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Top 5 Best Creatine Brands That Work for Muscle Growth

If you are an athlete that wishes to improve your performance on the field or improve your gains in the gym, then you’re going to want to know about the magic of creatine. This is a tripeptide, which is a combination of three amino acids:

  • Methionine
  • Glycine
  • Arginine

This substance is naturally created by your body and can also be found in sources such as red meat and seafood. It is also one of the most popular dietary supplements on the market today. There has been lots of research that has gone into creating this supplement and there are lots of people who use it.

Most of the creatine in your system is stored in your muscles. Approximately 1 to 2% processes through your kidneys as creatinine in your urine. In order to maintain normal creatinine levels in your body, you need 1 to 3 grams (depending on muscle mass) daily.

About 50% of your daily creatine requirement is synthesized in your body and the remaining 50% is obtained through your diet. According to statistics, vegetarians and vegans have less creatine in their bodies since the primary dietary source is meat. Even if non-vegetarian supplementation is used, creatinine levels can only be increased by 20 to 40%. Therefore, the best way to increase creatine in your system is through creatine supplementation.

When a creatine supplement is used (such as the ones we will discuss here), the concentration of creatine in your system is increased. This means that you will see improved performance in HIIT workouts. According to the experts, both short- and long-term creatine supplementation is well-tolerated and 100% safe for healthy individuals. Of course, if you have a health condition, it’s important to have a discussion with your medical provider before starting this or any other dietary supplement.

How Does Creatine Work?

Creatine works like an amino acid by targeting the processes related to muscle contraction. Adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, is what fuels muscle contraction. Typically, your body has just enough to last for approximately 10 seconds.

When you start taking a creatine phosphate supplement, you are providing your body with additional phosphate molecules. This triggers an increase in the production of ATP, which improves your performance and allows your workout to be intensified. When your ATP and ADP levels are increased, you can work out at a much higher capacity.

Research indicates that creatine can augment energy efficiency, improve training intensity, and reduce recovery times. Basically, when you use creatine supplementation, you improve your overall workout performance.

6 Types of Creatine

In the world of dietary supplements, a lot of time and effort has been put into researching creatine. As mentioned, it is a substance that is naturally produced by your body and can be found in sources such as red meat and seafood. Additionally, it plays several critical roles in your body– including energy production.

One of the ways that you can increase creatine levels in your body is through creatine supplementation. Experts say that, in addition to improving your workout performance, creatine can also help fight off certain diseases.

When you start looking for a creatine supplement, you will find that there are a wide variety of products on the market. If you don’t know much about creatine, it can be hard to find the best one. That is why we took the time to select what we feel are the top 5 best creatine for men. However, before we get into that, we’ll take a look at the 6 most common types of creatine. This should help clear some things up for you.

Creatine Monohydrate

When it comes to creatine supplements, creatine monohydrate is the most common. This is the type of creatine that is most often used in research studies. Experts say that this form of creatine offers the most benefits.

This form of creatine is made by combining one water molecule and one creatine molecule. However, there are a few ways that it can be processed. Sometimes, the water molecule will be removed, which will create creatine anhydrous. When the water is removed, the creatine concentration is increased. Therefore, creatine monohydrate is around 90% creatine and creatine anhydrous is 100% creatine.

On the other hand, creatine will sometimes be processed to improve water solubility, which increases your body’s ability to absorb and use it. However, though there may be some differences in processing, they are equally effective in comparable doses. Creatine monohydrate will not only improve strength, but it will also increase the water content in your muscles- which can increase muscle growth.

According to research, creatine is safe to use. Some users have reported minor side effects, including cramping and/or upset stomach- which can be relieved by using smaller doses throughout the day instead of one big one. That being said, at this time, there have been no serious side effects reported.

In addition to being safe and effective, creatine monohydrate is affordable. This is the gold standard when it comes to creatine supplements. When new forms of creatine are discovered, they are compared to creatine monohydrate before being released.

Creatine Ethyl Ester

There are some who believe creatine ethyl ester is better than other forms, including creatine monohydrate. Some research does suggest that it’s easier for the body to absorb and, due to the differences in uptake into the muscles, it may outperform creatine monohydrate.

However, one study did directly compare the two and indicated that creatine monohydrate is more effective than creatine ethyl ester at increasing creatine levels in the body. Because of this, experts do not recommend the use of creatine ethyl ester.

Creatine Hydrochloride

Creatine hydrochloride, or creatine HCL, has increased in popularity, both with the supplement companies and those who are using these supplements. This is likely due to indications that it is more water soluble than other types.

Since this form of creatine is more water soluble, you can take smaller doses, which means the minor side effects are reduced. However, at this time, this is just speculation- there has been no confirmation that this is the case.

One study did show that creatine HCL is 38 times more water soluble than the monohydrate form. However, no human trials regarding the effects of creatine HCL have been published at this time.

Since there is so much research proving the effectiveness of creatine monohydrate, researchers cannot claim HCL is superior until there is more experimentation to compare the two.

Buffered Creatine

In an attempt to increase potency and reduce side effects such as cramping and bloating, some of the creatine supplements add alkaline powder to their creatine. This results in what is known as buffered creatine.

In one study, buffered creatine was directly compared with creatine monohydrate and there were no significant differences in effectiveness or side effects. While this does mean that buffered creatine is not much different than creatine monohydrate- it also means that it’s no better. Therefore, creatine monohydrate is still the clear winner.

Liquid Creatine

You will notice that most creatine supplements are powders, with a few exceptions. There are some “ready-to-drink” creatine supplements on the market. These are often referred to as creatine serum. There hasn’t been much research on these, but the information that is available indicates that this form is not as effective as creatine monohydrate powders.

Another problem with this form of creatine is that research shows that, when in liquid form, creatine breaks down quickly. This is why the recommendation is to mix the powder right before you’re ready to consume it.

Creatine Magnesium Chelate

Creatine Magnesium Chelate is a form of creatine in which a creatine molecule has been chelated, or fused, with a magnesium molecule. One of the studies looked at three groups:

  • One was given creatine monohydrate
  • One was given a placebo
  • One was given creatine magnesium chelate

The two groups that were given the creatine both saw improvement over the group given the placebo. However, the improvement between the creatine monohydrate group and the creatine magnesium chelate group was comparable. Therefore, while creatine magnesium chelate is effective, creatine monohydrate still comes out on top.

Top 5 Best Creatine for Men Highlights

Below is a quick look at each of the products on our list. These are the things that you need to know. In the next section, you will see full reviews on each one.

Products Highlights
XWERKS
  • Gluten-free
  • Sugar-free
  • Affordable
  • No additional ingredients
  • Unflavored
  • Cellucor
  • Improved water solubility
  • Improved muscular endurance
  • Caffeine-free
  • Supports increase in strength & performance
  • Promotes development of lean muscle mass
  • CrazyBulk
  • Enhances workout performance
  • Absorbs quickly
  • Increases energy levels
  • Rebuilds and repairs muscles
  • Intensifies strength
  • Onnit
  • Soy free
  • Dairy free
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Improves endurance
  • Shortens recovery
  • Promotes strength/performance
  • Performance Lab
  • Vegan-friendly
  • 100% safe and natural
  • No synthetic additives or flavors
  • Stimulant free
  • Improves endurance
  • Allergen free
  • Top 5 Best Creatine for Men Reviews

    When you start shopping for a creatine supplement, you’ll find that there’s a lot of options. That is why we’ve put together a list of what we feel are the top 5 best creatine supplements for men. We will review each of these below.

    XWERKS Lift

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    XWERKS Lift is a high-quality creatine supplement. This is a pure, micronized creatine monohydrate. After all, since there is already so much research proving the monohydrate form of creatine to be the most effective- they decided to just go with that and not try to bring anything new to the market.

    Each serving of XWERKS Lift provides 5 grams of creatine. Since it is unflavored, you can combine it with your favorite beverage. This supplement costs $49 per package and each package contains 80 doses. This means that even if you consume 2 doses per day, a package will last you over a month.

    Creatine Type Micronized creatine monohydrate
    Creatine Dosage 5 grams
    Highlights
  • Gluten-free
  • Sugar-free
  • Affordable
  • No additional ingredients
  • Unflavored
  • Cost $49
    Guarantee? Yes

    Buy XWERKS Lift Here

    Cellucor COR-Performance Creatine Monohydrate

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    Cellucor is one of the most popular supplement brands on the market. They have an extraordinary history, and their creatine supplement supports this reputation. Each package of Cellucor Creatine Monohydrate costs $24.99. If you join the subscription option on their website, it’s only $17.49 per package with free shipping. You can opt to have it shipped every 2, 4, 6, or 8 weeks. Each package contains 72 servings.

    Cellucor has micronized their creatine monohydrate, which improves absorption and effectiveness. This means that they are comparable to the other high quality formulas on the market.

    Creatine Type Micronized creatine monohydrate
    Creatine Dosage 5 grams
    Highlights
  • Improved water solubility
  • Improved muscular endurance
  • Caffeine-free
  • Supports increase in strength & performance
  • Promotes development of lean muscle mass
  • Cost $24.99, or $17.49 with subscription
    Guarantee? Yes

    Buy Cellucor COR-Performance Here

    CRN-5 by CrazyBulk

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    CrazyBulk is a nutritional supplement company that is well-known for providing a variety of products to help with weight loss, weight gain, and muscle mass development. Their creatine supplement contains 10.2 grams of creatine per dose. Each package is $29.99 and contains 30 servings. You can join their subscription program and pay $23.99 per package. You set up the frequency based on how many times a week you exercise.

    According to the website, CRN-5 will improve muscle strength and performance during HIIT workouts. You will find that all of the creatine supplements on the market include creatine monohydrate in their formulation- but CRN-5 actually contains 5 types of creatine, which offers increased efficiency during your workouts. These 5 types of creatine are as follows:

    • Tri-creatine malate
    • Creatine monohydrate
    • Creatine ethyl ester
    • Creatine HCL
    • Creatine citrate pyruvate

    CRN-5 by CrazyBulk also contains potassium, sodium, and magnesium. These are electrolytes that improve hydration and replenishment after your workout.

    Creatine Type 5 types of creatine:
  • Creatine monohydrate
  • Creatine citrate pyruvate
  • Creatine ethyl ester
  • Tri-creatine malate
  • Creatine hydrochloride
  • Creatine Dosage 10.2 grams
    Highlights
  • Enhances workout performance
  • Absorbs quickly
  • Increases energy levels
  • Rebuilds and repairs muscles
  • Intensifies strength
  • Cost $29.99, or $23.99 with subscription
    Guarantee? Yes

    Buy CRN-5 by CrazyBulk Here

    Onnit Creatine Monohydrate

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    Onnit is one of the best brands in the industry, which is why we have included their creatine on our list. According to their website, their creatine formula is made with creatine monohydrate and promises to increase strength, build muscle, and improve workout performance.

    Onnit Creatine Monohydrate costs $15 and contains 30 doses per container. Each serving contains 5 grams of creatine.

    ATP production is facilitated by creatine. Therefore, the functioning of this supplement is much like the other high-ranking supplements on our list.

    Creatine Type Creatine monohydrate
    Creatine Dosage 5 grams
    Highlights
  • Soy free
  • Dairy free
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Improves endurance
  • Shortens recovery
  • Promotes strength/performance
  • Cost $15
    Guarantee? Yes

    Buy Onnit Creatine Monohydrate Here

    Performance Lab Maintain

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    Performance Lab Maintain is a capsule, not a powder like the rest of the creatine supplements on our list. In order to benefit from this one, you’ll need to take 6 to 10 capsules per day. According to the website, a 6-capsule dose contains 3,000 milligrams of creatine. Since it’s more convenient to take, many prefer this over the others.

    In addition to the creatine, Performance Lab Maintain contains 1,600 milligrams of beta-alanine. If you do prefer a capsule over powder, this is one of the most efficient alternatives available. However, it is a bit more expensive than the others. Each package contains 60 capsules, which is up to 10 doses.

    Creatine Type Creatine monohydrate
    Creatine Dosage 3, 000 milligrams
    Highlights
  • Vegan-friendly
  • 100% safe and natural
  • No synthetic additives or flavors
  • Stimulant free
  • Improves endurance
  • Allergen free
  • Cost $44
    Guarantee? Yes

    Buy Performance Lab Maintain Here

    FAQs about Best Creatine for Men

    While it’s true that creatine is a popular supplement within the fitness industry and there has been a lot of research put into it, there are still questions that come up. We will explore a few of those questions below:

    What is creatine and what does it do?

    Creatine is a substance that naturally occurs in your body. It is a tripeptide made of three amino acids: arginine, glycine, and methionine. It can also be found in dietary sources such as red meat and seafood- and it can be taken as a dietary supplement. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, creatine supplementation is a good idea because you’re probably not getting enough through dietary sources.

    Creatine is responsible for providing energy to your muscles. This facilitates muscle gain, weight loss, and so much more.

    Should you take creatine? Why?

    Ultimately, it’s up to you- but many bodybuilders will use it at some point because of the plethora of benefits it offers. However, make sure that you do adequate research before you start using it.

    When should you take creatine?

    The “when” doesn’t really matter. Some experts recommend that a large dose be taken prior to a workout and a smaller dose after. The one before will help with the workout and the one after will facilitate recovery.

    Does creatine affect the kidneys?

    Most studies indicate that creatine does not have detrimental effects on the body- but there are a few that show if you already have kidney issues, it may worsen your condition, which is why you should consult your medical professional before you start using one of these supplements.

    Conclusion

    Anyone that wants to improve their performance in the gym or on the field can benefit from using a creatine supplement. Of course, you don’t have to be an athlete to use it- anyone can. Creatine supplementation can be beneficial in a lot of other ways as well. We hope that this review of the top 5 best creatine for men has helped you decide which one you should be using.

    Things to Consider When Choosing a Creatine Supplement

    Any time you decide you want to use a supplement, you will find that you have a variety of brands and formulas to choose from. Each company claims that theirs is the best, which can make it hard to choose. That being said, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind when choosing a creatine supplement. We’ll explore these considerations below:

    Creatine Type

    As outlined above, there are several forms of creatine on the market. Most of the supplements use creatine monohydrate. There are some that combine several types of creatine, including monohydrate. The way your body reacts and absorbs the creatine will depend on the combination. For example, a product that combines creatine monohydrate with creatine HCL will absorb differently than one that combines 5 types of creatine.

    Value

    Since creatine naturally occurs in your body, it doesn’t make sense for a supplement to be expensive. When you are looking at a creatine supplement, pay attention to the cost versus the servings offered. Keep in mind, a pure creatine supplement is going to cost more than the others. However, it may still be a good value. You just have to make that comparison/determination.

    Company Reputation

    Many of the creatine manufacturers have been in the industry for many years and have an excellent reputation. On the other hand, there are some that are less than reputable. Those that have a great reputation produce supplements that have stood the test of time, and these are usually the ones recommended by medical professionals.

    Transparency

    A reputable supplement has nothing to hide. They will have all ingredients listed on the label, along with the recommended dosages. Unfortunately, many of the less reputable companies often leave off low quality ingredients, which makes it hard to determine dosages.

    Transparency

    The best supplements have nothing to hide. They list all ingredients on the label, as well as the recommended dosages. That being said, the lower quality options will leave the lower quality ingredients off the list, which makes it difficult to determine dosages.

    Honest Advertising

    Some companies will claim that their creatine will offer results overnight. However, the truth is, it takes time to build up in your system and you’re not going to be buff overnight.

    Creatine Dosage

    According to the experts, in order to be effective, a creatine supplement needs to contain at least 3 grams per serving. The best ones contain 5 grams or more. The ones that we have on our list fall within the range of 3 grams to 10 grams per serving.

    Fillers

    The best creatine supplements will only contain creatine- never things like protein, stimulants, or other fillers. That being said, you will find some that do contain electrolytes. This is not a filler ingredient. It helps facilitate absorption of creatine.

    Texture/Mixability/Flavor

    As mentioned, most creatine supplements are powders. This means that you need to combine them with liquid to consume them. This means that mixability is a factor. After all, you really don’t want to have to mix it for a long time to get rid of the clumps.

    Texture is also important. After all, you are not going to enjoy drinking something that has a chalky or grainy texture. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t use it- which means you won’t get all the amazing benefits.

    Finally, flavor matters. Many of the options are unflavored, which means you can mix it with whatever you want without affecting the taste. However, there are a few that offer flavors that mix well with water.

    Absorbability

    The last thing to keep in mind when choosing a creatine supplement is absorbability, which is how well and how quickly your body processes the creatine. The best absorbability is with micronized creatine. This is when the size of the molecules are reduced.

    RELATED:Best Pre-Workout For Men: Top Pre Workout Powder Supplements 2022

    Citations

    Blancquaert, Laura, et al. “Changing to a Vegetarian Diet Reduces the Body Creatine Pool in Omnivorous Women, but Appears Not to Affect Carnitine and Carnosine Homeostasis: A Randomized Trial.” British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 119, no. 7, 23 Mar. 2018, pp. 759–770, 10.1017/s000711451800017x.

    Brosnan, John T., et al. “The Metabolic Burden of Creatine Synthesis.” Amino Acids, vol. 40, no. 5, 1 May 2011, pp. 1325–1331, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21387089/, 10.1007/s00726-011-0853-y.

    “Creatine Ethyl Ester Ingredient Fact Sheet.” Muscle & Strength, 16 Sept. 2009, www.muscleandstrength.com/supplements/ingredients/creatine-ethyl-ester.html.

    “Creatine Monohydrate Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing – WebMD.” Www.webmd.com, www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-20897/creatine-monohydrate-oral/details.

    “Creatinine: What Is It?” National Kidney Foundation, Mar. 2017, www.kidney.org/atoz/content/what-creatinine.

    Dunn, Jacob, and Michael H. Grider. “Physiology, Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).” PubMed, StatPearls Publishing, 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK553175/.

    Gill, Nicholas D., et al. “Creatine Serum Is Not as Effective as Creatine Powder for Improving Cycle Sprint Performance in Competitive Male Team-Sport Athletes.” The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, vol. 18, no. 2, 2004, p. 272, 10.1519/r-13193.1.

    “Glycine: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning.” Webmd.com, 2012, www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1072/glycine.

    “L-Arginine: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning.” Webmd.com, 2019, www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-875/l-arginine.

    March 25, Staff WriterLast Updated, and 2020. “In the Biological Sciences, What Is ADP?” Reference.com, 4 Aug. 2015, www.reference.com/science/biological-sciences-adp-ca77c320dbf7b0c9. Accessed 11 Feb. 2022.

    MedlinePlus. “Amino Acids: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” Medlineplus.gov, 2017, medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002222.htm.

    “Methionine: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning.” Webmd.com, 2019, www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-42/methionine.

    Spillane, Mike, et al. “The Effects of Creatine Ethyl Ester Supplementation Combined with Heavy Resistance Training on Body Composition, Muscle Performance, and Serum and Muscle Creatine Levels.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, vol. 6, no. 1, 2009, p. 6, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2649889/, 10.1186/1550-2783-6-6.

    What Is Buffered Creatine (Kre-Alkalyn)? | Exercise.com. www.exercise.com/learn/what-is-buffered-creatine-kre-alkalyn/.

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