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If you're looking to put on muscle, gain strength, and perform better in the gym or out, you've probably already looked into the benefits of creatine. As a substance that occurs naturally in muscle cells, creatine is one of the few nutritional supplements that is regularly recommended by trainers, sports nutritionists, and experienced athletes.
Creatine is reliable, safe, and has been repeatedly demonstrated to deliver improvement with no known negative effects. There are three amino acids that make up creatine: L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine. Believe it or not, 1% of a person's total blood volume consists of creatine: 95% is stored in the skeletal muscle, and 5% in the brain. That's all very interesting, but why do people take creatine as part of their supplement regimen?
Thursday, January 21st
Whether you're looking for information on building muscle on a budget or the supplements and other nutritional products that can help you get there, Muscle and Strength should be your first stop. This company is an excellent resource for most fitness levels, though you'll definitely find more videos, articles and recipes geared towards peak fitness than for beginners. Need a workout routine, maybe even one inspired by stars like Zac Efron? How about a high-protein breakfast option (or five)? You'll get all of that and more, right on the main page.
To make an apples-to-apples comparison across all of the online creatine retailers in our evaluation, we selected a common supplement from a popular brand: MuscleTech's Creactor, which offers 1500 mg of creatine per serving and 120 servings per canister. Muscle and Strength carried this product at the absolute lowest price: not only was the everyday price of $26.99 extremely competitive, but at least at the time of our review it was available as a Buy One Get One Free promotion. That makes the per-serving cost an extremely affordable $0.11! Plus, this store had four available flavors - Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch, Lemon Lime and Unflavored - while some of their competitors only offered 1-3 options.
This company makes it really easy to find all of the other types of creatine they carry. Unlike most retailers of the supplement, you don't have to do a generic search for creatine to find it. Muscle and Strength actually has an entire creatine store/category on their site! You'll love how they even break down their creatine into categories: Monohydrate, Multi-Creatine Blends, Chelate, Kre-Alkalyn, and Malate. You can also go directly to a Deals section with lots of those BOGO promotional prices mentioned earlier.
Most of the creatine supplements have ample customer reviews, so that you can get reviews from people who've actually used the products you're considering. For instance, MusclePharm's creatine monohydrate powder had more than 500 reviews from verified buyers, and many of them mentioned that there were some issues with the powder mixing well in liquid. You can also see the nutritional labels and any other information about the supplement.
Shipping is free on orders of $99 or more, so you might want to stock up on any other products you need. That's not the best shipping deal we found among retailers of creatine, but it definitely beats the companies that charge you extra as soon as your order weighs more than 5 pounds! You'll also get free samples with every order, putting a little extra fun and surprise into each package.
Muscle and Strength has a few other perks that make them our favorite source of creatine and other supplements. Their return policy is excellent: 60 days to return your products for any reason, used or unused. And, you'll never pay a restocking fee. Many supplement retailers won't allow refunds on opened products, but this company wants you to be 100% happy every single time. So, try every type of creatine (or other supplement!) that catches your attention, knowing that it's risk-free no matter what.
Also, you can earn rewards points by creating a free account on the site. Earn two points for every dollar you spend, and use those points to get discounts on future orders or to get exclusive products and gear (like t-shirts, duffel bags, lifting gloves and more). You can earn even more points for reviewing products (like creatine!), referring your friends, and sharing Muscle and Strength on your social media channels. Plus, you'll get access to member-only deals and discounts, along with bonus points on your birthday. There's no downside!
Muscle and Strength does a great job of taking care of their customers, whether it's their first order or their 50th. The company has earned accreditation and an "A" grade from the BBB over more than 15 years in business, and over nearly 200,000 reviews on third-party sites, the company had a near-perfect 4.8 out of 5 score. You won't find any other retailer of creatine that can compete with that.
When buying nutritional supplements like creatine, you want a retailer that offers the best selection at the best price. And, it's even better if the online store gives you extra help, like workouts and diet plans, articles and videos, and helpful tools to guide you wherever you are on your fitness journey. Muscle and Strength does all of that and then some. They easily earn our highest recommendation for buying creatine products..
Bodybuilding got its start online in 1999 and since that time, the site has become the most-visited fitness site around the world - with over 35 million unique visitors each month! The website is a treasure trove of information, with new articles and videos added each day, more than 1700 recipes and plenty of other helpful content to move you forward on your fitness journey. (You can even find Transformation Challenges for inspiration and accountability!)
How does this retailer do when it comes to creatine products? We selected a typical creatine supplement as a comparison across all of the stores in our review: MuscleTech's Creactor. Bodybuilding measured up well with an everyday price of just $26.99, and a savings promotion of 20% during our most recent visit to the site. They also offered all 4 flavors of the creatine product - and we really liked that as we looked through the dropdown list of the available flavors, we were able to see customer ratings on those specific varieties. (Looks like Unflavored is one to avoid, while Blue Raspberry is the big winner.)
There's a fantastic variety of creatine products available from this retailer - and many of them come with dozens, if not hundreds, of customer reviews. For example, RSP Nutrition's Creatine Monohydrate powder had an average rating of 9.7 out of 10 over more than 900 customer reviews. Clicking on the product itself, you can see the exact nutritional label and ingredients, as well as all of the information offered by the manufacturer.
The reviews are particularly detailed: you won't just be able to see an overall score, but also a flavor rating like we mentioned above. You can also see how many of the ratings were given by verified buyers - so that you know the deck wasn't stacked, so to speak, in favor of or against the product by brand promoters or disgruntled competitors. Then, reading through the comments, you'll be able to tell almost right away if the powder mixes well or leaves a gritty residue, if people have gotten a noticeable increase in their weightlifting, and any other questions that you probably have about the creatine supplement.
Another good reason to shop at Bodybuilding is their budget-friendly free shipping on orders of $75+. You wouldn't have to put too many products in your shopping cart to meet that minimum spend, so it might be a good time to stock up on creatine, protein powder, vitamins and anything else you need for your wellness goals. Plus, at the time of our review, there was a promotion scrolling across the top of the page that offered us savings of up to 25% on most products and an additional 10% off. So, keep an eye out for any discounts that might be in place when you visit this online store.
This retailer also has one of the most generous return policies we've found among stores that sell creatine products. You can return any purchase within 90 days for a full refund or in-store credit. Their posted policy doesn't specify which situations would only be eligible for a credit - maybe if a product was opened or mostly used before returning - but having 90 days to make a decision is a fantastic perk.
In fact, the only negative thing we could find about Bodybuilding is their "B-" grade at the BBB. Digging into the customer complaints, they seemed to revolve mostly around a subscription program on the site that has nothing to do with their retail store - so it's unlikely that you'd have similar problems with an order of creatine or other products.
If you're looking for a well-rounded, reliable retailer in the nutrition and supplements sphere, Bodybuilding should be one of the first stores you consider. Not only will you find affordable creatine products in almost every variety, but you'll also get the information you need to make the improvements you want to see in your fitness.
With retail locations in shopping centers and strip malls throughout the nation, GNC is probably the name that first comes to mind when deciding where to buy health supplements of every kind. In business since 1935, this is one of the best-established places to get the guidance you need for whatever your goals may be.
Taking a look at the creatine supplement we used to compare the stores in our review, MuscleTech's Creactor, GNC came up just average. They had it in stock - which is automatically better than the four retailers we evaluated who were out of stock or don't carry it at all - but at $29.99 GNC's price was a little higher. You could save 10% by putting it on automatic delivery in the future, which also comes with free shipping, but that's not a huge savings. Also, GNC only had three of the four available flavors: Fruit Punch, Lemon Lime, and Unflavored (but no Blue Raspberry).
Given what a big name GNC is in the supplements industry, we were a little surprised to see that their overall selection of creatine was on the small side with just 35 to choose from. Fortunately, those products still offer you a wide range of options, with over two dozen brands, all three typical formats (i.e. powder, tablet, capsule), and all of the varieties you'd expect: monohydrate, micronized, HCl, and so forth.
GNC has a lot of customer-friendly promotions that can save you money, even though their everyday retail prices tend to be higher than the competition. For example, at the time of our review, many of their creatine supplements were offered at Buy One Get One 50% off. Plus, GNC gives you free shipping on all orders over $49 - so you may want to stock up on your creatine or add some additional vitamins or supplements to your purchase. And, if you find the creatine product you want at a lower price somewhere else, check GNC's Price Match Guarantee page to see if it's on their list of retailers they'll match.
This is also one of the only retailers we evaluated that offers a two-tier rewards program. The My GNC Rewards level is absolutely free: sign up with just your email address to start earning points back on your purchases: 1 point for every dollar spent, with 150 points getting you a $5 cashback reward. You can also earn extra points at bonus events and get a free birthday gift. Alternately, if you know you'll be shopping often at GNC, you might want to consider the Pro rewards level. For $39.99/year, you'll get free expedited shipping, exclusive savings events and giveaways, and twice-a-year "Pro Boxes" swag and samples.
We also love that GNC gives you a 100% satisfaction guarantee on both unopened and opened products. Just make your return within 30 days of your purchase and you can get a full refund. Given that supplements can affect every person differently, it's a mark of a company that genuinely cares about its customers when they allow them to return products that aren't a good match.
Another way that this company takes care of its customers is through its service called Your Solution Center. Just answer a few questions about your health and wellness goals, and you'll get recommendations tailored to your unique situation. That could include probiotics, fish oil, or even a multivitamin, depending on the information you provide.
GNC may not have the broadest selection of creatine supplements on the market, but their commitment to customer satisfaction more than makes up for it. Keep an eye on promotional pricing and don't hesitate to take advantage of the Price Match Guarantee, and you'll probably find that GNC is one of your preferred retailers when shopping for creatine - and other health products!
I-Supplements prides itself on being an "online supplement superstore". In business for over a decade, this retailer offers more than 7000 health and nutrition supplements ranging from diet pills to prohormones and more. Their staff includes nutritionists, professional bodybuilders and MMA athletes, certified personal trainers and many other professionals who can answer your questions and help you decide which creatine supplement is right for you.
How did I-Supplements measure up compared with other creatine retailers? Looking at the product we used for comparison across all of the sites in our review, Creactor by MuscleTech, this store listed it in their inventory at a good price: $27.99. But, when we clicked on the product to order, it was listed as out of stock. That puts I-Supplements towards the middle of the pack, since they apparently carry it but there's no way to know when it would be available again for purchase.
Otherwise, the selection of creatine supplements at this retailer is good. We appreciated how thorough the information is for each product. For example, looking at Optimum Nutrition's basic micronized creatine powder (2000g), it was easy to see at a glance the exact serving size, mixing instructions and suggested use, and number of servings per container. Priced at $46.99, this creatine supplement was being offered at a 37% savings over retail. We also liked that we had the option of adding a shaker cup ($2.99) - because who wants a gritty drink?
I-Supplements has a good reputation, as demonstrated by an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau and overall positive feedback on the store's social media channels. But, their return policy isn't as favorable as many of our top-rated creatine retailers': you can only send back products that are unopened (within 30 days of purchase), and you'll have to pay a 20% restocking fee. So, if you try one of their creatine supplements and have a bad reaction - or just don't get any results - you won't be able to get a refund from I-Supplements.
And, when it comes to shipping, this company is also just average. The weight of your package will affect your delivery costs: Flat Rate Super Saver is $6.95 for packages under 2 pounds, USPS Priority is $7.95 plus an extra $1 for additional items, and so on. If your order weighs more than 5 pounds, I-Supplements will charge extra fees beyond their standard shipping rates. We recommend you contact the company if this applies to your order, because their policy page states that these extra fees will be added manually (and some customers have complained about being charged a lot more than they expected).
So, if you're looking for a good selection of creatine supplements - with plenty of information about how to use them - you'll want to take a look at I-Supplements. Although shipping fees are expensive, prices are competitive. However, because of the strict "no returns" policy on opened products, this store might be a better option if you already know a particular brand and supplement work for you, and you're just replenishing your supply.
TF Supplements specializes in health products, including dietary and bodybuilding supplements. Founded by bodybuilders and health enthusiasts - the TF stands for "Total Fitness", after all - the company aims to provide the best products at the most affordable prices.
The site is easy to use: search for creatine and you'll get a list of more than 60 options. You can even see the categories of supplements on the left side of the page: Monohydrate, Buffered, HCl, Magnesium Chelate, and so on. But what we noticed right away was under the Availability filter: out of 60+ products listed in their store, only five were in stock. Yes, you read that right: 54 were marked as "sold out", and one product was mysteriously labeled as "some in-stock". Then, when we actually clicked on the "in-stock" filter, the number dropped to just four: two capsule-based Creatine Monohydrate options and two powder-based supplements.
Prices ranged from $5 to $19.99 on those four products, which is affordable and competitive. However, expect a flat-rate shipping cost of $7.99 on your order; you might want to add other supplements (e.g. protein powder or BCAAs) to make it worth your money.
We're not exactly sure how well TF Supplements is doing with keeping customers happy - because most of the comments we found were several years old at the time of this review. (On a positive note, those reviews averaged 4 out of 5 stars.) Despite being in business since 2006, with several brick-and-mortar locations throughout Texas, TF Supplements doesn't have a rating with the BBB either.
We were happy to see that this company offers a return policy that's customer-friendly. You can return your purchase as long as you start the process within 30 days of your order - that part is pretty standard. TF Supplements takes it a step above and beyond by allowing you to return opened items as well. So, if you try one of the handful of creatine products they have in stock and it doesn't agree with you, you can send it back. The only caveat is that you'll only be eligible for a store credit, not a refund.
In short, TF Supplements seems to be a reputable source of creatine products, and we like that they have a good return policy in place. But, with so many supplements listed as sold out, it'll be hard for the average customer to find what they need - because there are so few options to choose from. You'll definitely find a better selection elsewhere.
Island Supplements is a small business based out of Texas that offers a wide variety of nutritional products for health and performance.
This retailer had the least impressive product selection of all of the creatine retailers we reviewed. Searching specifically for creatine gives a results list with just 22 products - and many of them aren't what most people are looking for (like a bag of mass gainer powder that happens to have creatine on the ingredients list). They didn't carry the popular supplement we used for comparison across sites, the Creactor product by MuscleTech.
We also weren't very excited about the store's return policy. Unlike some of the stores we evaluated, this retailer doesn't accept returns on opened products - period. So, if you decide to try that bottle of Kre-Alkalyn EFX or Beast Sports' Creature Powder and have a bad reaction, you're out of luck (and cash). Unopened products can be returned within 15 days of purchase, but you'll be subject to a 25% restocking fee. We would love to see Island Supplements extend some kind of satisfaction guarantee, especially since it's hard to tell how an individual might respond to their supplements.
Shipping costs are also really high. On a $30 order of Bang, we would have had to pay a minimum of $6.49 for shipping, and that was for flat-rate economy. UPS Ground would have been $19.34, and USPS Priority Mail was a staggering $46.70. (It almost felt like it would be less expensive to walk to Texas and pick it up ourselves!)
On a positive note, Island Supplements has a fantastic reputation: an "A+" and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, with zero registered customer complaints means that this company has been doing a great job over the last 10+ years.
With so many stores offering a wider range of creatine products, and giving their customers nice perks like free shipping and a satisfaction guarantee, it's hard to see why anyone would choose to shop at Island Supplements. We recommend that you consider the higher-ranked retailers in our review instead.
At first glance, you might think VitaSprings is a promising online store for buying your creatine products. They list more than 270 items in their inventory, many more than most of their competitors.
As you'd expect with such an expansive inventory, your options run the gamut from the bargain bottle of 50 1000mg tablets in the Source Naturals brand ($5.25), to Anavar's formulation of "natural steroidal anabolic agents" that includes creatine ($83.95 for 180 tablets).
While this store does carry the MuscleTech brand, they didn't have the Creactor creatine product we used to shop across the different retailers in our review. They had an alternate creatine supplement, Cell Tech, and many other products in the Muscle Tech brand.
So far, so good, right? However, as we looked a little deeper into this retailer, we didn't like what we found. First, despite showing a storefront in the Company Profile page, the business address the site gives is a PO Box. When we called the listed company phone number during business hours, the call was disconnected after a silence. That's not very reassuring if you have questions about an order or about a product that VitaSprings sells.
Shipping and return policies were equally disappointing. You'll spend a minimum of $4.99 for delivery, and there are no returns on anything you've opened. VitaSprings says you'll have to "contact the manufacture [sic] directly" if you don't like your creatine supplement for any reason. Returns are only allowed within 30 days of shipment on unopened products, and you'll pay a 15% restocking fee.
Where this store really goes off the rails is when you consider customer feedback. Even though you'll see a five-star "Top Service" logo at the top of the site, you aren't likely to think anything about VitaSprings should rank that high. Doing some digging, we found very negative customer reviews left within a few days of our visit to this online store One complaint described products with ingredients lists that were completely different from what was advertised (and the company refused to give them a refund because they opened it without checking the label first!). Another said that they were charged for a supplement that hadn't arrived six weeks after placing the order. Several people said that they were charged for products that they were later told were out of stock.
Bottom line? When 88% of customers rate a company as "poor" or "bad", don't waste your time or your money. VitaSprings should be the last store you shop for your creatine supplements - or anything else!
The main reason for using creatine is to increase muscle mass and improve power and strength during exercise. This can be especially important for vegetarians who lift weights, because meat is the most common natural source of creatine. But, even for people who eat meat, it's almost impossible to eat as much as you'd need to get the amount of creatine your body can use for adding muscle. In a very small dosage (3-5 grams per day), most athletes see significant gains in a short period of time.
Surprisingly, creatine isn't just for athletes! Studies have shown that supplementing with creatine can improve many neurological conditions ranging from Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinsons to epilepsy and even brain and spinal cord injuries. Remember that 5% of creatine is stored in the brain, after all.
But, not all creatine products are created equal - and the same goes for the retailers that sell them. How can you tell which store offers the best supplements at the best prices? Keep in mind the following criteria as you decide which creatine supplier should get your business:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best retailers of creatine on the market today. We hope this information helps you find the supplement that will help you reach your health and fitness goals with noticeable results!
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