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Creatine is a compound produced by the body and found naturally in a variety of foods.

Creatine supplements are often used to enhance athletic performance, increase strength, and reduce muscle damage (1, 2, 3).

Creatine monohydrate, which consists of a creatine molecule paired with a water molecule, is the most common and best-researched type of creatine supplement (1).

Other types are also available. They combine creatine with other compounds intended to increase absorption or boost performance, such as magnesium, citric acid, malic acid, or hydrochloride.

However, not all creatine supplements are created equal, and with so many options available, finding a high quality supplement can be challenging.

The products included in this article were selected based on the following criteria:

  • quality of ingredients
  • lack of additives, fillers, and artificial colors or flavors
  • the use of third-party testing for banned substances and contaminants
  • adherence to good manufacturing practices

Here are 10 of the best creatine supplements for 2021.

Best overall

Thorne Creatine

Price: $

Thorne Research is a company focused on producing high quality, sustainably sourced supplements.

This unflavored product contains 5 grams of creatine per serving and is free of gluten, soy, dairy, yeast, and other major allergens.

It’s also NSF Certified for Sport, meaning that it has undergone third-party testing to ensure that it’s free of harmful contaminants and specific substances that are banned for athletes.

Best overall — runner-up

Klean Athlete Klean Creatine

Price: $

With 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per serving, this product from Klean Athlete is ideal for those seeking a simple yet high quality creatine supplement.

Like most other Klean Athlete products, Klean Creatine is NSF Certified for Sport to ensure that it meets strict quality standards.

It’s also unflavored and can be easily mixed into smoothies, shakes, and juices.

Best unflavored

BulkSupplements Creatine Monohydrate

Price: $

This high quality supplement is a convenient and cost-effective way to help ramp up your intake of creatine.

It contains 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per serving and is formulated without any additives or extra ingredients, such as gluten, sugar, soy, dairy, or yeast.

Plus, BulkSupplements can also provide a Certificate of Analysis (CoA) upon request, which is a detailed document that provides information on the quality, strength, and specifications of a product.

Best flavored

MuscleTech Cell Tech Creatine Powder

Price: $$

Available in flavors like orange, grape, and fruit punch, this creatine powder from Muscle Tech can be a delicious addition to your workout routine.

It not only includes 5 grams of creatine per scoop but also delivers 1 gram of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are a type of amino acid often used by athletes to boost performance and reduce fatigue (4).

It also contains around 36 grams of carbs per serving, which is thought to help maximize creatine retention (5).

Best vegan

Naked Creatine

Price: $

This product is not only free of artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners but also made without any genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and contains just one ingredient.

It’s likewise certified vegan and certified gluten-free, making it a great option for those with food allergies or dietary restrictions.

Additionally, Naked Creatine by Naked Nutrition contains 5 grams of creatine monohydrate and can be easily dissolved in your favorite pre- or post-workout beverage.

Best for bulking

CytoSport Cyto Gainer

Price: $$$

With 550 calories, 54 grams of protein, and 3.2 grams of creatine per serving, this multipurpose protein powder is perfect for bulking.

It comes in a vanilla crème flavor, which adds a pleasant taste to high calorie shakes and smoothies.

It’s also NSF Certified for Sport, making it a good choice for athletes seeking a safe supplement free of banned substances.

Best for muscle growth

NOW Sports Creatine Monohydrate

Price: $

Featuring 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per serving, this supplement is specifically designed to promote energy production and muscle growth.

In addition to being certified kosher and vegan-friendly, it’s certified by Informed-Choice, a third-party organization that tests sports supplements for banned substances.

Plus, it’s produced in a facility that has been certified for following good manufacturing practices (GMPs), which ensure that supplements are produced according to strict quality standards set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Best capsules

Life Extension Creatine Capsules

Price: $

If you prefer the convenience and ease of pills over powders, these creatine capsules from Life Extension may be a good choice.

Each serving contains approximately 1 gram of creatine, and capsules are certified non-GMO and gluten-free.

Life Extension also provides a CoA for all products to help ensure quality and promote product transparency.

Best for athletes

PurAthlete Power+

Price: $$

This Power+ product from PurAthlete is made for athletes looking to increase endurance, strength, and stamina.

It features 3.3 grams of Creatine MagnaPower, a type of creatine that’s combined with magnesium to enhance absorption and energy production.

It’s also NSF Certified for Sport and produced in a GMP-certified facility, meaning that you can feel confident that you’re getting a safe, high quality supplement.

Best pre-workout

Proven4 Sport Pre-Game Formula

Price: $$$

Whether you’re a casual gym-goer or competitive athlete, this pre-workout supplement from Proven4 Sport can help boost your exercise routine.

Each serving contains 2 grams of creatine monohydrate, along with a blend of other ingredients like B vitamins, caffeine, and amino acids.

What’s more, this product is NSF Certified for Sport and available in a variety of flavors, including blue raspberry, cherry limeade, fruit punch, and watermelon.

When selecting a creatine supplement, be sure to check the ingredient label carefully and look for products free of artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors, and fillers whenever possible.

However, note that some supplements may contain added carbs or protein, which can help increase the retention of creatine (5).

You should also pay close attention to the dosage of creatine supplements.

It’s generally recommended to start with a loading phase of 20–25 grams per day for 5–7 days to increase muscle stores of creatine, followed by a maintenance dosage of 3–5 grams daily thereafter (6).

If possible, you should also choose supplements that have undergone third-party testing and are certified by organizations like 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.

Creatine supplements are available in a variety of forms, flavors, and dosages.

When picking the right product for you, be sure to check the ingredient label and dosage carefully.

Ideally, you should also purchase products that have undergone third-party testing or provide a CoA available upon request.