What To Look For When Shopping For a Creatine Supplement

best type of creatine

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.

TL;DR: There’s no scientifically valid reason to spend more $ on weird new types of creatine as good old monohydrate has proven super effective and can be found online for cheap everywhere.

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 steroid

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.

overpriced creatine

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:

SaleBestseller No. 1
Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Capsules, Keto Friendly, 2500mg, 300 Capsules (Packaging May Vary)
10,728 Reviews
Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Capsules, Keto Friendly, 2500mg, 300 Capsules (Packaging May Vary)
  • 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
Bestseller No. 2
Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Powder, Unflavored, Keto Friendly, 60 Servings (Packaging May Vary)
42,024 Reviews
Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Powder, Unflavored, Keto Friendly, 60 Servings (Packaging May Vary)
  • 5G PURE CREATINE MONOHYDRATE PER SERVING
  • SUPPORTS INCREASES IN ENERGY, ENDURANCE AND RECOVERY
  • MAXIMUM POTENCY – supports muscle size, strength, and power
  • SUPREME ABSORBENCY – micronized to get the most out of each dose
Bestseller No. 3
Pure Creatine Monohydrate – 200 Servings - 1,000 Grams, 2.2lb Bulk, Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Soy Free. Aid Strength Gains, No Artificial Ingredients - NAKED CREATINE
6,034 Reviews
Pure Creatine Monohydrate – 200 Servings - 1,000 Grams, 2.2lb Bulk, Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Soy Free. Aid Strength Gains, No Artificial Ingredients - NAKED CREATINE
  • ONLY ONE INGREDIENT: 100% Pure Micronized Creatine Monohydrate. Certified Vegan, Non-GMO, Soy Free and Gluten Free.
  • HIGHEST QUALITY: Naked Creatine is the highest grade creatine monohydrate supplement available.
  • FAST DISSOLVING: Unlike other brands, Naked Creatine dissolves quickly in water or your juice of choice.
  • RAPID ABSORPTION: Pure creatine monohydrate allows for fast absorption which enhances gains, strength, and increases training capacity.

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:

Creatine Capsulespill form

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

SaleBestseller No. 1
Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Capsules, Keto Friendly, 2500mg, 300 Capsules (Packaging May Vary)
10,728 Reviews
Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Capsules, Keto Friendly, 2500mg, 300 Capsules (Packaging May Vary)
  • 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
SaleBestseller No. 2
MET-Rx Creatine 4200 Pre or Post Workout Supplement, Creatine Capsules, 240 Count
5,644 Reviews
MET-Rx Creatine 4200 Pre or Post Workout Supplement, Creatine Capsules, 240 Count
  • One 240 count bottle of MET-Rx Creatine 4200 Pre or Post Workout Supplement
  • Creatine monohydrate capsules can increase your strength and power during your workout and your post workout recovery (1)
  • Creatine supplements can enhance the ability to produce higher muscular force for increased reps during lifting (1)
  • Each creatine supplement capsule is easy to swallow and convenient to take pre or post workout
Bestseller No. 3
EFX Sports Kre-Alkalyn | PH-Correct Creatine Monohydrate | Multi-Patented Formula, Gain Strength, Build Muscle & Enhance Performance - 240 Capsules / 120 Servings
4,590 Reviews
EFX Sports Kre-Alkalyn | PH-Correct Creatine Monohydrate | Multi-Patented Formula, Gain Strength, Build Muscle & Enhance Performance - 240 Capsules / 120 Servings
  • ➤ THE ONLY PH-CORRECT CREATINE MONOHYDRATE – Inferior creatine products have pH levels below 7, causing them to lose potency in liquids and stomach acids. However, Kre Alkalyn EFX’s multi-patented pH of 12-14 produces a fully stable, buffered...
  • ➤ GAIN STRENGTH, BUILD MUSCLE & ENHANCE PERFORMANCE - Creatine monohydrate is the single most studied sports supplement ever. It’s the top pre-workout and post-workout compound for athletes and bodybuilders who want to improve muscle mass, increase...
  • ➤ CONVENIENT CAPSULES – Precision filled Kre Alkalyn EFX capsules mean no mixing, measuring, or guessing. Just grab the bottle from your gym bag, take a few capsules, and get to work. If you prefer a powder to mix with your favorite drink or protein...
  • ➤ PATENT-HOLDER’S ORIGINAL BRAND – Kre Alkalyn EFX was invented by Dr. Jeff Golini, the exclusive formulator of EFX Sports. He developed the patented manufacturing process that produces the ONLY creatine monohydrate with a pH level of 12. No other...

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.

no caffeine preworkouts

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

Bestseller No. 1
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout, Vitamin D for Immune Support, with Creatine, Beta-Alanine, and Caffeine for Energy, Keto Friendly, Blueberry Lemonade, 30 Servings (Packaging May Vary)
31,396 Reviews
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout, Vitamin D for Immune Support, with Creatine, Beta-Alanine, and Caffeine for Energy, Keto Friendly, Blueberry Lemonade, 30 Servings (Packaging May Vary)
  • 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
Bestseller No. 2
C4 Sport Pre Workout Powder Watermelon - NSF Certified for Sport + Preworkout Energy Supplement for Men & Women - 135mg Caffeine + Creatine Monohydrate - 30 Servings
5,467 Reviews
C4 Sport Pre Workout Powder Watermelon - NSF Certified for Sport + Preworkout Energy Supplement for Men & Women - 135mg Caffeine + Creatine Monohydrate - 30 Servings
  • C4 PRE WORKOUT POWDER FOR MEN & WOMEN - America's Number 1 Selling Pre-Workout Brand has been trusted since 2011 with over 2 billion servings sold* Optimized for exercise to beat your personal best and crush your goals
  • BUILD MUSCLE & STRENGTH - Formulated with a nitrogen-containing compound designed to build lean muscle mass, maximize performance, and increase strength in all athletes - from pro to everyday
  • INCREASE REP COUNT - Formulated with CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine, a premium clinically studied beta-alanine, which has been studied to support muscular endurance and fight fatigue and may cause a harmless tingling sensation
  • TESTED & TRUSTED BY THIRD PARTIES - Proudly NSF Certified for Sport, an independent certification program recognized by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and the Canadian Football League
SaleBestseller No. 3
BSN N.O.-XPLODE Pre Workout Powder, Energy Supplement for Men and Women with Creatine and Beta-Alanine, Flavor: Fruit Punch, 30 Servings
10,292 Reviews
BSN N.O.-XPLODE Pre Workout Powder, Energy Supplement for Men and Women with Creatine and Beta-Alanine, Flavor: Fruit Punch, 30 Servings
  • PRE WORKOUT IGNITER legendary pre-workout with industry heritage that has been helping athletes train harder since 2004
  • ADVANCED INGREDIENT TECHNOLOGY re engineered to push you past previous limits
  • SUPPORTS EXPLOSIVE ENERGY, INTENSE FOCUS, EXTREME PUMPS and MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE
  • 2 SIZES AVAILABLE 30 servings or 60 servings

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:

  1. It costs money
  2. It may cause digestive issues
  3. It may not taste great
  4. 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 2021-10-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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