Best creatine supplements on the market: A comprehensive creatine guide

Introduction

Creatine is one of the most widely used sports supplements on the market today. Its primary use is in strength and bulk-building exercises that improve performance for high-intensity sports, providing an edge in anaerobic athletic competitions. Creatine is a naturally occurring substance and it comes from meat, especially wild game and some fish. It key to building powerful skeletal muscle such as biceps, triceps and pecs.

Creatine is made up of three amino acids – Arginine, Glycine and Methionine. These amino acids can be synthesized in the liver to produce creatine. It is also possible to ingest creatine from dietary meat sources, though vegetarians and vegans will generally have lower creatine stores due to lack of meat ingestion. Today’s creatine supplements are not derived from meat however; they are synthesized in laboratories from the three amino acids to produce a simple powdered format creatine.

The average male weighing 160lbs in bodyweight will carry approximately 120grams of creatine in their bodies. 95%-98% of this is stored in skeletal muscle tissue, with the remainder in various organs, primarily the brain, heart and reproductive systems.

Quite simply Creatine retains water in your muscles. This is the point of creatine and it really is effective at keeping water in the muscles. What happens is, when your muscles are retaining water they are in a good state for building new muscle. As a result, when you weight train you will get more of an effect because your muscles are more capable of building muscle. After this period you may increase your strength and increase your endurance as well.

So, if you are taking creatine to help you build muscle and you understand what creatine does and how it helps you build muscle then you will not be disappointed. On the other hand, if you are taking creatine and hoping it will simply grow you bodybuilder’s muscles without putting in the work then you are mistaken.

Top 10 Best Creatine supplements in the market

You can click on the green “+” sign to know more details/remarks about the creatine products.

RANK NAME DETAILS REVIEW
1 Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Phosphagen 500 Grams
This is one of the most powerful creatine formula out there. Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals knows how to make things intense and powerful by added 4 different kinds of creatine in one formula! This will help give you strong, giant gains and increase your protein synthesis! Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Phosphagen 500 Grams!
2 Optimum Nutrition Creatine Powder 2000 grams
Optimum Nutrition Creatine is a tasteless, micronized powder that assimilates quikcly in water or juice. Micronized creatine has a much better asorbption rate, so less will be wasted at the bottom of your glass. The formula utilizes CreaPure Creatine, a 99.% pure creatine monohydrate. You won't have to deal with the gritty, sand-like texture found in less pure creatine products.
3 APS Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate 500 Grams One of the best creatine supplements in the marketplace which provides incredible value for money!
4 Allmax Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate 1000 Grams There are so many creatine supplements out there that you can take, but AllMax knows how to stand out of the crowd. Most of the time, there are three types of creatine: Creatine Monohydrate, Creapure, and Creatine Ethyl Ester HCL. Creatine Monohydrate is the most popular, just normal creatine. Creapure is an extremely pure version of creatine monohydrate. And Creatine Ethyl Ester HCL has an ester salt attached to uptake the creatine in your body and aids in less water retention.

AllMax Nutrition Creatine contains Creapure, so its a super potent version of creatine monohydrate so you get extra creatine and a more pure version of it.
5 Axe & Sledge Hydraulic 40 Servings Hydraulic is one of the First creatine-based Stimulant-Free Pre-Workouts of its kind. This is a stim-free pre-workout that you can actually feel for a change. Hydraulic gets your blood pumping and gives you a warm feeling in whatever part of the body you're working. Axe & Sledge was able to combine patented ingredients like AgmaMax, Creatine MagnaPOWER, GlycerPump, Nitrosigine, and CarnoSyn to enhance that mind to muscle connection we're all seeking. Hydraulic also provides extreme mental focus, increased blood flow, and more muscle roundness & fullness.
6 All American EFX Kre-Alkalyn EFX 750mg All American EFX Kre-Alkalyn is the orginal 100% stable pH-Correct creatine supplement. Scientists had discovered that "buffering" creatine molecules to pH 12 provides the critical protection necessary to withstand the acidic pH of your stomach and to allow the creatine to reach muscle cells at full strength. This isn't just another Creatine, it's "The Creatine". Get the most out of your creatine with EFX Kre-Alkalyn Creatine.
7 Universal Micronized Creatine 200 Grams Universal Creatine is made with Creapure Creatine Monohydrate, an easily absorbed creatine formula that boosts strength and performance.
8 Metabolic Nutrition C.G.P Metabolic Nutrition C.G.P., which stands for Creatine-Glycerol-Phosphate, is a creatine supplement which delivers 100% pure stable phostphate bonded creation which leads to better absorption. Metabolic Nutrition's CGP promotes bigger pumps, more vascularity, and increases in ATP production.
9 EFX kre alkalyn creatine Kre-Alkalyn EFX represents a major breakthrough in performance supplementation thanks to its multi-patented, pH Correct creatine stabalization technology. EFX Sports scientist Dr. Jeff Golini discovered that "buffering" to pH-12 produced a stable creatine monohydrate molecule.
10 Betancourt Nutrition Creatine Micronized 525 Grams Betancourt Nutrition Creatine Micronized is an unflavored creatine powder used for building muscle. It is one of the most effective supplements for improving strength and muscle mass. It helps support training volume and reduces fatigue by preserving muscle glycogen. Creatine helps support muscle mass by stimulating satellite cells, which are cells that aid in tissue regeneration. Myostatin is reduced so it supports improvements in muscle mass. Creatine helps properly hydrate muscles and is important for the elderly because it supports lean mass and functional strength.

More information about creatine?

Vegetarians and Vegans will generally ingest no dietary creatine and their stores are produced entirely by synthesis in the liver from amino acid sources. Meat eaters may ingest anywhere between a few hundred milligrams up to 3 or 4 grams daily depending on the meat sources chosen.

Supplemental creatine use allows users to ingest in the range of 5 to 20 grams of creatine daily without high meat consumption in a directly usable form.

When creatine has moved through the energy cycle, it produces the waste by-product creatinine. Creatinine release is a marker of kidney dysfunction which often accounts for early (but now dismissed) concerns that creatine supplementation placed stress on the kidneys. Increased creatinine waste products in the case of athletes do not signal kidney stress, it is merely the by-product of ingesting larger amounts of creatine and utilising more creatine in muscle energy metabolism than a non-athletic individual.

The Purpose of Creatine

Creatine is directly involved in the ATP-PC (adenosine tri-phosphate-phosphocreatine) energy system of the body. The body has various energy systems available to it to power activity and processes. Systems such as the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems involve the creation of energy from synthesis of carbohydrate and fat stores and fuel sources, although these are more complex processes that are efficient but slow. The ATP-PC energy system is an immediate source of energy for muscle tissue – any sudden, explosive activity where muscles contract fast will initially rely on the ATP-PC system. This includes weight lifting, sprinting etc.

During the ATP energy cycle ATP is broken down very rapidly into simpler chemical compounds offering a burst of energy. Unfortunately this system is depleted very rapidly with maximum exertion activity depleting current stores within 10 to 15 seconds. Once this system is exhausted the body must move onto the more complex process of anaerobic activity.

Creatine binds with the reduced ADP (adenosine di-phosphate) using phosphorus stores which helps regenerate ADP back into ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate). This means a very rapid return of fast action energy source for muscles. You can immediately push more weight for longer, sprint harder without burning out etc.

This is the central role played by creatine. By increasing supplemental creatine levels users will often find they can perform more reps at maximum exertion or sprint longer without switching over to the anaerobic system. It also means faster recovery of ATP levels, meaning shorter rests are needed between maximum exertion efforts.

Other Athletic benefits of Creatine

There are noted benefits from using creatine other than the direct replenishment of ATP.

*Cell Volumization – When larger than normal levels of creatine saturate the muscles from supplementation, this draws fluid into the actual muscle cells themselves, creating a ‘super-hydration’ effect. This is not to be confused with the term ‘fluid retention’ which is the bloat caused by water retained under the skin. In the creatine scenario fluid actually swells the cells of muscles. This accounts for much of the initial weight and muscle size gains found with creatine use. This weight gain generally occurs within the first 7 to 14 days of supplementing with higher levels of creatine. If supplemental creatine is withdrawn, this ‘super-Volumization’ slowly erodes until muscles return to their normal hydration state.

*Enhanced Protein Synthesis – There are numerous studies which now suggest creatine also helps increase the nitrogen retention and protein synthesis of muscle metabolism. This essentially means that higher protein ingestion will lead to faster muscle growth development and improve retention of lean muscle tissue. This benefit is likely a combination of the ATP-replenishment and Cell volumising properties.

Other Benefits of Creatine supplementation: More recent medical studies have shown that creatine supplementation may have other, non-athletic benefits. Creatine is now used in those with both muscle wasting and neuro-degenerative diseases, showing major benefits in retaining muscle and protecting nerves and nerve signalling pathways. This has led to numerous studies on the effect of creatine supplementation on preventing cognitive dysfunction in conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia, as well as nerve related conditions.

Creatine supplementation is currently undergoing trials as a ‘cognitive nutracuetical’ or ‘smart drug’ – which may enhance brain function, improving memory, co-ordination, focus and mental alertness. Many athletes have noted these effects but strict medical studies are required to understand these anecdotes.

Creatine Forms: Different kinds of creatine

Creatine supplements come in a wide variety of forms.

*Creatine Monohydrate – This simple form of creatine bound to a single water molecule is the most common and widely available form of creatine. It is usually found as a simple white powder which may be mixed with protein shakes, beverages or come in specialised loading drinks which utilise fast action carbohydrates and other insulin stimulators to increase uptake of creatine to muscle cells. This is the most economical form of creatine and the most widely used, however around 1 in 7 users will be a poor responder to creatine monohydrate and see little ability to uptake it, often resulting in digestive distress, bloating and no increase in strength or energy levels. Creatine Monohydrate may also be found in ‘Micronized’ form. This simply means the powder is reduced in granularity making it easier to dissolve in water or other liquids.

*Creatine-Ethyl-Ester – Creatine bound to an ethyl ester group as opposed to a water molecule as with Monohydrate Creatine. Ethyl Ester groups are designed to allow more creatine to pass into muscle tissue without wastage and without the need to ingest higher and higher doses for low responders. Users of Creatine-Ethyl-Ester generally find less digestive problems than creatine monohydrate and it may work well for non responders. Ethyl-Ester creatine is more often found in tablet or capsule format as opposed to drink mix powders.

*Kre-Alkalyn Creatine – Kre-Alkalyn Creatine is a patented form of creatine which claims to offer a better pH balance for creatine. This means the product will be more stable in liquids and larger amounts will reach skeletal muscle intact and not break down into the by-product creatinine. Kre-Alkalyn creatine can therefore be used in much lower doses than regular creatine monohydrate, perhaps as little as 2 grams of Kre-Alkalyn offering the same benefits of 10 grams of ingested Creatine Monohydrate. The patented nature of Kre-Alkalyn however does make it far more expensive to use than regular creatine.

Whether your goals are fat loss, explosive strength increases, lean muscle development, improved health and longevity or maximum sporting performance our recommended creatine supplements can help guide you through the often complex world of sports nutrition and supplementation. Hope you can use these guides on ergogenic aids like creatine and pre workout stimulants to the complex world of pro hormones and anabolic aids like growth hormone.

More tips

Some individuals put on water weight while using creatine, however it’s merely temporary. Since creatine triggers your muscle tissue to hold more water, it is possible to acquire water weight after an extended period of supplementing. This can be typical, and absolutely nothing to worry about. If it turns out to be bothersome, merely end taking creatine for a couple of months, so your body will drop off the water weight quickly.

How To Take Creatine

Before starting to take any supplement, it is essential knowing how much to take, when to take, etc. Unlike lots of work out supplements, creatine should be used daily, whether you’re working out every time or perhaps not.

Here’s exactly how creatine should really be accustomed maximize its effects:

When you very first begin getting creatine, you should complete a “loading phase”. With this time, you’re essentially taking extra creatine to help saturate your own muscle tissue with this beneficial material, increasing the results.

Lots of people prefer to combine creatine as well as other products into protein shakes for lots more ease. (For this we recommend unflavored creatine monohydrate) Since most creatine products are boring, you can mix them in just about anything. For the best ease, use a BlenderBottle to mix and enjoy shakes on-the-go.

What exactly is Creatine Cycling?

Many individuals stick to a creatine cycle for which they take creatine supplements for some weeks to a couple of months, then stop taking it for a time. The efficacy of this process is extensively discussed. Some people claim cycling creatine gets better results, while others say that using creatine daily will provide the finest results.

When you look at the end, it comes down right down to this: doctors agree totally that creatine is safe to get daily for extended times period. That being said, some people may discover some advantageous benefits to cycling on/off of creatine and additional supplements.

( Both have its benefits and drawbacks and the reason for comparing will be to weigh which one matches your fitness needs the greatest.)

What Should You Look For in a great Creatine Supplement?

As is the situation with many kinds of health supplements, you will find loads of choices when referring to selecting a creatine supplement. With such a wide variety of products to select from, how can you choose the most useful creatine supplement? Below are a few things to keep in mind:

Have you heard a hyped up creatine brand? Do they have a good reputation? How are their user reviews?

Also, get to know about the different forms of creatine available in the marketplace, as discussed in this article.