10 Best Creatine Supplements to Build Muscle and Strength

Build your muscles and get strong with these top 10 products

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What Are Creatine Supplements

Creatine is a naturally occurring nitrogenous compound that is synthesized in the liver of the human body. Creatine supplements, on the other hand, are capsules or powders consumed along with the daily diet for gymnasts and athletes.

These products are consumed for their affordability as a quick and easy solution for increasing the creatine content of one’s body.

How to Pick a Good Creatine Supplement

Health and fitness supplements are huge sectors in the pharmaceutical industry. One needs to follow specific attributes while shopping for the best creatine supplement. Those attributes are as follows:

Brand Value and Reputation

It is wise to stick with reputed and well-known brands when it comes to choosing creatine supplements. Brand image, product reviews and customer feedback are some of the sectors that need to be scrutinized from the grassroots level.

Ingredients

As simple as it seems, this is the most crucial attribute that determines the popularity of a creatine supplement in the market. The best creatine supplements will be containing very few if not one single ingredient.

Value for money

When it comes to health supplements, one thing is for sure. They don’t come cheap. It would be wise to opt for a product that offers more benefits per serving than it actually costs! The package size, the ingredients and the name of the manufacturing company are some of the contributing factors that increase the value for money factor for any particular creatine supplement product.

Product Reviews

The effectiveness and success of a product depend on various contributing factors. It would be wise to go through product reviews and customer feedback for the manufacturing brand.

Products with consistent online ratings and excellent customer feedback are recommended all the while being vigilant for combing out the misinformation as well!

Different Types of Creatine

Creatine Monohydrate

If you are one of the many people who enjoys spending as much time in the gym as possible and chasing after your ultimate fitness goals, you may be familiar with this common ingredient in protein powders and some health foods. You may know that it’s supposed to help you perform better–but how? Let’s read on to find out.

What Is Creatine Monohydrate?

Creatine [2] monohydrate is a synthetic, powdered preparation of creatine. Creatine is an organic compound found in animal meats (including fish) naturally, and also produced by our body in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. An amino acid (building blocks that make up proteins), creatine is not to be confused with creatinine, a different biological compound.

What Is Its Biological Role?

Creatine monohydrate is ingested as a supplement to both our dietary intake and our body’s production of creatine. Creatine is transformed into phosphocreatine, which gets stored in our skeletal muscles.

Phosphocreatine is a cofactor, or necessary part of, the reaction that turns ADP (adenosine diphosphate) into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is our body’s most basic unit of energy. ATP does many jobs, but the muscle stores are depleted most quickly when we exert short bursts of intense effort. This particular type of action is fueled primarily by ATP, which then turns back into ADP, requiring yet more phosphocreatine to synthesize more ATP.

If you were to look at the process more linearly it would be something like this:

  • ingest creatine→ creatine is transformed to phosphocreatine
  • → phosphocreatine is stored in the muscles
  • → phosphocreatine is used to turn ADP into ATP for energy
  • → ATP is depleted when we use lots of energy in a short time
  • → ATP turns back into ADP
  • → the muscles need more phosphocreatine, and the cycle starts over.

Creatine can also help draw liquid into the cells that make up your muscle fibers, which helps them perform this process more efficiently and for longer period of time before all ATP store are depleted.

How Does It Help Bodybuilders and People Who Work Out?

Creatine monohydrate is an extremely popular supplement [3] among certain types of athletes, particularly bodybuilders and elite athletes. That is because, to a large extent, the marketing claims of the supplement manufacturers are correct.

It can help you build muscle at an accelerated rate compared to working out alone. It can also increase your endurance. For instance, you are a weightlifter you may find you can do a few more reps per set. If you are a sprint, it can give you that extra edge to keep pushing for the last 3 or 4 seconds of your run at top speed.

Now, this will by no means turn you into a superhero, but for anyone trying to get into peak physical shape it is certainly another tool in your arsenal.

What Foods Contain It?

Creatine is found in any animal protein, though the best sources are considered to be game meats (any animal hunted for sport or for food) such as elk, venison, etc.

How Much Of It Do You Need?

Because your body is capable of making creatine on its own, there is no officially recognized required dosage of creatine per day. Most meat-eating adults make about 1g per day, and consume about 1g per day, for an average daily creatine intake of 2g. The general guideline [4] for creatine monohydrate supplementation is 5g per day, and it is cautioned not to consume more than 20g per day.

Are There Risks Associated With Consuming Too Much Of It?

The maximum dosage recommended when supplementing with creatine monohydrate is 20g per day, and that dose is also recommended to be broken up into several servings. This is because after the biological processes that use creatine in our bodies, it is filtered through our kidneys and excreted as urine.

When we take too much at once, or too much in a certain time period, we overwhelm our kidneys. They become unable to keep up with the influx of discarded creatine, which begins to harm the kidneys. This can lead to permanent organ damage.

Are There Risks Associated With Consuming Too Little Of It?

Creatine deficiency is only possible if you have one of three rare disorders that prevent your body from producing or using creatine. Collectively, these disorders are referred to as Cerebral Creatine Deficiency Syndromes.

These disorders are typically diagnosed in childhood because they can have a profound impact on development, as creatine is responsible for the production of ATP. Symptoms may include: seizures, hyperactivity, intellectual delays, speech delays, and more. For more information on this group of disorders, visit creatineinfo.org

Even when an ingredient is something that can help you, it’s always a good idea to know exactly what it is and what it does. Think of it this way: would you feed mystery food to your baby? Probably not. Equally so, it’s important to know what you’re putting in your body and to take control of your own nutrition.

Creatine Powder vs. Pills

Creatine supplements are available in both powder and pill form. Both operate similarly within the body and provide the user with similar results. The difference lies in the fact that powder supplements are friendlier to your pockets!

Creatine supplements in its powdered form are easier to consume when compared to that of the pills. After consumption, the powder quickly breaks down in the gut, undergoes transformation and provides the user with ready to use energy reserves.

The capsule form of creatine supplements allows the user with the benefits of mobility and convenience. One can just pop a pill of creatine with their favorite drink while they are out on a date!

1. Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder

Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder

It is manufactured using 100% pure creatine monohydrate (micronized) and is designed to dissolve in water readily. The product is free from filler ingredients, artificial coloring agents and flavors.

Manufacturer: Optimum Nutrition

Main Ingredients:

  • 5,000mg Creapure brand creatine monohydrate

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2. Transparent Labs StrengthSeries Creapure HMB Creatine

Transparent Labs Strengthseries Creatine Hmb

It is designed by blending HMB to pure creatine monohydrate and the company offers a transparent ingredient label.

Manufacturer: Creapure HMB

Main Ingredients:

  • 5,000 mg Creapure brand creatine monohydrate
  • 2,000 mg β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate (HMB)
  • 5mg BioPerine

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3. Arnold Series Iron CRE3

Arnold Series Iron Cre3

The product contains creatine in its nitrate form. The USP of the product is that it is free from the loading phase.

Manufacturer: MusclePharm

Main Ingredients:

  • 1,000 mg creatine nitrate

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4. Beast Sports Nutrition Creature

Beast Sports Nutrition Creature

The product is manufactured by blending five different forms of creatine imported from Germany.

Manufacturer: Beast Sports Nutrition

Main Ingredients:

  • 3,025 mg Creature Advanced Creatine Matrix Blend (creatine alpha-ketoglutarate 2:1, creatine monohydrate, buffered creatine, creatine magnesium chelate and creatine anhydrous.)

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5. Promera Sports Con-Cret

Promera Sports Con Cret

The primary ingredient of the product is creatine hydrochloride (or HCI) in its purest form.

Manufacturer: Promera Sports

Main Ingredients:

  • 750mg creatine HCI

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6. Dymatize Creatine

Dymatize Micronized Creatine

It is famous in the weightlifting arena for being one of the most readily soluble creatine supplement.

Manufacturer: Dymatize Nutrition

Main Ingredients:

  • 5,000 mg 100% pure micronized creatine monohydrate

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7. MusclePharm Creatine

Musclepharm Creatine

An unflavored product, it is made from pharmaceutical grade creatine.

Manufacturer: MusclePharm

Main Ingredients:

  • 5,000 mg creatine matrix blend (Creatine nitrate, Creatine AAB, Dicreatine Malate, Creatine magnesium chelate, Creatine Monohydrate)

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8. Universal Nutrition Creatine

Universal Nutrition Creatine

It is manufactured from Creapure brand creatine (micronized formula), imported from Germany. It is free from filler ingredients and artificial sweeteners.

Manufacturer: Universal Nutrition

Main Ingredients:

  • 5,000 mg 100% pure micronized creatine monohydrate

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9. MuscleTech Platinum 100% Creatine

Muscletech Platinum 100 Creatine

It is an easy to absorb creatine supplement that is free from filler ingredients.

Manufacturer: MuscleTech

Main Ingredients:

  • 5,000 mg 100% pure micronized creatine monohydrate

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10. BSN Creatine DNA

Bsn Creatine Dna

The product is made from creatine monohydrate and is also free from filler ingredients.

Manufacturer: BSN

Main Ingredients:

  • 5,000 mg 100% pure micronized creatine monohydrate

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References:

[2] University of Maryland Medical Center. Creatine. University of Maryland, 2014.

[3] Norton, Layne. Creatine: Fact and Fiction. Bodybuilding.com, 2017.

[4] The Mayo Clinic. Creatine Dosing. mayoclinic.org, 2013.

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