7 Best Creatine Supplements of 2023 – CNET

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You might have heard that creatine is essential for workouts, but what exactly is it? Creatine is an organic compound in our bodies, found primarily in our muscles. Our liver and kidneys produce around a gram of creatine themselves each day. The rest we obtain through foods such as red meat, seafood and milk. 

Creatine supplements are favored by athletes and bodybuilders, thanks to their ability to improve physical performance. You may be looking to boost your workout and are considering adding a creatine supplement to your health regimen. The good news is that creatine supplements are popular and they’re some of the most scientifically researched supplements you can get. 

Still, not just any creatine supplement will do for your workout. Creatine supplements can vary in creatine type, form and price. We curated a list of the best creatine supplements so you can find your ideal match.

Best creatine supplements of 2023

Thorne

You’re receiving price alerts for Thorne Creatine – Creatine Monohydrate, Amino Acid Powder – Support Muscles, Cellular Energy and Cognitive Function – Gluten-Free, Keto – NSF Certified for Sport – 16 Oz – 90 Servings

Thorne is a popular supplement brand known for the research and development it puts into its products. With Thorne, you know the product is high-quality, thanks to the rigorous third-party testing by bodies such as NSF and TGA. The creatine powder from Thorne is our pick for the best overall creatine supplement.

It contains only creatine monohydrate, the most well-researched and effective form of creatine on the market. Creatine monohydrate sounds complicated, but it’s just a creatinine molecule matched up with a water molecule. Thorne Creatine contains no gluten, dairy, soy and other major allergens. 

Reviews for this creatine supplement vouch for the powder’s ability to mix easily into liquids. When dealing with powder supplements, many brands are known to clump, but not Thorne. One scoop contains 5 grams of creatine and should be added to 8 ounces of liquid. 

Dosage: 5 grams per scoop

Thorne Creatine’s best features:

  • This creatine supplement is NSF Certified for Sport, meaning it was tested and proven to have no banned substances for competitive athletes. 
  • Free of major allergens like gluten, soy, yeast and dairy. 

Things to consider:

  • You pay for Thorne’s brand and rigorous testing. It’s not the most expensive creatine supplement out there, and we still think it’s affordable, but it’s not a budget option. 
  • This creatine supplement is unflavored; there are no flavor varieties available.

Klean Athlete

You’re receiving price alerts for Klean ATHLETE Klean Creatine | Amino Acid Supplement for Muscle Gain and Building, and Workout Recovery | 11.1 Ounces | Unflavored

Klean Athlete Klean Creatine is another one of the best creatine supplements. It contains only creatine monohydrate, making it a straightforward option if you want high creatine content with no additives. You get 5 grams of unflavored creatine monohydrate with each scoop. 

This creatine supplement is also NSF Certified for Sport, so it’s a trustworthy choice for competitive athletes. It’s also pretty affordable at under $30 for around 60 servings. Customer reviews praise the performance of this creatine product, though some note that the texture can be grainy in liquids. To combat this, many people add it to smoothies or oats.

If you’re looking for a non-additive creatine monohydrate powder with a solid dosage, consider Klean Athlete’s Klean Creatine supplement. 

Dosage: 5 grams per one scoop

Klean Athlete’s best features:

  • This creatine supplement is NSF Certified for Sport. 
  • It contains no artificial additives and is GMO-free. 

Things to consider:

  • You don’t have the option for additional flavors with this creatine supplement. 
  • Some customers report a grainy texture in liquids. 

Bulksupplements.com

You’re receiving price alerts for BULKSUPPLEMENTS.COM Creatine Monohydrate Powder (Micronized Creatine) – Creatine Powder for Pre-Workout and Post Workout – 5g (5000mg) per Serving (1 Kilogram – 2.2 lbs)

Budget creatine supplement shoppers should consider BulkSupplements.com’s Creatine Monohydrate Powder. It’s an unflavored, budget-friendly creatine powder that’s free of additives. This creatine powder has been micronized, which means that the particles are smaller, allowing easier mixing into liquids. 

Unlike other brands, you have a wider portion range, so you can buy as much as you need. You also can buy creatine capsules, though the serving size is much higher at seven capsules. 

One thing to consider is that this creatine supplement doesn’t come with a scoop, which is standard in the creatine market, given that’s how serving size is determined. Instead, the serving size is measured as teaspoons (a serving size is 2 teaspoons). It might not be that big of a deal for some people. However, many value the simplicity of having a scoop already in the container.

Dosage: 5 grams per 2 teaspoons

Bulksupplements.com’s best features:

  • This creatine supplement is a budget-friendly option for people looking to boost their workout. 
  • It’s third-party tested so that you can trust the purity and quality of this creatine supplement. 
  • You can choose between powder and capsule.
  • Upon request, an analysis is available for this creatine powder. 

Things to consider:

  • This creatine supplement isn’t NSF Certified for Sport. That doesn’t mean there are banned substances in the powder. However, nothing proves that it doesn’t. 
  • It’s only available as an unflavored powder. 
  • No scoop included. 

Barer Performance

You’re receiving price alerts for Bare Performance Nutrition, Creatine, Trademark Creapure Formula, 5g of Creapure per Serving, Improve Performance & Strength (60 Servings, Unflavored)

If your main goal is adding muscle mass, you’ll like Bare Performance Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate. We think it’s the best creatine supplement for muscle growth. 

Bare Performance Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate contains Creapure, a purified form of creatine with a higher concentration and faster absorption. Serious athletes often favor it. In line with its purified form, this creatine powder has no additives or fillers. It’s also third-party tested to ensure that what’s advertised is actually in the product. 

Since it uses the highly purified form of creatine, this creatine powder is on the higher side of the market. It’s about $10 more than most brands. 

Dosage: 5 grams per scoop

Bare Performance’s best features:

  • This creatine powder is third-party tested for purity and safety. It’s also Informed Sport certified, so you know it’s free of banned substances. 
  • Bare Performance’s creatine powder is Creapure.

Things to consider:

  • The highly purified creatine comes at a price. There are more affordable creatine supplements on the market. But if you’re a serious athlete, it’s worth it.

Gnarly Sports Nutrition

You’re receiving price alerts for Gnarly Nutrition, Creatine, Unflavored

Creatine is most often found in animal products. Because of this, those who live a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle may have lower creatinine levels in the body. Gnarly Nutrition Creatine Supplement is one of the best vegan creatine supplements you can buy. There’s only one ingredient — Creapure creatine monohydrate derived from non-animal byproducts. As a bonus, it’s also halal and kosher too. 

It’s a good option if you want to get more out of your workout. This creatine powder has also been third-party tested for banned substances, heavy metals and pesticides. 

The downside of this product is the price. For 90 servings, you’ll pay around $55. The sourcing and the extra-pure Creapure creatine content are likely driving up that cost. 

Dosage: 5 grams per scoop

Gnarly Nutrition’s best features:

  • Gnarly Nutrition’s creatine supplement is a great choice for vegans. It’s also kosher and halal. 
  • It is NSF Certified for Sport. 

Things to consider:

  • There are no flavor options. 
  • It’s significantly more pricey than other options on the list.

Proven4 Sport

You’re receiving price alerts for Proven4 Sport Pre Workout Powder for Men and Women (Cherry Limeade)

If you are looking for simplicity and don’t want to take a preworkout supplement and creatine, then try Proven4 Sport Pre-Workout Powder, which contains creatine. We think it’s the best preworkout creatine supplement you can get. 

Because it’s not only a creatine supplement, there are other nutrients in this preworkout powder. Per one scoop, you get 3 mg of vitamin B1 and B2, 15 mg of vitamin B5 and 1 mcg of vitamin B12. Additionally, there are 150 mg of caffeine in this creatine preworkout powder. Studies have shown that caffeine helps improve athletic performance

This creatine supplement has a robust nutritional content; however, it doesn’t have the most creatine on the list. There are only 2 grams of creatine per serving, while other brands average 5 grams.

Dosage: 2 grams per scoop

Proven4 Sport’s best features:

  • This creatine pre-workout is offered in blue raspberry, cherry limeade and fruit punch, all of which reviews suggest taste good
  • Proven4 Sport’s creatine preworkout powder is an NSF Certified for Sport product. 

Things to consider: 

  • Because it’s a preworkout powder and not exclusively a creatine supplement, Proven4 Sport contains less creatine than other products on this list. 

Optimum Nutrition

You’re receiving price alerts for Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Powder, Unflavored, Keto Friendly, 120 Servings (Packaging May Vary)

Optimum Nutrition Creatine Powder is the best creatine powder because it’s micronized for faster absorption and efficiency. It’s also easier to mix as it won’t clump up when you add it to liquid. It’s one of the most popular creatine powders on the list, with nearly 70,000 reviews on Amazon

Products from Optimum Nutrition are made in CGMP-certified facilities, where they are tested for purity and banned substances. Each serving has 5 grams of creatine monohydrate and nothing else. The packaging instructs the user to use a rounded teaspoon for serving size, which tells just there probably isn’t an included scoop. 

Dosage: 5 grams per rounded teaspoon

Optimum Nutrition’s best features:

  • It’s a no-fuss creatine powder with only one ingredient. 
  • This creatine powder is made in CGMP-certified facilities and has been tested for banned substances. 
  • You can also get Optimum Nutrition’s creatine supplement in capsule form. The capsules include gelatin, so they are unsuitable for vegetarians or vegans. 

Things to consider:

  • Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder is one of the most expensive options. 
  • There isn’t a scoop included in the container. 

How we chose the best creatine supplements

The FDA does not enforce strict regulations for products in the supplement industry. To compensate for this, we rely on third-party certifications to ensure the product has what it says it does. These certifications are a way to vouch for the product’s quality, purity and safety. 

We did not test these creatine supplements in-house. Instead, we relied on an assessment of the ingredients, customer reviews and pricing. 

Things to consider when choosing the best creatine supplements 

Like the rest of the supplement market, there are many creatine products out there. All of which vary by price, form and effectiveness. Not all creatine products are created equal, so there are things you should keep in mind when shopping so you find the ultimate creatine supplement for you.

  • Form: Creatine supplements can come in various forms, the most popular being powder, capsules and chews. Powders are the most common for athletes but aren’t the most on-the-go friendly option. Capsules and chews are often more favored in that case. Additionally, powders typically have a lower serving size. Some creatine capsule supplements have a serving size of as high as seven capsules at once. Many of the capsules or chews do contain gelatin, which makes them unsuitable for vegans or vegetarians. 
  • Flavor: The majority of creatine powders on our list are unflavored, as they are typically added to drinks or food. However, if you’re adding it to water, you might want a flavor. Always look through customer reviews to get an idea of the flavor before buying. 
  • Dosage: Depending on your goals, you may want more or less creatine. If you are trying to build muscle, add more creatine to your diet. Most pure creatine supplements average around 5 grams. Preworkout supplements can also contain creatine, though at a lower dose.
  • Price: As with anything, there is a wide range of pricing options for creatine supplements. Higher-concentration supplements typically cost more, but that’s not always the case. Check the ingredients and dosage before a high price tag fools you. It doesn’t always mean quality. 
  • Certifications: Creatine is a supplement favored by athletes and bodybuilders. If you compete in athletic competitions, all supplements you take must carry sports certifications like NSF for Sport, which ensures the product contains no banned substances. 

What are the benefits of creatine? 

Creatine is one of the most researched supplements on the market. A wealth of research spanning decades supports the benefits and effectiveness of creatine. Overall, creatine helps you perform better physically — you’re stronger and build both short-term and long-term muscle. However, there are additional benefits associated with creatine that should also be noted.

Benefits of creatine include:

What are the potential side effects of creatine? 

Creatine supplements are generally considered safe, with no negative side effects on the body. Even for periods up to years, there is no evidence suggesting that taking creatine daily has a detrimental effect on the body. 

However, remember that serving sizes are there for a reason. Taking too much creatine can result in stomach discomfort, diarrhea, dizziness or muscle cramps. 

Best creatine supplement FAQs

What is creatine?

Creatine is a naturally occurring compound in our body, primarily located in our muscles, with a small amount in the brain. You can get about half of your creatine supply by eating fish, meat and milk. 

Research has shown that increasing creatine intake can help you get stronger and build muscle. Overall it improves physical performance, which is why athletes or bodybuilders favor it. 

Is creatine worth using?

Yes, creatine is worth taking if you’re trying to improve your gym performance. It can help you build strength and muscle more effectively while improving brain function and lowering blood sugar. 

Creatine works, and it’s considered one of the safest supplements you can take. Additionally, we think it’s very affordable as far as supplements are concerned.

Can you take creatine every day?

Yes, you can take creatine every day. There is a lot of research into supplementing creatine for athletic performance, with the consensus being that creatine doesn’t harm the body. It’s safe.

When is the best time to take creatine?

If you’re using creatine to increase muscle mass and athletic performance, you’re probably wondering when the best time to take your creatine supplements is. A study investigating creatine timing showed that people who took supplements close to exercise gained the most muscle and strength.

It’s generally recommended that you take your creatine supplement pre or post workout. Some people choose to split the dose, half before and half after. 

Which creatine is more effective?

Several forms of creatine are available as supplements, including buffered creatine, creatine hydrochloride and creatine magnesium chelate. While all have benefits, one form of creatine is the most effective. 

Research has shown that creatine monohydrate is the best form of creatine. It’s backed by the most research supporting its effectiveness and performance. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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