6 Best Creatine Supplements For Beginners in 2024

Creatine is a cornerstone in the world of fitness supplements, despite the cloud of uncertainty that often surrounds it. Should beginners take creatine? If you're just starting your fitness journey, it can be overwhelming to grasp all the supplements that promise to enhance your workout results. 

However, you should be confident in one thing: The best Creatine for Beginners is creatine monohydrate. To simplify your journey, we've curated a list of the best six Beginners Creatine Supplements. Dive in as we break down their features, benefits, and why they've made it to our best picks.

 In a hurry? 

In a hurry?

In a hurry and can’t keep reading? How about you check out the Promix Creatine Micronized.


Promix Nutrition's Micronized Creatine Monohydrate powder is a high-quality, vegan-friendly supplement trusted by athletes for its purity and effectiveness.

Our expert squad of certified nutritionists, coaches, medical professionals, and pro athletes conducted comprehensive tests on more than 25 creatines to find the ones that are the best for beginners, and 6 of them made the cut. Each protein powder was closely examined against 5 of the most important factors, and our team spent over 7 weeks testing them. Alongside our direct evaluations, we've reviewed hundreds of online user reviews. We frequently update this list, so don't hesitate to leave a comment, share your own tips and experiences, and get involved!

Best Creatines For Beginners

Top 8 Best Creatines for Beginners Reviewed

ProductTotalSupplement Facts*SolubilityNutrition Label TransparencyTastePrice/
Quality
Promix47.5109.510810
BPN45.5109.5107.58.5
Gnarly45109.5107.58
Optimum Nutrition43991078
Naked438.591078.5
Jacked Factory41.58.58107.57.5

*We evaluate such characteristics as creatine type, additional ingredients, third-party safety tests and doping control.

Promix Creatine

  • Brand: Promix Nutrition, founded on the principle of creating high-quality, natural supplements.
  • Form: Powder
  • Servings per Container: 180 servings
  • Type: Micronized Creatine Monohydrate
  • Suitable for Vegans: Yes
  • Other Ingredients: None
  • Price per Serving (5g): ~$0.29
  • Company Founded: 2011
  • Recommended by Athletes: Audrey & Nicole Nourse (NCAA beach volleyball champions), Odell Beckham Jr (NFL Super-Bowl Winner), Matthew Noszka (Actor, Model & Fitness Enthusiast)

Promix Nutrition, established in 2011, is dedicated to crafting high-quality, natural supplements as embodied in their Micronized Creatine Monohydrate powder. This vegan-friendly product offers a staggering 180 servings per container, promising enhanced solubility and absorption due to its micronization process. At a cost-effective price, the product remains free from other ingredients, underscoring its purity. Backed by third-party testing, this unflavored supplement ensures safety and quality, earning the trust of athletes like Audrey & Nicole Nourse, Odell Beckham Jr, and Matthew Noszka. However, its packaging might be considered bulky for those who prefer portability.

Promix Creatine instagram

Photo by @promix

47.5Expert Score

Promix Nutrition's Micronized Creatine Monohydrate powder is a high-quality, vegan-friendly supplement trusted by athletes for its purity and effectiveness, offering enhanced solubility and absorption in a cost-effective package.

Supplement Facts:
10
Solubility:
9.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Taste:
8
Price/ Quality:
10

Positives:

  • Enhanced solubility and absorption due to micronization

  • Exceptional value for money, a perfect choice for beginners

  • Third-party tested, ensuring a high-quality product

Could be better:

  • The product is packaged in a resealable bag, which may be considered inconvenient or cumbersome for some users

BPN Creatine Monohydrate

  • Brand: Bare Performance Nutrition, committed to helping individuals reach their highest fitness levels.
  • Form: Powder
  • Servings per Container: 60 servings
  • Type: Creapure Creatine Monohydrate
  • Suitable for Vegans: Yes
  • Other Ingredients: None
  • Price per Serving (5g): $0.75
  • Company Founded: 2012
  • Recommended by Athletes: Adam Klink (Fitness Athlete), Lauren Elizabeth (Professional Runner)

Bare Performance Nutrition, founded in 2012, offers this Creapure Creatine Monohydrate powder, which is designed to boost strength, power output, and lean muscle mass. Serving as a premium supplement, it promises purity achieved through rigorous third-party testing, assuring safe consumption by being free from banned substances. The powder is easily dissolvable, providing 60 servings per container. While the product is slightly more expensive per serving at ~$0.75 and comes unflavored, it reflects a commitment to quality that's been recognized by notable athletes like Adam Klink and Lauren Elizabeth.

BPN Creatine Monohydrate instagram

Photo by @bpnsupps

45.5Expert Score

Bare Performance Nutrition's Creapure Creatine Monohydrate powder is a premium supplement trusted by athletes to enhance strength, power, and lean muscle mass, offering purity, safe consumption, and 60 servings per container.

Supplement Facts:
10
Solubility:
9.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Taste:
7.5
Price/ Quality:
8.5

Positives:

  • Sourced from Creapure, the most widely studied form of creatine

  • No added ingredients; just creatine

  • Third-party tested for banned substances, ensuring safe consumption

Could be better:

  • The price might be considered high compared to other brands

  • There may be a desire for larger packaging options to facilitate bulk purchases and provide cost savings

Gnarly Nutrition Creatine

  • Brand: Gnarly Nutrition, committed to natural, whole-food nutrition
  • Form: Powder
  • Servings per Container: 90 servings
  • Type: Creapure Creatine Monohydrate
  • Suitable for Vegans: Yes
  • Other Ingredients: None
  • Price per Serving (5g): ~$0.61
  • Company Founded: 2012
  • Recommended by Athletes: Maiza Lima (Professional Climber), Corinna Coffin (Sports Dietitian and Athlete)

Gnarly Nutrition, founded in 2012, is dedicated to creating natural, whole-food nutrition supplements. Their Creapure Creatine Monohydrate powder offers 90 servings, free from additional ingredients, and is priced at ~$0.61 per serving. The product has been certified by NSF for sport and content, indicating its high safety and quality standards, which makes it a favored choice among athletes like Maiza Lima and Corinna Coffin. However, its unflavored nature and slightly higher price may not appeal to all.

Gnarly Nutrition Creatine instagram
45Expert Score

Gnarly Nutrition's Creapure Creatine Monohydrate powder is a trusted supplement favored by athletes for its quality, safety, and value.

Supplement Facts:
10
Solubility:
9.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Taste:
7.5
Price/ Quality:
8

Positives:

  • Uses Creapure, a high-quality and extensively studied form of creatine

  • Certified by NSF for Sport and NSF Content, indicating high safety and quality standards

  • The product has received both Kosher and Halal certifications

Could be better:

  • The product's cost is relatively higher compared to other similar supplements on the market

Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine

  • Brand: Optimum Nutrition, globally recognized sports nutrition brand
  • Item form: Powder and capsules
  • Servings per Container: 120 servings
  • Type: Micronized Creatine Monohydrate
  • Suitable for Vegans: Yes
  • Other Ingredients: None
  • Price per Serving (5g): ~$0.31
  • Company Founded: 1986 
  • Recommended by Athletes: Taylor Fritz (Top US Pro Tennis Player), Steven Benedict (Professional Track Athlete)

Optimum Nutrition, a globally recognized sports nutrition brand since 1986, presents their Micronized Creatine Monohydrate powder. With 120 servings per container and a cost of $0.31 per serving, this product is designed for better solubility and absorption, thus aiding in muscle strength, power, and size. The product's safety is assured by testing for banned substances, earning the trust of athletes like Taylor Fritz and Steven Benedict.

Optimum Nutrition instagram
43Expert Score

Optimum Nutrition's Micronized Creatine Monohydrate powder is a trusted supplement that supports muscle strength and size, with 120 servings per container at an affordable price, and has gained the trust of athletes.

Supplement Facts:
9
Solubility:
9
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Taste:
7
Price/ Quality:
8

Positives:

  • Micronized for better solubility and absorption

  • Proven brand in the sports nutrition industry

  • Tested for banned substances, ensuring safe consumption

Could be better:

  • Some users might prefer flavored creatine supplements

  • Despite micronization, does not mix well

  • No measuring spoon

NAKED Creatine Monohydrate

  • Brand: Naked Nutrition, dedicated to helping you meet your daily nutritional needs in the most natural way possible
  • Form: Powder
  • Servings per Container: 200 servings
  • Type: Micronized Creatine Monohydrate
  • Suitable for Vegans: Yes
  • Other Ingredients: None
  • Price per Serving (5g): ~$0.22
  • Company Founded: 2014
  • Recommended by Athletes: Chantae McMillan (US Olympian -heptathlon), Sunny Lee  (ACE Certified Personal Trainer)

Naked Nutrition, founded in 2014, is committed to meeting your daily nutritional needs naturally. Their Micronized Creatine Monohydrate powder offers a substantial 200 vegan-friendly servings per container at a cost-effective price of ~$0.22 per serving. It is favored by athletes such as Chantae McMillan and Sunny Lee, despite being unflavored.

NAKED Creatine Monohydrate instagram

Photo by @onewei_cafe

43Expert Score

Naked Nutrition's Micronized Creatine Monohydrate powder is a natural and cost-effective supplement, providing 200 vegan-friendly servings per container at approximately $0.22 per serving.

Supplement Facts:
8.5
Solubility:
9
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Taste:
7
Price/ Quality:
8.5

Positives:

  • Pure and additive-free, suitable for those looking for a clean creatine source

  • Micronized for better solubility and absorption

  • Provides a large number of servings per container

Could be better:

  • May be slightly gritty, and some users may suggest exploring a more premium option if intending to mix it into smoothies or protein shakes

  • The scoop may be overly long, potentially causing product wastage and messes

Jacked Factory Creatine Monohydrate

  • Brand: Jacked Factory, known for its high-quality and scientifically-backed supplements
  • Form: Powder
  • Servings per Container: 85 servings
  • Type: Creatine Monohydrate
  • Suitable for Vegans: Yes
  • Other Ingredients: None
  • Price per Serving (5g): $0.41
  • Company Founded: 2015
  • Recommended by Athletes: Steven Cao (IFBB Pro Body Builder), Jonathan Hambrick (IFBB Pro Bodybuilder)

Jacked Factory, known since 2015 for its high-quality and scientifically-backed supplements, offers an effective Creatine Monohydrate supplement. With 85 servings per container, this vegan-friendly product comes at $0.41 per serving. Manufactured in a cGMP-certified facility in the USA, it ensures top quality and safety. Its unflavored and pure form allows for easy stacking with other supplements, earning the recognition of athletes like Steven Cao and Jonathan Hambrick. However, some users may prefer a flavored supplement.

Jacked Factory Creatine instagram
41.5Expert Score

Jacked Factory's Creatine Monohydrate supplement is a trusted, unflavored product favored by athletes for its quality and compatibility with other supplements.

Supplement Facts:
8.5
Solubility:
8
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Taste:
7.5
Price/ Quality:
7.5

Positives:

  • Pure creatine monohydrate, no additional ingredients

  • Manufactured in a cGMP-certified facility, ensuring quality and safety

Could be better:

  • The product does not fully dissolve, which can result in a gritty texture when mixed with a beverage

  • The product is slightly expensive compared to other products on the market, potentially limiting its accessibility for some users

Understanding Creatine

Creatine's power lies in its ability to fuel our muscles during exercise. Essentially, our bodies need energy to function, and the primary source of this energy is a molecule called ATP. However, during intense workouts, ATP is used up quickly. Here's where creatine steps in. It helps to regenerate ATP in our muscle cells, providing a rapid and sustainable energy source that enables us to push harder during our workouts.

This energy-boosting capacity is what makes creatine a go-to supplement for fitness enthusiasts. Creatine not only fuels our muscles during exercise but also offers potential cognitive benefits. The growing body of research suggests that creatine supplementation – particularly creatine monohydrate may enhance brain health, including cognitive processing and brain function, especially under stress or pathological conditions.

athlete dumbbell workout

Exploring Different Types of Creatine

The first thing to know is that creatine comes in many forms - from monohydrate to citrate, pyruvate to malate, and many more. Each type has its unique features, so let’s have a closer look.

1. Creatine Monohydrate

For beginners, the top choice is often creatine monohydrate. It's not just about affordability; the popularity of this form stems from its extensive research support. It is available as 100% pure creatine (anhydrous) or micronized for better solubility. It's been shown to increase muscle strength, improve exercise performance, and even enhance muscle recovery.

Despite being the simplest form, creatine monohydrate sets the gold standard for this supplement and for beginner-friendly creatine.

2. Creatine Citrate and Micronized Creatine

Creatine Citrate and Micronized Creatine offer a slight twist to the monohydrate form. They are known for their superior solubility, meaning they dissolve more easily in water. This feature can lead to better absorption and may be easier on the stomach, making them suitable alternatives for those who experience digestive issues with monohydrate. Their performance benefits mirror that of monohydrate, making them just as reliable.

3. Creatine Ethyl Ester

Creatine Ethyl Ester often comes with a more premium price tag, but it hasn't proven to be more effective than its monohydrate counterpart. It is purported to have better absorption rates, but evidence suggests that it breaks down more in the gut, limiting its overall efficacy.

athlete lifting workout

4. Buffered Creatine (Kre-Alkalyn)

Kre-Alkalyn, or Buffered Creatine, has been marketed as a superior form of creatine due to its higher pH level, suggesting it might have better absorption and fewer side effects. However, research does not conclusively support these claims. When compared head-to-head with monohydrate, buffered creatine doesn't demonstrate superior effectiveness.

5. Creatine Magnesium Chelate

Creatine magnesium chelate, sold under names like MagnaPower, is creatine bound with magnesium. While there's a common belief that this form absorbs more effectively than monohydrate, there's limited evidence to validate this.

6. Liquid Creatine

Liquid creatine offers on-the-go convenience but may be less effective than other forms. Research indicates that creatine may break down if left in liquid for several days, potentially reducing its efficacy.

man paralettes workout

What Should a Beginner Pay Attention to When Choosing Creatine?

Choosing the right creatine supplement can be a daunting task for a beginner. Here are some crucial aspects to consider for making an informed decision:

1. Do Your Research?

Take the time to research different forms of creatine and their effectiveness. Look for unbiased sources of information, such as scientific studies and reputable fitness websites.

2. Don't Be Swayed by Fancy Claims

Be skeptical of extravagant marketing claims that promise extraordinary results. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Stick to evidence-based claims and proven results.

3. Choose the Suitable Form

Creatine is available in various forms, including monohydrate, citrate, and ethyl ester. Despite the variety, creatine monohydrate stands out as the most effective, safe, and cost-effective form available. Particularly for beginners, this form is highly recommended due to its proven efficacy and consistent results.

4. Compare Prices and Ingredients:

Don't assume that a higher price tag automatically means a superior product. Compare prices and ingredient lists to ensure you're getting the best value for your money. Look for creatine supplements with transparent labeling and minimal additives.

athlete lifting training

5. Tune in to Your Body's Response

Everyone's body reacts differently to creatine supplements. Be mindful of your body's response to the creatine intake. If you encounter any adverse effects like bloating or stomach discomfort, consider adjusting the dosage or experimenting with different creatine forms.

6. Consult Experts

Although recommended doses of creatine are generally deemed safe for healthy individuals, it's always beneficial to consult a healthcare provider. They can offer personalized advice based on your health and fitness aspirations.

Remember, while creatine supplements may boost your performance and strength, they aren't a substitute for dedication and hard work in the gym. Supplements should aid your progress, not become a crutch to rely on. Keep pushing your limits and challenging your muscles for maximum benefits.

air rower training

How Not to Fall For Marketing Tricks When Choosing a Form of Creatine?

With a surge of information and marketing claims about various forms of creatine, it can be a challenge to decipher what to trust. We're here to help you cut through the noise, debunk myths, and equip you with the knowledge needed to make an informed choice.

1. Debunking Creatine Monohydrate Water Retention Myths

Many avoid creatine monohydrate due to the fear of water retention and gaining weight. However, this form retains water within muscle cells, enhancing muscular appearance and not causing subcutaneous excess water retention.

How much water can your muscles get? Usually, the gain is small, about 0.5-1 liters. For beginners, it will be even less (because of less muscle mass), and you may not notice any changes on the scales at all.

2. Unmasking Misconceptions Around Carb Loading

Combining creatine with large amounts of fast-digesting carbs may lead to water retention and unnecessary calorie increase, often confused as an effect of creatine. Remember, added sugars translate into extra calories, not enhanced creatine effectiveness.

3. Don't Fall for 'Superior' Formulations

Numerous brands claim their creatine formulation as superior to creatine monohydrate. However, no scientific evidence conclusively supports such claims. Stick to trusted, tested, and proven creatine monohydrate.

4. Creatine Powder Vs. Capsules

The choice between creatine powder and capsules often boils down to personal preference and lifestyle needs. Creatine powder for beginners, like creatine monohydrate, is usually more cost-effective and allows for easier adjustment of dosage. It can be mixed into water, juice, or even a protein shake. On the other hand, capsules provide a convenient and mess-free way to get your creatine, especially on-the-go. However, they often require you to take a higher number of capsules to reach the desired dosage and can be more expensive.

man training in gym

Ideal Creatine Plan for Beginners

As we already discussed, creatine supplementation is known for its ability to promote muscle growth, improve training performance, and aid in recovery. In this context, creatine monohydrate for beginners can be an excellent choice, providing consistency and long-term benefits. However, confusion often arises around the optimal way to take it. To maximize the benefits of creatine, it's crucial to maintain consistency.

Creatine doesn't immediately assimilate into the muscle; it requires time to saturate the muscles.

There are two popular methods to raise your muscle creatine levels: the loading protocol and the daily low-dose protocol.

  1. Creatine Loading: This method involves starting with a "loading phase" with a high dose, for example, 20 g of creatine per day divided into 3-4 takes to fully saturate the muscles' stores, followed by a "maintenance phase" with lower daily doses. While effective, high doses might cause gastrointestinal discomfort for some.
  2. Low-Dose Daily Supplementation: This method involves taking 3-5 grams of creatine daily without a loading phase. It's simpler and works just as effectively, though it takes about three weeks to reach the same muscular levels as the loading protocol provides in 7-10 days.

male lifting stance

Following any method, maintaining a consistent dose of 3-5 grams per day is crucial.

Regarding when to take creatine, options include before a workout, after, both, or whenever. While some researchers suggest slight benefits to timing, the key is to take it consistently.

Creatine monohydrate is a tasteless, odorless supplement that easily dissolves in any fluid, making it easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Whether or not you combine it with carbs or protein, the key is consistent intake.

Lastly, don't worry about occasional missed doses. Once your muscles are saturated with creatine, levels can remain elevated for 4-6 weeks.

FAQ

Should a Beginner Take Creatine?

Absolutely, creatine is a suitable supplement for beginners in fitness and strength training. It boosts the natural creatine stores in muscles, which leads to enhanced performance during exercises and can help induce muscle growth over time.

How Much Creatine Should a Beginner Use?

Beginners are typically advised to take 3-5 grams of creatine daily. An optional 'loading phase' can be considered, involving a higher daily dose of about 20 grams, divided into four doses, for around 5-7 days. This can quickly saturate muscles with creatine, but regular, lower-dose supplementation can achieve the same results over time. 

Is a Loading Phase Required?

Some individuals prefer a 'loading phase' where higher doses of creatine are consumed initially to rapidly saturate muscle stores. This is optional and depends on personal preference. For most beginners, loading creatine won't provide any extra benefits, and it even poses a higher risk of side effects such as stomach discomfort.

Is Creatine Safe?

Generally, creatine is safe when taken in recommended doses. However, always consider consulting with a healthcare professional, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.

Conclusion

In conclusion, creatine supplements can be a game-changer for beginners in fitness, with creatine monohydrate emerging as the top choice. Among the various forms of creatine available, creatine monohydrate is often the top choice due to its proven effectiveness, safety, and affordability. Carefully evaluating marketing claims, ingredients, and prices is crucial when choosing a supplement. The top pick product we recommend for beginners is the Promix Creatine Monohydrate, a simple and effective supplement that has consistently proven its value over time. As you embark on this journey, remember to tune into your body's responses and consult a healthcare provider if needed. We're curious to hear about your experiences. Which creatine did you find best as a beginner? Feel free to share your thoughts and ask any questions you may have.

Also read:

References:

  • Effects of creatine supplementation and three days of resistance training on muscle strength, power output, and neuromuscular function // NCBI: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ 17685691/
  • Creatine Supplementation and Brain Health // MDPI: https://www.mdpi.com/ 2072-6643/13/2/586
  • Creatine but not betaine supplementation increases muscle phosphorylcreatine content and strength performance // NCBI: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ 21744011/
  • Creatine supplementation enhances muscle force recovery after eccentrically-induced muscle damage in healthy individuals // Biomedcentral: https://jissn.biomedcentral.com /articles/10.1186/1550-2783-6-13
  • The effects of creatine ethyl ester supplementation combined with heavy resistance training on body composition, muscle performance, and serum and muscle creatine levels // NCBI: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ 19228401/
  • International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine // NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pmc/articles/PMC5469049/
  • Carbohydrate ingestion augments skeletal muscle creatine accumulation during creatine supplementation in humans // Journals: https://journals.physiology.org /doi/abs/10.1152/ ajpendo.1996.271.5.e821
  • Creatine // Examine: https://examine.com/supplements/creatine/
  •  International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine // NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pmc/articles/ PMC5469049/
Promix Creatine

Oleksandr has a master's degree in "Sport Dietetics" and graduated from the National University of Physical Education and Sports of Ukraine. He is also a Certified Fitness Nutritionist and Sports Nutritionist from the Fitness Professional Association (FPA). His professional concept is based on a combination of evidence-based practice and common sense.

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