You have been doing weight training for a long time, want to define your muscles even more and are now wondering which creatine product is best for you? Then you are exactly right here.
With our big creatine test we want to help you find the best creatine product for you. We’ll introduce you to the editors’ favorites, explain the advantages and disadvantages of powder and capsule to you, and at the end we have listed a few facts you should know about creatine. This should make the purchase decision as easy as possible for you.
- Your body produces part of its daily creatine requirement, the other part has to be obtained from food or dietary supplements
- Creatine is only found in meat and fish, which is why vegans and vegetarians usually have to take in creatine from the outside
- You can purchase creatine as a dietary supplement in the form of capsules or powder. The powder is a bit cheaper than the capsules, however
Best Creatine Supplements
Best creatine capsules
Olimp capsules contain creatine monohydrate and a jar contains 400 capsules. The capsules themselves contain 1250 mg creatine. The capsule shell contains gelatin, which is why these capsules are not suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Capsules are suitable for everyone who does not want to think too much about the correct dosage or who prefer a quick intake. You can also transport them easily.
Best tasteless creatine powder
ESN’s powder is vegan, 100% pure creatine (creatine monohydrate) and also free from lactose. One sachet contains 500 g of creatine.
Since this creatine powder is tasteless, you can simply dissolve it in water or mix it with other drinks. You can also dose your creatine requirements individually.
Best creatine powder with taste
The zec + powder is creatine hydrochloride, which is known for its very good solubility. You can purchase the powder in blackberry or woodruff flavor. The product is also vegan.
Use the flavored powder in the same way as the tasteless powder, with the exception that you can simply drink the flavored powder with water.
Best vegan creatine capsules
Greenfood capsules are the alternative for vegans and vegetarians. The capsules contain pure creatine monohydrate, and the capsules are also lactose and gluten-free. One capsule contains 500 mg of creatine.
For vegans and vegetarians, it can be more difficult to find capsules that do not have a gelatine shell. Otherwise you can use the vegan capsules just like non-vegan capsules.
Questions to Consider Before Buying Creatine supplements
What is creatine?
Creatine is a tripeptide and, contrary to popular belief, is not an amino acid. It consists of three amino acids: glycine, L-arginine and L-methionine. Our body produces 1 – 2 g of creatine itself every day.
This is then converted into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), our body’s energy supplier. The residual products are excreted. So the body has no store of creatine.
If you now supplement creatine, your body and therefore your muscles have more energy available.
Are Creatinine and Creatine the Same?
Creatinine is a breakdown product of creatine. The amino acids glycine and arginine form creatine in the liver, kidneys and pancreas. About 1.5-2% of creatine is excreted as creatinine through the kidneys with the urine.
How much you excrete now depends on your kidney function and your muscle mass. You can assess your kidney function with the help of the creatinine level and follow the progress of kidney diseases.
How does creatine work?
When you exercise, your muscles use a lot more energy than normal. To give your muscles enough energy, you should supplement with creatine.
We have already talked about ATP as an energy supplier for your body. From this it now follows:
If you take more creatine, you have more ATP available and you can therefore perform more with short, intense exertion.
If, however, you spend longer, your body switches on a different path of energy supply, the creatine is then no longer necessary.
Is Creatine Harmful?
No, creatine is not harmful, provided you stick to the recommended intake.
A number of side effects can occur with an overdose. These include gastrointestinal problems, bad breath, vomiting, muscle cramps or kidney problems.
Bad breath and gastrointestinal complaints are particularly common during the high-dose loading phase. If you cannot tolerate these high doses of creatine, you should switch to 3 – 5 g per day.
When is the best time to take creatine?
The time of day you want to take the creatine is entirely up to you. Your body stores it and then uses it when necessary. You should take the creatine on an empty stomach or at least two hours before or after meals so that it doesn’t stay in the stomach too long.
The only important thing is regular daily intake.
It doesn’t matter whether you take the creatine before or after your workout. If you drink the creatine mixed with sweet drinks, you should drink it immediately after training so that the sugar contained can be used independently of the creatine intake.
Which food contains creatine?
You already know that your body can make some of the creatine itself. The other part is taken in by meat and fish.
We have listed the creatine content in meat and fish in this table:
- Deer, roe deer, wild boar – 1.5g
- Pork and beef – 300mg
- Salmon – 300mg
- Tuna – 300mg
Plant foods do not contain enough creatine. Vegans and vegetarians have an increased risk of creatine deficiency.
Athletes who follow a vegan diet in particular often have a creatine deficiency if they do not use dietary supplements.
What types Of creatine supplements are available?
If you dig a little deeper into creatine, you’ll soon find out that there are different types of creatine.
We just want to briefly introduce you to the different types of creatine. You can find a very detailed explanation here.
Creatine monohydrate is the purest form of creatine and is of the highest quality.
It is also most likely to be recommended by experts and professionals.
You are less likely to find this type of creatine. It is a creatine monohydrate that has been treated with an acid buffer. The acid buffer should promote a faster transport of creatine into the muscles.
Creatine Ethyl Esterv
The creatine ethyl ester is a rarity. It improves the absorption of creatine in your body, but it also costs more than other types of creatine. It also has an unpleasant taste.
If you cannot tolerate other types of creatine so well, switching to creatine ethyl ester would be worth considering.
Creatine HCL (hydrochloride) is also said to accelerate the ability of creatine to be transported, but is cheaper to buy than creatine AKG.
In addition, the hydrochloride makes the creatine more soluble and prevents the formation of lumps.
What types of Creatine supplements are there and which one is right for you?
If you want to buy creatine products, you can choose between four alternatives:
- Creatine capsules
- Creatine powder
Each of the two products has advantages and disadvantages. Depending on where your preferences lie, another type is suitable for you.
Creatine capsules: Advantages & Disadvantages
You can take creatine capsules easily, quickly and easily. In addition, the risk of overdosing is lower because the correct dose of creatine is already included. You can also take the capsules with you anywhere and all you need is a sip of water.
When using capsules of any kind, vegans and vegetarians must ensure that the capsule shell is not made from gelatine. The capsules are also a little more expensive than the powder. If you are in a loading phase and need to take more creatine, the capsules are also harder to dose.
Creatine powder: Advantages & Disadvantages
The creatine powder can be easily dissolved in drinks or simply water. You can also dose it individually, according to your needs. In addition, the powder is the cheaper option.
However, disadvantages of the powder are also the risk of overdosing and the fact that the powder cannot be taken everywhere due to the larger container.
Purchase criteria: Use these factors to compare Creatine supplements
In the following we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the multitude of possible creatine products.
The criteria by which you can compare creatine products with one another include:
- Type of ingestion
- Duration of intake and dosage
In the following paragraphs we will explain to you what is important for the individual criteria.
Type of ingestion
How you want to take the creatine is entirely up to you.
If you just don’t like taking capsules that much, you can just grab powder and stir it into water or other liquids.
If you want a quick and uncomplicated creatine intake or if you prefer capsules more simply than powder, then capsules are most likely your first choice.
Duration of intake and dosage
There are different intake schedules for the intake of creatine. You can choose between a continuous intake, a cure without a loading phase or a cure with a loading phase.
For long-term use, simply take 3 – 5 g of creatine every day.
If you choose the cure without the loading phase, then you take 3 – 5 g of creatine over a period of time (usually 8 – 12 weeks) and then take a break of approx. 6 – 8 weeks.
For the cure with loading phase, you take 20-25 g of creatine for 5 to 7 days. Then you take 3 – 5 g of creatine for 8 – 12 weeks.
What you ultimately decide depends on you and how you feel most comfortable.
In principle, there are no known intolerances to creatine if the quality of the product is perfect. However, some products, especially powders, can contain lactose.
So if you suffer from lactose intolerance, look for lactose-free products when buying.
As with all other capsules, vegans and vegetarians should make sure that the capsule shell contains gelatin.
Creatine powder is generally available tasteless. However, some manufacturers also offer the powder in different flavors. This can be a welcome change and it may also taste better than just plain water.
If flavored powder is too expensive for you, you can stir tasteless powder into sweet drinks or juices, such as grape juice.
Facts about Creatine
When will I see the first successes when taking creatine?
You will be able to see the first successes pretty quickly. Because of the creatine, your muscles store water, which then makes your muscles look much more defined and also become stronger.
However, there are also so-called “non-responders” with creatine. In these people, the body’s own creatine level is already so high that a creatine supplement cannot have any effect as it is immediately excreted through the kidneys.
How do I take creatine as a vegan?
Since creatine is only contained in animal products, vegans run the risk of creatine deficiency very quickly. It is worth considering supplementing with creatine here.
When buying a product, make sure that the products are of vegetable origin and do not contain gelatine.