10 Best Creatine Supplements for 2023: A Dietitian’s Picks

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We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness.Read more about our vetting process.Was this helpful?

Our top choice for best overall creatine supplement comes from Thorne. To round out the rest of our best available, we enlisted the expertise of a registered dietitian.

Three of the best creatine supplements: Transparent Labs Creatine HBM, Naked Creatine, and Thorne CreatineShare on Pinterest

A quick look at the best creatine supplements

  • Best overall:Thorne Creatine | Skip to review
  • Best overall — runner-up:Klean Athlete Klean Creatine | Skip to review
  • Best for post-workout:Nutricost Creatine Monohydrate | Skip to review
  • Best for muscle growth: Bare Performance Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate | Skip to review
  • Best flavored:The Genius Brand Genius Creatine | Skip to review
  • Best for women:Transparent Labs Creatine HMB | Skip to review
  • Best vegan:Naked Creatine | Skip to review
  • Best capsules:Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Capsules | Skip to review
  • Best for athletes: Gnarly Sports Nutrition Creatine | Skip to review
  • Best pre-workout:Proven4 Sport Pre-Game Formula | Skip to review

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’s everything you need to know about 10 of the best creatine supplements.

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 to $3.13 per serving, or $8.21 to $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

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Healthline’s picks of the best creatine supplements

Best overall

Thorne Creatine

Thorne Creatine

  • Form:powder
  • Active ingredient (serving strength):creatine monohydrate 5 g
  • Price:$

SHOP NOW AT OPTUM STORE

Healthline’s review

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 & cons

  • third-party tested
  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • free of gluten and major allergens
  • affordable
  • no flavored varieties available
  • third-party tested
  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • free of gluten and major allergens
  • affordable
  • no flavored varieties available

Product details

  • Number of servings:90 per container
  • Dose:1 scoop (5 g) per day
  • Available flavors:unflavored
  • Certifications:third-party tested, NSF Certified for Sport
  • Returns:free returns within 30 days
  • Shipping:free shipping on orders over $35
  • Number of servings:90 per container
  • Dose:1 scoop (5 g) per day
  • Available flavors:unflavored
  • Certifications:third-party tested, NSF Certified for Sport
  • Returns:free returns within 30 days
  • Shipping:free shipping on orders over $35

Best overall – runner-up

Klean Athlete Klean Creatine

4.6(881+) from Klean AthleteKlean Athlete Klean Creatine

  • Form:powder
  • Active ingredient (serving strength):creatine monohydrate 5 g
  • Price:$

SHOP NOW AT AMAZON

Healthline’s review

With 5 g 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 & cons

  • budget-friendly
  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • third-party tested
  • no flavored varieties available
  • has a gritty texture after mixing, according to some reviewers
  • budget-friendly
  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • third-party tested
  • no flavored varieties available
  • has a gritty texture after mixing, according to some reviewers

Product details

  • Number of servings:60 per container
  • Dose:1 scoop (5 g) per day
  • Available flavors:Unflavored
  • Certifications:third-party tested, NSF Certified for Sport
  • Returns:free returns for Prime members
  • Shipping:free shipping for Prime members
  • Number of servings:60 per container
  • Dose:1 scoop (5 g) per day
  • Available flavors:Unflavored
  • Certifications:third-party tested, NSF Certified for Sport
  • Returns:free returns for Prime members
  • Shipping:free shipping for Prime members

Best for post-workout

Nutricost Creatine Monohydrate

4.7(15.5k+) from AmazonNutricost Creatine Monohydrate Powder

  • Form:powder
  • Active ingredient (serving strength):creatine monohydrate (micronized) 5 g
  • Price:$$

SHOP NOW AT AMAZON

Healthline’s review

Formulated specifically as a pre- and post-workout supplement, this product from Nutricost contains 5 g 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, which means that the facility adheres to strict safety and quality standards set by the FDA.

Plus, 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 & cons

  • available in multiple flavors
  • third-party tested
  • produced in a third-party certified facility
  • not certified safe for sport
  • more expensive than some other products
  • available in multiple flavors
  • third-party tested
  • produced in a third-party certified facility
  • not certified safe for sport
  • more expensive than some other products

Product details

  • Number of servings:100 per container
  • Dose:1 scoop (5 g) per day
  • Available flavors:Unflavored, Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch
  • Certifications:third-party tested for purity and potency
  • Returns:free returns for Prime members
  • Shipping:free shipping for Prime members
  • Number of servings:100 per container
  • Dose:1 scoop (5 g) per day
  • Available flavors:Unflavored, Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch
  • Certifications:third-party tested for purity and potency
  • Returns:free returns for Prime members
  • Shipping:free shipping for Prime members

Best for muscle growth

Bare Performance Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate

5(1.7k+) from Bare PerformanceBare Performance Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate

  • Form:powder
  • Active ingredient (serving strength):Creapure 5 g (micronized creatine monohydrate)
  • Price:$$

SHOP NOW AT BARE PERFORMANCE

Healthline’s review

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

It contains 5 g 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 substances banned for athletes.

Pros & cons

  • third-party tested
  • certified by Informed Sport
  • contains Creapure, a highly purified form of creatine monohydrate
  • no flavored varieties available
  • somewhat expensive
  • third-party tested
  • certified by Informed Sport
  • contains Creapure, a highly purified form of creatine monohydrate
  • no flavored varieties available
  • somewhat expensive

Product details

  • Number of servings:60 per container
  • Dose:1 scoop (5 g) per day
  • Available flavors:Unflavored
  • Certifications:third-party tested, Informed Sport Certified
  • Returns:refunds within 30 days
  • Shipping:free shipping on orders over $99
  • Number of servings:60 per container
  • Dose:1 scoop (5 g) per day
  • Available flavors:Unflavored
  • Certifications:third-party tested, Informed Sport Certified
  • Returns:refunds within 30 days
  • Shipping:free shipping on orders over $99

Best flavored

The Genius Brand Genius Creatine

4.3(2.7k+) from AmazonGenius Creatine Power Matrix

  • Form:powder
  • Active ingredients (serving strength):creatine monohydrate 5 g, beta-alanine 1.6 g, AstraGin 25 mg (Panaz notoginseng root extract and Astragalus membranaceus root extract)
  • Price:$$$

SHOP NOW AT AMAZON

Healthline’s review

Naturally sweetened with stevia and monk fruit extract and available in Unflavored and Green Apple varieties, Genius Creatine is a high quality product that gets our pick as the best flavored creatine supplement on the market.

It contains 5 g 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 & cons

  • formulated to enhance performance
  • third-party tested
  • available in Unflavored and Green Apple varieties
  • contains Creapure, a highly purified form of creatine monohydrate
  • pricey
  • contains fewer servings than other products
  • not certified safe for sport
  • formulated to enhance performance
  • third-party tested
  • available in Unflavored and Green Apple varieties
  • contains Creapure, a highly purified form of creatine monohydrate
  • pricey
  • contains fewer servings than other products
  • not certified safe for sport

Product details

  • Number of servings:25 per container
  • Dose:1 scoop (7.8 g) per day
  • Available flavors:Unflavored, Green Apple
  • Certifications:third-party tested for purity and potency
  • Returns:free returns for Prime members
  • Shipping:free shipping for Prime members
  • Number of servings:25 per container
  • Dose:1 scoop (7.8 g) per day
  • Available flavors:Unflavored, Green Apple
  • Certifications:third-party tested for purity and potency
  • Returns:free returns for Prime members
  • Shipping:free shipping for Prime members

Best for women

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB

  • Form:powder
  • Active ingredients (serving strength):creatine monohydrate 5 g, vitamin D 12.5 mcg (60% DV), beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate 1,500 mg, black pepper extract 5 mg
  • Price:$$$

SHOP NOW AT TRANSPARENT LABS

Healthline’s review

Available in a variety of flavors and two sizes, this high quality supplement from Transparent Labs can be a simple and convenient way to ramp up your intake of creatine.

It may be especially beneficial for women because it contains vitamin D, a nutrient that plays a key role in bone health (16).

It also contains 5 g of creatine monohydrate per serving, along with other ingredients such as beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate (HMB), which may help build muscle mass and increase strength when paired with resistance training (17).

All products from Transparent Labs are third-party tested by Analytical Resource Laboratories. On its website, the company offers a certificate of analysis (COA) for each supplement, which provides information on the quality, strength, and specifications of a product.

Pros & cons

  • third-party tested
  • COA available
  • formulated with vitamin D and HMB
  • variety of flavors available
  • expensive
  • contains stevia, which some people may dislike
  • third-party tested
  • COA available
  • formulated with vitamin D and HMB
  • variety of flavors available
  • expensive
  • contains stevia, which some people may dislike

Product details

  • Number of servings:30 per container
  • Dose:1 scoop (9.3 g) per day
  • Available flavors:Unflavored, Blue Raspberry, Sour Grape, Tropical Punch, Fruit Punch, Watermelon, Black Cherry, Orange, Hawaiian Splash, Strawberry Lemonade, Peach Mango
  • Certifications:third-party tested for purity and potency
  • Returns:returns within 30 days
  • Shipping:free shipping on orders over $149
  • Number of servings:30 per container
  • Dose:1 scoop (9.3 g) per day
  • Available flavors:Unflavored, Blue Raspberry, Sour Grape, Tropical Punch, Fruit Punch, Watermelon, Black Cherry, Orange, Hawaiian Splash, Strawberry Lemonade, Peach Mango
  • Certifications:third-party tested for purity and potency
  • Returns:returns within 30 days
  • Shipping:free shipping on orders over $149

Best vegan

Naked Creatine

4.7(7.4k+) from AmazonNaked Creatine

  • Form:powder
  • Active ingredient (serving strength):creatine monohydrate 5 g
  • Price:$

SHOP NOW AT AMAZON

Healthline’s review

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 g of creatine monohydrate and can be easily dissolved in your favorite pre- or post-workout beverage.

Pros & cons

  • affordable
  • third-party tested
  • certified vegan and gluten-free
  • no flavored varieties available
  • some reports of issues with the quality of the scoop and packaging
  • affordable
  • third-party tested
  • certified vegan and gluten-free
  • no flavored varieties available
  • some reports of issues with the quality of the scoop and packaging

Product details

  • Number of servings:100 or 200 per container
  • Dose:1 scoop (5 g) per day
  • Available flavors:Unflavored
  • Certifications:certified vegan, certified gluten-free, third-party tested for purity and potency
  • Returns:free returns for Prime members
  • Shipping:free shipping for Prime members
  • Number of servings:100 or 200 per container
  • Dose:1 scoop (5 g) per day
  • Available flavors:Unflavored
  • Certifications:certified vegan, certified gluten-free, third-party tested for purity and potency
  • Returns:free returns for Prime members
  • Shipping:free shipping for Prime members

Best capsules

Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Capsules

4.6(71.6k+) from AmazonOptimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Capsules

  • Form:capsule
  • Active ingredient (serving strength):creatine monohydrate 2.5 g
  • Price:$$–$$$

SHOP NOW AT AMAZON

Healthline’s review

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 g 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 & cons

  • available in convenient capsule form
  • multiple bottle sizes to choose from
  • produced in a third-party certified facility
  • not suitable for vegans or vegetarians
  • contains less creatine per serving than other supplements
  • not tested by an independent lab
  • available in convenient capsule form
  • multiple bottle sizes to choose from
  • produced in a third-party certified facility
  • not suitable for vegans or vegetarians
  • contains less creatine per serving than other supplements
  • not tested by an independent lab

Product details

  • Number of servings:50, 100, or 150 per container
  • Dose:2 capsules twice a day
  • Available flavors:unflavored
  • Returns:free returns for Prime members
  • Shipping:free shipping for Prime members
  • Number of servings:50, 100, or 150 per container
  • Dose:2 capsules twice a day
  • Available flavors:unflavored
  • Returns:free returns for Prime members
  • Shipping:free shipping for Prime members

Best for athletes

Gnarly Sports Nutrition Creatine

4.7(16+) from AmazonGnarly Sports Nutrition Creatine

  • Form:powder
  • Active ingredient (serving strength):Creapure 5 g (creatine monohydrate)
  • Price:$$

SHOP NOW AT AMAZON

Healthline’s review

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

It features 5 g 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 and those with certain dietary needs.

Pros & cons

  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • third-party tested
  • contains Creapure, a highly purified form of creatine monohydrate
  • vegan-friendly
  • no flavored varieties available
  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • third-party tested
  • contains Creapure, a highly purified form of creatine monohydrate
  • vegan-friendly
  • no flavored varieties available

Product details

  • Number of servings:90 per container
  • Dose:1 scoop (5 g) per day
  • Available flavors:Unflavored
  • Certifications:third-party certified, NSF Certified for Sport, Kosher certified, Halal certified, IFS FOOD certified
  • Returns:full refund within 30 days
  • Shipping:free shipping on orders over $75
  • Number of servings:90 per container
  • Dose:1 scoop (5 g) per day
  • Available flavors:Unflavored
  • Certifications:third-party certified, NSF Certified for Sport, Kosher certified, Halal certified, IFS FOOD certified
  • Returns:full refund within 30 days
  • Shipping:free shipping on orders over $75

Best pre-workout

Proven4 Sport Pre-Game Formula

4.5(146+) from AmazonProven4 Sport Pre-Game Formula

  • Form:powder
  • Active ingredients (serving strength):CarnoSyn beta-alanine 2,400 mg, creatine monohydrate 2,000 mg, arginine alpha ketoglutarate 1,000 mg, taurine, L-tyrosine 500 mg, caffeine anhydrous 150 mg, thiamine 3 mg, riboflavin 3 mg, niacin 10 mg, vitamin B6 15 mg, vitamin B12 1 mcg, pantothenic acid 20 mg, calcium 18 mg
  • Price:$$$

SHOP NOW AT AMAZON

Healthline’s review

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 g of creatine monohydrate and a blend of other ingredients such as B vitamins, caffeine, and amino acids.

What’s more, this product is NSF Certified for Sport and available in four flavors.

Pros & cons

  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • multiple flavors available
  • formulated with a blend of ingredients to boost your workout routine
  • expensive
  • contains less creatine than other supplements
  • contains caffeine, which some people may prefer to avoid
  • NSF Certified for Sport
  • multiple flavors available
  • formulated with a blend of ingredients to boost your workout routine
  • expensive
  • contains less creatine than other supplements
  • contains caffeine, which some people may prefer to avoid

Product details

  • Number of servings:30 per container
  • Dose:1 scoop (8 g)
  • Available flavors:Blue Raspberry, Cherry Limeade, Fruit Punch, Watermelon
  • Certifications:third-party certified, NSF Certified for Sport
  • Returns:free returns for Prime members
  • Shipping:free shipping for Prime members
  • Number of servings:30 per container
  • Dose:1 scoop (8 g)
  • Available flavors:Blue Raspberry, Cherry Limeade, Fruit Punch, Watermelon
  • Certifications:third-party certified, NSF Certified for Sport
  • Returns:free returns for Prime members
  • Shipping:free shipping for Prime members

A comparison of the best creatine supplements

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

Price rangeFlavorsThird-party testedCertified safe for sportThorne Creatine$UnflavoredyesyesKlean Athlete Klean Creatine$UnflavoredyesyesNutricost Creatine Monohydrate$$• Unflavored
• Blue Raspberry
• Fruit PunchyesnoBare Performance Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate$$UnflavoredyesyesThe Genius Brand Genius Creatine$$$• Unflavored
• Green AppleyesnoTransparent Labs Creatine HMB$$$• Unflavored
• Blue Raspberry
• Sour Grape
• Tropical Punch
• Fruit Punch
• Watermelon
• Black Cherry
• Orange
• Hawaiian Splash
• Strawberry Lemonade
• Peach MangoyesnoNaked Creatine$UnflavoredyesnoOptimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Capsules$$–$$$UnflavorednonoGnarly Sports Nutrition Creatine$$UnflavoredyesyesProven4 Sport Pre-Game Formula$$$• Blue Raspberry
• Cherry Limeade
• Fruit Punch
• Watermelonyesyes

How we chose our best creatine supplements

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.
  • Transparency: We chose products that adhere to health claims and labeling requirements, per Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. All products are manufactured in facilities that adhere to Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) established by the FDA.
  • Credibility: We vetted all products to ensure they are produced by medically credible companies that follow ethical, legal, and industry best standards. Additionally, all products have been reviewed by a registered dietitian.
  • Testing: We chose products that are third-party tested for purity and safety. Some products are also certified for sport. All products we chose are third-party tested (except one that is produced in a third-party certified facility), but not all are certified for sport.
  • 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.

Creatine uses and benefits

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).

Potential risks and side effects

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, 22).

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 (22, 23, 24).

Some other anecdotal side effects often reported with creatine supplementation are (3, 22):

  • 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).

Tips for choosing the right creatine supplement for you

When selecting a creatine supplement, be sure to consider the ingredient list and dose provided. It’s also a good idea to select a product that has been third-party tested.

Ingredients

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).

Dose

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

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

Third-party testing

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

If you’re a competitive athlete, choose a product that is certified safe for sport. Organizations such as NSF and Informed Sport provide certifications that ensure products are free of substances that are banned by most professional sporting organizations.

Useful supplement shopping guides

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

  • How to Choose High Quality Vitamins and Supplements
  • How to Read Supplement Labels Like a Pro

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Frequently asked questions

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 g 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 g per day for 5–7 days and then using a maintenance dose of 3–5 g per day thereafter (8).

Does creatine make you gain weight?

Most creatine supplements are calorie-free or very low in calories and are therefore unlikely to contribute enough calories to cause weight gain.

However, one of the most common side effects of creatine is water retention in the first few days of supplementation. While you might see your weight increase initially, research doesn’t suggest that creatine causes long-term water retention or subsequent weight gain (22).

Creatine has also been linked to increases in muscle mass, which could lead to an increase in weight.

Who shouldn’t take creatine?

Because creatine in the blood is an important measure for liver and kidney function, people who have liver or kidney conditions or are taking medications for liver and kidney function should talk with a trusted healthcare professional before taking creatine supplements (25).

Additionally, people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking any prescription medications, especially medications that affect blood sugar levels, should consult a healthcare professional before adding creatine to their wellness routine.

The bottom line

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.

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