We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Creatine supplements may benefit muscle building and recovery. Sometimes, a doctor may also recommend creatine for mental health conditions.

We refer to “women,” “men,” or both to align with how companies market their products, but there is no need to stick to one product type or the other. A person should choose whichever best suits their needs.

A quick look at the best creatine supplements for women

Creatine is a naturally occurring nonprotein amino acid compound produced in the liver and kidneys. It is present in animal protein sources. Those who do not consume meat or seafood may have lower levels of creatine in their bodies.

The body stores most of its creatine in skeletal muscle and uses it during exercise.

Creatine supplements increase muscle growth, and athletes and older adults may take these supplements to improve exercise performance and increase muscle mass.

Learn more about using creatine supplements here.

Creatine for women

The authors of a 2021 review state that there is less research on the effects of creatine supplements in females than in males.

However, the review notes that creatine supplements may improve exercise performance and strength in premenopausal women. Additionally, women who have passed through menopause and take high doses of creatine may experience an increase in skeletal muscle size.

A 2020 study suggests that an 8-week treatment of creatine supplements and antidepressant therapy can reduce the symptoms of major depressive disorder in female adolescents and adults.

Side effects and interactions

Individuals who take creatine supplements may experience:

  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhea
  • weight gain from increased muscle mass or fluid retention
  • muscle cramps

Creatine can also interact with:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviews supplement ingredients for safety but does not approve them for their effectiveness. This includes creatine supplements.

People should consider the following factors before purchasing creatine products.

Ingredients

People who eat a plant-based diet or are allergic to specific ingredients can purchase “free-from” products, including vegan-friendly and gluten-free supplements with no allergens.

However, while creatine occurs naturally in animal products, the supplementary version is synthetic. It uses cyanamide and sarcosine, which do not contain animal byproducts. This makes all creatine supplements vegan-friendly. However, companies may add other ingredients to a creatine supplement that may result in a nonvegan or nonvegetarian product.

Dose

Researchers consider 3 grams (g) of creatine monohydrate to be a safe, effective, long-term daily dosage. However, many products contain 5 g, which may increase a person’s muscle creatine quickly but have no significant impact on health markers.

Anyone considering taking any dietary supplement should talk with their doctor or a qualified healthcare professional to ensure they have a dosage appropriate for their needs.

A person should seek medical advice before using any supplementary product if they are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking other medications.

Certifications

In the United States, all companies are supposed to manufacture their products according to Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations. The FDA states that cGMP regulations ensure that companies identify the quality, strength, and purity of drug products, use quality raw materials, and establish robust quality management systems.

Third-party testing

Some companies carry out third-party testing, which involves using certifying bodies to check their products for added transparency. A person can review the product they intend to use with Informed Choice, NSF International, or Consumer Lab.

Formulation

People may find creatine as a micronized powder. This dissolves rapidly in liquid and may be best for people who do not like different textures in drinks.

Flavors

Creatine supplements are available in different flavors, and some have no flavor at all.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products containing safe, high quality ingredients that are clearly labeled. Products should also confirm they are free of pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT chooses products that clearly state the supplement dosage.
  • Serving size: MNT selects products in which manufacturers recommend a safe dosage.
  • Third-party testing: MNT chooses products that undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis: MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) following receipt of its third-party lab results.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for a potential increase in muscle mass and strength: Transparent Labs StrengthSeries Creatine HMB

  • Pricing: $49.99
  • Dosage: 5,000 milligrams (mg) per scoop

The company states that this product is backed by scientific evidence. In addition to creatine, it contains:

  • Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB): According to one source, this can increase muscle mass and strength. However, another study suggests that this only occurs with appropriate levels of exercise and that a sedentary lifestyle will not produce these results.
  • BioPerine: Comes from the black pepper fruit and increases nutrient bioavailability, referring to the amount of a substance that enters a person’s body.

The company states that this supplement is free of:

Transparent Labs recommends that individuals take 1 scoop of creatine supplement with food 30 minutes after working out. They can also take 1 scoop in the morning whether or not they are exercising.

Pros:

  • allergen-friendly
  • helps increase muscle mass
  • contains ingredients to help it absorb easier into a person’s body
  • comes in a wide range of flavored and unflavored options

Cons:

  • unsuitable for people with bleeding disorders due to black pepper extract
  • does not list neutral or negative reviews on its website

Transparent Labs holds various certifications of compositions for all their products that third-party companies have tested.

Transparent Labs Creatine HMB is available online for $49.99.

Best for the possibility of increased performance: Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder

  • Pricing: $44.99
  • Dosage: 5,000 mg per teaspoon

This product contains 5 g of micronized creatine monohydrate powder per serving and claims to increase muscle size, strength, and performance. The body more easily absorbs micronized substances, which could make it more effective.

The company claims that the product contains only creatine monohydrate. When taken alone, creatine is calorie- and carbohydrate-free.

The company suggests mixing 1 rounded teaspoon of creatine powder with a protein shake or flavored beverage. However, using protein powders will increase calorie intake.

The product labeling states that it has been tested for banned substances. However, the company does not state whether third-party labs have carried out these tests.

Pros:

  • contains micronized creatine, which may be easier to absorb
  • tested for banned substances

Cons:

  • does not list neutral or negative reviews on its website
  • does not state if third-party labs tested for banned substances

A 60-serving bottle costs $32.23, and a 120-serving bottle costs $44.99.

Best for a potential increase in mental focus: Evlution Nutrition Creatine 5000

  • Pricing: $24.99–44.99
  • Dosage: 5,000 mg per scoop

This product contains 5 g of micronized creatine monohydrate powder and has no other ingredients.

Creatine 5000 claims to help people with:

  • building muscle
  • boosting strength and power
  • improving mental focus

In addition, according to the Evlution Nutrition website, this product is gluten-free and free of stimulants, sugar, and GMOs.

According to cGMP regulations, Evlution Nutrition manufactures creatine in an FDA-approved facility.

The company states that it processes orders within 24–48 hours, and customers should receive them within 7 business days. It also offers a 30-day return policy.

Pros:

  • aims to build muscle and help mental focus
  • gluten-free
  • made in an FDA-approved facility
  • unflavored

Cons:

  • does not provide access to studies cited in the product description

A person can choose between a bottle of 30 or 60 servings. A 30-serving bottle costs $21.99. A 60-serving bottle costs $29.99.

Best creatine capsules: Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Capsules

  • Pricing: $33.64–70.94
  • Dosage: 2500 mg per 2-capsule serving

Optimum Nutrition offers its creatine capsules in three different-sized containers: 100, 200, and 300 capsules.

The company recommends a person takes 2 capsules twice a day with food.

The capsules contain gelatin, so they are not suitable for vegetarians or vegans.

Taking creatine in capsule form may be more convenient for some, and it may be easier to know exactly how much creatine a person has had per serving compared with a powder.

The company writes that this supplement supports muscle strength when combined with high intensity exercise, and it recommends that a person take it post-workout.

Although a single serving does not provide a person with the typical 5-g dose, this supplement may be suitable for people who wish to build up their dose over time.

Pros:

  • comes in three volume sizes
  • easy to take
  • allows for greater dosing accuracy

Cons:

  • unsuitable for vegetarians or vegans
  • does not contain the typical 5-g dose of creatine per serving

A person can buy a 100-capsule bottle for $33.64, 200 capsules for $49.48, and 300 capsules for $70.94.

Best unflavored option: RSP Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate

  • Pricing: $26.97
  • Dosage: 5,000 mg per scoop

RSP Nutrition’s product contains 5 g of creatine monohydrate per serving and no other ingredients. The company claims that third-party companies have tested its products, although it does not specify which ones.

Individuals who exercise regularly can use this product as a pre- or post-workout muscle recovery supplement.

According to the company, individuals can mix 1 scoop of creatine powder with cold water or any other beverage before, during, or after an exercise session. On rest days, they can take it in the morning.

The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and free shipping on orders over $49.99.

It is an affordable option compared with other products offering the same amount of creatine.

Pros:

  • affordable
  • unflavored
  • offers a 100% money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • does not specify which third-party labs test its products

A person can buy a 60-serving bottle for $26.97.

Best for six advanced forms of creatine: BPI Sports Best Creatine

  • Pricing: $39.99
  • Dosage: 4,000 mg per scoop

This creatine product is cGMP-verified and comes with no artificial colors. According to the company, it contains six advanced forms of creatine, totaling 4 g per serving. The company website states that the product can help with muscle building, recovery, and endurance.

Ingredients also include betaine, which according to a 2020 study may benefit novice athletes by increasing body composition and stamina and aiding recovery, but it may not serve expert athletes due to their existing high fitness levels.

This product comes with a 100% no-risk money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • contains six forms of creatine
  • may be suitable for those just beginning their fitness journey

Cons:

  • extra ingredients may not benefit expert athletes
  • each serving is 5 calories
  • includes sodium

A 50-serving bottle costs $39.99.

Best gluten-free capsules: Nutricost Creatine Monohydrate

  • Pricing: $32.95
  • Dosage: 3,000 mg per serving

These capsules are gluten- and GMO-free. With 750 mg of creatine per capsule, a person consumes 3,000 mg per serving. There are 500 capsules per bottle.

According to the manufacturer, each capsule is formulated as an easy way to add creatine monohydrate into a person’s daily regimen while allowing rapid disintegration and absorption of the creatine. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.

However, the product description claims it has been manufactured in a cGMP-compliant, FDA-registered facility.

The company writes a person should take 4 capsules daily with water.

Pros:

  • gluten-free
  • contains 500 capsules
  • manufactured in a cGMP-compliant facility

Cons:

  • unsuitable for vegetarians or vegans
  • does not meet the typical 5-g daily creatine dose per serving

A 125-serving bottle costs $32.95.

Best for athletes: Thorne Research Creatine

Pricing: $36.00

Dosage: 5,000 mg per serving

Thorne Research claims that this creatine supplement is certified for sport by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). This means that third-party tests have confirmed that it does not contain any banned substances.

The company claims that its creatine supplement can help increase muscle endurance and power output. Additionally, it states that it may help cells create energy more efficiently.

One serving contains 5 g of creatine monohydrate. The company recommends that a person add 1 scoop of this creatine supplement to an 8-ounce drink.

It states that a person can take it 30–90 minutes before or after exercise.

Pros:

  • NSF-certified
  • vegan
  • gluten-free

Cons:

  • some users report difficulty dissolving powder

A 90-serving bottle costs $36.00.

The table below compares each of the creatine supplements in this article.

Pricing DosageIngredientsCertifications
Transparent Labs$49.995,000 mg per scoopcreatine monohydrate

vitamin D

HMB

BioPerine
company does not list certifications
Optimum Nutrition Creatine Powder$32.23–44.995,000 mg per teaspoon micronized creatine monohydrate company does not list certifications
Evlution Nutrition$21.99–29.995,000 mg per scoopmicronized creatine monohydratemeets cGMP standards
Optimum Nutrition Creatine Capsules$33.64–70.94 2,500 mg per 2-capsule servingcreatine monohydrate

gelatin

magnesium stearate
company does not list certifications
RSP Nutrition$26.97 5,000 mg per scoopcreatine monohydratecompany does not list certifications
BPI Sports$39.994,000 mg per scoopcreatine monohydrate

creatine anhydrous

creatine MagnaPower

creatine phosphate

creatine AKG

pH-buffered creatine alkaline

betaine anhydrous

Himalayan pink salt
cGMP verified
Nutricost$32.953,000 mg per servingcreatine monohydrateuses cGMP-compliant, FDA-registered facility
Thorne Research$36.005,000 mg per servingcreatine monohydrateNSF certified for sport

When choosing creatine supplements, a person should consider the following:

  • Price: Some supplement brands can be expensive. A person should consider the volume of their chosen product and how long it will last to ensure it will suit their budget.
  • Form: Creatine supplements generally come in powder or capsule form. Some brands sell creatine chews. A person should consider which form they will find easiest to take and which form can offer them the most accurate dose per serving.
  • Dosage: A person should choose products that clearly list the dose and dosage. A person should consider whether they are getting the recommended daily amount of a supplement with their product.
  • Lifestyle: Certain products are geared toward people who are at the beginning of their fitness journey, while others may be more beneficial for experienced athletes. Many manufacturers suggest when a person should take their supplement, for instance, 30 minutes before or after a workout.
  • Convenience: A person may need to take certain creatine supplements several times per day and others only once per day. A person should consider which creatine supplements will best fit into their daily routine.
  • Dietary requirements: A person should check the full list of ingredients to ensure their chosen creatine supplement does not contain allergens and is suitable for vegetarian or vegan diets if necessary.

People who do not wish to or cannot take creatine supplements can consume red meat and seafood to increase the body’s creatine amounts naturally.

They may also consider taking:

  • Nitric oxide supplements: These contain L-citrulline and L-arginine. One study notes that L-arginine supplements can reduce blood pressure during pregnancy. Nitric oxide supplements expand blood vessels and increase blood flow, which may enhance endurance in athletes.
  • Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): This term refers to a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are naturally present in animal-based protein sources, such as eggs, meat, and dairy products. A systematic review found that BCAAs can reduce muscle damage that results from high intensity exercise.

Below are answers to the top frequently asked questions about creatine for women.

Should a female take creatine?

Creatine has been shown to help build muscle and sustain energy levels in females, just as it does in males. This is particularly beneficial if they have a regular exercise program.

Creatine supplementation has also been shown to improve cognition and mood in women.

Does creatine affect women’s hormones?

This 2021 study found that creatine supplementation was beneficial for women, particularly in regard to estrogen. Through the use of creatine, the subjects found their moods had improved without interfering with the hormones. However, further studies are needed.

Will creatine make me gain weight?

Weight gain is a commonly reported side effect, but a 2016 study states that this is mostly in males.

A 2021 study concluded that creatine supplements do not increase fat mass and do not always lead to water retention. The older 2016 study agrees with this.

If a person takes creatine while exercising, it may lead to weight loss. For instance, a 2019 study found that the use of creatine supplements while doing resistance training led to a decrease in fat mass for the adult participants.

Creatine may help with muscle building, recovery, and performance. Additionally, some evidence suggests that creatine supplements can reduce symptoms associated with depression in women.

Individuals should consider different factors before purchasing creatine, such as formulation and certifications.

Whether a product undergoes third-party testing is also an important consideration, as the FDA does not approve supplements in the same way as prescription medications. A person should always discuss supplement use with their doctor or a qualified healthcare professional before use.