With creatine use increasing, it appears the anecdotal and experimental research is in agreement: creatine works. More important, research suggests that if it is used appropriately, creatine is safe in post-pubescent athletes (more research is necessary on adolescents).
Previous articles (Athletic Performance Benefits of Creatine, How to Take Creatine as an Athlete) discussed why and how to use creatine; but knowing which creatine is best post-workout is crucial for improvement, since many products are either diluted or contaminated. Luckily, creatine is an inexpensive supplement, allowing user trial and error, but why waste your time and money? Here are three quick essential tips about buying creatine.
- Powders and capsules are best. Creatine has a relatively short shelf life. This makes using a powder or capsule ideal, as most creatine is bought in bulk. As new creatine products surface, refrain from purchasing a liquid form as the quality will diminish faster.
- Look for Creapure. Found mostly in European and Russian creatine products, Creapure is considered the purest form of creatine. The pure form should lead to better results and faster improvement.
- HFL Sport Science is a world-renowned sports doping control and research laboratory. If you will be drug-tested, look for the HFL label. The supplement industry is like the wild west. Anything goes, partners! But when anything goes, who knows what is in a supplement? If you're lucky, any contaminants in a particular brand of creatine will not be on the banned substance list. If you're unlucky, a bad batch of creatine could be laced with a banned substance, and you may find yourself sitting out a suspension. Luckily, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is approving tested products and giving them the HFL seal of approval. If you are being paid to compete or want to be extra safe, make sure to find the HFL label.
When buying supplements, make sure you know what is the best. For the best post-workout creatine, ensure it meets these three criteria. In eight to ten weeks, you'll be achieving greater gain and success. (See YOU Docs: Q&A on Creatine.)