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Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
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Thorne and Klean Athlete offer the best creatine for muscle growth and more. Nutricost is a solid bet at a lower price. See what other brands Healthline dietitians 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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Product and
FlavorsCertified safe for sport
Thorne Creatine3rd
Klean Athlete Klean Creatine3rd
Transparent Labs Creatine HMB3rd
• Unflavored
• 10+ flavors
Nutricost Creatine Monohydrate3rd
• Unflavored
• Blue Raspberry
• Fruit Punch
Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Capsules
Naked Creatine3rd
Kaged Creatine HCI3rd

• Unflavored
• Fruit Punch
• Lemon Lime

3rd = Third-party tested

Why you should trust us

Our experts have carefully researched and vetted evaluated 20+ creatine supplements from 17+ different brands to make sure everything we feature meets our standards. We fact-check health claims, evaluate ingredients, and look into each brand’s reputation before sharing products on Healthline.

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  • 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.

People looking to increase muscle strength and enhance athletic performance may find taking a creatine supplement beneficial. And its benefits may extend beyond fitness.

Creatine occurs naturally in a variety of foods, including milk, meat, and seafood. It 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 for high intensity exercise.

Research also has found that creatine supplements can help:

  • increase strength
  • promote muscle growth
  • reduce muscle damage

And there’s potentially more. Creatine may support blood sugar regulation, and some research indicates that it can help reduce the impact of concussion and traumatic brain injury.

Creatine is 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 stand-alone 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 that individuals take 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:

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.

How to take creatine

  • Experts generally recommend starting with a loading phase of 20–25 g per day for 5–7 days to increase muscle stores of creatine and then using a maintenance dose of 3–5 g per day thereafter.
  • The best time to take creatine is still up for debate. Creatine may offer the most benefit before or after a workout, but the timing is not important on rest days.

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.

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

Most of the products on our list use creatine monohydrate, and they’re all sound options.

Kaged Creatine HCI uses another form of creatine, creatine hydrochloride, which hasn’t been as well studied. However, it shows promise for being an effective form that dissolves more easily in water and may be easier for some people to digest.

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

That being said, 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, we chose Creatine HMB from Transparent Labs as the best creatine for women 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.

The right creatine for you will depend on a few factors. The best creatine supplement should be third-party tested to ensure quality and safety. Consider the form — creatine powder or capsules — and whether you prefer flavored or unflavored options.

You may also want to evaluate the price and check for minimal additives, making sure the product is free from artificial flavors, sweeteners, and fillers.

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 wise.