Creatine has gained immense popularity over the last 10 years. It’s become hugely popular with professional athletes, bodybuilders and fitness experts when it comes to gaining muscle. It is considered one of the best all around muscle building supplements out there that falls outside the “protein” class of supplements. It’s highly effective as a cell volumizer and fills in the gaps that your protein supplement might not be able to cover.
What this means is it helps better allocate your water intake and volumizes the cells in your muscles with water. In doing so, it will not only make you stronger, but make you gain more visual muscle mass as well. As always, I’m pretty sold on Optimum Nutrition because of the cost and quality combination, but there are other brands you may want to consider as well as the creatine reviews listed below.
If taken properly, the best quality creatine has these benefits:
- Increased Muscle Visual Muscle Size
- Increased Strength
- Increased Muscle Mass
- Increased Stamina and Endurance
|Picture||Product||Taste||Effectiveness||Est. Amazon Price|
|Picture||Product||Taste||Effectiveness||Est. Amazon Price|
|Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder, Unflavored, 4.4 lbs (2000g)||10/10 (Tasteless)||10/10||$49.99|
|MuscleTech Cell-Tech Performance Series, Fruit Punch, 3.09 lb., Creatine HCl, Creatine Monohydrate and Carbohydrate Powder||10/10||8.5/10||$39.99|
|Cellucor COR-Performance Creatine, 50 Servings, Unflavored||9/10||10/10||$39.99|
|Con-Cret Creatine with Micro-Dosing Unflavored 48 servings, 1.27 Ounce Tub||8/10||9/10||$25.99|
|BSN CellMass Fruit Punch, 50 servings, 1.76 Pound||10/10||8/10||$52.99|
Before we jump into discussing the best creatine quality, expected results and the importance of staying hydrated while taking creatine, we will dive a little deeper into each of these supplements with our creatine reviews based on our first hand experience with each of them.
Optimum Nutrition Creatine:
This is hands down my top choice of any creatine supplement. It’s cost effective, virtually tasteless and I’ve had nothing but amazing results when it came to strength gains and increased endurance. Because it’s not a stand-alone product (requires mixing with some type of water and is unflavored) it’s something I can take when I’m bulking up or cutting down and don’t have to worry about the calorie intake. Some of the other stand-alone products like Cell Tech are flavored and you really don’t have the option to mix them with water or juice. Most ON products are extremely high quality and you can see just by checking the reviews on Amazon.com that the ON creatine product is the most trusted brand on the market with over 750 positive reviews and climbing. If I had to narrow down my best creatine supplement choices to my top 3, ON’s brand of creatine takes the cake hands down.
MuscleTech Cell Tech Creatine:
Muscle Tech differs from ON’s brand in several ways. First is the fact that it comes as a stand-alone product that doesn’t require you to mix it with juice. When I bulk with ON’s brand I usually ingest it with grape juice for a great insulin spike after my workout and to get it into my bloodstream quicker. With Cell Tech, you really don’t have to do that. It already carries with it a higher sugar content that spikes your insulin levels and only requires you to add water. Not going to lie, the loading period for Cell Tech can be a little overbearing with all the sugar, but during any bulk period, this is a fantastic supplement and you will see awesome strength gains. 2 years ago I added 20 pounds of weight in 3 months along with 40 pounds to my max bench press reps when taking Cell Tech. The weight was not all muscle weight, but it got the job done. This isn’t a product I’d recommend for someone looking to drop fat or lean up due to the sugar content. If you need to lose weight and want to add some muscle at the same time, stick to the ON brand.
Cellucor COR-Performance Creatine:
Cellucor is a decent supplement and is unflavored. It’s become more popular over the last year and is getting noticed amongst many of the natural bodybuilding circles. I prefer ON’s brand for the cost and for the sheer serving size that it contains in comparison to Cellucor. However, if you’ve used ON’s brand and aren’t seeing the results that you want (which you should if you have a decent diet and hydrate properly) then Cellucor is a decent alternative. Fortunately because it’s also not a stand-alone, this product provides you with a little bit of flexibility as far as which supplement to take when you are looking to drop weight. Many folks rave about the mixability, but I still prefer ON if I have a choice purely for cost reasons.
Con-Cret is the cheapest brand of the bunch from a “per purchase” standpoint but not in comparison to ON’s brand when it comes to cost per serving. Optimum Nutrition carries 380 servings whereas Con Cret only carries 48. ON will last you about 4 times longer after your loading phase for 17 bucks more. With that being said, Con-Cret is awesome in the fact that it DOES NOT require a loading phase unlike the others. You can simply start taking it from day one and don’t have to worry about taking it 4 times a day for your first week which is a huge disadvantage for the others if you are someone that works full time. It’s hard enough to find time to take a supplement once a day, let alone 4 times per day. You can read the full review by clicking here.
BSN CellMass Creatine:
Cellmass also holds a unique place amongst the best creatine supplements. BSN’s version of creatine should be utilized primarily after training and the mixture also contains glutamine. Cellmass is flavored and does not require you to mix it with any type of juice or flavored beverage, and it also contains only 30 calories making it an effective product for adding mass or cutting weight. It can also be used as an evening recovery drink prior to going to sleep along with a good casein protein supplement. BSN CellMass is a great creatine supplement and probably falls right in the middle of the pack in regards to our top 5 ranked products. BSN has a lot of other great products to match this one as well. The biggest benefit is that it tastes fantastic in comparison to the others and you can mix it anywhere you have a shaker bottle or a blender.
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of each of each of these fine supplements, let’s move on to creatine quality and why it’s important.
Is Creatine Quality Important?
When it comes to Creatine, you need to be careful because some of the cheaper creatine supplements will make you bigger but make you look a little more bloated or “puffy” looking too. Most of the best creatine supplements have engineered formulas to get rid of the bloated look, and most creatine products do a great job adding muscle when paired up with an appropriate nutrition and workout routine. Most creatines also do not have a taste unless they specifically come sold as a pre-packaged drink.
Personally, I would stay away from the creatines that come artificially flavored. I’ve taken Cell Tech before and gotten good results, but outside of that particular product, I have found that the best results seem to come for me when I’m taking higher quality creatine (like Optimum Nutrition) mixed with some type of juice. Personally, I prefer grape juice because for me, it spikes my insulin levels a little faster allowing the creatine to get into my bloodstream quicker than if I were to mix it with water or another type of drink that’s lower insulin producing.
Will I get results if I buy one of the best creatine products?
Absolutely. But your success also depends on making sure you are sticking to a sound nutrition and workout plan. If you don’t do both in tandem, you probably won’t see the results you want. Creatine is a great product and personally I would always splurge a little on the best creatine brands when buying a performance product, but if you aren’t going to put in the effort to maintain a good diet and really push yourself in the gym at least 3 days a week, it’s kind of a moot point. The extra sugar intake alone you will get just from the added juice and insulin spike will not only add extra sugar to your diet, but create extra fat cells out of the sugar once your body doesn’t burn it off because you aren’t exercising.
Do I need to Keep Hydrated while taking Creatine?
When taking creatine, it’s absolutely of the utmost importance to keep hydrated. You are taking a product that is basically a cell volumizer that pushes more water into your cells. It’s going to be at it’s highest level of effectiveness when you are consuming a healthy amount of water while taking your favorite creatine product. It’s also important to have a high water intake so you flush out the excess creatine from your system that your body can’t use. Even if you aren’t taking creatine as a supplement, a high water intake is always a good thing. It flushes the toxins from your body, keeps you fresh and has other health benefits including better looking skin. I try to make sure I’m putting down at least one gallon of water per day when I’m using creatine myself to pack on some extra pounds during the winter. For other supplement ideas, check out some great testosterone boosters by clicking here, or weight gainers by clicking here.