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

It’s also widely available, with one review estimating that creatine supplements pull in around $400 million in sales annually around the globe (1).

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

Here are 10 of the best creatine supplements.

Creatine is a compound produced by your body and found naturally in a variety of foods, including milk, meat, and seafood (1).

It’s also a widely used supplement. 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, 2).

Some supplements combine creatine with other compounds intended to increase absorption or boost performance, such as magnesium, citric acid, malic acid, or 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 (3).

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

Creatine supplements have been shown to increase strength, promote muscle growth, and reduce muscle damage (1, 4, 5).

Some research has found that creatine could also help reduce mental fatigue, protect brain function, and slow signs of aging (3, 6).

Though more studies are needed, some research in humans and animals also suggests that creatine may be beneficial for blood sugar regulation (7).

Uses

Creatine is a widely available supplement that is typically found in capsule or powder form.

It is also sometimes added to 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 (8).

We selected the best creatine supplements using the following criteria:

  • Quality: We included products that are made from quality ingredients and contain few or no additives, fillers, or artificial colors or flavors.
  • 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.

Why you should trust us

Every brand and product on our list has been vetted to ensure that it aligns with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. Each product in this article:

  • adheres to allowable health claims and labeling requirements, per Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations
  • is manufactured in facilities that adhere to current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) established by the FDA
  • is produced by a medically credible company that follows ethical, legal, and industry best standards
  • is made by a company that provides objective measures of trust, such as having its supplements validated by third-party labs

A note on price

General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher price range.

Generally, prices range from $0.10–$3.13 per serving, or $8.21–$56.37 per tub, package, or bottle, though this may vary depending on where you shop.

Note that serving sizes vary by product.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $0.50 per serving
  • $$ = $0.50–$1 per serving
  • $$$ = over $1 per serving

Best overall

Thorne Creatine

  • Price: $
  • Available flavors: unflavored
  • Active ingredients: creatine monohydrate
  • Creatine per 1-scoop (5-gram) serving: (9): 5 grams

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

Thorne creatine earns our pick as the best overall thanks to its affordable price, use of high-quality creatine monohydrate, and NSF Certified for Sport designation, which means it has undergone third-party testing to ensure that it’s free of harmful contaminants and specific substances that are banned for athletes.

It’s also free of gluten, soy, dairy, yeast, and other major allergens.

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • free of gluten and major allergens
  • affordable

Cons

  • no flavored varieties available

Best overall — runner-up

Klean Athlete Klean Creatine

  • Price: $
  • Available flavors: unflavored
  • Active ingredients: creatine monohydrate
  • Creatine per 1-scoop (5-gram) serving (10): 5 grams

With 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per serving, our runner-up for the best overall creatine supplement 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 unflavored and can be easily mixed into smoothies, shakes, and juices.

Pros

  • budget-friendly
  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • third-party tested

Cons

  • no flavored varieties available
  • has a gritty texture after mixing, according to some reviewers

Best for post-workout

Nutricost Creatine Monohydrate Powder

  • Price: $$
  • Available flavors: unflavored, Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch
  • Active ingredients: creatine monohydrate (micronized)
  • Creatine per 1-scoop (7-gram) serving (11): 5 grams

Formulated specifically as a pre- and post-workout supplement, this product from Nutricost contains 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per serving and is free of artificial additives, fillers, or preservatives.

Not only is it made without any GMOs, but it’s also gluten-free and manufactured in a CGMP-certified facility, meaning that the facility adheres to strict safety and quality standards set by the FDA.

It has also gone through third-party testing at an ISO-accredited lab.

In addition to the unflavored version, it’s available in Fruit Punch and Blue Raspberry flavors, which you can mix into your favorite beverage after your workout.

Pros

  • available in multiple flavors
  • third-party tested
  • produced in a third-party certified facility

Cons

  • not certified safe for sport
  • more expensive than some other products

Best for muscle growth

Bare Performance Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate

  • Price: $$
  • Available flavors: unflavored
  • Active ingredients: Creapure creatine monohydrate
  • Creatine per 1-scoop (5-gram) serving (12): 5 grams

If increasing muscle mass is your goal, this creatine supplement from Bare Performance Nutrition is a great option.

It contains 5 grams of creatine per serving and is made from Creapure, a highly purified form of creatine monohydrate.

Bare Performance Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate is free of fillers, and all the ingredients undergo third-party testing to ensure safety, purity, and potency.

What’s more, this creatine supplement is certified by Informed Sport, meaning that it’s free of any banned substances for athletes.

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • certified by Informed Sport
  • contains Creapure, a highly purified form of creatine monohydrate

Cons

  • no flavored varieties available
  • somewhat expensive

Best flavored

Genius Creatine Power Matrix

  • Price: $$$
  • Available flavors: unflavored, Green Apple
  • Active ingredients: Creapure creatine monohydrate, CarnoSyn beta-alanine, AstraGin
  • Creatine per 1-scoop (5-gram) serving (13): 5 grams

Naturally sweetened with stevia and monk fruit extract and available unflavored or in a Green Apple flavor, Genius Creatine Power Matrix is a high quality product that scores the top spot as the best flavored creatine supplement on the market.

It contains 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per serving, along with beta-alanine, an amino acid that has been shown to improve exercise performance and increase levels of carnosine in the muscle (14).

What’s more, all products from The Genius Brand are free of fillers, artificial ingredients, and banned substances for athletes.

Pros

  • formulated to enhance performance
  • third-party tested
  • available in unflavored and flavored varieties
  • contains Creapure, a highly purified form of creatine monohydrate

Cons

  • pricey
  • contains fewer servings than other products
  • not certified safe for sport

Best unflavored

BulkSupplements Creatine Monohydrate

  • Price: $$
  • Available flavors: unflavored
  • Active ingredients: creatine monohydrate
  • Creatine per 2-teaspoon (5-gram) serving (15): 5 grams

This high quality, unflavored 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 provide a certificate of analysis (COA) upon request. A COA is a detailed document that provides information on the quality, strength, and specifications of a product.

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • COA available upon request
  • free of additives

Cons

  • not certified safe for sport
  • no flavored varieties available
  • smaller package than other products
  • no scoop included

Best vegan

Naked Creatine

  • Price: $
  • Available flavors: unflavored
  • Active ingredients: creatine monohydrate
  • Creatine per 1-scoop (5-gram) serving (16): 5 grams

This product is free of artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners; is GMO-free; and contains just one ingredient. It’s also independently third-party tested for any heavy metals.

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

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

Pros

  • affordable
  • third-party tested
  • certified vegan and gluten-free

Cons

  • no flavored varieties available
  • some reports of issues with the quality of the scoop and packaging

Best capsules

Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Capsules

  • Price: $$
  • Available flavors: unflavored
  • Active ingredients: creatine monohydrate
  • Creatine per 2-capsule serving (17): 2.5 grams

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

All Optimum Nutrition supplements are tested in-house for banned substances and manufactured in CGMP-certified facilities.

Each 2-capsule serving contains approximately 2.5 grams of pure creatine, and the capsules contain no calories or carbohydrates.

Optimum Nutrition creatine capsules are sold in three bottle sizes: 100-, 200- and 300-count.

Pros

  • available in convenient capsule form
  • multiple bottle sizes to choose from
  • produced in a third-party certified facility

Cons

  • not suitable for vegans or vegetarians
  • contains less creatine per serving than other supplements
  • not tested by an independent lab

Best for athletes

Gnarly Sports Nutrition Creatine

  • Price: $$
  • Available flavors: unflavored
  • Active ingredients: Creapure creatine monohydrate
  • Creatine per 1-scoop (5-gram) serving (18): 5 grams

This high quality creatine product from Gnarly Nutrition is made for athletes looking to increase endurance, strength, and stamina.

It features 5 grams of Creapure per serving and can be mixed into water, juice, or your favorite beverage.

It has been tested for heavy metals, microbes, pesticides, and banned substances.

Plus, it’s vegan, kosher, halal, and NSF Certified for Sport, so it’s an excellent option for competitive athletes.

Pros

  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • third-party tested
  • contains Creapure, a highly purified form of creatine monohydrate
  • vegan-friendly

Cons

  • no flavored varieties available

Best pre-workout

Proven4 Sport Pre-Game Formula

  • Price: $$$
  • Available flavors: Blue Raspberry, Cherry Limeade, Fruit Punch, Watermelon
  • Active ingredients: CarnoSyn beta-alanine, creatine monohydrate, arginine alpha keto glutarate, taurine, L-tyrosine, caffeine anhydrous, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, calcium
  • Creatine per 1-scoop (10-gram) serving (19): 2 grams

Whether you’re a casual gym-goer or a 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 four flavors: Blue Raspberry, Cherry Limeade, Fruit Punch, and Watermelon.

Pros

  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • multiple flavors available
  • formulated with a blend of ingredients to boost your workout routine

Cons

  • contains less creatine than other supplements
  • expensive
  • contains caffeine, which some people may prefer to avoid

Here’s a quick look at how our top picks compare:

Price rangeFlavorsThird-party testedCertified safe for sport
Thorne Creatine$unflavoredyesyes, NSF Certified for Sport
Klean Athlete Klean Creatine$unflavoredyesyes, NSF Certified for Sport
Nutricost Creatine Monohydrate Powder$$• unflavored
• Blue Raspberry
• Fruit Punch
yesno
Bare Performance Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate$$unflavoredyesyes, Informed Sport
Genius Creatine Power Matrix$$$• unflavored
• Green Apple
yesno
BulkSupplements Creatine Monohydrate$$unflavoredyesno
Naked Creatine$unflavoredyesno
Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Capsules$$unflavorednono
Gnarly Sports Nutrition Creatine$$unflavoredyesyes, NSF Certified for Sport
Proven4 Sport Pre-Game Formula$$$• Blue Raspberry
• Cherry Limeade
• Fruit Punch
• Watermelon
yesyes, NSF Certified for Sport

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 (3).

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

Experts generally recommend starting with a loading phase of 20–25 grams per day for 5–7 days to increase muscle stores of creatine and then using a maintenance dose of 3–5 grams per day thereafter (8).

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

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 (3, 20).

Creatine supplementation has also been consistently associated with weight gain, especially during the loading phase. However, this may due to increases in muscle mass and water retention rather than an increase in body fat (20, 21, 22).

Some other anecdotal side effects often reported with creatine supplementation are (3, 20):

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

However, according to the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), there is no evidence that creatine causes any of these side effects (3).

Additionally, the ISSN notes that both short- and long-term supplementation with creatine are considered safe and effective for improving exercise performance and preventing or reducing the severity of injuries (3).

Is it OK to take creatine every day?

Research shows that creatine is safe and effective for healthy adults, even if you take it every day.

According to one review, creatine has not been associated with significant negative side effects, even when taken in high doses of up to 30 grams per day for 5 years (3).

What happens if you stop taking creatine?

Once you stop taking creatine, your body’s levels of stored creatine may decline, which could lead to changes in energy levels, strength, and body composition.

Should beginners take creatine?

Creatine is safe and effective, even for beginners. Experts generally recommend starting with a loading phase of 20–25 grams per day for 5–7 days and then using a maintenance dose of 3–5 grams per day thereafter (8).

Useful supplement shopping guides

Check out these two articles to help make supplement shopping a breeze:

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

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

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