15 Best Creatine for Muscle Gain

Creatine (CNCH₂CO₂H) is an organic compound found in vertebrates, typically within the brain and muscle tissues. Creatine helps with muscle mass, exercise capabilities, sports performance, and strength output. This is achieved through the facilitation and recycling of  Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)

In addition to improved performance during exercise and weightlifting, it can help with other processes in the body, such as protecting against neurological disease, producing energy, and working together closely with amino acids. 

Many athletes, such as weightlifters, bodybuilders, and strength-based sports, could benefit from taking a creatine supplement during their training regime. 

If a person is not getting enough creatine or storing it correctly, this could negatively influence their athletic ability. In this case, taking creatine for muscle gain can help dramatically. Creatine helps produce more ATP, which produces the energy needed for quick bursts of exercise, like during heavy lifting. 

Taking a creatine supplement will help athletes with a higher level of anabolic hormones, improved cell signaling, lower levels of protein deterioration, and increased workload during training. 

Let’s see the best creatine options for muscle growth that significantly increase athletic and exercise performance. 

1. Thorne Creatine

Thorne creatine is an all-natural creatine supplement that is derived from natural flavors, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and derived from natural colors. 

The main features of Throne Creatine include the all-natural ingredients that can help with lean muscle mass, endurance, energy, and brain function. 

The benefits of taking Throne creation include increasing lean body mass, supporting cognitive function and healthy body composition, aiding in cellular energy production, reducing dehydration and muscle cramps, and promoting power output and physical endurance. 

The side effects of taking creatine include the potential for kidney damage, liver damage, weight gain, kidney stones, dehydration, and bloating. 

The usage for Thorne creatine is one scoop with at least 8 ounces of liquid approximately 30-90 minutes before working out at the gym or performing your sport. 

This creatine is suitable for those on restricted diets, making it a top-tier supplement for vegans and vegetarians who are not getting enough energy through their daily food diet. 

Thorne creatine contains the NSF Certified for Sport label. It’s easy to mix with your favorite drink, uses a highly researched form of creatine for ample safety, and is colorless and odorless. 

The cost of Thorne creatine comes to $32 per 90 scoops. For the price, this is arguably the best creatine on the market.  

2. Naked Creatine

Naked creatine is an extremely pure supplement that contains just one ingredient — pure creatine monohydrate. 

The features of Naked Creatine rest on the fact it only uses creatine monohydrate as the sole ingredient, helping get rid of any other additives or unnatural ingredients that could be potentially harmful to a person’s health. 

Taking Naked Creatine can enhance levels of strength, muscle mass, and better exercise performance. 

Benefits of creatine include improved strength and performance by replenishing ATP faster than lifting performance and endurance, recovering quicker during exercise, and promoting muscle gain to help with heavier weight lifting. 

The side effects of Naked Creatine include the potential for kidney damage, liver damage, bloating, dehydration, or gall stones that can occur from excess creatine. 

The cost of Naked Creatine is $59.95 for a 1kg jar, which contains 200 servings of 1 scoop of 5g of creatine powder.  

3. Beyond Raw Chemistry Labs Creatine HCl

Beyond Raw Chemistry Labs Creatine HCl powder is a lab-grade dietary supplement that helps muscles produce energy for intense physical activity. 

This creatine includes 2g creatine per serving that helps with the production and circulation of ATP that helps with short bouts of exercise. 

The effects of creatine include extra energy that helps during exercise to promote quick bouts of intense energy during lifting, sports, or sprinting. 

The benefits of Beyond Raw Chemistry Labs Creatine are that it is a gluten-free dietary supplement that helps provide extra energy to athletes and weightlifters. 

The side effects of creatine include the potential for digestive issues, muscle cramps, weight gain, and bloating. 

The usage of Beyond Raw is one scoop of creatine powder that contains 2 grams per serving, with approximately 60 servings per jar. 

One thing to care about regarding Beyond Raw creatine powder is that it absorbs very quickly and comes in various flavors to mix well with different drinks. 

The overall cost of Beyond Raw creatine HCl powder is $39.99 for 60 servings. 

4. Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

The features of Transparent Labs Creatine HMB include pure creatine monohydrate and being formulated with BioPerine to enhance absorption efficiency in the body. 

The effects of Transparent Labs Creatine help with enhanced strength, decreased fat, and increased endurance. 

The benefits of this top creatine monohydrate brand are it improves stamina and strength, helps boost anabolism and recovery, and supports lean muscle growth. 

The side effect of creatine that could potentially be harmful is that it could lead to gastrointestinal issues if you do not hydrate properly after taking a scoop post-workout. 

Transparent Labs Creatine uses one scoop 30 minutes after a workout or one scoop in the morning for recovery during a non-workout day. 

There are no artificial preservatives in Transparent Labs Creatine. It is gluten-free and non-GMO, doesn’t use any artificial coloring, and does not use artificial sweeteners. 

The overall cost of Transparent Labs Creatine HMB is $44.99 for 279G of this powder. 

5. Klean Athlete Klean Creatine

Klean Athlete Klean Creatine is one of the best creatine brands and uses pure ingredients to help with recovery and performance. 

Klean Athlete Clean Creatine features include a gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, and vegetarian supplement that helps with muscle mass and recovery. 

The benefits of Klean Creatine are increased muscle mass, quicker recovery, and increased body strength. 

The side effects of taking creatine can lead to kidney damage if taken incorrectly. 

The usage of Klean Athlete creatine is one scoop, which is approximately 5g, with 8 ounces of water or beverage of choice 30 minutes before exercise or immediately following exercise. 

Things to know regarding this supplement is that it only uses creatine monohydrate as the ingredients and does not contain anything else. 

One thing to care about the Klean Athlete Klean Creatine is that it can help with short bursts of activity for sport-specific exercise, like heavy weightlifting. 

The overall cost of this supplement is $28.70 for 11.1 ounces of powder. 

6. BulkSupplements.com Creatine Monohydrate

BulkSupplemenets.com Creatine Monohydrate is a dietary supplement that helps during intense activity. 

The features of BulkSupplements Creatine Monohydrate include creatine monohydrate free of added sugar, soy, dairy, wheat, or sugar. 

Taking this supplement includes increased muscle mass, anaerobic strength, and cognitive function. 

The benefits of this creatine monohydrate include energy-boosting potential, sped-up recovery time, and enhanced cognitive and brain function. 

The side effects of this supplement can lead to unintentional weight gain if taken too frequently. 

The usage of this creatine monohydrate is to take 5g (approximately 2 tbsp) before a workout or directly after a workout. 

This creatine should be stored in a cool and dry place. 

One thing to care about this supplement is that it can help with athletic performance for various sports, such as running or bodybuilding. 

The overall cost of BulkSupplements Creatine Monohydrate is $13.96 for 100 grams. 

7. Genius Creatine Power Matrix

Genius Creatine Power Matrix is a natural anabolic post-workout supplement. 

The feature of Genius Creatine is that it uses CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine with creatine to help with carnosine production and muscle function. 

Taking Genius Creatine includes increased performance during exercise and comfort after training. 

The side effects of taking this supplement can lead to jittery feelings and anxiety due to the beta-alanine. 

The usage of this supplement is one scoop, which is 7.8 grams. 

Things to know regarding this supplement is that it includes beta-alanine with the creatine to help with endurance and longer-lasting exercise. 

Something to consider regarding Genius Creatine is that it contains AstraGin and beta-alanine, along with other ingredients like L-Malic Acid and stevia leaf extract. 

The overall cost of Genius Creatine is $24.99 for 195 grams. 

8. Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Capsules

Optimum Nutrition capsules contain 2.5 grams of creatine monohydrate per 2-capsule surfing to help with strength and performance.  

The features of these creatine capsules that make them stand out among the rest are that it contains zero calories and zero carbs. 

Taking creatine capsules can lead to increased muscle bulldog potential, higher levels of strength, and better athletic performance. 

The side effects of taking creatine capsules too frequently can lead to digestive issues, dehydration, or muscle cramps. 

The usage of these creatine capsules is two capsules with a meal per day. 

Things to know regarding the Optimum Nutrition creatine capsules is that it also contains gelatin and magnesium stearate. 

Regarding these creatine capsules, one thing to care about is that they contain 100% pure creatine monohydrate. 

The overall cost of these capsules is $45.99 per 100 capsules. 

9. 1st Phorm Micronized Creatine Monohydrate

The features of 1st Phorm Micronized creatine monohydrate include the ability to help with power and strength, support ATP regeneration, and increase muscle cell volume. 

Taking this supplement can be beneficial for athletes who need help with their muscular endurance, muscular fatigue, and anaerobic capacity. 

The side effects of taking creatine monohydrate can include dehydration and muscle cramps. 

The usage of 1st Phorm creatine is one heaping teaspoon of cold water or juice each day, with a minimum of 120 ounces of water per day. 

Things to know regarding this supplement is that you can combine it with Ignition post-workout for added benefits. 

Don’t take this creatine if you are under 18 years old or being treated for high blood pressure, heart, kidney, or thyroid disease.  

The overall cost of this supplement is $39.99 for 100 servings. 

10. MET-Rx Creatine 4200 Supplement

MET-Rx Creatine 4200 Supplement is a creatine capsule that helps lean muscle mass, strength, and power.

The feature of this supplement that makes it stand out among others is that it uses the same CLA backed in various scientific clinical trials for added safety measures. 

The effect of taking this supplement is the potential for higher athletic performance and more muscular force during short bouts of exercise. 

The benefit of taking the MET-RX Creatine 4200 supplement is that it can help with recovery rates after maximal exercise. 

The side effect of taking this supplement is that it can lead to jitters and anxiety if taken too frequently. 

The usage of this supplement is six capsules per day.  

Things to know regarding this supplement are that it contains gelatin, silica, and vegetable magnesium stearate. 

One thing to care about regarding this supplement is that it uses pharmaceutical-grade ingredients only. 

The overall cost of this supplement is $21.99 per 240 capsules. 

11. Xwerks Lift Creatine

Xwerks Lift Creatine is made from only pure micronized creatine monohydrate. 

The features of this creatine powder are that it uses only one ingredient to stay pure and avoid any harmful additives found in other creatine powders or capsules. 

The effects of taking this creatine monohydrate can cause a higher level of ATP production during intense periods of physical stress. 

The benefits of taking this creatine monohydrate are that it can lead to an increase in strength in max reps, increase a person’s 1-rep max, increase performance in the bench press and squat, and facilitate more muscle growth. 

The side effects of taking this supplement include the potential for dehydration during exercise if you do not drink enough water during the day. 

The usage of this supplement is one 5g scoop at any time of the day. 

Things to know regarding this supplement is that it is flavorless for easy mixing in any of your favorite drinks. 

Some things to care about regarding this supplement are that it does not contain any sugar, is dairy-free, and is gluten-free. 

The overall cost of XWerks Lift is $49.00 for one jar containing 80 servings. 

12. Jacked Factory Growth Surge

Jacked Factory Growth Surge is a post-workout muscle builder for all athletes. 

The features of Growth Surge include three key ingredients: creatine monohydrate, BioPerine, and Betaine Anhydrous. 

The effects of taking Jacked Factory 

The benefits of this supplement include faster recovery, more lean muscle, fat loss, and muscle growth. 

The side effects of taking this post-workout supplement are the potential for diarrhea, insomnia, and headaches.  

The usage of this supplement is one scoop (10g) after exercise. 

Things to know regarding this supplement is that it was manufactured in the United States using a cGMP Certified FAcility for added safety benefits. 

Some things to consider regarding this supplement is that it should be used after exercise, not before, to help with recovery, post-workout soreness, and muscle building. 

The overall cost of Growth Surge is $39.99 for 30 servings. 

13. KAGED MUSCLE C-HCl Creatine Hydrochloride

KAGED MUSCLE C-HCl Creatine Hydrochloride is a patented C-HCl formula for post-workout needs. 

The features of this Creatine HCl are that it has been patented and boasts easy digestion, making it suitable for anyone with previous digestive issues. 

The effects of Creatine HCl include muscle growth, muscle definition, and quicker recovery. 

The benefits of taking this Creatine HCl over others are that there is no loading phase, it mixes easily, and it avoids gastrointestinal issues. 

The side effects of taking Creatine HCl are that it can cause bloating, muscle cramps, and kidney damage. 

The usage of KAGED MUSCLE creatine is one serving with 4-6 ounces of water. If you are not taking other creatine, you can take two servings with 6-8 ounces of water post-workout.  

The overall cost of this Creatine HCl is $29.99 per 75 servings. 

14. Nutricost Creatine Monohydrate Powder

Nutricost Creatine Monohydrate Powder is vegetarian creatine that provides 500 grams of creatine monohydrate per battle. 

The features of this type of monohydrate powder are that it is very low-cost compared to other brands and still provides 5g of creatine monohydrate per serving. 

The effects of taking this monohydrate powder 

The benefits of taking creatine powder help with energy and cell regeneration during exercise. 

The side effect of taking this monohydrate powder is the potential for dehydration if you do not take in enough water during exercise. 

The usage of this powder is one scoop 2-4x per day during the load phase, one scoop during the maintenance phase, and no use during the pause phase. 

Things to know regarding this product are that it is gluten-free, non-GMO, vegetarian, GMP compliant, and third-party tested. 

The overall cost of this product is $54.95 per 500 grams. 

15. Proven4 Sport Pre-Game Formula

Proven4 Sport Pre-Game Formula is a pre-workout formula that helps with energy, endurance, stamina, and focus. 

The features of this product are that it uses pure ingredients and contains the NSF Certified for Sport label. 

The effects of taking this supplement are to help with energy, stamina, strength, focus, and endurance by including beta-alanine, creatine, arginine, and tyrosine. 

Takin this pre-game formula delays the onset of fatigue boosts strength and power, and aids recovery and muscle growth.

The side effects of taking this supplement include a jittery feeling and nervousness. 

The usage of this pre-workout is one scoop (7.6grams) of pre-game formula with 8 ounces of water before a game or workout. 

Things to know regarding this supplement is that it can cause a tingling sensation on your skin or a flushed effect. 

This creatine can be harmful to those who have a heart condition, high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, stroke, liver or thyroid disease, or diabetes. 

The overall cost of this product is $37.99 for 300 grams. 

How To Choose The Best Creatine For Muscle Gain?

There are a few things to consider when it comes to choosing the best creatine powder for your needs. Depending on your gender, budget, routine, and preference for clean products, you’ll be able to find the best option for you.

  1. Pure vs. Other Ingredients — Decide whether you want monohydrate powder solely or if you want other ingredients with your creatine supplement (ex: beta-alanine). 
  2. Price — Do you care about how much you spend on your creatine for muscle gain? 
  3. Pre or post-workout — Pre-workout supplements can sometimes be more geared toward energy, whereas post-workout supplements can help with muscle growth. 
  4. Male vs. Female — Find the best creatine for women to ensure you have all the necessary vitamins and minerals during an intense training cycle. If you are a male, you need to find the best creatine for men, the top creatine brands, the top-rated creatine supplements, and the best creatine in 2021. 

After choosing the best creatine supplement for muscle gain, make sure you research how to use creatine to prevent unwanted side effects safely. 

Where To Buy Creatine For Muscle Gain?

You can buy the best creatine monohydrate powder with online stores and in-person health food shops selling creatine, post-workout, and pre-workout supplements. However, if you want to buy the best creatine, you’ll want to buy from Thorne.

Additionally, some of the most popular online stores include BulkSupplements.com, MyProtein, TransparentLabs, Amazon, GNC, American-Supps, or BestPriceNutrition.  

Is Creatine Expensive?

No, creatine is not expensive if you choose the right brand. The average price for creatine comes to $5 per kilogram. Price is also subjective depending on why you need the creatine in the first place. If you are a pro athlete, competing in an event where there may be a financial gain or just someone that values health, creatine is worth its weight in gold compared to what it costs.

Is Creatine Much Better For Muscle Gain Than Protein Powder?

Yes, creatine is better for muscle gain than protein powder. If you had to choose between creatine and protein powder, it is recommended that you opt for creatine. While you can get small amounts of creatine through the consumption of meat, it is easier to get protein from foods, as opposed to powder, than it is to get the recommended amount of creatine per day.

When comparing protein powder vs. creatine, there is research that taking protein and creatine together can best affect muscle strength. The benefits of creatine monohydrate powder are that it can help you generate more force, power, and energy in your workouts, directly causing higher strength gains.

Taking top creatine helps with muscle mass, strength, exercise, and short-duration muscular workloads. This results in better performance compared to protein, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect protein altogether. Both are critical.

What Are The Other Supplement Types Besides Creatine?

Aside from creatine, there are many supplements that athletes may consider taking on a daily basis. The best supplements include; multivitamins, fish oil, magnesium, and probiotic supplements. Multivitamin supplements help fill in nutritional gaps, such as vitamins A, C, D, E, and K. Magnesium helps your heart health and lowers high blood pressure.  Lastly, probiotics help with gut health to aid in effective digestion.

Athletic Insight

Athletic Insight Research

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

The Athletic Insight Research team consists of a dedicated team of researchers, Doctors, Registered Dieticians, nationally certified nutritionists and personal trainers. Our team members hold prestigious accolades within their discipline(s) of expertise, as well as nationally recognized certifications. These include; National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT), National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC), International Sports Sciences Association Nutritionist Certification.