Reviews Pre-Workout Supplements

7 Best Pre-Workouts With Creatine in 2024

Taken 30-60 minutes before exercise, pre-workout supplements can improve endurance, increase strength, and provide you with extra energy throughout your workout.

With pre-workout powders containing a number of ingredient combinations, creatine is commonly added as one of the most widely studied beneficial ergogenic aids.

Choosing the best pre workout with creatine can be difficult, with different creatine forms and ingredient interactions influencing the overall effectiveness of the pre workout.

I’ve reviewed the top pre workout supplements with creatine, comparing the ingredient combinations used and the efficacy of each dose.

Our team of experts (nutritionists, athletes) has rigorously reviewed 14 different pre-workouts with creatine by investing over 150 hours into the testing. 7 of the best pre-workouts with creatine were selected that we deemed stood out among the rest. The list below are the results. Expect them updated since our team is on a continuous lookout for new products that might challenge the current lineup.

Best Pre-Workouts With Creatine

Top 7 Best Pre-Workouts with Creatine Reviewed

  1. Pre-Kaged – Top Pick
  2. ProSupps Hyde – Runner-Up
  3. Naked Energy
  4. Gorilla Mode
  5. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard
  6. Myprotein the Pre-workout
  7. 4 Gauge 4-in-1 Pre-Workout
ProductTotalIngredient BreakdownStimulationTaste/
Nutrition Label TransparencyPrice/
Naked Nutrition45.58.599.59.59
Gorilla Mind4598.51098.5
Optimum Nutrition4598.59108.5

1. Pre-Kaged 

pre-kaged pre-workout
  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best For: High-intensity Exercise Performance, Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Training Volume, Reducing Fatigue, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect
  • Flavors: Pink Lemonade, Grape, Fruit Punch, Krisp Apple, Orange Krush, Berry Blast
  • Caffeine (mg): 274 mg
  • Special Ingredients: Creatine HCL, Beta-alanine, L-Citrulline, Betaine
  • Serving Size: 28 grams
  • Servings per Container: 20
  • Price per Serving: ~$2.02
  • Company Founded: 2014
  • Recommended By AthletesBrady BarnesTawna McCoyRichard Biglia

Founded in 2014, Kaged wants to help you reach your health and fitness goals without cutting corners. The company aims to focus on high-quality, scientifically-backed ingredients to create quality products that bridge the gap between health and sports performance. 

The Kaged Muscle ‘Pre-kaged’ pre-workout has an extra large 28-gram serving size, combining several ingredients into one powder. In addition to a strong mix of ergogenic substances, it uses a hydrate and defend mix that combines 500 mg of coconut water with a blend of several hydration ingredients that help to replenish lost electrolytes during exercise. It’s my top pick pre workout with creatine HCL.

In terms of evidence-based ingredients, the Pre-kaged pre-workout hits the mark nicely. Its strength and power matrix blend contains 1.5 grams of creatine HCL, 1.6 grams of beta-alanine, and 2.5 grams of betaine anhydrous. As a pump enhancer, it has 6.5 grams of fermented l-citrulline and 274 mg of organic caffeine from green coffee beans.

The first thing that draws attention is the use of creatine HCL instead of monohydrate. We’ve written repeatedly about the fact that the only real advantage of hydrochloride over monohydrate is its better solubility. However, when it comes to a pre-workout complex, this quality can be crucial for those who experience stomach discomfort from creatine. No one wants to suffer from abdominal bloating or nausea while working out, and with this form of creatine, the risk of these side effects is reduced.

Pre-Kaged instagram
Photo by @kagedfireman

A solid dose of 274 mg of caffeine improves concentration and helps you focus on hard work. If you’re just starting to experiment with a pre-workout complex, it’s worth considering that this is a fairly high dose of caffeine. Taking half a dose to assess tolerance is a reasonable starting point.

The 1.6 grams of beta-alanine is at the right dose to limit digestive issues and the 2.5 grams of betaine is at the high end of the recommended dose. The 6.5 grams of l-citrulline should provide an excellent pump. So, the supplement combines everything you need for a hard workout.

Each tub contains 20 servings and is available in a decent flavor range with six options to choose from. All ingredients have been third-party tested, with the pre-kaged powder Informed-sport certified. It’s also suitable for vegans. Kaged Muscle has given excellent label transparency, with each ingredient amount and form clearly stated on the tub.


Pre-kaged pre-workout offers a powerful blend of ingredients, including caffeine for focus, beta-alanine to minimize digestive issues, and l-citrulline for an excellent pump, making it a reliable choice for boosting workout performance.

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  • Evidence-based mix with high doses of key ingredients
  • The creatine HCL may help to limit possible digestive discomfort
  • The hydrate and defend mix aids hydration and replenishes lost electrolytes
  • The pre-workout has been third-party tested
  • Suitable for vegans

Could be better:

  • Due to the large serving size, each tub only contains 20 servings
  • Most expensive cost per serving in this ranking

2. ProSupps Hyde – Runner-Up

ProSupps Hyde

ProSupps strive to create performance-driven products that offer excellent ingredient quality. Their products are designed for athletes who want to take their training to the next level.

  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best For: Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Reducing Fatigue, Training Volume, High-intensity Exercise Performance, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect
  • Flavors: Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch, Tiger’s Blood, Watermelon
  • Caffeine (mg): 250 mg
  • Special Ingredients: Creatine Monohydrate, Beta-alanine, L-Citrulline
  • Serving Size: 9.75 grams
  • Servings per Container: 30
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.00
  • Company Founded: 2011
  • Recommended By AthletesTron LucianoMyron BrownTilly King

The ProSupps Hyde Pre-workout is my runner-up pick and also one of ProSupps most popular choices. ProSupps market the Hyde workout as providing clean energy, laser focus, and great pumps, with the ingredient combination in this pre-workout doing exactly that.

Despite the smaller 9.75-gram serving size, it has four evidence-based ingredients in great amounts.

The main active ingredient is caffeine anhydrous at an effective dosage of 250 mg. This maximizes the stimulating effect with a low risk of side effects, at least if you have a good tolerance for caffeine.

ProSupps has included 1.25 grams of creatine monohydrate which is the most widely researched and bioavailable form of creatine. In this dosage, creatine is unlikely to cause stomach discomfort. But you should keep in mind that the effective daily dose of creatine is 3-5 g, so additional supplementation is required if you want to achieve the maximum effect.

ProSupps Hyde instagram
Photo by @prosupps

The larger 2.5-gram dose of beta-alanine will likely lead to tingling sensations before a workout which for some may be too much. The 3 grams of l-citrulline is on the lower end of the relevant dose but still at the minimum amount for an enhanced pumping effect.

ProSupps offer the Hyde pre-workout in a decent range of interesting flavor choices which include tiger’s blood, watermelon, blue raspberry, and fruit punch. Each tub contains 30 servings, contains zero calories, and is gluten-free.

In terms of label transparency, ProSupps clearly state each ingredient form and dosage on the side of the tub. It does contain artificial flavors which is something to work on for future products.


ProSupps Hyde Pre-workout is a performance-driven product designed for athletes, offering clean energy, laser focus, and great pumps with its carefully curated ingredient combination, making it a popular choice.

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  • Reasonably high caffeine content
  • Great price to key ingredients ratio
  • Contains zero calories

Could be better:

  • It contains artificial flavors (for those who prefers natural ones)
  • May cause tingling sensations do to high dose of beta-alanine

3. Naked Energy

Naked Energy

Naked Nutrition sources premium ingredients to help support your health and fitness goals. They aim to be as transparent as possible so you know what's going into your body.

  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best For: High-intensity Exercise Performance, Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Training Volume, Reducing Fatigue
  • Flavors: Unflavored, Fruit Punch, Citrus, Stim-free
  • Caffeine: 200 mg
  • Special Ingredients: Creatine Monohydrate, Beta-alanine
  • Serving Size: 4.8 grams
  • Servings Per Container: 50
  • Price per Serving: ~$0.90
  • Company Founded: 2015
  • Recommended By AthletesHopeh_fitErica Dawn

The Naked Nutrition ‘Naked Energy’ Pre-workout doesn't contain a lot of ingredients, but it doesn't need to. It’s a vegan-friendly pre workout with creatine monohydrate that uses non-GMO ingredients to help boost your energy and improve performance.

In terms of evidence-based ingredients, it has the big three with each scoop containing 1 gram of creatine monohydrate, 2 grams of beta-alanine (as Carnosyn), and 200 mg of caffeine anhydrous.

Naked Nutrition market themselves as having nothing to hide, meaning they provide a complete label breakdown showing the form and amount of each ingredient. Each tub is free from additives and artificial sweeteners, with all ingredients third-party tested for purity.

The 4.8-gram serving size is the smallest out of my seven pre-workout choices, with the 50-serving tub offering excellent value for money.

If you’re someone who doesn't like stimulants in your pre-workout, Naked Energy has a stim-free version that provides an energy boost without caffeine or other common stimulants.


Naked Energy Pre-workout offers a clean and effective vegan-friendly option with evidence-based ingredients like creatine monohydrate, beta-alanine, and caffeine anhydrous, providing excellent value with full label transparency.

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  • The 50-serving tub offers excellent value for money
  • Optimal caffeine dose (200 mg)
  • Naked Nutrition has excellent label transparency, with each ingredient form shown
  • The stim-free version offers a good choice for those who don't like caffeine
  • Vegan-friendly

Could be better:

  • High dose of beta-alanine may cause tingling sensations
  • Including l-citrulline as a pump enhancer would make a great addition

4. Gorilla Mode

Gorilla Mode Pre-Workout Formula

Founded in 2017, Gorilla Mind is an American supplement company that aims to offer complete brand transparency through each step of the manufacturing process. They focus on scientifically-backed ingredients and efficacious doses to create innovative pre-workout products.

  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best For: High-intensity Exercise Performance, Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Training Volume, Reducing Fatigue, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect
  • Flavors: Strawberry Kiwi, Bombsicle, Cherry Blackout, Tiger’s Blood, Cotton Candy Grape, Pina Colada, Mouthwatering Melon, Jungle Juice, Krush, Lemon Lime, Firefly Lemonade, Fruit Punch, Volcano Burst
  • Caffeine: 175 mg
  • Special Ingredients: Creatine Monohydrate, L-Citrulline, Betaine
  • Serving Size: 15.4 grams
  • Servings Per Container: 40
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.25
  • Company Founded: 2017
  • Recommended By AthletesJack WikerSophia JulianneJesse James West

Gorilla Mind aims to produce supplements with evidence-based effective doses. It’s safe to say their Gorilla Mode Pre-workout firmly hits the mark and then some if you take the upper recommended dose.

Each 15.4-gram serving contains 2.5 grams of creatine monohydrate, 4.5 grams of l-Citrulline, 175 mg of caffeine, and 1.25 grams of betaine.

The caffeine is just slightly underdosed, but Gorilla Mind recommends 1-2 scoops meaning you can add a little extra to see the proper effect. This allows you to find an effective dose for both beginners and experienced athletes who understand how to walk the line between stimulation and side effects.

The creatine dose is already sufficient to produce positive effects even without additional creatine supplements. Of course, it is not enough to achieve an effective dose of 3-5 g, especially if you do not use the supplement every day, but still this pre-workout complex at least comes close to that.

Several other less well-known ingredients have been added, including some added stimulants and nootropics that may help to improve focus and add to the pumping effect given by l-Citrulline. Unfortunately, the evidence for the efficacy of these substances is not yet sufficient.

Gorilla Mind offers their pre-workout in an excellent range of flavors, with eight interesting choices which include cotton candy grape and bombsicle.

Each ingredient is GMP certified and manufactured in America. Each tub contains 40 servings which offer good value for money even if dosed at the higher end.


Gorilla Mind's Gorilla Mode Pre-workout offers effective doses of scientifically-backed ingredients, including creatine monohydrate and l-citrulline, in a range of flavors, providing transparency and value for money.

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  • Contains 2.5 g of creatine monohydrate
  • The wide variety of interesting flavors appeals to a bigger audience
  • The ingredients are GMP certified and manufactured in America
  • Affordable price

Could be better:

  • The caffeine dosage could be slightly bigger for the single scoop serving
  • Contains nootropics without scientific support
  • Has a gritty texture

5. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard

Optimum Nutrition takes a hands-on approach to ensure the highest standards of product quality. Each product contains carefully selected ingredients that have been tested for quality and are informed sport registered.

  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best For: High-intensity Exercise Performance, Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Training Volume, Reducing Fatigue
  • Flavors: Blueberry Lemonade, Fruit Punch, Green Apple, Pineapple, Strawberry Lime, Watermelon
  • Caffeine: 175 mg
  • Special Ingredients: Creatine Monohydrate, Beta-alanine, L-Citrulline
  • Serving Size: 10 grams
  • Servings Per Container: 30
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.30
  • Company Founded: 1986
  • Recommended By AthletesNick CheadleAlana VogtBec Cameron

Optimum Nutrition needs no introduction, manufacturing supplements in every category. Their gold standard pre continues to stand out after years of reviews, with a tried and tested formula.

It contains a large 3-gram serving of creatine monohydrate which is the biggest out of my top seven pre-workout choices. This dose may be enough to maintain muscle creatine levels without additional supplements if you train and use preworkout regularly. But keep in mind that this dose may cause stomach discomfort in some people.

Other well researched ingredients in the gold standard pre include 1.5 grams of beta-alanine to improve muscle buffering and 175 mg of caffeine. L-Citrulline is included as part of the performance composite but at a dosage of 750 mg which is too small to see any beneficial effects.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard instagram
Photo by @brenicebranc

Another feature of the Gold Standard is that it contains lots of different vitamins and minerals in decent quantities to help you reach your recommended daily intake.

Optimum has given you six flavors to choose from, with each ingredient third-party tested and informed sport certified. Each tub has 30 servings, with a serving size of 10 grams.

On the label, all ingredients are clearly listed including additives and flavors so you know exactly what you’re getting.


Optimum Nutrition's Gold Standard Pre-workout offers a well-researched formula with a large dose of creatine, beta-alanine, and caffeine, along with added vitamins and minerals, providing a trusted and comprehensive pre-workout option.

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  • 3 grams of creatine per serving
  • Contains beta-alanine in a dose that lowers the risk of tingling
  • Added vitamins
  • Optimum Nutrition rigorously tests each ingredient for purity before adding it in

Could be better:

  • The 750 mg L-Citrulline dose is too small to see an effect
  • The caffeine dosage could be slightly bigger

6. Myprotein the Pre-Workout

Myprotein The Pre-Workout

MyProtein is a leading health and fitness supplement brand that manufactures a wide range of high-quality products including protein powders, pre-workouts, and apparel. They aim to make affordable sports nutrition products that offer high-quality formulations.

  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best For: High-intensity Exercise Performance, Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Training Volume, Reducing Fatigue, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect
  • Flavors: Lemonade, Peach Ring, Rocket Pop
  • Caffeine: 150 mg
  • Special Ingredients: Creatine Monohydrate, Beta-alanine, L-Citrulline, Betaine
  • Serving Size: 15.6 grams
  • Servings Per Container: 30
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.40
  • Company Founded: 2004
  • Recommended By AthletesAshley CainGabby MaleMarianos Katsouris

MyProtein are well-known throughout the health and fitness industry for their budget-friendly product ranges which include protein powders and apparel. Their pre-workout is a newer addition that can now be added to that list, with each tub containing 30 servings and offering excellent value for money.

Each 15.6-gram serving contains five scientifically backed ingredients, with 2 grams of creatine monohydrate to promote muscle growth and provide energy for high-intensity exercise. Other notable ingredients include a 2.5-gram serving of betaine for power output, 4 grams of l-citrulline to increase blood flow, and 2 grams of beta-alanine for improved muscle buffering.

Myprotein the Pre-Workout instagram
Photo by @hopesgroo

The 150 mg dose of caffeine anhydrous is suitable for beginners but should be dosed higher if you're used to caffeine and looking for a good pre-workout effect.

MyProtein offers three flavors which include peach ring, lemonade, and rocket pop which are all suitable for vegetarians and vegans.


MyProtein's pre-workout is a budget-friendly option with scientifically-backed ingredients like creatine, betaine, l-citrulline, beta-alanine, and caffeine, providing excellent value and improved performance.

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  • 2 grams of creatine monohydrate
  • The fine powder mixes extremely well with water
  • A formula with well-matched effective doses

Could be better:

  • Only three flavor choices are available
  • High dose of beta-alanine may cause tingling sensations
  • The caffeine dosage could be slightly bigger

7. 4 Gauge 4-In-1 Pre-Workout

4 Gauge

4Gauge aims to provide a healthy pre-workout that offers excellent quality. Their main focuses are brand transparency, using natural ingredients, and making great-tasting flavors.

  • Item Form: Powder
  • Best For: High-intensity Exercise Performance, Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Training Volume, Reducing Fatigue, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect
  • Flavors: Frozen Lemonade, Fruit Blast, Pina Colada
  • Caffeine: 150 mg
  • Special Ingredients: Creatine Monohydrate, Citrulline Malate
  • Serving Size: 10 grams
  • Servings Per Container: 20
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.50
  • Company Founded: 2021
  • Recommended By AthletesIzaya RodemanAlana Rany

4Gauge is a natural 4-in-1 powder that's designed to give you sustained power, laser focus, and explosive workouts as stated by the company. It’s a super clean pre-workout choice that's manufactured in CGPM-approved facilities and contains no artificial flavors, and sweeteners.

It’s a pre-workout that’s designed for improved muscle pumps, with 6 grams of citrulline malate to increase nitric oxide levels in the blood and 300 mg of red beetroot extract which has promising research. Other scientifically-backed ingredients include 1 gram of creatine monohydrate and 150 mg of caffeine anhydrous.

4 Gauge 4-In-1 Pre-Workout instagram
Photo by @izayarodeman

Whilst the 150 mg of caffeine is slightly under the clinically effective range, it works well with the 200 mg of l-theanine for beginners who are looking for a sustained energy release without crashes or high peaks.

4 Gauge offers the pre-workout in three flavor choices which are frozen lemonade, fruit punch, and pina colada. If you buy three together you get one free which allows you to save money if you purchase in bulk. Each tub contains 20 servings, with the ingredients listed on the side of the can.


4Gauge offers a natural and clean pre-workout formula designed for sustained energy, muscle pumps, and improved focus, using scientifically-backed ingredients and no artificial additives.

Ingredient Breakdown:0
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  • Natural flavors and sweeteners
  • The combination of caffeine and l-theanine provides a sustained energy release for beginners
  • If you purchase three tubs, you get an extra one free

Could be better:

  • The addition of beta-alanine would help as a muscle buffer
  • The caffeine dosage could be bigger


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Why Do Pre-Workouts Contain Creatine?

Pre-workouts are multi-ingredient supplements that are taken before the gym and designed to improve performance and boost your energy levels. Different ingredient formulas are used, with creatine, caffeine, NO precursors (citrulline, arginine, beetroot), Beta-alanine, BCAAs, betaine, and different amino acids commonly added.

Creatine is one of the most extensively researched supplements in the world, with the majority of studies showing a beneficial effect on resistance training.

Creatine is naturally produced by your body and comes from certain foods. In humans, your pancreas, liver, and kidneys can produce around 1 gram of creatine each day. Food sources include red meat, seafood, eggs, and milk. Creatine is mainly stored in skeletal muscle as phosphocreatine. Its primary role is in improving energy production and strength during high-intensity exercise.

Supplementing with creatine increases your phosphocreatine stores, which in turn makes your body produce more Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). ATP provides energy for the ATP-PC system, which is the body's primary energy source during high-intensity exercise.

Alongside improving your strength and energy levels, supplementing with creatine has been shown to improve power output, increase muscle size, and possibly have cognitive benefits in older populations.

This makes creatine an excellent ingredient to add to a pre-workout supplement if you’re looking to improve performance and increase your energy levels. Manufacturers commonly include creatine in different forms and quantities alongside other ingredients.

Your Body During 3 Mile Run

How to Find the Best Pre-Workout with Creatine?

When looking for the best creatine pre workout, here are the main factors to consider before purchasing. These are in no particular order and should be considered equally depending on your own goals and needs.

1. Creatine Form and Dosage

As creatine grows in popularity, different forms have been developed by supplement companies to help improve digestion and optimize functionality.

The most common and well-researched form is creatine monohydrate, made by bonding creatine with a water molecule. Compared to other forms creatine monohydrate has been shown to have the largest impact on intramuscular phosphocreatine stores.

Other forms of creatine such as creatine HCL and ethyl ester are less well-researched but may be more suitable in a pre-workout if you suffer from digestive issues. However, research is still ongoing.

Due to the accumulative effect of creatine, the pre-workout dose is irrelevant but should still be taken into account when considering your overall daily intake. Dosing creatine at 3-5 grams per day has been shown to maintain high muscular phosphocreatine stores, with a loading or normal initial phase both sufficient to start off your dosing. With this, it may take 3-4 weeks to maximize your creatine stores.

workout in gym

2. Other Ingredients

Alongside creatine, other evidence-based ingredients may be included that can have beneficial effects on performance, These include:

Caffeine - As the most widely consumed drug in the world, caffeine is commonly included in pre-workout for its psychoactive effects providing an ergogenic performance benefit. In a pre-workout, the needed dose to get an effect is around 200 mg. Beginners may see an effect at 100-150 mg when starting off.

Beta-alanine - A non-essential amino acid important in the production of carnosine, a dipeptide that helps to buffer lactic acid accumulation during high-intensity exercise. This can help to improve training capacity and performance when added to a pre-workout. Due to its accumulative effect, the pre-workout dosage isn't important but shouldn't exceed 1.6 g if you're not a fan of the tingling sensations that often occurs with higher doses of beta-alanine.

L-Citrulline/ Citrulline Malate - Both forms are known as nitric oxide precursors, meaning they increase blood flow to the active muscles during exercise. This increased blood flow may lead to better exercise performance, with promising research shown. In terms of pre-workout dosing, a minimum of 3 grams of L-Citrulline or 6 grams of Citrulline malate should be included.

Betaine - Although research is still inconclusive, Betaine may increase the rate of creatine synthesis and elevate nitric oxide levels which may improve exercise performance. A minimum pre-workout dosage of 1.25-2.5 grams is needed.

medicine ball training

3. Label Transparency

Knowing what's in your pre-workout supplement is important, with brands commonly providing varying amounts of information on the pre-workout label. Some brands may state that the powder is a proprietary blend meaning that they don't need to include how much of each ingredient is present. Avoid these if possible as you have no way to know if each ingredient is included in a clinically effective dose.

Using a pre-workout that’s third-party tested is extremely important if you participate in tested sports events. It ensures that the pre-workout doesn't contain any banned ingredients, with the powder tested by an independent laboratory. Pre-workouts that have undergone third-party testing should have a certification label from organizations such as informed sport and NSF.

4. Flavors

Whilst this doesn't influence performance, nobody wants to regularly take a pre-workout that tastes bad. Having a decent range of flavors allows you to switch between different ones if you get bored or fancy a change.

Creatine and other common pre-workout ingredients tend to be less palatable, meaning a flavor that’s naturally sweetened may help to combat this.

Artificial ingredients such as flavors, colors, and sweeteners may be included to make the pre-workout more palatable. Check the pre-workout label and decide if you are comfortable taking these before purchasing.

5. Value for Money

Choose a pre workout with creatine in it you want to get the most for your budget. Compare the number and amount of each ingredient and look at the price per serving using the serving size and servings per container.

Keep in mind that you should consume 3-5g of creatine per day for maximum effectiveness. Most pre-workouts do not contain adequate doses of creatine and are often not taken every day (which of course depends on the number of workouts per week). Thus, additional creatine supplementation is likely to be required. Consider creatine in a pre-workout supplement as an additional source to help keep your muscles more consistently filled with creatine.

resistance band

Do Caffeine and Creatine Go Well Together?

Caffeine and creatine are two of the most widely researched ergogenic aids with proven performance benefits. They are both commonly added to pre-workouts as a way to combine their beneficial effects.

Despite their widespread use together, confusion still exists regarding potential interaction effects. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that acts on the central nervous system to improve energy and alertness. Creatine increases the amount of phosphocreatine in the body which powers the ATP/PC system during high-intensity exercise. Both have been shown to be highly effective in improving sports performance on their own.

Whilst caffeine was previously thought to blunt the performance benefits of creatine, most modern research now contradicts this. This means that pre-workouts containing both ingredients are generally safe to consume.

However, using the two together may contribute to dehydration, with research suggesting but not definitively proving this. Caffeine acts as a diuretic meaning it promotes the loss of water from your body whilst creatine leads to water retention in the muscles. Both of these combined effects may negatively impact hydration and therefore sports performance.

Fortunately, if the effects of dehydration do occur, they are fairly easy to avoid. When you drink enough fluids, your body is in balance and your urine will be a pale straw-yellow color. If there is not enough fluid, your urine tends to be a darker color. Evaluate your hydration levels before and after your workouts (your urine should remain fairly light-colored) and consume enough fluids, that's it.

Taken together, creatine and caffeine appear to have no negative interaction effects. However, they may increase the chances of dehydration and lead to potential digestive issues when taken in higher doses.

back exercises

Is It Possible to Take Creatine as a Separate Supplement?

Creatine can be taken as a stand-alone supplement, with powders, drink mixes, tablets, and energy bars available to purchase. Multiple forms of creatine exist, with differences in digestion, taste, and price.

Using a pre-workout with creatine combines the beneficial effects of multiple ingredients and may help you to save some money on purchasing creatine individually.


Should Your Pre-Workout Have Creatine?

Due to the accumulative effect of creatine, it’s effective when used with a pre-workout or as a supplement on its own. Adding creatine in pre-workout provides a great way to get the beneficial effects of multiple compounds in one powder.

When Should I Take My Pre-Workout With Creatine?

Pre-workouts should be taken 30-60 minutes before your planned exercise. Times may vary slightly depending on the brand so make sure to check the tub instructions first.


Creatine is the most widely studied ergogenic aid in the world, with substantial research to show beneficial effects on muscle strength, power, and exercise performance.

Multi-ingredient pre-workout powders commonly contain creatine in different forms and dosages as a way to combine the beneficial effects into one supplement.

Out of the seven pre-workout supplements I’ve chosen, the Pre-Kaged pre-workout is my top pick choice. It combines five evidence-based supplements into one power, with a range of exciting flavors. It's vegan-friendly and informed sport certified.

Out of the pre-workout supplements I've reviewed, which one is your top pick? Do you supplement creatine on its own or as a pre-workout? Let's chat in the comments section below.

Also read:


  1. The effect of acute pre-workout supplementation on power and strength performance //Biomedcentral: /articles/10.1186/s12970-016-0138-7
  2. Analysis of the efficacy, safety, and cost of alternative forms of creatine available for purchase on are label claims supported by science? //Sciencedirect: /science/article/pii /S2405844022034016
  3. Effects of Beetroot Juice Supplementation on Cardiorespiratory Endurance in Athletes. A Systematic Review //NIH: /pmc/articles/PMC5295087/
  4. Effects of Creatine Supplementation during Resistance Training Sessions in Physically Active Young Adults //NIH: pmc/articles/PMC7353308/
  5. Mitochondrial creatine kinase in human health and disease //Sciencedirect: /science/article/pii/ S092544390500133X
  6. Muscle Energetics During Explosive Activities and Potential Effects of Nutrition and Training //NIH: /articles/PMC4213384/
  7. Creatine electrolyte supplement improves anaerobic power and strength: a randomized double-blind control study //NIH: /31126306/
  8. Creatine supplementation elicits greater muscle hypertrophy in upper than lower limbs and trunk in resistance-trained men //NIH: /29214923/
  9. Use of creatine in the elderly and evidence for effects on cognitive function in young and old //NIH: /21394604/
  10. Common questions and misconceptions about creatine supplementation: what does the scientific evidence really show? //NIH: /articles/10.1186 /s12970-021-00412-w
  11. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine //NIH: /articles/PMC5469049/
  12. International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and exercise performance //NIH: /doi/full/10.1186/ s12970-020-00383-4
  13. β-alanine supplementation to improve exercise capacity and performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis //NIH: /27797728/
  14. Effects of Citrulline Supplementation on Exercise Performance in Humans: A Review of the Current Literature //NIH: /31977835/
  15. Effect of betaine supplementation on power performance and fatigue //NIH: /articles/PMC2651845/
  16. International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and exercise performance //NIH: /33388079/
  17. Effects of coffee and caffeine anhydrous intake during creatine loading //NIH: /articles/PMC4808512/
  18. Creatine and Caffeine: Considerations for Concurrent Supplementation //NIH: /26219105/

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With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here

Oleksandr Maksymenko

Author: Oleksandr Maksymenko
Certified Sports Nutritionist,
MSc Sports Dietetics

Experience: 7 years
Specializing in: Weight management, Fitness / Sports nutrition

Oleksandr is a professional fitness nutritionist certified by the Fitness Professional Association (FPA). He follows the principles of evidence-based dietetics and fosters a healthy relationship with food in his clients, ensuring there are no strict prohibitions on their favorite foods or frequent lapses. His primary goal is not only to achieve results for you but also to sustain them over the long term, all while enjoying tasty and delicious food.

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If you have any questions/suggestions/any other inquiries considering product reviews, you can reach out to us via email – [email protected]

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