The 5 Best Creatine Powders to Buy in 2021, According to a Dietitian

Reach your goals by looking for the right type, texture, and ingredients

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Our Top Picks
The trusted brand is known for creating high-quality, hypoallergenic supplements that are gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan.
The product is NSF Certified for Sport, so athletes can rest assured that it has been tested and certified for quality.
The powder is made from Creapure, a trusted source of creatine that is regularly tested for banned substances.
NOW Sports uses a micronized creatine monohydrate, meaning that the creatine is mechanically processed to improve the solubility.
Naked Creatine has the trusted Certified Vegan trademark that guarantees the product does not contain animal products or byproducts.

Creatine is known as one of the best supplements for building muscle, improving strength, and supporting muscle recovery. Made up of amino acids, or the building blocks of protein, creatine is naturally found in protein-containing foods such as meat, fish, and eggs. The supplement form of creatine is generally digested quicker than the food form, helping to quickly boost the production and release of energy in the body.

Creatine is one of the most popular supplements for athletes and is widely studied. Research suggests that combining creatine supplementation with resistance and weight training increases muscle strength and lean tissue mass.

What to Look for in a Creatine Supplement

Type of Creatine:

There are different types of creatine, including creatine monohydrate, creatine ethyl ester, creatine hydrochloride, creatine magnesium chelate, creatine malate, and creatine citrate, among others. While each promises to deliver different results, the research on many of these forms is limited. So, when in doubt, go with creatine monohydrate. It’s the most common and well-researched form of creatine. 

Texture and Flavor:

Nothing says yuck like a powder supplement that won’t mix. When shopping for creatine, look for products that mix well in water. You should also consider the flavor. You can find creatine powder unflavored or in flavors like fruit punch, grape, and lemon-lime. Depending on your taste buds, you may want to take the safe route and opt for unflavored.

Other Ingredients:

Pre-workout formulas are a popular option for many people looking for a boost before they head to the gym. Before you buy one of these products, make sure to read the label. Creatine should be the main ingredient, if not, the only ingredient. Many of these supplements also contain caffeine, sugar, sweeteners, and other ingredients. 

How We Select Supplements

Our team works hard to be transparent about why we recommend certain supplements; you can read more about our dietary supplement methodology here

Here, the best creatine supplements.

Best Overall: Pure Encapsulations Creatine Powder

Pure Encapsulations Creatine

Pure Encapsulations Creatine Powder is the top creatine powder pick to help aid you meet your fitness goals. The trusted brand is known for creating high-quality, hypoallergenic supplements that are gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan. Pure Encapsulations has a commitment to purity with all its supplements, including creatine powder.

It is free from artificial colors and sweeteners, as well as unnecessary excipients (or fillers). Pure Encapsulations Creatine powder supports athletic performance and muscle recovery, as well as optimal energy, by supplying the body with superior quality energy that is readily available to working muscles.

Each scoop of Pure Encapsulation’s Creatine powder supplies 4 grams of highly digestible creatine monohydrate. This dose falls within the ranges recommended by the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Best Overall Runner-Up: Thorne Research Creatine Powder

Thorne Creatine is a great option to support energy, optimize muscle endurance, and promote muscle building. The product is made up of Creapure, an easily mixed, highly-researched form of creatine. This form is a micronized variety of creatine monohydrate that offers a colorless, odorless product with improved solubility. Each scoop provides 5 grams of Creatine Monohydrate.

Thorne Creatine Powder supports lean body mass, muscle endurance, and power output with the purest ingredients that are free from major allergens, including gluten, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, dairy, soy, fish, and shellfish.

The product is NSF Certified for Sport, so athletes can rest assured that the supplement has been tested and certified for quality, purity, and safety. This certification mark provides quality assurance that the product is free of banned substances, the contents match what is on the label, and there are no unsafe levels of contaminants. It also signifies that the manufacturing facility is GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) registered and is frequently audited for quality and safety.

Best for Athletes: Muscle Feast Creapure Creatine Monohydrate Powder

Muscle Feast Creatine

Muscle Feast’s Creapure Creatine Monohydrate Powder is a great pick for athletes, especially those competing at a high level. The product is made using best practices consistent with the FDA's GMP regulations.

Muscle Feast also offers insight into the manufacturing and quality of their product, stating on the label that the product is made by AlzChem in Germany. The powder is made from Creapure, a trusted source of creatine regularly tested for banned substances. Creapure is featured on the “Cologne List” or the list of approved products that may help athletes reduce the risk of unintentionally becoming victims of doping.

The supplement comes in four varieties, including unflavored, fruit punch, grape, and blue bomb. Each scoop provides 5.4 grams of Creatine Monohydrate.

Best Fast-Dissolving: Now Foods Micronized Creatine Powder 500g

Creatine itself is not highly soluble in water, leading to a gritty and unpleasant texture when the powder is mixed with liquid. NOW Sports uses a micronized creatine monohydrate, meaning that the creatine is mechanically processed to improve the solubility. This powder dissolves quickly and mixes well.

The supplement is also vegan, kosher, non-GMO, and steroid free. Each scoop provides 5 grams of Creatine Monohydrate.

Multiple quality assurances ensure that NOW products' manufacturing process is up to par with GMP regulations and that the creatine monohydrate powder is high quality in every regard, including stability, potency, and product formulation. The product also has the Informed-Sports seal which guarantees that the product has been tested for banned substances by LGC, a globally recognized anti-doping assurance program.

Best Vegan: NAKED nutrition Naked Creatine Pure Creatine Monohydrate

Made up of 100 percent pure micronized creatine monohydrate, Naked Creatine is a high-quality, rapidly absorbed supplement that is also certified vegan. Many creatine monohydrate supplements claim to be vegan or vegetarian as they are free of animal products, but Naked Creatine takes their claim to the next level. Naked Creatine has a trusted Certified Vegan trademark. This certification guarantees that the product does not contain animal products or byproducts.

Naked Creatine also provides the consumer with independent heavy metal and allergen testing results, revealing that the product is free from high levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and gluten. True to the brand’s name and commitment to transparency, the product is “naked” and contains only one ingredient: pure creatine monohydrate.

Final Verdict

For a high-quality creatine powder that mixes well and is free of unwanted extras, try Pure Encapsulations Creatine Powder (view at Amazon).


What does creatine do in the body?

Creatine, a compound made up of amino acids, is involved in making energy for our muscles to work. Stored as a compound called phosphocreatine, it is used to recycle the primary energy source for our cells, Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).

Creatine is stored primarily in muscle cells, so people will use it as a supplement in an effort to increase muscle mass and improve athletic performance and strength. Studies have shown that creatine may be effective in improving muscle strength, athletic performance, high-intensity exercise, and age-related muscle loss.

In addition to increasing muscle strength and athletic performance, creatine may also play a beneficial role in recovery, rehabilitation, thermoregulation, and injury prevention. However, more research is needed to determine the best use cases for creatine supplementation

When should I take creatine?

For muscle strength and athletic performance, most people take short-term “loading doses” and long-term “maintenance doses” of creatine supplements.

The point of taking a loading dose is to maximize the muscle’s stores of creatine in a short period of time. Typically, our creatine muscle stores are only about 60 to 80 percent full from diet alone. Taking a creatine supplement loading dose can quickly max out your muscle stores, allowing you to reap the benefits faster.

It’s also possible to increase your muscle creatine stores by taking lower doses over a longer period of time through maintenance dosing. It just takes longer for the stores to build up and therefore takes a bit longer to see athletic performance and strength results.

How much creatine should I take?

If following a regimen that includes both the loading phase and the maintenance phase, you’ll take different amounts of creatine for each phase. A common approach for the loading phase is to take up to 20 grams per day for 5 to 7 days, breaking the dose down into 5-gram servings 4 times per day.

For the maintenance phase, 2 to 10 grams per day, or 0.1 gram per kilogram body weight is considered generally safe and effective for maintaining elevated creatine stores in the muscle. As with all dietary supplements, consult with your physician before starting a new creatine regimen.

What Experts Say

“Creatine increases creatine phosphate in muscle for improved strength, power, and increased lean body mass. Its powerful buffering effects are also seen in other tissues, including bones, eyes, and reproductive organs. The maintenance of bone density and muscle tissue in the aging population is extremely important, and creatine can help with both of these. It’s not just for bodybuilders anymore.” —Shawn Wells, MPH, LDN, RD, CISSN, FISSN

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

A personal note on my recommendations written above. As a dietitian, I am not always comfortable recommending creatine supplements. After reviewing the most current clinical research and looking at multiple products; however, I came up with a list of products that I would recommend to someone looking to add creatine into their routine.

I aligned with best clinical practices and recommendations set forth by Sports Nutrition experts and the International Society of Sports Nutrition. I am careful to recommend supplements, and I believe the creatine supplements in the round-up are made by trusted brands devoted to product purity and are composed of high-quality ingredients. — Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN

Alex Aldeborgh, MS, RD contributed to the FAQ section of this article.

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Kreider RB, Kalman DS, Antonio J, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017;14:18. doi:10.1186/s12970-017-0173-z

  3. Cooper R, Naclerio F, Allgrove J, Jimenez A. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an updateJ Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012;9(1):33. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-33

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