Creatine; it is the most widely recommended anabolic supplement after protein powder. It is one of the most widely researched sports supplements that has been proven to safely assist in building muscle over the long-term.
With such popularity comes insane selection with hundreds of different brands competing to sell you what they all claim to be the best type of creatine.
From monohydrate to “ethyl ester” to “tri-creatine malate” to “micronized” to “liquid creatine” there are a dazzling array of actual “forms” of this renowned muscle builder.
One thing that creatine IS NOT is a steroid. Creatine is a molecule found naturally in all meats, from chicken to beef. It is not more unnatural than protein powder. Thus, let it be known, if you take creatine you are most definitely still a natural athlete and have nothing to fear.
Creatine has become so popular in fact that companies have spent millions engineering new patented compounds.
Engineered and patented types of creatine include conjugated creatine, patented as “Con-Cret” and buffered creatine, patented as “Kre-Alkalyn”.
But which type of creatine is best and of that type, which brands are most reliable and highly reviewed by bodybuilders? That is what we aim to solve with this overview of this potent yet confusing supplement.
3 Most Popular Types of Creatine Explained
As highlighted, there are a confusingly diverse amount of different “types” of creatine. There is no need to get stressed though as they are all simply unique versions of the mother molecule naturally found in the body.
Thus, as the output, or effect is the same for all types of creatine, whether straight up monohydrate (least refined form) or some super-engineered blend, the only difference will be how easily it can be diluted and absorption rate.
Also know that generally speaking, with any supplement, the more engineered and more processing the higher the price gets.
Protein powder for example, is cheapest when in its least refined form of whey concentrate and increases in price as you go from concentrate to isolate to hydro-isolate.
Similar to protein, the outcome is the same. 25g of whey concentrate will have the same outcome of supporting muscle protein synthesis as 25g of hydro-isolate.
The only difference will be calories, fat, solubility and absorption rate.
Thus, at the end of the day, 5g of creatine monohydrate will have the exact same result as 5g of creatine hydrochloride or “Con-Crete” or “Kre-Alkalyn”.
The only difference will be how well it dissolves in your liquid of choice, how fast it’s absorbed by muscles and in some cases, how gentle it can be on your gut.
Oh and price…the more processed and engineered the more you will spend.
What Is The Best Form of Creatine?
With the above rule in mind, that is the more processed it is the pricier it is, if you are on a budget then you are best sticking to good old fashioned creatine monohydrate.
Sure, it may not dissolve as nice, it may make your shake a slightly “gritty” and you may need to load up during the first week to more quickly saturate your muscles but you will also be spending up to half of what other more engineered forms cost.
Cheapest Monohydrate Brands of 2021:
- 5 grams pure creatine monohydrate per serving
- Supports increases in energy, endurance & recovery
- Maximum potency supports muscle size, strength, and power
- Supreme absorbency micronized to get the most out of each dose
- INCREASED MUSCLE MASS* - Creatine is one of the most widely-used bodybuilding supplements. Our Creatine Monohydrate mixes easily and dissolves quickly, effectively contributing to increased muscle mass.*
- PROMOTES WEIGHT GAIN*- Has been taken by gym-goers for years as a preworkout or postworkout to promote weight gain in men and women.* Athletes have reported larger and fuller muscles due to increased intracellular fluid.
- BOOSTS ANAEROBIC STRENGTH* - Often taken as a preworkout to help boost anaerobic strength, possibly enabling more total work or volume in a single training session.* This is a key factor in long-term muscle growth.
- SUPPORTS BRAIN AND COGNITIVE FUNCTION* - Creatine monohydrate powder has been used to support the brain and cognitive function.* Adequate creatine levels in the brain may support memory and may improve mental fatigue.*
- Support lean muscle mass: Help you get the most out of your workout
- Support strength & power: Aid in the ability to push heavy weight
- Support performance – help take your training to the next level
- 5 gram of Creatine monohydrate per serving – the industry standard of recommended intake
Alternative Forms of Supplementation
If you are too lazy to mix in creatine with your protein shakes or with your juice for breakfast and are looking for alternative ways at ingesting this powerhouse molecule then you can consider the following:
Although creatine monohydrate is the most studied and most affordable forms some people just don’t like the added flavor or texture of pure creatine. If you have a hard time getting it down then creatine pills may be a viable alternative to hit your requirements without the unpleasant flavor or texture.
What do creatine pills do? Well, they do everything the powder does, in the exact same way, it simply bypasses your mouth. Pills can also be more convenient for busy people who may not have a mixer bottle and water on hand at all times.
Another benefit to capsules can be brought to work or school and taken quickly and discreetly at any time of the day.
Top Rated Creatine Capsules of 2021
- 2.5g pure creatine monohydrate per serving
- Supports muscle size, strength, and power when combined with high intensity activities
- Convenient capsules 2 cap serving size makes taking creatine quick and easy without the need to mix a powder into a liquid
- Easy to swallow capsules. Can be used for pre and post workouts
- EXPERIENCE 3 TYPES OF CREATINE IN ONE POWERFUL FORMULA: Monohydrate, Alphaketoglutarate and Pyruvate
- GAIN A FULLER PHYSIQUE FASTER: Our innovative blend of 3 creatines maximizes creatine absorption
- PROPEL PERFORMANCE: Whether you build power in crossfit, size in bodybuilding or an endurance runner
- BOOST POST WORKOUT RECOVERY: Recharge muscle growth after epic workout sessions to build bulk muscle
- You will receive (1) bottle of MET-Rx Creatine 4200, 240 count
- SUPPORT YOUR TRAINING: MET-Rx Creatine 4200 works with your training routine. It can accelerate your power during your workout and your recovery after.* Creatine also enhances ability to produce higher muscular force, meaning increased reps during...
- MET-Rx products have been specifically formulated with a precise nutrient profile to produce specific metabolic effects.* MET-Rx Creatine 4200 is no exception. Try it with protein shakes or bars to superpower your workout and recovery.*
- MET-Rx FOCUSES ON THE POWER of protein & other important nutrients for workout enhancement. Our protein blends support exercise recovery & provide important amino acids to fuel muscles, while our sports nutrition line takes care of pre-intra-post...
Pills are nice as you can toss them in your pill box with your multivitamin and fish oil and not worry about hitting your daily requirements. This is key because creatine must be taken daily to keep muscles saturated. You cannot simply “blast and cruise” with creatine, you need a constant drip feed.
If pills aren’t your thing there is yet another way to get your daily creatine requirements without the hassle…
Efficaciously-Dosed Creatine Pre-workouts
Pre-workouts, after protein powder are probably one of the most commonly used sports supplements and for good reason, they make you feel AWESOME!
What was once a shadowy and scammy industry has evolved in recent years with more and more companies opening up, increasing dosing of impactful compounds and offering transparent labeling of their products.
This is great for bodybuilders, both men and women, of all experience levels as it provides a whole variety of subtly different pre-workout types to suit different fitness goals.
There are caffeine-heavy blends designed to maximize alertness (hello GAT Nitraflex), there are nootropic blends designed to increase focus (hello PEScience Prolific), there are citrulline and beta alanine-laden blends to increase endurance (hello Musclepharm Assault Black) and finally, there are blends dosed heavily with our favorite molecule, creatine.
The pros of having a creatine-based pre-workout is you don’t have to worry about forgetting to get your daily dosage as it’s already mixed into something you take before your workout anyways.
It’s always fun to try new pre-workout products as new ingredients are always being brought to market and each can have it’s own unique effect on your workout.
If you wan to up your creatine game you can consider the following brands when doing your next “supplement run”:
Best Pre-Workouts Containing Creatine
- VITAMIN D Provides Immune Support
- PACKAGING MAY VARY - New look, with the same trusted Quality!
- 175MG OF CAFFEINE- help fuel your mind and body to train at the highest level
- 3G CREATINE - help support overall performance
- PRE WORKOUT POWDER – NeuroCore is the most explosive super-concentrated pre workout stimulant available, featuring potent key ingredients in clinically studied amounts for maximum strength to deliver extreme energy, intense focus and superior workouts
- CREATINE POWDER – Contains a 3g dose of creatine HCl, a highly potent form of creatine, which is clinically validated to amplify gains in size and strength. This precise 3g dose per 2 scoops won’t cause bloating and requires no loading phase
- MUSCLE BUILDER – NeuroCore contains a 3.2g clinical dose of beta-alanine in 2 scoops to enhance muscle and build strength
- MUSCLE PUMPS – Features a research-tested dose of pure L-citrulline for intense, long-lasting muscle pumps
- INTENSE PERFORMANCE: This workout energy drink has powerful ingredients like Creatine, Beta Alanine, Nitrosigine Arginine Silicate, L-Citrulline, Caffeine, TeaCrine and more that provide intense rapid released and sustained energy, focus and pumps for...
- SUPPORTS MUSCLE STRENGTH: Our pre-workout energy drink has Beta Alanine that helps prolong training endurance, delay onset of exercise induced fatigue, increase power output and recovery rate. It also contains Creatine Monohydrate that helps enhance...
- INCREASES BLOOD FLOW: Formulated with Nitrosogine, our pre workout drinks help enhance and optimize blood flow for improved muscle pumps and vascularity, nutrient delivery, and endurance. This muscle pumps energy drink also promotes increased stamina and...
- BANNED SUBSTANCE TESTED: Athletes and fitness advocates can trust ProSupps Mr. Hyde Signature pre workout drink, knowing that our products are not only effective, but certified for use in most sports to help them train harder and longer. Our pre workout...
Skinny Yoked Summary
Whether you are a man or woman there is no reason not to be taking creatine to up your workout quality and thus up the quality of your gains over the long-run.
In terms of pros vs cons of creatine consumption, it is literally all pros. The ONLY cons to speak of would be:
- It costs money
- It may cause digestive issues
- It may not taste great
- It may feel a bit gritty in your mouth
If you’re like us, then none of these cons are really serious enough to warrant staying away from the stuff. We’ve all guzzled down plenty of horrible tasting pre-workouts and flavored protein blends over the years, so creatine is just another step in the process of obtaining a physique to be proud of.
Last update on 2021-07-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API