There comes the point in any vegan’s life where they hit a plateau with their muscle gains. Only recently, I was experiencing such a snag, but I’ve found a solution – vegan creatine.
It’s a molecule that functions as an important energy reserve for our muscles to give them better and endurance and strength, among other benefits.
While our bodies can synthesize it, the amount produced might not be enough, especially if you lead an active lifestyle. Most of us, however, get supplementation from the food we eat since it can naturally be found in meat-based products.
As a result, individuals with vegan or vegetarian diets tend to have smaller reserves of creatine.
Luckily, this problem can easily be remedied with vegan-friendly supplements.
- Transparent Labs Creatine HMB (Editor’s Choice) – WellGeek10 Code for 10% off
- BulkSupplements – Best Value
- Naked Creatine Pure – Mixability
- The Genius Brand – Top Vegan Creatine with Beta-Alanine
- Battle Ready Fuel – Great Creatine For Workout
- Optimum Nutrition – Best For Muscle Recovery
- MyProtein – Provide Energy And Good Value
Top-Rated Vegan Creatine Supplements (Updated List for 2023)
If you’re on a mission to perfect your gym performance, adding creatine to your routine is a good start. It’s one of the few high-intensity exercise and vegan diet supplements in the market that’s actually backed by solid scientific research.
I’ve tested the most popular brands in the market and whittled them down to the most effective top seven. Have a look at my favorite creatine for vegans below and see which one fits your lifestyle best:
1. Transparent Labs HMB (Editor’s Choice) – #1 – Best Creatine
This Transparent Labs creatine is my top choice because it uses other ingredients to enhance the effectiveness of supplementation and helps our body absorb it more effectively.
I know athletes who use this product because of its effectiveness. Here’s the breakdown of all the benefits.
- It uses Creapure, the most widely tested creatine form that’s proven to be effective and safe. Creapure is IFS certified, indicating its high quality. And if you’re an athlete, you’ll be happy to know that this substance is under the Cologne List®, a catalog of products that have been tested and found to be free of banned substances.
- It includes HMB, a substance known to preserve muscle mass, burn fat, and build muscle strength and endurance. HMB (beta-Hydroxy beta-methyl butyric acid) also has synergistic effects with creatine. According to this study, taking both of these substances results in an average of 30% additional strength gains.
- It uses Bioperine, a substance that helps our body absorb creatine and other supplements more effectively. This is why you’ll often find it included in your prescription medications.
- It’s preservative-, GMO-, and gluten-free. All of the ingredients featured in this product are clinically dosed. So you’re only getting quality supplements instead of useless filler additives.
Summary: Whether you’re an athlete or just someone who needs a good workout boost, the Transparent Labs HMB is a solid choice that uses high-quality ingredients that complement each other’s effects.
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2. BulkSupplements – Best Value
If you’re looking for an effective product that’s 100% fuss-free, you might opt for this BulkSupplements creatine.
Within its plain and simple packaging hides an effective supplement that any exercise nut can benefit from.
Many of my friends use this powder for its efficiency and affordable price tag.
- It uses a micronized form of creatine that’s more easily absorbed by our body and reduces stomach discomfort. The smaller particles also mean that you’ll have an easier time when mixing this creatine powder with liquids to produce a smooth and homogenous drink.
- Its flavorless form opens up a lot of possibilities. You can blend it with milk, water, or even other products without worrying about clashing flavors. It basically disappears in the liquid because of its fine texture. So you can use it in plain, savory, or sweet drinks without noticing it’s there.
- It’s affordable and cost-effective. Unlike most brands that waste their resources on fancy packaging, BulkSupplements uses a simple plastic bag and focuses on the quality of the product itself. The bulk of your purchase goes toward the pure ingredients that have been lab-tested for purity and effectiveness.
- It doesn’t impart the common side effects typically seen when taking creatine powders. Most people who use these products experience some bloating, but the micronized ingredient used by this brand helps alleviate that.
Summary: This BulkSupplements powder uses a micronized variant that’s more readily absorbed and lessens stomach bloating. It’s effective, affordable, and easy to blend in any drink.
3. Naked – Best Mixability
Naked Nutrition’s creatine powder is easily one of the most beginner-friendly supplements in the market.
Unlike other products that require high-power mixers just to get them to blend with your drinks, this one only requires a few good stirs.
- It uses a 100% micronized variant that allows better absorption and less bloating. As I’ve mentioned before, having a smaller particle size helps improve effectiveness. And, in turn, improve your strength, gains, and training capacity.
- It dissolves well with most liquids. Some creatine powders have a sandy texture or low mixability, but you won’t find those issues with Naked’s product. The finer grains of the creatine powder ensure that you get a smooth drink free of any lumps or grittiness.
- It doesn’t use any additives and artificial flavors, sweeteners, or colors. All you’re getting is 100% creatine. So you’re getting a product that’s wholly made to sustain your NRG and improve your performance.
Summary: Naked’s take on this popular exercise creatine supplement will help anyone achieve their fitness goals faster. It’s only composed of one ingredient with the highest quality, ensuring that you’re getting the NRG boost you need for those intense workout sessions.
4. The Genius Brand – Best with Beta-Alanine
This Genius Brand product makes for an excellent post-workout creatine supplementation for women and men.
And how? It uses a unique blend of ingredients that work together to aid in muscle repair and production.
- Its natural ingredient complex improves overall strength and minimizes water retention. This is useful if you have an upcoming event, and you want to avoid bloating.
- It uses beta-alanine that’s scientifically proven to improve muscle endurance. You’ll have a lower chance of experiencing sore muscles because this substance helps you recover more efficiently.
- It uses 100% pure ingredients that are backed by clinical trials and third-party lab tests. You don’t have to worry about filler components that do nothing to improve your athletic performance.
- It only uses natural sweeteners. Unlike other brands that use artificial sweeteners, The Genius Brand combines monk fruit extract, stevia leaf, and avocado extract to sweeten the product naturally.
- It uses a patented ingredient that improves the product’s absorption rate. The “Magna Powder” uses pure magnesium bonding to help deliver extra NRG and oxygen to our muscles. Essentially, you’re getting more out of the ingredients instead of ending up as waste
Summary: The Genius Brand uses a special blend of ingredients that are proven to help your exercise performance. It also uses Magna Powder, which features a higher absorption rate, so you’re getting more bang for your buck.
5. Battle Ready Fuel – Great Creatine For Workout
Battle Ready Fuel is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a pure source without any other ingredients.
Whether you’re looking to bulk up or cut a few pounds, this supplement can help you see the results of your hard work much faster.
- It uses a creatine monohydrate variant that’s been extensively researched. Unlike other forms, the monohydrate’s effectiveness is backed by scientific claims. While it might not have the added benefits of creatine or patented variants, this one is tried and lab-tested. So you’re sure to get noticeable results.
- No other ingredients are added to create a pure product. Unlike other brands that add other components that don’t have any conclusive proof of their benefits, BattleReady Fuel is only composed of pure creatine. Multiple studies have shown that this substance helps improve physical performance, especially with high-intensity short-term exercises such as lifting and sprinting.
- It comes with a 60-day guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with the results of this product, you can just return it within two months of receiving your purchase. You get a full refund (the shipping charges aren’t included, though.)
- Its flavorless form lets you blend it with practically any drink. You can add it to your favorite shakes or drink it straight up with just water without worrying about off-flavors. It’s also very easy to mix. You don’t need a high-powered mixer to dissolve it. Just use a manual shaker, and you’re all set
Summary: Battle Ready Fuel is another product that purely focuses on delivering you extra NRG, perfect for intense workout sessions, and bulking up. What I love about it is the 60-day trial period where you can try out the product. And if it’s not for you, getting a full-refund is an option!
6. Optimum Nutrition – Great For Muscle Recovery
Optimum Nutrition is another excellent vegan option if you’re looking for long-term muscle recovery. The company guarantees that it will help boost your strength, muscle gain, and endurance.
Despite being very tall claims, the powder holds up pretty well after I’ve tested it for a few months.
- It uses CreaPure, a powder that’s free of any contaminants and impurities. As I’ve mentioned before, Creapure is IFS certified and under the Cologne product list, so you have the assurance that you’re only getting high-quality.
- It’s micronized to allow for better mixing. Unlike regular powders, this one won’t bloat your stomach as much (bloating is a pretty common side effect of creatine.) It also stays in the liquid longer than its non-micronized creatine variants that tend to separate after a while.
- Optimum Nutrition is flavorless, so you can add it to anything. The one teaspoon serving doesn’t impart a lot of taste or texture, making it a versatile additive to any of your drinks.
Summary: Optimum Nutrition is an excellent choice for athletes who are looking for a pure creatine supplement source that’s easy to mix. It also gives you an extra strength and endurance boost to keep you topped up for intense workout sessions.
7. MyProtein – Provide Energy And Good Value
Looking for an effective creatine monohydrate mix with plenty of flavor varieties to choose from? This creatine is from MyProtein might just be the trick.
I was intrigued when a friend of mine who regularly uses it recommended it to me. And I noticed an excellent boost in energy when I took it before a workout.
- With multiple flavor options available, you can easily find one that suits your palate. It comes in orange, peach mango, lemon and lime, berry blast, raspberry lemonade, blue raspberry, tropical, and many other great flavors to sample. It also comes in an unflavored variant if you prefer purity over flavor.
- It’s easy to blend into any liquid. Just get your shaker cup and give it a few good shakes, and the whole mix will be evenly dispersed in the liquid. Easy mixing is one sign that MyProtein uses high-quality ingredients.
- All flavor options give you an ample amount of creatine supplementation for every serving. The unflavored variant contains 100% while flavored ones average around 87%. The latter consists of natural flavorings and sucralose to enhance the taste.
- Personally, I prefer an unflavored mix. But the benefit of going flavored means that you get a great-tasting drink by simply mixing it with water.
Summary: I recommend this MyProtein mix if you prefer to have a taste for your creatine supplementation. It gives an excellent energy boost and more affordable than most brands in the market.
Some products not included in this review:
- Jarrow Formulas Creatine Powder
- NOW Foods – NOW Sports Nutrition, (new product)
- MuscleTech Platinum Creatine ( )
Is a Vegan Creatine Supplement as Effective as Creatine from Meat?
Yes. In fact, it might even be more effective than conventional sources.
Most people get their creatine from food sources like poultry, seafood, and red meat.
But what about vegans?
Since we don’t get as much due to our diet choices, is supplementation enough? And how effective is it? Should we supplement with creatine?
See for yourself in the studies below:
- One research highlights the benefit of supplementation for people on vegan diets due to naturally low stores. The study shows that creatine supplementation provides improvements in lean muscle tissue mass and exercise performance and enhancing cognitive function.
- Another study finds that meat-based creatine is not absorbed as efficiently compared to supplements. While more research needs to be done in order to cement these findings, the results clearly show that creatine supplementation can be beneficial for vegan exercisers and athletes.
Summary: Supplementation is not only effective, but it’s also proven to impart numerous beneficial effects for people on vegan diets. Some studies even find that creatine vegan supplementation is more effective compared to their meat-based counterparts.
Are Creatine Supplements Vegetarian?
Most brands in the market offer vegetarian and vegan-friendly options. But not all of them.
While the substance itself is vegan, some products may include additives that come from animals. Here are a few components that you might want to steer clear of:
- Some flavors might have animal products. Mixes with vanilla, strawberry, or raspberry could contain castoreum, a substance extracted from beaver glands.
- Capsule types are made with gelatin. It uses collagen, a tasteless and colorless structural protein obtained from animal connective tissues and skin.
- Some manufacturers give “all-in-one supplements” that might have non-vegetarian components. For instance, a mix might have some protein powders obtained from animal sources (animal products).
Always read the label and check if it specifies that the product is a vegan or vegetable source. If not, you can contact the manufacturer if you want to make sure.
Summary: Most brands will often state their packaging that their product is vegan or vegetarian friendly. But it’s never a bad idea to make sure and ask them yourself.
Where Do Vegetarians Get Creatine?
People living on a plant-based diet can only get this substance in enough quantities from two sources:
- Our body naturally synthesizes this substance with the amino acids glycine, arginine, and methionine. And this process produces an average of 1g every day. This amount isn’t enough if you want to enjoy the benefits of having full reserves.
- We can supplement our natural reserves with capsules or powders. As I’ve mentioned before, taking supplements is scientifically proven to be effective, even more so than a meat-based diet.
Summary: Our body uses a process to create its own reserves, but this isn’t enough to reap the full benefits. Luckily, there are plenty of quality supplementations available such as vegan creatine that are vegan and vegetarian friendly.
How Much Vegan Creatine Should You Consume?
5g per day of creatine is the standard dosage. Several studies reveal that even 0.03g/kilo of lean mass showed an increase in their muscle creatine reserves. If you’re starting out on your supplementation, consider taking the steps below if you want to maximize the effects:
Start off with an initial loading phase to increase your stores faster. Take a higher amount for one week before you go to the maintenance phase for your regular amount. Take 20g each day for 5 to 7 days. You can split this amount into four servings throughout your day.
Maintain high levels afterward by taking creatine 3 to 5g every day. If you choose to skip the initial step, maximizing your stores can take up to a month. But if you’re not in a rush, you don’t really need to.
Summary: The recommended daily dose is 5g each day mixed in with water to ensure that you’re hydrated. Take note that doing the loading phase might have some mild side effects such as stomach cramping and nausea.
What Are the Benefits of Taking It as a Supplement?
Apart from its main purpose of producing additional energy for our muscles, it can also:
- Help with muscle repair. It boosts protein formation which leads to the creation of muscle fibers.
- Speed up muscle growth. It raises our muscles’ water content to quickly increase their size.
- Improve our performance during high-intensity exercises. Because of its direct role in energy production, we can get more out of our physical activities.
- help individuals who suffer from Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions such as:
Spinal cord and brain injuries
- help lower blood sugar levels. It increases the effectiveness of the molecules that transport sugar in our blood.
- enhance brain function. Our brain uses up a lot of ATP (energy) when we do difficult tasks. So it goes without saying that it can benefit from extra energy reserves.
- alleviate tiredness and fatigue. Aside from providing us with additional NRG, the substance also increases our body’s dopamine levels.
This substance has been researched for many centuries, with many studies that support its safety and viability for long-term use. Even trials that lasted for half a decade reported no ill effects for its testers.
Summary: This creaine supplement is one of the safest to use regularly, with creatine benefits backed by numerous scientific studies.
Can You Get Creatine From Plants?
It’s easy to see why supplements such as creatine and niacin might be viewed with suspicion by racing authorities. You simply cannot track down the raw ingredients, making all of these supplements illegal on track and potentially dangerous to the horse. The Dutch supplement Menatep was used extensively by Dutch trainer Co Meilan but was brought to a halt by the FEI in 2010 after high-profile trainer Hugo Palmer was suspended for having imported it into Britain. The men who made the supplement – and sold it to Palmer – are still suspected of fraud and have been named in the U.K. Equestrian Sport Management Authority’s inquiry report into the matter.
It’s also a fact that all horse supplements are not equal. While a bulk horse supplement might contain virtually any supplement, athletes (and professional trainers) may prefer smaller doses and customized ingredients and are therefore going to want to shop around for what they need. But if you can’t track down the supplement you need, you can still make your own supplement at home – without breaking the law.
Do Vegan Athletes Need Creatine?
If you follow a vegan diet, you can easily get your daily creatine from a variety of sources. However, if you are still using commercial protein powders or supplements, you should know that their creatine content will vary widely, and, more importantly, they may not contain sufficient amounts of supplemental creatine (phosphate). Reading Dr. Donnie Wilson’s definitive article on Creatine and pre-workout use in human performance implies it is a performance-enhancing drug. That is incorrect. It has not been proven to increase muscle mass or speed in humans. At best it boosts strength, power, coordination, and endurance. To be used in an amateur sport, the human performance enhancement angle makes it a PED.
Creatine’s appeal is the fact that it is synthetic and does not degrade. Muscle or bodybuilders get protein shakes with creatine, but regular exercise builds muscle and every time you work out, you are getting creatine into your bloodstream, though less than when you are just sitting in your chair watching Netflix. In other words, when you exercise you don’t need to get a protein shake. There are many reasons why an athlete may use creatine: to aid recovery and fuel an already existing endurance workout, to overcome injury and help build new muscle, or simply to treat an athlete who doesn’t like to work out but would rather spend their day vaping.
How Do Vegans Get Creatine?
Muscle nutritional supplements play an important role in the body’s metabolism. As we get older, our body develops type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and cancer, due to the low level of nutrient absorption. Vegans are unique as they do not eat meat, fish, dairy products, or eggs. But all sources of protein are a part of their diet, as most people eat one serving per day.
Therefore, it is not uncommon for vegans to also get extra muscle without really making any dietary changes to their daily diet. While many people do not realize this is possible, because they have not given much thought to what they are putting into their bodies. In terms of the role of creatine, there are two forms of creatine that you can find in supplements; creatine monohydrate, and creatine phosphate. As far as the type of creatine we use, creatine monohydrate is the most popular and commonly available creatine in supplements, due to it being much cheaper than creatine phosphate.
Remember when I mentioned calcium plus vitamin D? Well, this is a whole new ball game. All nutrients (with the exception of magnesium) have their benefits and drawbacks, so without any slight discussion of what this stuff is all about, let’s talk about Vegans.
There are various definitions of vegan, but for the sake of this discussion, all vegans follow a diet that is devoid of animal products. Therefore, this includes fish, dairy, eggs, and most meats. When this diet is followed by humans, it leaves the body with little or no trace of the six macronutrients mentioned earlier. In a nutshell, it’s good for you because you get the nutrients you need in reasonable amounts. The good news for vegans is that the 6-kit muscle protein synthesis test indicates that they have the highest intakes of all the macronutrients tested.
Is Creatine Plant Based?
Is creatine a plant-based product? What about Creatine Oil? In short, Creatine is a pure water-soluble B-hydroxy acid synthesized from carbohydrates and amino acids. After each day of exercise, creatine is removed from muscle tissue in urine as the muscles give up their creatine phosphate. The phosphate is then absorbed by the body and then washed out into the urinary tract and through the kidneys. The body must then retrieve the creatine phosphate from the urine.
Creatine phosphate is essential for maintaining muscle function and performance in long-term trainees, certain individuals with muscle biochemistry conditions, and in athletes. Creatine’s primary activity is to perform the function of a phosphocreatine shuttle in the muscle cell. It can be likened to a conveyor belt, moving nutrients out of cells into the blood. The transport of amino acids out of muscle cells can further increase blood protein levels and can also delay muscle breakdown (catabolism) after exercise. When looking at the phosphocreatine movement, both creatine and phosphocreatine have an affinity for each other.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Vegan Bodybuilders Use Creatine?
Yes, vegan bodybuilders do use creatine as a supplement to support their muscle-building and performance goals. Creatine is a compound naturally found in animal products, such as meat and fish. However, creatine can also be obtained from vegan-friendly sources, such as creatine monohydrate supplements derived from non-animal sources.
Creatine supplementation is particularly beneficial for vegan bodybuilders because plant-based diets may be lower in creatine compared to omnivorous diets. By supplementing with creatine, vegan bodybuilders can ensure they have adequate creatine levels to support their muscle energy production and enhance exercise performance.
Numerous studies have shown that creatine supplementation benefits both vegetarians and vegans by increasing muscle strength, power, and overall exercise performance. The mechanisms of action remain the same regardless of dietary choices, as creatine works by increasing phosphocreatine stores in the muscles and aiding in ATP regeneration.
It is important to note that creatine is a safe and widely used supplement for both vegan and non-vegan individuals. However, as with any dietary supplement, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to determine the appropriate dosage and ensure it aligns with an individual’s specific needs and goals.
In summary, vegan bodybuilders can benefit from creatine supplementation to support their muscle-building and performance goals. Vegan-friendly creatine supplements provide a suitable alternative to animal-derived sources and can help vegans maintain optimal creatine levels. Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian is advised to ensure proper usage and dosage recommendations.
Is Gold Standard Creatine Vegan?
Yes, Gold Standard Creatine, specifically the product “Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Creatine,” is considered vegan. This particular creatine supplement is derived from synthetic sources and does not contain any animal-derived ingredients. It is important to note that not all creatine supplements on the market are vegan-friendly, as some may be derived from animal sources or contain additives that are not suitable for a vegan diet.
Optimum Nutrition, the manufacturer of Gold Standard Creatine, states that their creatine product is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. However, it is always recommended to carefully read the product label or consult the manufacturer’s website to verify the vegan status and ensure that no changes have been made to the formulation.
By selecting Gold Standard Creatine, vegans can be confident that they are choosing a creatine supplement that aligns with their dietary preferences and does not contain any animal-derived ingredients.
Creatine helps to increase ATP production (adenosine triphosphate) which is vital for the creation of hard, lean muscle mass and weight loss.
Creatine (vegan creatine) is one of the most popular health supplements available. And it’s not hard to see why. Unlike other products, this one is backed by numerous studies that prove its effectiveness.
While most available mixes in the market might seem deceptively identical with similar ingredients and amounts, their results and effectiveness sing a different tune. Depending on your preferences, you might benefit from using one over another:
If you prefer to have all your money go to product quality over needlessly fancy packaging, BulkSupplements is a good choice. I recommend the Naked Powder if you want something that blends fast and evenly.
The Genius Brand offers a blend that uses different ingredients to enhance its effectiveness. My favorite, however, is the one from Transparent Labs.
It uses Creapure, a substance backed by several trusted institutions for its quality. And its creatine form allows for better absorption and less stomach bloating. Try out the best vegan creatine today and enjoy the numerous benefits of creatine that it has to offer! Yes, and don’t forget to invest in a good vegan protein powder!