Top 5 Creatine Supplements for Muscle
If you are looking for a supplement that will help you build muscle and strength, then you have come to the right place. Creatine is the premiere muscle and strength building supplement there is that you can buy over the counter.
For me personally creatine is always my go to supplement when I am looking for gains and it delivers. The creatines of today are even better than they used to be too. Nowadays there is often no loading phase like there used to be and the taste has also improved.
Overall there is nothing not to like about creatine. Let’s go over some of the different forms of creatine along with the benefits before we go over the best ones for building muscle.
Benefits of Creatine
Creatine has many benefits, some of which have nothing to do with muscle. These include:
- Increased strength – Creatine has been studied to oblivion and it is the best supplement for strength, period.
- Increased muscle size – Creatine moves more water in to the muscle and also increases protein synthesis for increased muscle size
- Faster recovery time – It has been shown that creatine can reduce muscle cell damage and inflammation following exhaustive exercises and that it is effective at improving recovery in both strength and endurance athletes.
- Improved brain function – Creatine has been shown to improve short term memory along with mental performance under time constraints.
- Help with depression – Creatine has even been shown to help with depression particularly when used with an antidepressant.
What is Creatine?
This description could get long and crazy but we will keep it simple. Creatine is made naturally by the body in the pancreas and liver. It travels through the blood stream to the muscles and is stored there for increased energy demands. While our bodies make their own creatine, you can also get creatine from eating foods like red meat, eggs and fish.
Creatine is the most studies sport supplement in the world. It is very commonly used among athletes to increase their performance and strength. It is NOT a steroid either, it is perfectly legal also, whoever started the rumor that creatine is a steroid is a complete moron.
Most Common Types of Creatine
There are a lot of different forms of creatine out there and new ones are being made every day. This can make it hard to decipher which one works best and which to choose. Here are the most common types though:
Creatine Monohydrate – This is the most common and also the most effective. Manufacturers keep trying to make new forms of creatine that are better but none of them have been able to been proven to be better than creatine monohydrate
Creatine Citrate – This is form where the creatine is bound to citric acid. While this one is shown to be more water soluble it has not been shown to be any more effective than creatine monohydrate.
Creatine HCL – This is another of the more common forms of creatine. This one is also more water soluble which means it has smaller dose. If you are the type of person who gets an upset stomach from creatine then this would be the one to try, it is the most easily digested form of creatine out there.
Creatine Malate – This form has the creatine bound to a malic acid. This one has a lot of the same properties as creatine HCL since it is more soluble and also easier to digest for many people, some also believe this one can boost ATP but that is yet to be proven.
Micronized Creatine – This is creatine (usually creatine monohydrate) that has had the size of the creaitine pieces reduced. This is done so you can get faster absorption but it has not been proven to be any more effective.
Creatine Kre Alklyn – With this form of creatine they have altered the PH. This is done to try and give it a better rate of absorption. This form of creatine is most likely to come in pill form.
When to take creatine?
Creatine can be effective when taken at any time of day but it is more effective it taken before or after your workout with more data pointing to post workout creatine supplementation as being more beneficial than pre-workout but the data is not 100% conclusive so really if you take it prior to workout your results will be about the same really.
Avoid Proprietary Blends
Proprietary blends are getting to be more and more of a problem in the supplement industry. A proprietary blend is when the manufacturer takes several ingredients and throws them together and calls it a blend or a complex. The problem is that they will tell you how big the blend is but not how much of each ingredient is actually in the blend so you have no way of knowing. It is always best that manufacturers be straight forward with supplements and the labeling so you know what you are actually getting and to help avoid side effects. Avoid proprietary blends if at all possible, there are so many of them out there though that it can be tough.
Best Creatine Supplements for Muscle Building
We have done the research on more creatine supplements than you could image and these are the best ones to look for if you want to build the most muscle. We looked at customer reviews, ingredient and company reputation to help make our decision and here are the top 5.
1 Creatine HMB
Creatine HMB is part of the StrengthSeries from Transparent Labs and it is a beast of a product if you are looking to add muscle and strength.
This product uses 5 grams of creatine monohydrate which as we already mentioned is the most common form of creatine as well as the most effective. The nice part is they combined it with 2000 mg of HMB. HMB is a newer ingredient on the market and it has been shown to be another strength and muscle building ingredient.
The great part is researchers have found when you used creatine monohydrate in conjunction with HMB the results were more significant than if you used just one of them independently.
This makes Creatine HMB a nice double shot of muscle building. Creatine HMB also doesn’t use any artificial sweeteners, dyes, unnecessary fillers, or harmful additives or any of that junk.
This one also uses the Bioperine which is an ingredient that helps the body absorb the ingredients and get them in to the blood stream. This is good so that you get the maximum amount of creatine and HMB in to your body so you that none of it goes to waste being undigested and not absorbed.
For my own personal experience, I was using a different creatine before trying Creatine HMB, it worked well but Creatine HMB worked like a beast and took my strength and muscle gains even higher than they were on the other creatine. Then after finishing the tub of Creatine HMB I then tried a different creatine and my strength numbers went down with the other creatine. If that doesn’t tell you Creatine HMB is legit I don’t know what does.
Overall this bad boy has some great reviews and it performs like champ as we can attest to. For now this one is the best creatine on the market and one that will surely help you add some serious muscle.
- Very good reviews
- Uses creatine monohydrate
- Combines creatine with the muscle builder HMB
- Uses Bioperine for better absorption
- No fillers, additives and nothing artificial
- No proprietary blend
- You can save 10% by using the coupon code TL10
- Only available on the company website
Website – www.transparentlabs.com
2 Cor-Performance Creatine by Cellucor
Cor-Performance Creatine is another really nice one that you should also consider. This one also uses 5 grams of creatine monohydrate like the first selection did but they combine the creatine with Betaine Anhydrous. This is a good choice because Betaine Anhydrous has been shown to be reduce fatigue when taken prior to your workout and it has also been shown to increase HGH as well as decrease cortisol. This makes the two of them a really good muscle building combination. They also added Cinnulin PF which some research suggest can have a positive effect on creatine monohydrate performance.
Cor-Performance also uses Creasorb for increased absorption to help maximize the amount of creatine that gets into your blood stream. Overall this one is a lot like our first-place finisher so it is no surprise that we have it in second place. The only downside with this one is that they use artificial flavoring and the cost per dose is really high, if you don’t mind either of those then this is a really solid choice as well.
- Uses creatine monohydrate
- Combines creatine with Betaine Anhydrous for a nice double shot of muscle building
- Uses Creasorb for better absorption
- High price per dose
- Uses artificial flavors
Website – www.cellucor.com/creatine
3 Creatine Freak by Pharmafreak
In third place, we have Creatine Freak from Pharmafreak. This company really makes some good products so it is no surprise to see them on the list. This also uses 5 grams of creatine monohydrate, as we said earlier creatine monohydrate is the best and most popular so it’s no wonder our first three finishers all use creatine monohydrate.
Creatine Freak also uses its patented Actigen complexes to help with absorption.
This one has some really good reviews as well. It does use a couple of proprietary blends for the Actigen complex but we didn’t feel it was a big deal since they are just for absorption anyway.
Creatine Freak has some really good reviews and people really like it so this is another top creatine for you to consider. Can’t go wrong with any of these in top three, they are all great.
- Excellent reviews
- Uses creatine monohydrate
- Uses the patent pending Actigen for absorption
- Uses a couple of proprietary blends
Website – pharmafreak.com
4) Best Creatine by BPI Sports Nutrition
Coming in fourth place on our list of the top 5 creatine supplements for muscle gains we have Best Creatine from BPI Sports Nutrition. This one actually combines 6 kinds of creatine including creatine monohydrate, creatine anhydrous and 4 others. The problem is they are all in a 4-gram blend and we have no idea how much of each form of creatine is in there.
This one does have some good reviews particular on the flavor. We generally don’t put much emphasis on taste in our reviews but if you really need yours to taste great then this one is probably the best tasting one on the list. It does use artificial flavoring though so be sure to keep that in mind also.
- Great taste
- 6 forms of creatine combined
- Good reviews
- Uses a proprietary blend
- Uses artificial flavoring
Website – bpisports.com/best-creatine
5 Cell Tech Hyper-Build by Muscletech
Up next we have another real nice one with one with Cell Tech Hyper-Build by Muscletech. This bad boy uses 5 grams of creatine using four grams of creatine monohydrate along with one gram of creatine HCL.
On top of that it also boasts 7 grams of Branched Chain Amino Acids which amplify protein synthesis in the muscle leading to increased muscle size. On top of that they also added Taurine which when used with BCAA’s has been shown to decrease next day soreness. They also even added some electrolytes to replace those that are lost during training.
This one does use artificial flavoring along but it is still a good product. If you are looking to get jacked and add some serious muscle, then this one will definitely do the job.
- 4 grams of creatine monohydrate and 1 gram of creatine HCL
- BCAA’s added for more muscle building
- Taurine for reduced soreness after training
- Uses artificial flavor
- A bit on the expensive side.
We just covered 5 pretty badass creatine products. We like Creatine HMB the best out of the bunch and feel the combination of the muscle builder creatine monohydrate along with HMB can’t be beat. The great reviews pretty much back up how we feel. The others on the list are also pretty awesome products so I am sure one of these will help take your muscle gains to the next level. Just remember you need to do the training and that the supplement won’t do it by itself.