Looking for that extra boost to help you get jacked?
Ready to take your workouts to the next level with reps and intensity? Or add a few miles on your cardio day?
Look no further than creatine, the #1 preferred pre-workout ingredient among weight lifters and athletes. It’s potent, affordable, and pretty safe for your body as long as it’s taken as directed.
So what exactly is creatine and how does it affect your body? We’ll dive into all of that in a second. First, the rankings of the top 5 creatine supplements on the market:
Optimum Nutrition Creatine Powder – This powerful creatine supplement is made with 99.9% CreaPure creatine monohydrate, a patented production method used to produce creatine in an odorless and tasteless powder (5g per serving).
It’s unflavored, so it mixes and tastes great with juice, water and any other liquid and doesn’t leave residue settled at the bottom. Created to increase muscle power and strength resulting in improved performance in a high-intensity workout, and yes this stuff really works (take a look at the thousands of positive reviews they have on Amazon). Optimum Nutrition has established themselves as one of the most trusted supplement brands on the market, operating for over 30 years.
One of the more affordable creatine supplements on the market, you get a lot of bang for your buck with this giant tub.
Serving size: 1 teaspoon (5g of pure creatine) 114 servings in the tub.
MuscleTech Platinum 100% Creatine – This is an effective and powerful creatine supplement which uses 100% pure micronized creatine. No unnecessary ingredients or fillers are added and it’s is also flavorless so it can easily be mixed with any liquid. Each serving contains 5g of creatine monohydrate which improves athletic performance and strength and even helps with the recovery process. But don’t get confused, this is definitely a supplement you want to take before your workouts. Try taking it without physical activity and you’ll probably end up pacing around the room. This supplement makes you want to move your body and be active- perfect for a gym session or cardio run.
These guys even conducted a study and found that supplement users gained 6 pounds of muscle in 6 weeks and even increased their bench press by 18% in just 10 days.
Serving size: 1 teaspoon (5g of 100% creatine) Total of 80 servings in the tub.
Bulk Supplements Pure Micronized Creatine Monohydrate – This product is packed with 99.99% pure micronized creatine monohydrate to increase overall muscle strength and mass and help boost your energy during a workout. This particular supplement is free of soy, sugar, yeast, dairy, additives, GMOs, and gluten, and it is also certified Vegan friendly. The powder is odorless and flavorless so you can mix it with your favorite beverages.
These guys recommend that you drink lots of water when taking the supplement. Creatine is known for storing away more water than your body usually does. Drinking extra water while taking creatine supplements will help you stay on top of your hydration and allow your supplement to work in full effect.
Oh, and over eight thousand positive reviews on Amazon. Say what?
Serving size: 1/2 teaspoon (2.5g of creatine) Total of 400 servings per container.
All American EFX Kre-Alkalyn EFX – Tired of pre-workout shakes and drinks in liquid form? You’ll love this creatine-in-a-capsule supplement. That’s right, no scoops, no powder, no mess.
What’s unique about these capsules is the ‘PH Correct’ technology. The creatine in these capsules has been buffered to have an alkaline PH of 12, which pretty much supercharges the creatine. Studies were conducted and participants that used buffered creatine showed a 28% overall average strength increase after 60 days, as opposed to the participants that used unbuffered creatine supplements. Pretty powerful, right?
Serving size: 2 capsules, 240 total capsules per bottle.
MET-Rx Creatine 4200 – Another creatine supplement in a capsule form, but this one is quite a bit different from the previous one. While this supplement contains pure creatine monohydrate, a single serving is 6 capsules, for a total of 4.2g of pure creatine.
This particular creatine supplement is fast releasing which is especially good for short-term, high-intensity exercises. The creatine content should not be confused with CrePure, which is a popular creatine source but not contained in this particular supplement.
Serving size: 6 capsules (4.2g of creatine) Total of 240 capsules per bottle.
What is creatine?
Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that is produced in your liver, pancreas, and kidneys. You can find it naturally in fish and red meat (usually about 2-3 grams per pound). It is primarily used to provide your brain with energy and help muscles that have a high demand for energy. It allows your body to deliver energy to the cells in the areas of your body where they are needed most.
Creatine supplements are simply products that help increase the levels of creatine of your body. These supplements are a quick and easy way to increase your saturated muscles with the help of organic acids.
They are commonly used among weight lifters and bodybuilders for increasing muscle mass and enhancing exercise performance in the gym. Athletes also like to take creatine because it’s one of the few potent supplements that isn’t a banned substance or performance enhancer.
Creatine supplements come in a few different variations but the most popular are powdered supplements that can easily be mixed with juice and water. Most of these supplements are manufactured flavorless, so they can be added conveniently to any liquid without jacking up the taste.
BodyArmor makes great tasting sport drinks with coconut water and low amounts of added sugar. They’ve become quite popular for athletes. They make for great mixers for creatine and other workout supplements like taurine and nitric oxide.
What are the benefits of creatine?
Creatine supplements help improve athletic performance since it helps your body create more energy and use that energy where it is most needed. This results to an impeccable increase in athletic performance and an increase in your lifting capabilities.
Creatine supplements may increase your maximum performance and power up to 15% in high-intensity workouts. It also helps slow down the natural depletion of phosphocreatine (1) in your body and gives extra energy to your cells which results in improved endurance and helps you train and exercise longer before fatigue kicks in.
Increase in strength and muscle size is a byproduct of an increase in endurance and power. Creatine supplements do not necessarily make your muscles grow, but rather they provide you with more energy and strength to push out your exercise longer, which in turn increases your overall power, strength and muscle size. It also shortens recover time post-workout as it replenishes the natural energy levels of the body for you to be ready for your next workout.
Creatine supplements offer a wide range of benefits and have been useful to a variety of people. People who are exercising regularly will have an increase in strength and endurance and an improvement in their muscle growth.
Vegetarians would also benefit from taking these products as creatine can be found naturally in meats. Because of the components of their diets, vegetarians have lower level of creatine in their body and taking these supplements will greatly increase their creatine levels.
What are the possible side effects of creatine supplements?
Creatine offers a lot of benefits but it can also cause some negative side effects. Side effects of creatine supplements are generally mild and most users don’t even experience any of the side effects at all.
Minor gastrointestinal distresses such as cramping or minor stomach ache are experienced by some people after initially taking the supplement. To make sure that gastrointestinal issues are avoided, do not take these products on an empty stomach and follow the correct dosage instruction found on the packaging of the product.
Other side effects include dehydration and temporary weight gain. Creatine causes muscles to hold more water which could result to gaining of “water weight” and dehydration after supplementation.
Creatine supplements are generally safe for most healthy people but should not be taken by those individuals that have kidney disease.
How to take Creatine
These types of supplements should be taken every day, whether you are working out or not. To maximize the benefits it can give you, you should complete the “loading phase”, a period where your muscles are saturated with creatine to speed up the positive effects.
For the first 5-7 days, you should have about 15g of creatine in a day which can be split into 4 or 5 doses. Once loading phase has been completed, you can have 5g of dose per day for your maintenance.
Please take note though that each creatine supplements have their own different ingredients and recommended dosage so always make it a habit to follow the recommendations on the package.