine supplements, it is transported into the cells by CreaT1. CreaT2 is another creatine transporter that is active in the testes. CreatT1 becomes sensitive to extracellular and intracellular levels when creatine decreases.

CreaT1 transports creatine into the mitochondria. Studies prove that creatine supplementation combined with resistance training leads to higher physical performance, fat-free mass, and muscle size.

Creatine is also effective for improving muscle recovery and reducing muscle injury. Creatine decreases markers of muscle damage such as creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, and aldolase.

Benefits of Creatine

Creatine has antioxidant properties due to the arginine found in it. Arginine also helps with nitric oxide synthesis. Nitric oxide allows for better blood flow and pumps in the gym. Nutrients are delivered to the muscles quicker as vasodilation increases.

Creatine provides enhanced recovery for athletes, allowing their muscles to recover quicker after intense training. Ingesting creatine and carbohydrates increases glycogen loading in the body. Carbs are converted into glycogen as energy during exercise. This conversion gives the user more vitality to get through demanding workouts.

Further benefits include stamina for long-term muscle gain, which is ideal for those looking to keep their body in shape for good. Creatine also promotes cell regeneration, a process essential for increasing muscle mass and tone.

Supplementing your routine with creatine almost immediately increases the water content of your muscles (called muscle volumization) and creates visible changes in your muscle size. Although more human research is necessary, animal studies show promising results for the effect of creatine on seizure disorders, Alzheimer’s, and brain injuries.

Creatine Formulations

Like most supplements, creatine comes in a ton of different formulations. Below are some of the most popular versions.

Creatine Monohydrate

The monohydrate creatine variation is one of the most common (and beneficial) versions. Affordable creatine supplements usually contain monohydrates.

Monohydrates are molecules that contain one mole per compound. In the context of creatine, this means that they easily penetrate muscles and increase mass. The monohydrate formulation of creatine is the most widely studied, and scientists agree that there are no detrimental effects on the body.

Creatine Ethyl Ester

Creatine Ethyl Ester, often abbreviated to CEE, derives from creatine monohydrate – but has an ester attached.

Athletes enjoy this formulation because you do not need much to get going. You may save money in the long run by purchasing a CEE, as a package will likely last longer than a traditional container of creatine. Some claim that CEE products absorb into muscles faster than regular creatine, but there is no sufficient research on that benefit.

Creatine HCl

Creatine hydrochloride functions the same way as other formulations, but it has higher solubility. Therefore, it dissolves in water quickly and absorbs into the body quicker than a capsule variation.

Solubility is a significant benefit for those with gut issues, as it prevents excess material from entering your system and overwhelming your digestive tract. It also results in less water retention – so no bloating or excessive water weight!

Buffered Creatine

Buffered creatine is creatine mixed with magnesium. Magnesium supports recovery and muscle retention and also helps regulate mood and energy.

Most people claim that they experience no difference in muscle mass between buffered creatine and the standard formula. Athletes that take a buffered version do so for further recovery support and less cramping. Like creatine HCl, the buffered formulations are better for sensitive palates and will not cause gastrointestinal problems.

Liquid Creatine

Some athletes claim that your body tolerates liquid creatine more than other variations, but scientific data has not backed that up yet. Others state that liquid creatine is not as effective as supplementary versions, as it breaks down in the body before absorption.

Creatine Magnesium Chelate

The creatine magnesium chelate formulation is similar to the buffered version, but instead of combining the two ingredients, the magnesium attaches to the creatine cells. No evidence supports that this variation is more or less effective than standard creatine.

Best Creatine Supplements

Below are the top 7 creatine supplements currently available in the market, their ingredients, and any stand-out aspects they may have.

XWERKS LIFT Creatine

i
  • Ingredients: Three amino acids & creatine
  • Key highlights: Starts working ASAP
  • Price: $49
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days

The main benefits of XWerks Lift are to provide rapid strength and increase power. On their website, XWerks claims a strength increase of 8% and a one-rep max increase of 20-25%. XWerks also promises increased bench and squat strengths. This result will only happen when paired with resistance training and proper nutrition. XWerks also improves cognitive functioning.

XWerks increase satellite cells and myonuclei found in the muscles, leading to an increase in muscle growth. This product derives from micronized creatine nitrate. Each bag provides 80 5-gram servings of creatine. The powder is completely flavorless, so you can mix it with water, shakes, or any other beverage you enjoy post-workout. You can also take XWerks with meals during loading periods.

Another plus? XWerks is entirely plant-based and vegan, so do not worry about unwanted gelatins or sneaky dairy ingredients. You get 400g per bag, and the serving size is about 5 grams – so if you use XWerks once a day, one bag should last you about 80 days.

The XWerks creatine powder is 100% soluble and will not cause excess water retention and bloating. You can also trust XWerks to keep you focused and energized throughout your routine and improve comprehensive physical endurance.

Ingredients Micronized creatine monohydrate, creatine hydrochloride, and essential three amino acids
Key Highlights
  • Increase lean muscle mass and boost muscle recovery
  • Promote fat loss regime
  • Increase water retention within muscle cells
  • Gluten-free and Non -GMO
  • Price $49
    Money-Back Guarantee 30 days

    Ghost Size

    i
    • Ingredients: Patented Creapure, Jujube seed extract, Epicatechin
    • Key highlights: Several flavors available, soy-free
    • Price: $44
    • Money-back guarantee: N/A

    Ghost Size is actually a pre-workout that contains a 5-gram serving of Creapure. Creapure is Ghost’s purest high grade Creatine Monohydrate. This product is meant to be taken about 30 minutes prior to working out. Each bag comes with a 30-day supply with a serving size of 1 scoop. Gram amounts vary between flavors.

    Ghost provides a fully disclosed nutrition label of everything that is found in their product. They have a zero proprietary blend which means there isn’t anything hidden. This is always something consumers should look for when purchasing any supplement.

    Betaine acts as an osmolyte which means that it helps balance fluid in the cells. It does so by pulling water into the muscles, increasing their fullness and size. This also improves hydration which is very important as the muscles are made up of water. This helps transport nutrients and blood into the muscles.

    Beta-alanine is a naturally occurring amino acid in the brain and muscles. During exercise, it forms carnosine which reduces acid build-up. This reduces lactic acid buildup in the muscles. This allows for less fatigue and increased recovery.

    Athletes can work out harder and for longer periods of time. Betaprime is also found in Ghost Size to reduce the amount of tingling that users feel from the beta-alanine. 200mg of epicatechin is used to increase nitric oxide levels in the body.

    Nitric oxide is responsible for increasing vascularity, blood flow, and nutrient transport. The blood vessels dilate, allowing blood to move through the body quicker. Senactiv works similar to creatine as it increases ATP production which provides more energy during a workout.

    Astragin is clinically dosed to increase the absorption of nutrients. This allows for carbs and protein to be absorbed into the body quicker. It is also used to improve sleep and mood. This is important because the muscles grow while we sleep.

    Ingredients Astragin, nitric oxide, Beta-alanine, Betaine, Creapure, Senactiv, Epicatechin
    Key Highlights Mango, Sour Watermelon, Lime, and flavorless options available
    Price $44
    Money-back Guarantee N/A. You must return your unopened powder within 15 days of purchase.

    Steel Supplements ATP Fusion

    i
    • Ingredients: Kre-Alkalyn (patented)
    • Key highlights: Stimulant-free with no added sugars
    • Price: $30
    • Money-back guarantee: N/A

    ATP Fusion provides a different type of creatine than other creatine supplements on the market. It is dosed with 1500mg of Kre-Alkalyn which is a buffered version of creatine monohydrate. This means that the creatine is synthesized to a pH of 12.

    This allows for no bloating, water retention, or stimulants. It is meant to be taken pre-workout. Steel promises increased energy, faster recovery time, increased strength gains, and cognitive function while using this product.

    If you follow a vegetarian diet, the Steel supplement may not be your best bet. Their tablets contain non-vegan gelatin. Every bottle has 60 tablets and you should take two a day – so you get about a month of capsules per purchase. You should take 1 capsule pre-workout and 1 capsule post-workout to see the best results.

    Even on days when you do not lift, take 2 capsules. Otherwise, your body will not regulate the ingredients and you may delay any potential benefits. If you follow a fasting regime, you can take the Steel ATP Fusion as instructed, as it will not disrupt your fast or cause bloating. Additionally, you do not need to increase your calorie intake to reap its benefits.

    Those with already-defined supplement regimens can enjoy ATP Fusion as well. It will not react with any pre-workout products or cause them to become ineffective, as it does not have stimulant properties.

    Ingredients Kre-Alkalyn, gelatin, silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate
    Key Highlights Does not require a loading phase
    Price $30
    Money-back Guarantee N/A

    Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

    i
    • Ingredients: BioPerine, Vitamin D
    • Key highlights: Promotes muscle mass and strength
    • Price: $44.99
    • Money-back guarantee: 60 days

    The Transparent Labs Creatine HMB product comes with 5 grams of creatine, 1.5 grams of B-Hydroxy, 12.5mcg of Vitamin D, and 5mg of BioPerine. This product has 0 artificial sweeteners, colored dyes, or harmful additives.

    If you like variety, the Transparent Labs creatine may be for you. They offer nine flavors (excluding flavorless) like sour grape, peach mango, fruit punch, black cherry, watermelon, blue raspberry, orange, and tropical punch.

    B-hydroxy or HMB is used to increase muscle strength and hypertrophy, and enhance recovery. Studies show that HMB helps prevent lean muscle loss and decrease fat. The Transparent Labs creatine works best during resistance training.

    The other primary ingredient in the Transparent Labs Creatine HMB is BioPerine. BioPerine comes from black pepper extract, but does not affect the taste of the product. BioPerine increases nutrient absorption allowing the body to break down and use protein and carbs more efficiently. Black pepper increases absorption and promotes lean muscle mass.

    You should take the Transparent Labs Creatine HMB powder 30 minutes after your workout for maximum benefits. On rest days, mix a scoop with 4-6 ounces of water for fast recovery. Each container comes with 279 grams of powder. A serving of the Transparent creatine is 7 grams, so you should have enough product to last slightly over a month – although the product suggests it is only a 30-day supply.

    Ingredients BioPerine, HMB, Vitamin D3
    Key Highlights Works best for resistance training
    Price $44.99
    Money-back Guarantee 60 days

    Onnit Creatine

    i
    • Ingredients: Micronized creatine monohydrate
    • Key highlights: Competition certified
    • Price: $14.99
    • Money-back guarantee: 90 days

    If you want to start creatine supplements but do not want to commit to a massive container (or high price tag), the Onnit Creatine is an affordable and high-quality option. The supplement has no artificial flavors or preservatives and is vegan. Every scoop offers 5 grams of micronized creatine – significantly more than some of the other options on this list.

    Onnit commits to the highest standards of quality of efficacy. Their products are certified to be competition safe. They use Informed-Sport which is a third-party testing program created by a world-class anti-doping laboratory called LGC. Onnit Creatine will improve overall performance over time, but not immediately. However, some reviewers state they began seeing results within one week.

    Onnit emphasizes the endurance-enhancing attributes of their creatine supplement, stating that it helps reduce cellular damage. This supplement works well for random energy-burst exercises and will keep you fueled throughout your routine.

    The company does not specify when to take their creatine supplement, so it likely suits both pre and post-workout sessions (as well as rest days). Dosage instructions are to mix a scoop or two with 8 ounces of water.

    Ingredients Micronized creatine Monohydrate powder
    Key Highlights
  • Allows muscles to grow with more power
  • Fights against various neurological disorders
  • Boost energy and athletic performance
  • Soy-Free and Natural Creatine supplement
  • Price $15
    Money-Back Guarantee 90 days

    Crazy Nutrition CRN-5

    i
    • Ingredients: Derivatives of creatine & electrolytes
    • Key highlights: Rebuilds your muscles post-workout
    • Price: $49
    • Money-back guarantee: 60 days

    Are you serious about gaining muscle? This is the creatine powder you need. The Crazy Nutrition CRN-5 formula contains five different types of creatine and electrolytes. It boosts energy, increases lean muscle mass, and helps maintain hydration. The types of creatine are monohydrate, hydrochloride, ethyl ester, malate, and pyruvate. Its high creatine levels and recovery-boosting electrolytes mean you never have a bad day at the gym.

    Trisodium citrate increases pumps and endurance in the gym. Blood flow and nutrient transportation also increase, allowing more blood into the muscles. Aquamin enhances gut health and the microbiome. Providing gut health allows for vital nutrients to be digested by the gut properly.

    The Crazy Nutrition CRN-5 powder does not just help you lift weights. The formula has several added vitamins and minerals for bulking and making your muscles look cut and toned. Additionally, this product is vegan and vegetarian-friendly.

    Aquamin mg contains magnesium which benefits metabolism, cellular energy, and bone health. Magnesium also improves flexibility which helps reduce tight muscles and prevent injury. Magnesium also prevents lactic acid buildup, helping reduce muscle soreness.

    Potassium helps muscles send electrical signals and also prevents muscle cramps. Muscles will contract and communicate better when full of potassium.

    The Crazy Nutrition CRN-5 supplement boosts endurance and regulates almost every part of your body – whether you lift weights professionally or just to gain muscle mass, this powder will help you get there.

    Ingredients Micronized creatine monohydrate, creatine hydrochloride, and essential three amino acids
    Key Highlights
  • Increase lean muscle mass and boost muscle recovery
  • Promote fat loss regime
  • Increase water retention within muscle cells
  • Gluten-free and Non -GMO
  • Price $49
    Money-back Guarantee 60 days

    Elm & Rye Creatine

    i
    • Ingredients: Creatine hydrochloride, amino acids
    • Key highlights: Pill formulation
    • Price: $50
    • Money-back guarantee: 30 days

    Known for their high-end supplements and minimalist packaging, Elm & Rye have a particularly interesting creatine product. Their creatine comes in pill form – no need to mix it with shakes, water, or smoothies, which makes it great for those constantly on the go or who always seem to forget to take their pre-workout supplements.

    Elm & Rye ensure their customers receive the highest quality products by enforcing third-party lab tests for all of their supplements. Customers can view the exact lab results of each product that they are purchasing to know exactly what is in it. They do not add any fillers or extra additives to their supplements. Their creatine is stored in the muscles to improve athletic performance and muscle mass.

    This formulation contains 1,400 milligrams of creatine. Each bottle contains a 30 day supply, and Elm & Rye suggest taking one capsule per day. You can get the Elm & Rye creatine supplements in capsule or gummy form, but the gummy form is not vegetarian or vegan. The capsules, however, are entirely vegan and soy-free.

    Oral creatine may help prevent injuries, too. Elm & Rye suggest that their formula might alleviate joint, tendon, and muscle damage, as well as cramping and fatigue. This supplement is ideal for those that may have past injuries or need a little boost during recovery periods. It also increases energy during your workout, so you can maintain momentum and get the most out of your regime.

    Ingredients Magnesium Stearate, Creatine hydrochloride, amino acids, and creatine monohydrate
    Key Highlights
  • Alleviate fatigue and tiredness
  • Promote muscle size and strength
  • Support mental and physical performance
  • Gluten-Free and Vegan-Friendly
  • Price $50
    Money-Back Guarantee 30 days

    Risks of Creatine Use

    There are not many risks associated with creatine, but there are a few possible complications, including:

    • Kidney stones
    • Kidney failure
    • Liver problems

    The above ailments are extremely rare, but they have occurred. Remember to talk with your doctor before starting any new supplements or workout routines, especially if you have a medical history of kidney stones.

    Other conditions that may not mesh well with creatine are bipolar disorder, kidney disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Creatine may increase mania in bipolar individuals, worsen kidney problems, and, if used with caffeine, increase Parkinson’s tremors.

    The good news? As of now, no prescription drugs have any reported interactions with creatine supplements. Only those with the above ailments or pregnant women should avoid consuming creatine. Try not to ingest a ton of caffeine while taking creatine, but if you need your morning coffee to function, you should be safe.

    Some people might experience bloating, cramps, or upset stomach upon starting their creatine regime. These side effects ordinarily go away, but if they continue to worsen or cause extreme discomfort, make an appointment with your doctor.

    Which Foods Contain Creatine

    Most red meats and fish contain high amounts of creatine. Every 1 to 2 pounds of beef contains about 1 gram of creatine. Cooking beef does decrease the creatine content by 5 percent. Rarer cuts of steak and beef will provide higher creatine contents.

    Pork contains about 1 to 2 grams of creatine per pound. A pound of salmon contains about 1 to 2 grams of creatine also. Red meat is the easiest way to ingest natural creatine, but if you would rather not eat red meat, supplements have your back.

    If you already eat a red meat-based diet, creatine may not do as much for you as for someone who eats chicken and fish. Vegetarians and vegans often see the fastest results from creatine, but more on that later.

    How to Take Creatine

    Most people just mix their creatine with water. However, non-responders may find that this method does not work as effectively for them as other methods. Grape juice may help the creatine work better in the body.

    Grape juice contains sugars that cause insulin to release in the body, allowing creatine to enter muscle fibers. Sports drinks that contain electrolytes are another decent choice to replace the electrolytes lost from training. Soluble formulas work best with water, but you can mix them with protein shakes or smoothies.

    Ensure you stay hydrated while taking creatine to ensure the most amount of water gets pushed into the muscles. Most supplements tell you when or when not to take your creatine, and almost all of the ones below are beneficial for pre and post-workout regimes. However, always read the instructions on the packaging for the best results.

    Does Creatine Work for Everyone?

    No, it is possible to be a non-responder to creatine. Those who already have diets high in red meat will not notice as much difference when eating creatine. That is because their meat consumption satisfies their daily creatine requirement. Extra creatine supplementation will not make a big difference.

    Those who eat vegan diets or small amounts of red meat will notice a big difference when taking creatine. The effects of creatine are observed the most during heavy weight sessions. If you are not lifting heavy, you might not detect its benefits.

    Also, note that you should not expect to gain muscle mass while taking creatine without engaging in some intense physical activity. You have to practice endurance and aerobic exercise to reap the most benefits from creatine.

    Does Creatine Work for Fat Loss?

    Creatine increases the amount of lean muscle mass in the body. The more muscle mass, the more fat that the body burns. It also provides more energy, resulting in longer cardio sessions and burning more fat.

    Taking creatine is anti-catabolic, meaning that it stops the body from breaking down muscle and protein even if eating in a calorie deficit. If you are dieting and trying to burn fat, creatine will ensure that you don’t lose muscle mass.

    Creatine also pulls water into the muscles, which helps prevent muscle fiber damage when dieting. This effect allows the lifter to lose fat while still keeping on muscularity. Again, remember that you need to eat a healthy, balanced diet on creatine – otherwise, you will not experience the most benefits.

    What Happens When You Stop Taking Creatine?

    Stopping creatine will deplete creatine stores in the body. You may notice a loss of water weight, slight strength decrease, and increased fatigue. Since creatine draws water into the muscles, it is typical to lose some water weight immediately after stopping it.

    If you notice your muscles appear deflated or not as full, they are not as filled with water. The body will have less ATP and thus less energy. You may notice yourself becoming fatigued sooner while training.

    Supplementing creatine can also suppress the body’s natural production of creatine. Once supplementation stops, the body will slowly return to its natural production rate. While muscles may not look as filled due to water loss, the muscles have not gotten smaller.

    As long as you are still training and eating, stopping creatine should not decrease muscle size. The gains that you made while on creatine will not go away after stopping taking it. If you have no reason to stop taking it, there is no reason to stop taking creatine.

    If you use the recommended dose and aren’t experiencing any side effects or health issues, creatine is safe for long-term use.

    How to Know Which Creatine Products to Take

    The company must give a full breakdown of all of the ingredients contained in their product. If a proprietary blend is listed, they are not listing every component in the supplement. Try to keep away from these products as you don’t know what hides in them.

    Creatine works best in its purest form (or in one of its many formulations), but proprietary blends may deplete its effectiveness or cause more harm than good.

    Companies that have their products third-party tested are the best. Well-known companies with high ratings are also good choices. Read customer reviews about the company to see what other customers are saying.

    Conclusion

    Not all creatine supplements are created equal, and not every formula works for everyone. Finding the best creatine supplement for you means researching brands, ingredients, and benefits so you gain the most muscle mass possible.

    The seven creatine supplements above represent the finest quality offerings on the market. Whether you want to maximize your strength abilities or increase your stamina, our creatine supplement picks will get you there.

    RELATED POSTS:

    Affiliate Disclosure:

    The links contained in this product review may result in a small commission if you opt to purchase the product recommended at no additional cost to you. This goes towards supporting our research and editorial team. Please know we only recommend high-quality products.

    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.

    The news and editorial staff of Sound Publishing, Inc. had no role in the preparation of this post. The views and opinions expressed in this sponsored post are those of the advertiser and do not reflect those of Sound Publishing, Inc.

    Sound Publishing, Inc. does not accept liability for any loss or damages caused by the use of any products, nor do we endorse any products posted in our Marketplace.