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Creatine from Thorne and Klean Athlete come in as the best creatine supplements. Nutricost is a solid alternative at a lower price. See what else we recommend.

Creatine is one of the most popular sports supplements on the market due to its impressive benefits for energy, performance, and strength.

The best creatine products contain the most effective form of creatine and come from brands that ensure the greatest purity in their manufacturing and testing practices. The products on our list meet those criteria, offering the most impact and value for your money.

A note on price

Prices for creatine supplements generally range from $0.10–$3.13 per serving or $8.21–$56.37 per tub, package, or bottle. This range is represented in the article by the following:

  • $ = under $0.50 per serving
  • $$ = $0.50–$1 per serving
  • $$$ = over $1 per serving
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PriceFlavorsThird-party testedCertified safe for sport
Thorne Creatine
Klean Athlete Klean Creatine
Transparent Labs Creatine HMB$$$• Unflavored
• Blue Raspberry
• Sour Grape
• Tropical Punch
• Fruit Punch
• Watermelon
• Black Cherry
• Orange
• Hawaiian Splash
• Strawberry Lemonade
• Peach Mango
Gnarly Sports Nutrition Creatine$$Unflavoredyesyes
Nutricost Creatine Monohydrate
$$• Unflavored
• Blue Raspberry
• Fruit Punch
Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Capsules
Naked Creatine
Kaged Creatine HCL
• Unflavored
• Fruit Punch
• Lemon Lime
  • Quality: We included products that are made from quality ingredients and contain few or no additives, fillers, or artificial colors or flavors.
  • Transparency: We chose products that adhere to health claims and labeling requirements per Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. All products are manufactured in facilities that adhere to CGMPs established by the FDA.
  • Credibility: We vetted all products to ensure they are produced by medically credible companies that follow ethical, legal, and industry best standards. Additionally, all products have been reviewed by a registered dietitian.
  • Testing: We chose products that are third-party tested for purity and safety. Some products are also certified for sport. Most products we chose are third-party tested (except one that is produced in a third-party certified facility), but not all are certified for sport.
  • Dose: We looked for products that provide doses appropriate for sports performance based on current research.
  • Price: We included products to suit a range of budgets.
  • Reviews: The products below have mostly positive online reviews.

Creatine is a compound produced by your body and found naturally in a variety of foods, including:

  • milk
  • meat
  • seafood

It’s also a widely used supplement for energy. Creatine monohydrate, which consists of a creatine molecule paired with a water molecule, is one of the most common and best researched forms of creatine.

It’s used as a standalone supplement and is sometimes added to other sports supplements, such as pre-workout drinks, alongside other ergogenic aids, including caffeine and amino acids.

Experts generally recommend taking creatine supplements daily, either before or after working out, and using a higher dose for the first 5–7 days, followed by a maintenance dose thereafter.

Some supplements combine creatine with other compounds intended to increase absorption or boost performance, such as:

  • magnesium
  • citric acid
  • malic acid
  • hydrochloride

Potential benefits

Creatine can increase levels of phosphocreatine, a compound your body uses to form adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Your body breaks down ATP for energy.

For this reason, people typically use creatine supplements to enhance performance in high intensity exercise.

A body of research, including a 2018 study, has shown that creatine supplements can help:

  • increase strength
  • promote muscle growth
  • reduce muscle damage

Some research, including a 2022 study, indicates that creatine may also improve brain health and:

  • reduce mental fatigue
  • protect brain function
  • slow signs of aging

Though more research is needed, a 2021 study suggests that creatine may be beneficial for blood sugar regulation.

One of the most commonly reported side effects of creatine is a short-term increase in fluid retention, which may be the result of creatine’s osmotic properties.

Creatine supplementation has also been consistently associated with weight gain, especially during the loading phase. This may be due to increases in muscle mass and water retention rather than an increase in body fat.

Some other anecdotal side effects often reported with creatine supplementation are:

  • digestive issues
  • dehydration
  • muscle cramps
  • kidney or liver problems

However, according to the 2017 position paper on creatine by the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), there is no compelling scientific evidence that the short-term or long-term use of creatine monohydrate (up to 30 g/day for 5 years) has any harmful effects on healthy individuals.

Additionally, the ISSN notes that both short- and long-term supplementation with creatine is considered safe and effective for improving exercise performance and preventing or reducing the severity of injuries.


  • Look for products free of artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors, and fillers whenever possible.
  • Some supplements may contain added carbs or protein, which can help increase the retention of creatine.


Third-party testing

  • If possible, choose supplements that have undergone third-party testing and are certified by an organization such as NSF or Informed Choice to ensure safety and quality.
  • Some companies may also provide a COA upon request, which offers detailed information about the purity and potency of products.
  • If you’re a competitive athlete, you might choose a product that is certified safe for sport from organizations such as NSF and Informed Sport.

Though no particular brand of creatine is proven to be more effective than all others, creatine monohydrate is the most researched form of creatine and is considered the gold standard.

Seven of the eight products on our best of list use creatine monohydrate, and they are all good options.

Kaged Creatine HCL uses another form of creatine, creatine hydrochloride, which has not been as well studied but shows promise for being an effective form that dissolves more easily in water and may be easier to digest for some people.

We chose Thorne as the best creatine brand overall for its high quality supplement products and NSF Certified for Sport designation. But we also really like Klean Athlete.

You can’t go wrong with any of the brands on our list. But the one that’s best for you might depend on your needs.

For example, for women we like Creatine HMB from Transparent Labs because it includes vitamin D, which supports bone health.

For people eating a vegan diet, we like Naked Nutrition’s line of plant-based products, including creatine.

Experts generally recommend taking creatine supplements daily, either before or after working out, and using a higher dose for the first 5–7 days, and then taking a maintenance dose thereafter.

Meanwhile, the FDA has determined that a daily dose of around 3 g of creatine is safe and effective for healthy adults.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health advises people at risk of kidney problems to check with healthcare professionals before using creatine and get carefully monitored while using it.

Creatine supplements are available in various forms, flavors, and doses. When searching for the right product for you, be sure to check the ingredient label and dosage carefully.

Ideally, purchasing products that have undergone third-party testing or have a COA available upon request is best.