What most consumers bother about when taking creatine is its ease of use and effectiveness. The outcome of this concern makes us decide on the most appropriate creatine form.
Which one can work for you, creatine powder vs pill? Are they any different?
Creatine powder is easier to dissolve and absorb faster in your system. On the other hand, pills are portable and easy to consume but a bit slow to absorb as your body takes time to break down the pills. Whether creatine is in powder or pill form, it has the same effect on the body but at a different rate.
Find out the significant differences between the two, the various versions of creatine available, and the factors that would help you choose one.
Creatine Powder vs Pill: The Breakdown
|Creatine Powder||Creatine Pills|
|Synthetic creatine is textured into a thin powder for a drink.||Creatine is put into gelatin capsules to take as pills with water.|
|Comes in a whole pack, so we need to scoop out each dose.||Available in tablets with the given dose.|
|Easier to absorb as it dissolves well with a liquid.||Harder to digest since the pill breaks down to deliver nutrients.|
|Can get lumpy with an unpleasant taste when mixed.||Easy to intake and carry around with no mess.|
|Affordable||A bit expensive|
|Suitable for intake at any time with other supplements.||Recommended to take it before and after exercise without interfering with other supplements.|
The powder version will last longer, so you must buy one pack for months. But you will always need a shaker with a drink to get quicker creatine intake. It can also offer a bitter and chemical taste.
- Versatile: The powder can easily dissolve in various liquids and other supplements.
- Better absorption: As it mixes with the liquid, it gets easier to absorb by the liver.
- Cheap: One pack can last long, even with higher doses daily.
- It can make clumps when mixed with water.
- The texture can feel muddy and bitter to drink.
- Measuring the right amount gets difficult and can lead to a mess.
Conversely, it is easier to maintain the dose with pills. Creatine pills have the measured amount of creatine already put inside pills made of gelatin.
- Convenience: They are convenient as we can carry the pills anywhere. A bottle of pills is easier to store in the bag.
- Availability: Taking a pill is easier than making a creatine shake and is also faster.
- Dosage accuracy: You can maintain your required dosage every day with the right bottle of pills.
The pills are difficult to absorb as they must break down each time before you can get all the nutrients. So, not a desirable option as it may cause digestive distress. You also can’t take other supplements or drugs with these pills.
- Restricted dosage, so you can’t change the amount if needed.
- You might need to take multiple pills at once.
- You can’t put them in protein shakers.
- They are expensive since you might need 2 to 3 per day, and the pack doesn’t last long.
- Not suitable for the loading phase as you can’t take multiple pills simultaneously.
Creatine Powder vs Pill: Which One to Choose?
Regardless of the differences, the choice between powder and pills depends on which is convenient for you. Are you okay with swallowing pills 3 times a day or enjoying a drink with creatine?
Besides, it also needs to work for your current health condition. The way you take creatine must allow easy and fast absorption. This will give you a quicker outcome and relieve you from stomach problems like pain or bloating.
Lastly, you need a version that can be easier to maintain and within your price range.
Different Forms of Creatine
Creatine is available in variants for individual features. The powdered version is the most common, but pills and gummies are also widely used.
Some popular versions of creatine are creatine monohydrate, HCL, ethyl ester, creatine buffer, and liquid creatine.
Among them, monohydrate is the most effective one with pure creatine. HCL, pyruvate, and ethyl ester offer better solubility and a thinner texture. Recent studies show creatine pyruvate is 14 to 17% more absorbent than the rest of the forms.
Although different, they offer the same benefits.
Manufacturers change the formula and texture due to factors like convenience, potency, better absorption and availability, and also stability of the ingredients. Each of the formulas might help with separate health benefits.
What are the Best Creatine Pills?
If you choose pills for taking creatine, you must consider factors like price, size, brand value, reviews, etc., before selecting one. Creapure is your best option for creatine, with the highest amount of pure creatine, nearly 100%.
Here are some of the top choices for creatine pills.
- Optimum Nutrition Creatine
- Performance Lab SPORT Creatine Capsules
- Muscle Feast Creatine Pills
- Creapure German Creatine
Difference between Protein Powder and Creatine Powder
Protein and creatine powder have different roles in the body. As the name says, protein powder offers more protein for muscles, while creatine helps to gain more energy to exercise.
Can you mix creatine with BCAA, aka protein powder?
Protein supplements also have other roles like hormone, antibody, and enzyme production, cell growth and repair, neurotransmitter synthesis, and also help in recovery from muscle injuries post-workout.
You can take creatine anytime, but the protein will have the best effect when you take it before and after your workout sessions.
How many pills do you need every day?
You must match the 3-5 g dose, similar to the powder form. A single pill should have that amount. Usually, you need around three pills. Divide the pills throughout the day for easy absorption and when you need to increase the pills per day.
How does creatine help to build muscles?
Our skeletal muscles store 95% creatine for energy. Creatine will accelerate the rate at which ATP is produced and used as energy. The muscle tissues keep creatine as phosphocreatine that synthesizes and provides energy during exercises. Besides, creatine also causes water retention to reserve more energy.
Are creatine pills steroids?
Since creatine pills look like regular drugs, people might mistake them for steroids. But creatine isn’t a steroid or has the same effects as steroids. It only allows faster production and conversion of ATP to energy. Most importantly, creatine is a natural element made into a supplement, whereas steroids are synthetic drugs with testosterone.
How fast does creatine work?
Regardless of the type and brand of creatine you take, it all works the same way. So, within a few weeks, from 7 to 28 days, you will start seeing any noticeable differences. You will have a boost to train longer and make big muscles.
The Bottom Line
Different versions of creatine were made to suit your needs. So, choosing between types allows you to decide which works best for you with zero hassle. You need creatine to digest faster for efficiency and avoid side effects.
So, you can get the powder form to drink with various smoothies. Or you can save some time and take a pill when you can. Do drink a lot of water for better absorption in either case. Ensure that the one you get is worth your money and won’t make you suffer much from side effects.
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I am a health and wellness enthusiast working in a Pittsburgh-based wellness clinic. My primary role as a consultant is to tailor a balanced lifestyle for my patients, where positive steps and potent supplements play a synergistic role.