Smash your way through the toughest workouts – here’s all you need to know about creatine and choosing your ideal supplement
Creatine is one of the most popular sports nutrition products available, and with good reason – extensive research has proven it to be effective and safe and yet it doesn’t cost the earth. Aside from perhaps protein powder, there’s really no better supplement to stock up on than creatine if you’re looking to improve the results of your exercise regime.
As a result of its popularity, there’s a huge range of different creatine supplements available to buy, which can be confusing for even experienced gym-goers. Below you will find our picks of the very best creatine products available, along with a buyer’s guide that pinpoints all the questions you need to ask before picking the best creatine for you.
Best creatine: At a glance
- Best micronised creatine powder: Optimum Nutrition Micronised | £40
- Best value option: Bulk Powders Creatine Monohydrate | £50
- Best creatine tablets: MyProtein Unflavoured Creatine Tablets | £14
- Best mass-gainer: Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass | £35
- Best vegan option: Bulk Powders Vegan All-in-one | £55
How to choose the best creatine for you
What are the benefits of taking creatine supplements?
Creatine is a natural substance that can help provide you with energy during workouts and is particularly useful for those engaging in some kind of high-intensity exercise. That can be lifting weights, sprinting or anything else where your muscles are pushed to the max and need some extra juice to help you smash your workout.
The human body produces some creatine naturally and it’s also present in some foods such as red meat, but only in small amounts, making supplements a good option for those who train regularly.
What forms does creatine come in?
Most creatine supplements come as unflavoured powder, which you mix with water in a similar way to making a protein shake. Creatine powder isn’t very water-soluble, so when you try diluting it on its own it can sink to the bottom of the glass or create a gritty texture. So, you may find creatine pills and bars a little easier to ingest. Or you could mix your creatine powder into fruit juice or a flavoured protein shake to improve the taste and make it easier to drink.
You can also get powders that contain both creatine and whey protein, or other key post-workout supplements such as BCAAs. These give your body all it needs to recover and rebuild after training.
What type of creatine powder is the best?
Creatine monohydrate is not only the cheapest and most common form of creatine, but it’s also the best choice. It’s been researched well, and no other formulation has been shown to be more beneficial in terms of improving performance.
Many creatine monohydrate products are described as “micronised”, which means it’s been ground into very fine particles so will mix better with water. “Creapure” creatine is often described as the purest form of creatine and costs a bit more, but other micronised creatine monohydrate supplements offer similar levels of purity.
How much does creatine cost?
Creatine monohydrate is cheap, and you can buy 1kg for less than £10. Purer or micronised products rise to between £15 and £30 per kilo. Creapure and blended products may cost even more – but, as mentioned, there’s no evidence that they’re any more beneficial.
When assessing costs, take into account how many servings you will get, rather than just going by the cost per tub. The recommended dose is 3-5g (up to one teaspoon) of creatine after training, so 1kg will last many months.
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The best creatine you can buy in 2023
1. Optimum Nutrition Micronised Creatine Powder: Best micronised creatine powder to drink easily
Price: £40 (634g) | Buy now from Amazon Optimum Nutrition’s unflavoured creatine monohydrate powder has been micronised, so it dissolves faster in water and spares you from the gritty texture that can make taking creatine a slightly unpleasant experience. It’s justifiably popular stuff, and currently out of stock at quite a few places, but Holland & Barret has the 634g size, which is enough for 186 daily servings – just over six months’ worth.
Key specs – Creatine type: Micronised creatine monohydrate; Purity: 100%; Serving size: 3.4g
2. Bulk Powders Creatine Monohydrate: Best-value creatine powder
Price: £50 (1kg) | Buy now from Bulk Powders All of the products available from Bulk Powders do a stand-out job of delivering terrific value, and that’s very much the case with its basic creatine monohydrate. It comes in 100g, 500g and 1kg pouches and in three different flavours: apple and lime, mixed berry and unflavoured. If you’re looking for some standard creatine monohydrate to boost your training, and there isn’t much reason to look for anything fancier when it comes to creatine, this is an excellent pick. Bulk Powders also offers a Creapure creatine monohydrate powder, which is considerably more expensive though still good value compared to other Creapure products.
Key specs – Creatine type: Creatine monohydrate; Purity: 99.9%; Serving size: 5g
3. MyProtein Creatine Monohydrate Unflavoured Creatine Tablets: Best creatine tablets
Price: £14 (250 tablets) | Buy now from Health Pharm Creatine tablets are just as effective an option as powders and they’re also far more convenient to carry with you to the gym than a big tub. Each of these MyProtein tablets contains 1g of creatine so it’s easy to get the exact dose you want. Fair warning: the tablets themselves are fairly chunky, but you can break them up to make them easier to swallow, and they’re unflavoured so you can wash them down with juice or protein powder without fear of clashing tastes.
Key specs – Creatine type: Micronised creatine monohydrate; Purity: Not specified; Serving size: 3g (1g per tablet)
4. Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass: Best mass gainer with creatine
Price: £35 (2.73kg) | Buy now from Optimum Nutrition If you’re looking to add muscle mass through your workouts, then creatine can help you with energy during your regular trips to the gym. However, it’s far from everything you need, and to avoid having to take several different shakes at the same time, it’s a good idea to get your creatine as part of an all-in-one powder such as Optimum Nutrition’s Serious Mass.
Each serving of the shake contains 3g of creatine, along with a massive 1,250 calories, 50g of protein and 252g of carbohydrates. There are also a load of vitamins and minerals thrown in for good measure. It’s safe to say this shake provides everything you need to refuel after hard workouts, which is vital when you’re looking to build muscle fast.
Key specs – Creatine type: Creatine monohydrate; Purity: Not specified; Serving size: 334g
5. USN Creatine Anabolic: Best creatine supplement for endurance athletes
Price: £30 (900g) | Buy now from USN Creatine is mostly used by gym-goers looking to increase their explosive power in relatively short, sharp training sessions, but when combined with a high carbohydrate diet it can provide benefits for endurance athletes as well. This powder contains 3g of creatine plus 34g of carbohydrates in a 45g serving, which makes it ideal for those looking to load their body with the energy required before a long training session.
It’s not just endurance athletes who will benefit from the powder, though. It also provides magnesium and zinc to help delay fatigue. USN’s Creatine Anabolic powder comes in two flavours – cherry punch and orange – which will each make your pre-workout shake that little bit more enticing.
Key specs – Creatine type: Creatine monohydrate; Purity: 99.9%; Serving size: 45g
6. Bulk Powders Vegan All-In-One: Best vegan protein powder with creatine
Price: £55 (2.5kg) | Buy now from Bulk Creatine itself is vegan and you can add the powder into your usual vegan shake if you buy it separately, but why not make things easier on yourself and pick up an all-in-one powder that contains everything you need to resupply the body after a tough workout?
Along with the 5g of creatine monohydrate this powder contains, you’re also getting 29g of protein, which is a mix of pea, brown rice, pumpkin and flaxseed protein, along with quinoa flour. This ensures you’re getting a complete protein source that contains all the essential amino acids in the right amounts.
The powder also contains 19g of carbohydrate to replenish your energy reserves after training, along with DigeZyme Digestive Enzymes to help you break down everything you’ve just drunk. There are three flavour options – chocolate peanut, dark chocolate berry and the slightly more exotic coconut and lime.
Key specs – Creatine type: Creatine monohydrate; Purity: Not specified; Serving size: 60g