10 Best Creatine supplements for mass & strength [UK] (2023)

Creatine is an essential supplement if you’re looking to build muscle and increase your strength.It also helps the muscles recover quickly during intense exercise.

But there are lots of different creatine supplements available, and it can be tricky to understand what features you should be looking for, when deciding on the right one for you.

To help you out, I’ve put together this list of my 10 best creatine supplements in the UK and provided a brief review of each one.

BULK POWDERS Creatine Monohydrate Powder

The Bulk Powders Creatine monohydrate powder is one of the best reviewed creatines on the market. It’s made from an ultra-high quality and pure source of creatine, giving the product a 99.9% purity rating, where many others can have as much as 5% impurities. It’s easily mixed, available in Apple and Lime, Mixed Berry and Unflavoured varieties. The suggested way to take it is mixed directly with water and/or whey protein post workout. The bag re-seals well to prevent moisture getting in.

  • Creatine type: Creatine Monohydrate
  • Serving size: 5g

Optimum Nutrition Micronised Creatine

Optimum Nutrition are one of the highest profile companies in the supplement world. This micronized creatine powder is made with creapure, which is a creatine monohydrate highly regarded on account of its exceptional purity and small particles. The unusually small particles means the powder mixes more easily and stays suspended in the liquid – this prevents the powder sinking to the bottom and building up the dreaded sludge at the bottom of your shaker! It’s available in Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla and Unflavoured varieties.

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  • Creatine type: Micronised Creatine Monohydrate.
  • Serving size:6g

Optimum Nutrition Creatine 2500 mg Capsules

The Optimum Nutrition creatine monohydrate capsules are another market-leading offering. They are made from creapure which ensures they have the premium 99.9% purity which is expected of the high end creatines. They’re also a super convenient way to take creatine and make supplementation so much easier for many users. If you don’t like the powdery nature of a shake, or you don’t like the taste of the flavoured creatines then this could be the product for you. It’s tasteless, easy to transport, doesn’t require measuring a dose size and can be taken very quickly. These are a very high dose creatine relative to other products on the market.

  • Creatine type: Creapure creatine monohydrate
  • Serving size: 5g

MyProtein Creatine Monohydrate 500g

The MyProtein Creatine Monohydrate powder is a budget-mid range creatine that offers good value for money. Where it’s not micronised like some of the higher end products, it is a lot of creatine for the price and as such is a good option for those users with a tighter budget. If you’re used to the smoother consistency of the micronized creatines, perhaps stay away from this but if you’re not as fussy, go ahead! MyProtein have got a solid reputation in the industry so you won’t go far wrong here.

  • Creatine type: Creatine Monohydrate Powder
  • Serving size: 3g

Creatine Xtreme


The Creatine Xtreme from Iron Labs is another capsule based creatine supplement. In this case, it also contains Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), Zinc, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. It’s a more rounded supplement, but with a serving suggestion of 3 capsules, twice per day (AM and PM) it’s arguably not as convenient as others. Each 6 capsule daily dose provides 3.9g of creatine, plus the additional nutrient benefits of the Zinc, Vitamin D and B12. Like some other capsuled creatines, the capsules are quite large so may be slightly difficult to swallow

  • Creatine type: Creatine Monohydrate Capsules
  • Serving size:9g

MET-Rx Creatine 4200

MET-Rx is another of the world leading supplement brands and their creatine capsules have been very well received by users. They use a pharmaceutical grade of HPLC creatine monohydrate, which means it is broken down into the smallest possible molecule size to ensure fast absorption by the body. The capsules are slightly smaller than other brands which can make taking them much easier as well. They’re in the upper mid-range in terms of price, but these are a premium product.

  • Creatine type: Creatine Monohydrate Capsules
  • Serving size:2g

Nu U Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate Powder Micronised

This creatine powder from Nu U nutrition is a great offering if you’re vegetarian or vegan. The product is allergen free, lactose free, GMO free, gluten free and sugar free. It comes in a very large (1kg) bag and will last for 7 months if taken daily. Each serving contains 5g of creatine, which is also a large dose. It’s an unflavoured powder and mixes well, plus the dosing is easy because the product contains a serving scoop.

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  • Creatine type: Creatine Monohydrate Powder
  • Serving size: 5g

USN Creatine Monohydrate

The USN creatine monohydrate is another of the mid-price creatine powders. It is micronised like the premium ranges but some users suggest that it doesn’t mix as well as the brands at a higher price points. The serving size is 5g and each serving contains 4.4g of creatine, so it is relatively high dose. The USN creatine product doesn’t contain a serving scoop so most users will serve with a 5g teaspoon, which seems to do the trick just fine!

  • Creatine type: Micronised Creatine Monohydrate
  • Serving size:4g

Creatine Monohydrate Tablets by OPAL Fitness

The OPAL Fitness creatine monohydrate tablets are a low dose creatine taken across multiple small tablets. On one hand, the creatine itself is HPLC tested which authenticates its ability to be absorbed by the body. On the other, you have to swallow 5 tablets in order to get a 2g dose of creatine. With other brands offering up to 5g of creatine per serving, you have to consider how active you need an how much creatine you would like to take. If your needs are low (because you eat lots of red meat for example), this could be the brand for you! It’s a mid-range price so won’t break the bank.

  • Creatine type: Micronised Creatine Monohydrate Tablet
  • Serving size: 2g

Reflex Nutrition – Creapure Creatine

Relfex Nutrition have a growing reputation in the supplement industry and this Creapure Creatine is another great product. It’s a premium product, but the fact that it is made from Creapure (the purest form of creatine there is) and mixes well wholly justifies its price point as a premium product. In addition, the Relfex Nutrition creatine is Halal and vegan friendly, so can be used by a wider number of people with absolute confidence. There’s a reason this is seen as one of the market leaders.

  • Creatine type: Creapure Creatine
  • Serving size: 5g

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Choosing the right creatine supplement

You have a few different considerations when it comes to choosing your creatine supplement – most notably your budget, your preferred way of taking it, your dosage requirements and also any dietary considerations, for example if you were vegan, a capsule probably wouldn’t work because it would contain gelatine. Beyond that, there are a few standard points to consider that we’ll discuss now.

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Powder or tablet

Both of these have their pros and cons. In terms of ease, a tablet or capsule is easiest. It can be swallowed quickly, requires no measuring of a dose and has no taste or texture. Creatine capsules can be large and difficult to swallow though, so need a lot of water.

Powders are mixed with a drink for immediate post-workout consumption, but if you buy a cheaper powder they tend not to mix well and can be less appealing to drink. Powder is typically cheaper and you can take larger or smaller doses.

Flavour

When it comes to creatine most powders are unflavoured, with a couple of rare exceptions. For this reason a lot of people tend to consider flavour less important than mixability, because if it mixes well, it will be added to protein shakes or fruit juice.

Brand

There’s brand loyalty in all industries and supplements are no different. If you have a lot of products from a particular brand and like them, start there. If that doesn’t work for you, I’d suggest you look at the premium brands and work back – that way you’re less likely to waste money on cheaper, poor quality products.

What is creatine?

Creatine is a natural compound that is used to recycle energy in the cells. Essentially it helps to reform ATP (the fuel our body uses) quicker and more effectively, which in turn allows us to train harder, for longer when bulking. The result of this extra training means better physical performance including increased strength, power and muscle mass, plus longer time to fatigue. It occurs naturally in our diets and can be produced by the body, but active people benefit by adding extra creatine to their diets via supplements.

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Benefits of taking creatine

Improved muscle mass, improved strength, improved power, improved endurance and in some cases, improved mental alertness and cognitive ability. As one of the most researched supplements around, there is a hug evidence base to support its use – top athletes use it, recreational exercisers use it and there’s even evidence that it can help students studying for exams because it boost memory, understanding and recall of information.

How to take creatine

Typically you start with a ‘loading’ phase where you’ll take a very high dose for up to 4 weeks (depending on the brand and dosage), then after that you’ll reduce to a standard dosing of around 3-5g per day.

Some people like to cycle on and off creatine every few weeks, but this isn’t always necessary. It can make some people slightly heavier as they hold on to more water, but cycling off for a couple of weeks reduces this. It’s a case of keeping an eye on how you look, feel and perform whilst on creatine, before deciding whether to cycle off or not.

The best creatine supplements in the UK

Like any supplement range there are good and bad, but you have to make a choice based on your requirements. Thankfully creatine isn’t hugely different in its processing or taste, so your decisions are largely based on budget, dosage and how you want to take your creatine. Follow these reviews and you’ll certainly find a creatine to suit your needs.

FAQs

Does creatine make you stronger or just bigger? ›

Creatine is the most effective supplement for increasing muscle mass and strength ( 1 ). It is a fundamental supplement in the bodybuilding and fitness communities ( 2 ). Research shows supplementing with creatine can double your strength and lean muscle gains when compared to training alone ( 3 ).

How do I know which creatine to buy? ›

Always buy creatine monohydrate.

Most research done on the amino acid creatine shows that creatine monohydrate is the safest, most effective form of the supplement, says Andrew Jagim, Ph. D., director of sports-medicine research at the Mayo Clinic Health System.

How long does creatine take to work? ›

It will take seven to 28 days to see energy effects depending on how much creatine you already have in your body.

How long should I take creatine? ›

Doses up to 25 grams daily for up to 14 days have been safely used. Lower doses up to 4-5 grams daily for up to 18 months have also been safely used. Creatine is possibly safe when taken long-term. Doses up to 10 grams daily for up to 5 years have been safely used.

How much weight will creatine make you gain? ›

On average, you may expect to gain 1–2% of body mass during the loading phase — which is partially water weight ( 8 ). Still, increases in total body water due to supplementing with creatine is short term and typically resolves a few weeks after the loading phase ( 11 ).

How much water should I drink with creatine? ›

Creatine and Water

Therefore, proper hydration is essential. As previously mentioned, 6-8 cups of water are the average drinking amount when out of training. However, when supplementing with creatine, you should drink an additional 8-10 cups of water daily, or slightly more, depending on your exercise regimen.

How do you know if creatine is working? ›

If you've started taking creatine, you should know if it works for you in about a week. If your training volume increases, it's working for you. If not, you're probably a non-responder, and taking the powder isn't going to help you. Diet is important.

Is creatine better before or after a workout? ›

Creatine supplementation plus resistance exercise increases fat-free mass and strength. Based on the magnitude inferences it appears that consuming creatine immediately post-workout is superior to pre-workout vis a vis body composition and strength.

Is creatine pills or powder better? ›

So for most people, creatine powder is a better option. It's less expensive than pills, and also absorbs into your system quicker. The only downside is that you do have some extra work in mixing the powder with a liquid. But again, for most people this is well worth the time for the extra benefit that powders offer.

What happens when you stop taking creatine? ›

When you stop taking creatine, your body's stored creatine levels will go down. This may result in a loss of strength, reduced energy levels, and a slight loss of muscle mass.

Do you need to drink more water when taking creatine? ›

It's essential to drink plenty of water when taking creatine to get the most out of the supplements. Creatine might cause you to gain some weight from the water pulled into your muscles.

What are the side effects of creatine? ›

Side effects of creatine include:
  • Weight gain.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Muscle strains and pulls.
  • Stomach upset.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Dizziness.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Liver dysfunction.

Should I take creatine every day? ›

One common question among athletes: Should I take creatine on off days? The short answer is yes, but you can also skip some days. "Research suggests that creatine stores can be maintained at high levels even if creatine is not taken every single day," says Paul Falcone, senior scientist for LADDER.

Does creatine affect sleep? ›

Key takeaways. Creatine supplementation increases creatine stores in the brain. By reducing the accumulation of adenosine and adenosine triphosphate in the brain during wakefulness, creatine supplementation seems to reduce sleep depth, duration, and “rebound sleep” after sleep deprivation.

Should I drink creatine before bed? ›

You can supplement with creatine before bed and at any other time of the day with confidence to achieve significant physical results alongside your workout routine.

What happens if you take creatine and don't workout? ›

So, you can definitely take creatine if you don't go to the gym or if you're not trying to get 'big'. For people who don't work out, the benefits are mainly that creatine will give you that energy boost for any day-to-day movement, and will also improve brain function.

Will creatine make you bigger? ›

Creatine makes your muscles look bigger, while actually making them bigger as well. First, creatine causes your muscle cells to store more water which causes your muscles to appear fuller and larger. You may notice the size increase a few days or weeks after starting creatine supplementation.

Does creatine increase testosterone? ›

Creatine supplementation enhances exercise performance, but most studies show that it has no effect on testosterone levels. If you are concerned about your testosterone, make sure you get enough sleep, exercise, calories, vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc.

Does creatine burn belly fat? ›

Well, the truth of the matter is, creatine supplementation will not directly decrease the fat in your abdominal area or total bodyweight. As a matter of fact, you might even notice a slight weight gain during the first week of taking creatine. This is a result of the increased water weight in your muscle tissue cells.

Can you drink alcohol with creatine? ›

Creatine supplements are generally considered safe to use, even if you have some alcohol while taking them. A recent study on mice suggests that mixing alcohol and creatine may actually amplify the negative effects of alcohol on your liver. Most peeps get about 1 to 3 grams of creatine each day from the food they eat.

Can I take creatine with milk? ›

Creatine is taken by body builders along with Whey Protein which itself is a dietary supplement. So there is no harm in mixing Creatine with milk.

Do you have to load when taking creatine? ›

Is It Necessary? While the loading phase does pump creatine into your body, it may not be necessary in order to boost total creatine levels. In fact, lower doses of creatine taken once daily can be equally effective at maximizing your muscle creatine stores — though it may take a bit longer.

How much weight can you gain from creatine in a month? ›

Adults gain 1.5-3.5 pounds on average during the first week of Creatine loading, but this weight gain may be attributed to water retention. A person who uses Creatine for up to three months can add up to 6.5 pounds of lean mass greater than someone who does not use it.

What is the benefit of creatine? ›

Creatine helps produce ATP, your cells' most basic form of energy. This increases energy production during high intensity exercise and leads to improved performance and increased strength and muscle gain.

Can I mix creatine with protein? ›

Taking the two together does not appear to offer additional benefits for muscle and strength gains. However, if you'd like to try both and are looking to increase muscle mass and performance in the gym or on the field, taking whey protein and creatine together is safe and effective.

Should I eat before taking creatine? ›

Ingredients are sometimes added to creatine to increase its effectiveness. Carbs may do this, and a good strategy is to take creatine when you eat a meal containing carbs and protein.

Should I take creatine 30 minutes before workout? ›

Creatine is also linked to increased body mass during training. Research has shown gains of up to 0.9kg–2.2 kg (2-5lbs) more in athletes who supplement with creatine over a period of several months compared to those who don't. The best time to take creatine is 30 minutes before a workout.

How many mg of creatine should I take a day? ›

Taking too much creatine at one time can result in stomach discomfort and bloating, and it's a waste of money. After your muscles are fully saturated with creatine, it's recommended to take 3–5 grams (14 mg/pound or 30 mg/kg) daily to maintain optimal muscle stores.

How much creatine should I take a day? ›

There is no established dose. Many different dosages of creatine supplements have been used in studies. For athletic performance, some people start with 10 grams to 20 grams of creatine a day. This is typically followed by a maintenance dose of 2 grams to 5 grams of creatine a day.

How do I start taking creatine? ›

1) You can load creatine by first taking around 20g per day for 5-7 days. And then you ingest 3-5 grams a day after that to maintain the elevated creatine stores. 2) You can take 3-5 grams of creatine everyday right from the start. 3) You can cycle on and off creatine for a few weeks at a time.

Can I take creatine forever? ›

When used orally at appropriate doses, creatine is likely safe to take for up to five years.

What foods is creatine found in? ›

Food sources include red meat and fish. One pound of raw beef or salmon provides 1 to 2 grams (g) of creatine. Creatine can supply energy to parts of the body where it is needed. Athletes use supplements to increase energy production, improve athletic performance, and to allow them to train harder.

Does creatine make you lose muscle? ›

Creatine supplementation has been shown to increase lean body mass in active individuals and can be used to augment gains in muscle mass and strength during prolonged resistance-type exercise training.

Does creatine burn belly fat? ›

Well, the truth of the matter is, creatine supplementation will not directly decrease the fat in your abdominal area or total bodyweight. As a matter of fact, you might even notice a slight weight gain during the first week of taking creatine. This is a result of the increased water weight in your muscle tissue cells.

Is creatine monohydrate or HCL better? ›

Okay, so which type of creatine is most effective? Technically, creatine monohydrate and creatine HCL are equally effective. Both forms of supplemental creatine facilitate increased muscle mass when taken appropriately. The difference between the two lies in how effectively they actually get into the muscle.

Should I take creatine before or after workout? ›

Creatine supplementation plus resistance exercise increases fat-free mass and strength. Based on the magnitude inferences it appears that consuming creatine immediately post-workout is superior to pre-workout vis a vis body composition and strength.

Is creatine monohydrate the best? ›

Creatine is one of the most effective supplements for exercise performance. Several types are available, but monohydrate is currently the best form. It has the best safety record, most scientific support and is at least as effective as any other form on the market.

Can creatine make you bigger? ›

Creatine makes your muscles look bigger, while actually making them bigger as well. First, creatine causes your muscle cells to store more water which causes your muscles to appear fuller and larger. You may notice the size increase a few days or weeks after starting creatine supplementation.

Does creatine boost testosterone? ›

Creatine supplementation enhances exercise performance, but most studies show that it has no effect on testosterone levels. If you are concerned about your testosterone, make sure you get enough sleep, exercise, calories, vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc.

How much weight will I gain with creatine? ›

On average, you may expect to gain 1–2% of body mass during the loading phase — which is partially water weight ( 8 ). Still, increases in total body water due to supplementing with creatine is short term and typically resolves a few weeks after the loading phase ( 11 ).

How much water should I drink with creatine? ›

Creatine and Water

Therefore, proper hydration is essential. As previously mentioned, 6-8 cups of water are the average drinking amount when out of training. However, when supplementing with creatine, you should drink an additional 8-10 cups of water daily, or slightly more, depending on your exercise regimen.

How much creatine should I take a day? ›

There is no established dose. Many different dosages of creatine supplements have been used in studies. For athletic performance, some people start with 10 grams to 20 grams of creatine a day. This is typically followed by a maintenance dose of 2 grams to 5 grams of creatine a day.

What are the side effects of creatine monohydrate? ›

Side effects of creatine include:
  • Weight gain.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Muscle strains and pulls.
  • Stomach upset.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Dizziness.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Liver dysfunction.

Is it OK to mix creatine with protein? ›

Taking the two together does not appear to offer additional benefits for muscle and strength gains. However, if you'd like to try both and are looking to increase muscle mass and performance in the gym or on the field, taking whey protein and creatine together is safe and effective.

Does creatine affect sleep? ›

Key takeaways. Creatine supplementation increases creatine stores in the brain. By reducing the accumulation of adenosine and adenosine triphosphate in the brain during wakefulness, creatine supplementation seems to reduce sleep depth, duration, and “rebound sleep” after sleep deprivation.

How do you know if creatine is working? ›

If you've started taking creatine, you should know if it works for you in about a week. If your training volume increases, it's working for you. If not, you're probably a non-responder, and taking the powder isn't going to help you. Diet is important.

What happens when you stop taking creatine? ›

When you stop taking creatine, your body's stored creatine levels will go down. This may result in a loss of strength, reduced energy levels, and a slight loss of muscle mass.

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